Somewhere along the line, I made an enemy of my neighbor’s dog. For months after he arrived, this little yipper made a habit of barking at me as I walked to the garage in the morning. Then I started petting him and calling him by name, and he managed to chill out. But a few weeks ago, I made the mistake of running alongside the fence and scaring the bejeezus out of him. Now, not only does he bark at me, but he growls the low, guttural growl of a dog that means business. Fortunately, he’s far too small to do any real damage. Still, his angry barks are more than a little unsettling.
Archive for the ‘Garfield’ Category
At first glance, I thought the spider in this strip said, “I think I strained my sphincter.” That would have been an unpleasant thing to say; unpleasant, but believable. If memory serves, spiders use their bums to spin webs. That has to be a strenuous undertaking, even for a standard-issue web. But what about for a fully decorated Christmas tree? All I can say is, such an effort would surely leave a mark. Would it strain a spider’s sphincter? Assuming that spiders have sphincters then, yes, I’m sure it would.
Speaking of trees, there’s a small one in my backyard that’s starting to look forlorn. On the one hand, it’s nearly as tall as my house. On the other hand, it’s thin and sparse and leans to one side, courtesy of a spring storm that whipped it around like a twig caught in an updraft. And while it does sprout leaves in the summer, it looks pretty pathetic during the winter. So I plan to make the best of a bad situation by hanging Christmas lights on the tree, Charlie Brown-style, before renting a chainsaw and chopping it down.
Garfield engages in a bit of (accidental?) self-criticism today, pointing out how little the strip has changed in 30-plus years. I’ve been reading Garfield since I was a kid and the punchlines have largely remained the same: Garfield is lazy; Garfield likes lasagna; Garfield hates Mondays; Garfield hates spiders; Garfield hates going to the vet; Garfield doesn’t particularly mind mice; Garfield likes to kick Odie off the edge of the table. And that’s pretty much it. Maybe today will mark the beginning of a new, much more interesting, period for the strip, in which Garfield and his housemates ponder the meaning of existence using the kind of roundabout dialogue that would make Samuel Beckett proud. Is that too much to ask for?
My washing machine went on the fritz this weekend, in the middle of a load of white laundry. It stopped just prior to the spin cycle, which meant that my clothes sat in soapy (yet seemingly unclean) water while I tried to correct the problem. The rinse cycle still worked and the clothes weren’t caught on any part of the machine, so I couldn’t understand why the spin cycle was a no-go. Then I did what any self-respecting handyman would do; I waited five minutes before trying the spin cycle again. That did the trick, but I’m also pretty sure the drain hose in the back is clogged up. Since the washer/dryer is crammed into a small space, I’ll need to wait a week for the building technician to come out. Fortunately, I have enough clean clothes in reserve to avoid resorting to drastic measures.
It was day three of my head cold today and even though I felt good enough to go to work, I also realized just how sensitive I was to light. The fluorescents in my office were surprisingly harsh, making me feel like the bug-eyed mouse in panel three. Turning down the brightness on my computer monitor helped a bit, but what really helped was the reprieve I got during an hour-long meeting in our conference room where the lights were turned down low so we could use the overhead projecter. It was pure bliss.
I’ve been reading Garfield for a long time, and I’m hard pressed to remember an instance in which Jon Arbuckle got as angry as he does in today’s strip. It’s not the narrow eyes or the scowl that stand out, but rather the phrase “Get in the bag!” It sounds almost violent, which is a big departure from the dopey personality Jon usually exhibits (see panel two of today’s strip for a prime example of said dopiness).