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No. 61: Garfield at Night

Garfield at Night

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Strip by: Pieter

Garfield: Sometimes I sleep so much I can't tell if it's day or night.
Garfield: It's night...
Garfield: Z!

The author writes:

Idea came from original strip 2004-11-04.

Although Garfield is frequently seen sleeping at daytime, his nighttime behaviour is rarely shown. This comic tries to fill that gap, by looking at Garfield's actions during the night. Many all-black-panels were first generated, but they were considered not interesting. The all-black comic has already been done in other webcomics, and does not add any information on Garfield's inner feelings. After six hours of intensive observations, Garfield was suddenly awake. This comic shows what followed then.

In the first panel, Garfield, the intellectual that he is, took this chance to consider his sleeping habits. This hyperbolic statement shows his good self-knowledge. The unaware reader might think that Garfield is not so smart, as it is obvious from the all-black environment that it is night. However, Garfield is more experienced in sleeping and waking up than anybody else, so Garfield knows that opening your eyes is not a smart thing, as it might make other persons aware that he is awake. At this moment, the reader thinks that he has more information than Garfield, because the reader knows that it is night. In reality, more is happening. Garfield chose not to acquire that information. Moreover, Garfield chose to display his ignorance about the current time, by thinking it aloud. The reader, living in a world where displaying your ignorance is sometimes frowned upon, might wonder why Garfield shows his ignorance about something trivial. Why didn't he just open his eyes? Why did he show his ignorance? These questions are still open at the end of the panel.

In the second panel, Garfield has deduced that it is night. The reader and Garfield now have the same information. How did Garfield get this information? It is clearly not from visual stimuli, otherwise Garfield's actions in the first panel would have been stupid. Garfield must have had other input that gave away the fact that it is night. Because no other input is shown, it can only be the absence of input that allowed Garfield to correctly deduce the fact that it is night. The second question that remained from the first panel can now be answered: Garfield thought about his ignorance, to see if there would come some form of feedback. During daytime, Jon would have given a sarcastic reply. The absence of that reply allows Garfield to correctly conclude that it is night, without having to open his eyes. And that answers the first question from the first panel: Garfield didn't open his eyes, because he knew that there was a better way to find out if it was day or night.

In the third panel, the result of the actions is shown: Garfield is sleeping again. His technique to find out if it is day or night by simply showing his ignorance about the time worked perfectly, and he didn't even need to open his eyes. This comic is another proof of the well-established fact that Garfield is a master in minimising his spent energy.