By Joshie Jaxon
Thanksgiving is an often overlooked holiday. As soon as Halloween is over, people are in X-Mas mode. Sometimes even before that. I find this unacceptable. As my anniversary of arriving on this planet, er, birthday, tends to fall on thanksgiving every few years, I like to make sure it is acknowledged. Thanksgiving, not my birthday. That always gets celebrated. In fact, we here at Gay Geek Gab have been working on Joshmas to properly celebrate my presence in the world. It’ll never catch on like X-Mas, but one can dream. Anyhow, there are few thanksgiving specials I would give my time to, but Garfield’s Thanksgiving is one of them. The nostalgia factor alone makes me come back to it every year. Now, without either ado, let the geeks begin!
We open at casa Arbuckle on the day before Thanksgiving. Jon is trying to sleep, as Garfield walks in. He steps across the bed and moves Jon’s arm so he can look him in the face. Knowing what a busy calendar Jon has, Garfield will graciously allow him to return to sleep, after breakfast has been prepared. Jon rolls over, knocking Garfield off the bed. Now, it’s on. Garfield sets off a boom box on high volume, causing Jon to jump. Garfield returns with Odie, who has cymbals. Garfield tells Jon to do his duty and make pancakes, and coffee. Again I’d like to point out, we as the audience can hear Garfield, but in-universe, he doesn’t speak out loud. His mouth never opens for words or meows, though Odie barks. I just want to be clear on that. His owner can’t hear his words, but is expected to comply with them. We all on the same page here? Good. Odie drives the point home with a cymbal crash, as Jon wonders aloud if people with goldfish have these problems. He’s kinda stupid, isn’t he?
We cut to Garfield finishing breakfast. Jon comes in and starts cleaning the dishes, asking Garfield if the meal was to his satisfaction. Talk about pussy whipped. Garfield says a little less pan and a little more cake next time. He tells his stomach that it’s time for their early mid-morning nap. Odie walks by, and Garfield changes his mind. It’s time to abuse the dog. Odie stands at the edge of the table, as Garfield sneaks up on him. He pauses to break the fourth wall and tell us not to try this at home. Michael Vic must’ve missed this special. Before actually kicking Odie, Garfield sees a note on the calendar that says he has a vet appointment. Garfield hates the vet. It’s inhumane. She thinks she knows what’s good for him. Good for her. But that’s bad for him. Because what’s bad is good for him. But if he goes to the vet and that’s bad, she’ll prescribe what’s good for him, and that’s not good. In an effort to get rid of the calendar, he shoves the date into Odie’s mouth, revealing the next day is Thanksgiving. That’s the day we celebrate food, by eating as much of it as we can. It’s the day people try to eat every turkey, pumpkin and cranberry on the face of the Earth. Excited, he takes the calendar in to Jon, who says they should go shopping. Yeah, get your Thanksgiving meal the day before. Again, kind of stupid, isn’t he?
Garfield and Jon shop over the opening credits. During the drive home, Garfield keeps shoving things in Jon’s face, causing him to swerve. He warns Jon not to bruise his cumquats. There’s a joke in there somewhere. Garfield realizes they aren’t taking the normal way home. Jon says they’re going to the vet. Garfield screams. I presume from the fact that a car full of groceries will be going bad, because Jon is a moron. In the waiting room, Garfield is shaking, and hugging Jon’s head for dear life. Jon tells him to relax. Garfield quips if he wants him to relax, take him to Hawaii. He’s just there for a checkup. Checkout is more like it. Garfield says Jon should just marry the vet, then she’ll make house calls. They get called into the office, and Jon greets Liz. She immediately corrects him that it’s “Dr. Wilson”. He tries again, and she says that he can call her doctor. He then calls her Dr. Liz. Jon asks her about the weather. She says that’s a personal question. He asks her on a date. Liz says she’d rather die. She’s such a bitch, I just love her. Jon keeps pestering her, and with her attention on rejecting him, she doesn’t see the blood pressure cuff causing Garfield to swell. He breaks the fourth wall again to tell us Jon is a dip. We know, kitty. Jon says he’ll hold his breath until she agrees to go out with him. Yeah, Ramone, that’ll happen. Liz says the good news is that Garfield is as healthy as a horse. The bad news is he’s as big as one. As she’s talking about his diet, Garfield is countering her points. Fiber is for sweaters! Water is for birdbaths! Without food there’s no life as we know it! Jon passes out cause he’s too stupid to breathe to stay alive. Liz agrees to go out with him. Yes, really. She can’t stand to see a dumb animal suffer. Jon says he’ll make a big thanksgiving dinner. She sees the silver lining of not being seen in public together. Jon is so excited about his first boy-girl date that he leaves without Garfield, and Liz has to remind him about his cat. Pet owner of the year ova here.
