burn, garfield, burn
I read somewhere that Jim Davis doesn’t actually have much to do with Garfield anymore. There’s a factory of wannabe cartoonists churning out endless “I hate Mondays” jokes in a sweatshop somewhere in Indiana. I think those cartoonists probably cherish the end product with the same amount of pride that a 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl feels when she finishes her 1,000th pair of Nike Air Jordans. I wonder if Davis chains his workers to their desks?
The jokes in Garfield are beyond stale. The “art” is factory produced and devoid of any passion. They aren’t even trying.
Simply put, Garfield sucks. It is an abomination, a complete waste of ink and paper. It never makes me laugh. I don’t think it ever makes anyone laugh. If I ever walk up to you on the street and say “Man, did you read Garfield today? It sure was funny,” shoot me. If I tell you “Family Circus” was funny, shoot me twice. The alien would be in complete control by that point.
I vaguely recalled that Garfield was funny, once — long ago. There was an avalanche of Garfield watches, coffee mugs, notebooks and other assorted merchandise that flooded the market in the mid-eighties. There had to be something behind the hype, right? It all culminated in the stupid Garfield doll with suction cups on its paws that you could stick in the rear window of your car. I wonder how many people Garfield helped kill due to obstructed vision? I bet no one even kept track.
I did a little research last summer. I was at a used bookstore when I came upon a treasure-trove of old Garfield books. “Garfield Gains Weight.” “Garfield Sits Around The House” and the extremely aptly named “Garfield Wastes Space.” I thought to myself, “Aha! Here is my chance to read the original Garfield comics. The ones that started it all. The ones that were funny.
I was so young and so naive.
There are no funny Garfield books. It’s all a myth. Garfield has sucked from day one and will continue to suck for all eternity. Davis sold his soul to the devil to get where he is, and I fully expect him to rot in hell next to Freddy Prinze Jr. and maybe Celine Dion.
So imagine my delight when I stumbled across a discarded stuffed Garfield doll outside my friend Ed’s apartment last week. Unfortunately, his fur was lightly singed. Someone had tried to light Garfield on fire and failed.
They didn’t try hard enough.
I quickly learned why the previous attempts to kill Garfield were unsuccessful. Attempts were made to choke him as well as squash him, but much like my friend The Tick, Garfield proved “nigh-invulnerable.” Clearly, more drastic measures were called for.Now although my hatred for Garfield burns with the intensity of 1,000 white-hot suns, I didn’t want PETA complaining that I let the Satan-spawned feline suffer, so I decided to destroy his prefrontal lobes using a radical new procedure of my own devising.
Always wear safety goggles when you are using small explosive devices to perform psychosurgery on a stuffed animal. Perhaps that goes without saying.
First, I made a small incision along the marsupial ridge with a medically sterile carving knife. (Well, I left it in the dishwasher for two cycles at any rate.) Using forceps and a clamp, I inserted a small explosive device behind the medulla oblongata then quickly sutured the incision back together using a staple gun I bought at a police auction this summer.
We lit the fuse.
BAM! Success! Not only did our highly illegal firecracker (thanks Aaron) destroy the frontal lobes, it pretty much destroyed the rear lobes, the side lobes and any other lobes it could find, too. Garfield was now free of all pain, and, as fate would have it, most other higher brain functions.
Now that Garfield was properly “sedated,” we moved on to phase two of the Garfield Project: Hot Time In The Kitty.
The previous owner had already attempted to burn Garfield. It didn’t work, and he gave up. We needed some help to overcome his flame retardant nature, and we found it in the form of a bottle of lamp oil we bought at our neighborhood Ace hardware store. Total cost: $3.49 + tax.
Make sure your lamp oil is nice and fresh.
The firecracker left a hole in Garfield’s head that no amount of staples was going to repair, so I just dumped the lamp oil directly into his skull. I also splashed a bit on his ears and a little on his face because a) I planned on using an ear to light him up, and b) the red lamp oil looked disturbingly like blood soaked into Garfield’s fur — a little around the mouth made him fairly gruesome.
Now we were ready for the moment of truth. I carefully touched Garfield’s ear with a tongue of flame. It lit.
This is where our little kitty lobotomy really paid off. Look at how the smug, self-satisfied smirk never leaves the subject’s face, even as he is consumed by flame. There is almost something to admire there, like those Vietnamese Buddhist monks that immolate themselves. The only real difference I guess is that the monks choose to light themselves on fire to protest religious oppression, whereas Garfield was given a forced lobotomy, doused with lamp oil and lit on fire for my own personal amusement.
Speaking of my personal amusement, Garfield went up like a tiki torch from hell. After it looked like he was pretty much toast, Patti suggested that I pour the large bucket of water we had at the ready on the fiery remains of the lasagna-loving lard-butt, so we could check out the damage. Since it appeared that Garfield would happily burn all night, leaving a rather uninteresting black stain instead of a corpse, I agreed.
Here is the result. As you can see, around 90 percent of Garfield’s epidermis was burned away in the experiment, along with distinguishing features such as the eyes, ears and whiskers. The inner “cat meat” was alternately charred and exposed. The remaining pieces of skin hang loosely off the body only attached at points. It was quite disgusting.
I feel I can say with confidence that — baring some sort of unholy voodoo ceremony a la Child’s Play — Garfield is dead. The experiment was a complete success from both an artistic and a humanitarian point of view.
We then decided to drop the corpse in the Ace Hardware bag that the lamp oil came in because charred stuffed animals stink to high heaven. I thanked Garfield for his involuntary contributions to science then dumped him in the garbage in a private ceremony attended by a few friends and relatives. That ends the first badmouth science experiment.
Oh, wait! I forgot something!
As the flames roared higher, I noticed a man watching my experiment from a second-floor window in the house behind my apartment. I walked over to talk to him. He expressed some concern that I was going to “light his house on fire.” I listed my numerous safety precautions. I don’t think he bought it.
My new friend then asked why I was doing this. I explained I had a Web site and that I had found Garfield and thought lighting him on fire would be a hoot. (I didn’t want to get into a deep theological discussion as to why Garfield was the epitome of evil and hatred in the world.)
Then my neighbor said, and I quote, “So this is going to be a regular thing, then?” I told him no — but perhaps I was too hasty. Maybe every Saturday night could be sacrifice night. We could get more stuffed animals, more lamp oil ? maybe I could talk my friends into dressing up in weird robes and chanting. Praying that through some miracle of transubstantiation, our sacrifice in effigy would burn away the unholy blight that has infested the comics page.
Anyone got a “Cathy” doll?
Special thanks to photo girl Patti, who made this project possible.