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The Garfield Burning Goat Scandal! [Updated with more scandalous goodness!]

It's no secret I hate Garfield. I never understood the popularity - how many years now has Jim Davis been squeezing jokes out of a cat eating lasagna and the cat's owner being a clueless dork? I'm sure if someone did an in depth study of all the Garfield strips ever created, we would find out that there were really only three punchlines, spread thin over 25 plus years.

I came across yesterday's strip via Fark. And now I have to wonder - has Jim Davis finally tired of writing Garfield? Is he sick of the damn cat and the drooling dog and Jon's lame attempt at having a life? Is Jon going to go down in history the way I envisioned Cathy going down?


Apparently, Jon is burning goats for heat. I can't think of any other explanation for the "joke" in this strip. Which can only mean one thing - Jon has turned to Satan. Everyone knows that goats are representative of the underworld, and to sacrifice a goat means that you are summoning the power of the Dark Lord himself (and I don't mean this dark lord, though that would be a really interesting cross over).

Or maybe not. After some research, I see that one can sacrifice goats in order to gain riches or appease the gods. However, all of these sacrifices include drinking blood and here, Jon is just burning the goats in his furnace. Maybe he's poor and can't afford the oil to heat his home. Not wanting to make Odie and Garfield come down with pneumonia, he goes out to the farm to look for wood and, finding none (because he's an idiot and doesn't think to tear down the fence posts), he grabs a couple of goats and throws them in the furnace. I don't know why Garfield doesn't hear the screams of painful goat death, though. Unless he's chosen to ignore that.

The other theory is a little more unsavory. Apparently Jon, unable to secure a date for the 5,000th day in a row and now feeling somewhat sexually frustrated, has his way with the family goats and then burns them alive so they can never, ever tell what happened. Remember, this is a place where cats talk. So why not goats?

Either way you look at it (and I'm sure there's some logical explanation for this strip that I'm just missing, maybe some inside Garfield joke that you have to be a fan of the comic to get), Jim Davis is clearly saying that Jon runs a goat-fueled furnace.

I'm sending this strip to PETA. Maybe for once in their existence, PETA will do some good for the world and bring about the long awaited end of Garfield.

[I suggest that Jim Davis make the last strip one in which a home invasion leads to the bloody end of every character in the strip. The eventual movie version will star Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts as the killers.]

if someone really does get the joke here, please explain it to me.

Update: See Mark's photoshop ">in the comments.

Update 2: Maybe this strip from 2/19 explains it.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Garfield Burning Goat Scandal! [Updated with more scandalous goodness!]:

» Garfield of the Dark Side from scrawlville.com
So Michele has some fun with a recent Garfield annoyingly unfunny strip (are there any other kinds?) by suggesting that maybe Jon is either a satanist or a beastiaphile. Personally I'm not a satanist but I have been known for... [Read More]

» Get out while you can, Odie! from Apropos of Something
I'm with Michele on this one; the only reasonable explanation for the goat smell is that Jon is making a burnt offering to the dark lord Satan. Oh, wait -- I read back a few more days, and now the comic makes perfect sense. [Read More]

» Satan for Breakfast from Tempus Fugit | TxFx.net
Early-morning satanic Garfield comic strip madness, including Photoshopping fun by yours truly, over at A Small Victory.... [Read More]

» The Smell Of Burning Goats? from Say Anything
What the... Burning goats? Am I dense or something, because I don't get it. I'm used to not understanding some of the jokes in, say, Dilbert...but Garfield? I'm feeling kind of stupid. Far more detailed analysis than I am capable of here, ... [Read More]

» RE: Selling Ghosts from Sharp as a Marble
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» Killing Cats from The Veiled Chameleon
I guess I'll skip the commentary and just say that I'm against this one: Both sides bare claws in debate over shooting feral cats Emotional debate heated up proceedings in packed meeting halls in Greenfield, Waukesha, Cedarburg and Madison, as... [Read More]


Tell me, Clarice - have the goats stopped screaming?

At least it wasn't Burning Goatse.

Sheep go to heaven. Goats.....

According to the comics columnist in the Washington Post, it has been years since Davis actually wrote a Garfield. He has been outsourcing to ghost writers for years.

Maybe his ghost writers are rebelling?

Geez, get a grip, he's merely practicing for a strict recreation of Passover. Exodus 12:5 clearly states that the lamb (whose blood is used to paint the doorposts) can be from a sheep OR A GOAT. Sure he's two months early but practice makes perfect.

What do you have against Jews, Michele?!

When you first turn a furnace on after not having used it in a while, dust that has collected is heated and burns. Most dust is human skin. The smell created when you first turn a furnace on is well-described as "burning goats."

But I'm pretty sure Jon does worship Satan anyway. I mean, come on... his name is "Jon."

But he's burning the goats, thus making it impossible to get any blood to paint the doorstep. I call shenanigans on your explanation.

My furnace has NEVER smelled like burning goats.

And way to ruin the fun with your dose of reality, Mark.