Back at home, Jon sits down for lunch. He hands Garfield his bowl with a single lettuce leaf in it. That’s it? Nope. Jon takes it, and rips it in half. Poor kitty. Garfield sneaks into the kitchen for a snack, but before he can open the fridge, a whistle blows. Jon introduces his new diet monitor, Odie the fierce. Any time Garfield goes off his diet, Odie will blow the whistle and let him know. Garfield threatens Odie, but the whistle is blown. I’m guessing Garfield is wishing he hadn’t kicked Odie off the table so many times. Garfield wanders into the bathroom, and approaches the electronic scale. The talking scale says it can give weight, a fortune, or anything else you want to know. Garfield says to tell him his name. Judging by weight, she assumes he’s Orson Wells. The scale asked for an autograph, and says it’s seen all of his movies. Garfield asks how it’d like to have it’s battery removed. It says it wouldn’t like that. Wait, the scale can understand the thought-speak of the anthropomorphic cat? Sure, why not? Scale says it’s seen Citizen Kane eight times. Garfield has has enough, and jumps on the scale until it breaks. As the scale flatlines, it says “Rosebud”. Nice touch.
The next morning Jon is stirring his coffee as he asks Garfield if he slept well. Garfield shows fangs and claws. Well, aren’t we nasty today? Oh well. Nothing is going to ruin Jon’s good mood. He’s got a date with a dreamboat. Ooh, she’ll be there in three hours. Better get the turkey out of the freezer. Yes, he said that. I’d say it’s well established that Jon is a grade-A moron. Jon reads from a cookbook, remove turkey from freezer 24 hours before cooking. Minor technicality, really. You can’t believe everything you read. The only step Jon gets right is to have the bird breast up. When he reads to rub skin with butter, he applies it to his own, not the turkey. Cover with foil and roast at 350 for 5 1/2 hours. He doesn’t have that long. Straight guy shortcut, just set the oven for 500 degrees. Good plan. Now, the veggies. He gets out a pot and adds corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turnips, and squash. He adds water and calls it done. If Liz eats anything, she’s getting food poisoning. Jon says the way he heard his mom and grandma talk, he always thought preparing thanksgiving dinner was tough. Only if you deal with the little details like, I dunno, following the directions. Discouraged by his diet, Garfield decides if he can’t enjoy thanksgiving, no one will. He then promptly pours garlic powder all over Jon’s veggies. Trying to ruin Jon’s dinner seems redundant, but kitty vengeance knows no logic.
Deciding he needs to clean himself up, Jon starts by shaving. As he does, he tells Garfield that if you want something in life, you have to take it. He’s a man, right? Garfield says he’s a wimpy man, but yeah, he’s a man. Liz is a woman, right? No, she’s a veterinarian, and a cruel one at that. Jon says Liz is the one, and he’s gonna get her. He’s in charge of his own destiny. Garfield asks if he’s ever considered putting someone else in charge of his destiny. Next, Jon asks for Garfield’s honest opinion as he decides what to wear to dinner. We get a Jon fashion montage. Formal look, with tux. Semi-formal, plaid pants. Informal, jeans and a tee. High roller, with cowboy hat. Sports look, basketball outfit. Disco Jon. Hippie. Lumberjack. Popeye. Ballerina. Gorilla. Garfield sticks his tongue out to all of them. At least that time his communications were understood. Garfield suggests he try dressing as himself. Jon has the same idea. Suit coat, collared shirt, and tie. The only thing missing is pants. Doorbell. Jon is excited, she actually came! He says it’s nice to see her. Liz says he has nice boxers. Jon slams the door in her face, then yells at Garfield for not warning him. Sure, blame the cat. Jon tells him to be nice. First Garfield has to be a fashion consultant, now he has to be an actor.
