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Inspirational Reads

I Can Has Komuhdee Now?

February 27, 2008

Long about the sixth grade, I thought Garfield was the funniest thing going. This was fostered by my teachers, as Jim Davis--Garfield's creator--was from Muncie, IN. Being a born and bred Hoosier, I was spoonfed from an early age that all things Indiana (minus the things sullied by Purdue) were practically set upon the Earth by the Almighty himself. I guess feeling proud about your state meant that you had to love Garfield (and Robert Frost, but he's still pretty cool, and beside the point). It was impossible to check out a Garfield collection from the school library; all the copies of all the books were already taken in someone else's name (incidentally, the picture book that came out about the Return of the Jedi was also impossible to get ahold of...when I finally did lay my hot little hands on it, I was underwhelmed...but I digress). We would sometimes have a reading of the daily Garfield strip aloud in the class. My teacher, Mrs. Van Dyke, would read it in her awkward, not-quite-connecting-with-the-kids old lady way. I think that actually made the strip a lot more funny than it was.

A lot of things have changed since then. For instance, I've found a sense of humor. And some common sense. Both of these things have led me to realize that Garfield is pretty lame. Imagine my confusion a couple of years ago when the computer-generated fat cat made it to the big screen (only about 13 years too late, as I feel Garfield's height of hilarity was sometime in the late 80s). To date, I have not seen either of the Garfield movies, and I don't plan on them, either. I don't care if Jennifer Love Hewitt appears topless and is rolled in a vat of honey. I have zero desire to see those movies.

I think the big downfall for me was the introduction and continued use of Nermal, the world's cutest kitten. About the only thing that I gained from that was a sense of where Abu Dhabi is on a map. Also, what the fuck ever happened to Lyle, Jon's buddy who came over from time to time? Concurrently, the Garfield cartoon on Saturday mornings sucked. Hard. The only saving grace was that there were also episodes of U.S. Acres included in the episodes, and even calling those a saving grace is a stretch. And by "stretch", I really mean "my ass is way to fat for these black spandex pants". Again, the cartoon suffered from way too much Nermal, who was not only most definitely not the world's most cute kitten, as he claimed, but also had one of the most historical instances of a really bad name. Odie is saved from this title simply because I made a joke in the ninth grade during a vocab section of English. We were discussing the meanings of our new vocab words, and I defined "odious" as "Garfield's Latin friend." Mr Cotton (my English teacher) and Kathy Jeandevin, the girl who sat in front of me (and who I thought was cute until she wore a Purdue t-shirt to school one day--no lie!), thought the joke was great.

I did find a new appreciation for Garfield a couple of months ago when I was shown the following cartoon:

Yes, that would be a near perfect mixture of Garfield and lolcatz, two things which, taken separately, are annoyingly unfunny (I will admit to being mildly amused by lolcatz for a brief time, but the grammar-and-spelling Nazi inside of me has since won out and now I simply find them tiresome), but put together are suddenly sheer, comedic brilliance.

Another thing that I've learned, thanks to my stumbling across "Garfield Minus Garfield", is that Garfield is hilarious once Garfield no longer exists in his own world. Feel free to follow either the link provided to you above or the one listed in the sidebar. I feel that the brilliance of the man behind Garfield Minus Garfield knows no bounds, and he should be celebrated for the magnitude of his comedic genius often and loudly.

If you're a Robot Chicken fan, you should also appreciate the greatness that is the sketch titled "Cat Court" in which Heathcliff sues Garfield for being a copycat. I won't ruin the end, but it's very satisfying. The final joke of the segment is hilarious, especially if you sat through the shorts during the Saturday morning cartoons as a kid during the 80s.

EDIT: Ok, I found this. It's totally nerdy, but if you've dedicated time to any of the Final Fantasy games (I think this is a take off of the American Final Fantasy III), you'll appreciate the hell out of it: Youtube Link