It’s perhaps deleriously uncool to admit it, but I completely adore the Garfriend Christmas Special. It has some lovely themes. Family warmth. Humility. Musings on the melancholy of age. The spirit of giving. The music is atmospheric and affecting.
It is my favourite fucking thing to watch at this time of year. Me. A thirty-seven year old man. The only part of it that irritates is the mildly jarring song at the end, which sounds a little redneck…er…redneck..y.
Which is never good for anyone. Thigh slapping nonsense. But that doesn’t detract from its whole.
It is odd then, that this morning I gained a huge amount of chuckles re-writing it…with an incredibly bleak theme. Here’s what the version I did is like.
Garfiend goes to the farm with Jon. He is underwhelmed at first. It is a family Christmas spent on the Arbuckle farm. Over the course of the visit, Garfield begins to appreciate the crotchety grandmother, the ditzy parents, and Jon’s goofy younger brother…Doc Boy.
On a wonderful Christmas Eve, the family sleeps happily, and Doc Boy and Jon are beside themselves with excitement. Garfield goes to the barn with Odie and finds some old love letters. Letters from Gran’s late husband to her, lost for years. He thinks this will make a fine present.
Garfield, now feeling Christmas, sleeps happy.
The next day he wakes up, and the house is silent. No voices…a sober, aching silence.
Turns out the entire family are dead. He goes from room to room, finding first..Doc Boy and Jon faced down..dead. Why they’re faced down, he has no idea. He checks pulses. Nothing. Shaken and sobbing, he tries every room. Odie..dead. Parents. Dead. Gran..dead and all faced down..no reason for them to be faced down, the image just made me laugh.
The animation ends with Garfield staring into the distance, while a single bell rings in the distance. Why did he survive? How did this happen? It was all caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
A bleak ending. Merry Christmas.