Jon reopens the door. Liz is still there. Either she has no other possible plans, or she saw through the boxers and knows Jon is packing. Otherwise, you explain why she stays for the rest of what’s about to happen. Liz says something smells. He says that’s just dinner. She was afraid of that. Garfield asks her if she’s fond of indigestion. Jon escorts her to the couch, then goes to the kitchen to check dinner. Odie plops down for pets, while Garfield sits close by. Liz asks about the diet, that he’s been on for a whole day at best, and says she’ll check for deficiency, so he doesn’t get anemic. He says not to forget beri-beri, rickets, and scurvy too. Liz starts listing off symptoms that people who diet can experience. Garfield starts acting each of them out. Unlike his owner, he’s not stupid. Liz says maybe the diet has been too hard on him. She’d rather he was fat and happy, so she offers mild exercise as a solution. Garfield is so excited he kisses her. He can eat. Oh Joy! Oh Rapture! Oh No! Garfield goes into the kitchen to see Jon repeatedly dropping the frozen turkey on the counter. Dinner is ruined. Liz will never speak to him again. Garfield has an idea, and runs off camera. He brings in a phone. Jon says he can’t feed that to Liz. Nitwit! Garfield brings in a record, that’s apparently grandma’s favorite. Should he play it for Liz? Next up, a pillow that grandma knitted. It still doesn’t solve the problem. Have you seen the solution yet, kids? If so, you’re smarter than Jon. Jon isn’t cold, and doesn’t know why Garfield gave him the sweater grandma made last X-Mas. Last chance! Garfield brings in a picture of grandma. Um, knowing his owner is an idiot, he should’ve started with that. Then again, he is still a cat. Garfield breaks the fourth wall again to tell us if Jon had a brain he’d be dangerous. Jon thanks her, and hangs up with grandma.
We hear a motorcycle, and grandma comes through the door. She orders Jon to go entertain his lady friend, and to leave the kitchen to her. Jon goes out and tells Liz that dinner is simmering, or whatever food does. She offers to help. Jon says no, then goes into some lame story about how he likes to reminisce about what Thanksgiving is. She can’t believe he’s serious, but still doesn’t leave. I’m telling ya, tall, lanky Jon is hung. In the kitchen, grandma asks how Garfield is. Better, now that she’s there. She says Garfield is looking thin. Doesn’t Jon feed him. He loves her, and tells her to never leave them. Grandma finds the turkey, and says she likes a challenge, and this looks like one. She pulls out a chainsaw and tells Garfield that it’s war. In the living room, Jon starts in on the first Thanksgiving. Liz is nearly bored to sleep, until they hear the chainsaw. Jon tells her it’s the dishwasher, and continues shouting his boring nonsense at her. Back in the kitchen, grandma is working miracles. Cutting turkey, whipping up sauce, and preparing the turkey slices to be fried. Go grandma, go! Meanwhile, Jon is going on about Canadian thanksgiving and how it’s in October. Grandma asks Garfield about sweet potatoes. Garfield sticks out his tongue. She says he’s never had hers. Cup of butter, cup of brown sugar, and marshmallows. He’s beginning to like them already. Now, the piece de resistance, pumpkin pie. Garfield is in heaven. Grandma juggles all the goodies into bowls, and laps the table, setting it all up as she goes. Damn she’s good.
Grandma slips away, and tells Garfield to warn Liz that Jon’s a keeper, and if she blows it, she’ll answer to her. Fourth wall break, they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. Liz and Odie are asleep, but Jon is droning on. Garfield signals that dinner is ready. Liz and Jon enter the dining room, and she is impressed. So is Jon. We see the four of them sitting around the table. Garfield goes for a roll, and has his paw swatted. Jon places one on his plate. Liz holds an ear of corn, but Odie sniffs at it and she gives it to him. Garfield steals Jon’s plate. Dinner shenanigans. Towards the end, Odie takes Liz’s hand, she takes Jon’s, he takes Garfield’s. Aww, touching family moment. Liz leaves, and says she had a good time. He offers her the same time next year. She says she’ll come before the meal, but after the history lesson. He gets a kiss on the cheek. It’s still an 80’s kids cartoon, we can’t imply they got it on. Jon goes to Garfield and Odie, and says it was a great day. One thing they’re all thankful for, Grandma. Jon says they should go for a walk to burn off the food. Odie can’t move. Jon says he’ll have to go on a diet. Cue Garfield with a whistle. Drop and give me ten! Credits
Whatever you celebrate this time of year, remember to be thankful for the people that you have in your life. From all of us at Gay Geek Gab, we appreciate your continued support, and wish you nothing but the best. Until next time, stay geeky, and keep gabbing!