Hey, you asked! :-D

Tell ya what... I'll make it better after I have some fun with this in Photoshop.

As I've never burned a goat, I can't comment on the smell, but I'm absolutely positive I know what burning cat hair smells like....

Exodus 12:8 .. they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in FIRE.

Exodus 12:9 .. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled.. but roasted in FIRE.

Like, Jon's got a big enough grill for a goat (even a baby one)?! He had to use the furnace!

(Digging himself deeper in a hole, hoping Meryl will come and defend this weak explanation)

They are obviously not Jewish. I've gone back through several years of strips and see that Garfield eats lasagna during Passover. I don't think that's allowed.

Satanists, however, have been known to eat singed goat carcass lasagna during their high holy days.

that photoshopped version is actually pretty damn funny, and I'm a peta supporters. what i don't get is, no matter what the explanation of the original strip is, how is it funny at all??? (unless of course the jon's conversion to satanism actually is being introduced?)

Perhaps you've seen this:


The original strip is funny because normally the house would reek of burning goats due to Jon's satanic rituals. But it's actually just the furnace (surprise!), and not what you'd naturally expect, hence the humor. Also, it's nice to see Garfield making jokes that everyone can relate to: burning goats.

Wait a cottonpickin' minute! Where's Darth's interlocking "NY," dammit!

Re: The Washington Post and Garfield.

The person rallying against Jim Davis at the Post is Gene Weingarten.

Weingarten is Dave Barry's former editor who, somewhere along the way, decided he could do Dave Barry's job. The only problem is that Weingarten is funny maybe 2 times out of 50. I'm unpopular for this opinion in Washington (they want so badly to have a "hometown" humorist here in this humorless city) but I stan by it. Weingarten is not funny.

Jim Davis actually did an online discussion with the Post, in which Weingarten's allegations are mildly address. Davis claims he has NOT started farming out his work. And I believe him. Why? Well, read the discussion. The man is, I swear to God, Ned Flanders come to life. He's an absolute dork, and I find (to my surprise) that I can't hate him after reading the stupid discussion because he seems so damn nice.

Having said all this - Garfield sucks goat balls, and it has for a while. Just because I don't defend Weingarten in general doesn't mean he's not right on this score!

the Davis interview

Also, all the letter "d"s I left out of my comment: ddddddd

He obviously misread the ad in the yellow pages and hired a goats writer instead.

Right. Shutting up and getting more coffee.

I thought maybe it was a Greek thing. They took a goat, slaughtered it, ate the meat, and now Jon is burning the fat and bones to appease the gods. However, as city ordinance prevents a huge open flame outdoors, Jon decides to burn the fat and bones in the furnace.

What you got against [b]Jon[/b], Mark.

A perfectly good name, it is the John's you have to look out for, since the silent H is the mark of the devil.

Yeah, yeah. Just call me when Jon's furnace starts smelling like cat fur.

What I thought was strange was, given Mark's premise of dust in the furnace, that Jon is just now turning on the furnace? It's February. What'd they do for heat before this? Burn Cathy comics?

'Get Fuzzy' is the strip 'Garfield' wishes it was.

I think a pact with the Devil is the only reasonable explanation for the massive popularity of a profoundly un-funny comic strip like Garfield in the first place. It's only natural for Satanism to have eventually begun creeping into the strip...

And yet today's Get Fuzzy also seems to have a mystery surrounding it.

Must be a cat-comic thing...

Yea, I didn't get Get Fuzzy today, either. I thought maybe it was some kind of slap at the FCC?


Davis sounds like such a nice guy, he might be a Republican. Are you sure you don't mean this dark lord?

I thought maybe it was some kind of slap at the FCC?

That would be my guess.

From what I can tell, the joke is something like "Jon is so frugal/cheap/poor? that he never turns on the furnace, hence it's got a year's worth of accumulated crud in it?"

Best I can do, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense, as the Jon character has never been portrayed as particularly having any of those traits.

If Jon were to finally break and go looking for a dark overlord, I think it'd have to be this one.

No goats, but I did have a dead bird in my chimney one time.

Pretty stinky.

-N. O'Brain

Diet is DIE w/a "T" on the end.

My fav Garfield line of all time.

Sandy, that was a great line. The other one I still giggle at is when Jon is introduced to a woman named Liz and he says in his doofus-like way, "Liz? That's short for Elizabeth."

She answers, "No. It's short for Lizard."

My understanding is that both the writing and the drawing are outsourced.

I used to read it years ago when I was a kidren. But even then I quit when the jokes got stale.

Its kind of like when garfeild was smashing spiders and some eco-freak was whinning that he should not smash spiders becuase of the ecological importantce of spiders what a eco-weenie dip-wad and well burning goats? and kick odie across the room

I have no idea... but this smells of SpongeBob brouhaha...or playing the white album backwards..... or something.

I guess I am dense, I looked at it and just thought of the fact that furnaces smell bad when they first come on.

But I never liked Garfield very well either. Give me Dilbert or give me..... um, what I really want is Farside.