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Five Garfield strips more disastrous than the Veteran's Day strip

By Alexandra Petri

After a Garfield strip appeared to portray Veterans' Day as "National Stupid Day," fans and readers exploded the way Garfield's audience does when he performs on the fence late at night, flinging shoes, pies, and the occasional brick. Jim Davis claimed, in response, that this was an oversight, and that he prepares strips months in advance without a calendar at his side. "I do not use a calendar that lists holidays and other notable days," Davis wrote. Sure, it might have been an oversight. But as an avid fan who -- from an early age -- read nearly every Fat Cat three-pack, including "20 Years and Still Kicking!", the commemorative 20th anniversary Garfield edition, I have to observe that the calendar hasn't always been absent.

But in Jim Davis's defense, most Garfield special commemorative day strips are disasters.

Here are five even more disastrous Garfield holiday strips, and one that's just disastrous in general:

  1. New Years' Eve, 1989 Garfield is a wild and crazy guy. "Turn down those chain saws!"

  2. Valentine's Day, 2008

  3. This isn't disastrous so much as I find Jon's stable relationship with Liz the veterinarian a worrisome indication that the strip has jumped the shark.

  4. June 12, 1980

  5. Drugs, Gambling and Violence, all in one strip! Jim Davis noted in the 20th Anniversary Commemorative edition that he wrote this one as a joke and was amazed it made it past the censors.

  6. Labor Day, 1978

  7. This was before Jim Davis lost his events calendar.

    Garfield recited the following poem:

    Labor Day
    Schmabor Day
    What a dumb day
    To hire some jerk
    Then send him away
    To celebrate work
    By playing all day
  8. The week leading up to Halloween, 1989, where Garfield was "locked fast within a time when he no longer exists."

  9. This series of strips depicts Garfield living alone in an abandoned house, perhaps dead, perhaps a ghost, and one entire panel is occupied entirely by a creepy melting eye.

    Jim Davis said about this in the 20th Anniversary Collection: "During a writing session for Halloween week, I got the idea for this decidedly different series of strips. I wanted to scare people. And what do people fear most? Why, being alone. We carried out the concept to its logical conclusion and got a lot of responses from readers."

But it's all fine, because there's a Garfield musical coming out!

By Alexandra Petri  | November 12, 2010; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  Epic Failures, Petri, Top Lists, Worst Things Ever  | Tags:  cats, garfield, the power of myth  
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Commenter’s Dilemma

As none of you know or care, I’ve been commenting on every ComPost column since it was just a Rough Sketch. My therapist diagnosed me with Obsessive Commenting Disorder … DSM4-P(i) 3.14159265(etc)

After noting a theme in the other comments suggesting Petri writes like a 10-year-old, I consulted inner child expert Stuart Smalley, aka Al Franken. He informed me that writers, singers, actors, athletes, even Senators have an inner child that is saying, “Look at me, mommy!” As a parent, I understand that when my child says this, it is my job to reply, “Wow!” And therein lies the “Commenter’s Dilemma.”

Even Petri get’s the occasional comment about the driveling rubbish she writes. And Dana received the ultimate “Wow” when one commenter suggested that he could immediately lose 20 pounds of ugly fat (if he didn’t mind being 12 inches shorter) by moving to Iran.

But what do I get when I write, “Look at me mommy?” … Bupkus! Well, there was one comment that just said, “stupid”, which I assumed was referring to me. I have it framed on my wall.

Also, when I comment on regular news articles, it says, “Recommended (1)” at the bottom. At least people know that one person read my comment. But it’s kind of like tickling yourself. It just doesn’t provide me with that “Wow” factor.

Some lucky commenters have “Recommended (2)” below their comments. But I’m unwilling to go for the cheap “Wow” by writing, “Obummer is a Commy pinhead.”

I wouldn’t us the name Anup (ComPost’s head geek) for a cheap “Wow”, but Anup! You’re a Geekhead! Why don’t you let ComPost commenters at least have that cheap “Wow” that “Recommended(1)” provides?

Of course, the ultimate “Wow” would be for Dana or Alex to reply to one of my comments. Alexandra once told me to “Stop circling my house in your unmarked van”, but that was in the live chat, and she didn’t know who I was. She didn’t even notice when I got arrested! Even so, I had her words made into a flashing neon sign I display from my rooftop 24/7.

Greg Sargent (The Plum Line) sometimes gives out “Wows” by calling the first commenter who calls him an idiot, an idiot. He even uses the handle, “Greg Sargent”, but that’s only worth half a “Wow” because it could be anybody.

So I know that Alex COULD comment on my comments, but that Commy pinhead Alexandra Putrid never does. So would someone be so kind as to register the handle “APetri10yo” and post a comment that says “Idiot”? I’ll replace the Hollywood sign with one that says, “WOW! ALEX CALLED ME AN IDIOT!”

403 characters remaining
I’ll make it next time.

Posted by: divtune | November 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I know Dave Barry doesn’t mean it when he says it, but I do. I’m not making this up!

Many years ago, while taking the Medical College Admission’s Test (M.C.A.T.), I was surprised to find that there was an entire section of questions about something called “Garfield.” I should have known better from the name of the test, but I thought they were talking about a dead president, not an imaginary cat.

Needless to say, I flunked the Garfield section of the test miserably. I didn’t even get partial credit when I answered, “The 14th Amendment” for one question. My application to Harvard was rejected, and I’m now sweeping floors at the local homeless shelter in return for the occasional can of cat food.

Now I see why you got into Harvard and I didn’t. I only wish that I could have read this column BEFORE that fateful test so many years ago. I might be writing stories about big boobs, and eating Reuben sandwiches at my desk instead of cat food droppings I swept out from under a desk.

But today I’m no longer bitter. I know that because of you, Alex, other kids won’t have to suffer the same fate as I did. Kids, if you want to get into Harvard, read the ComPost!

Posted by: divtune | November 13, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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