Thursday, March 31, 2011

In Defense of Garfield

Parent-teacher conference again.  This means I must limit my alcohol intake.  While I am unconvinced that sobriety is the best strategy here, I feel compelled by social mores. 

Speaking of social mores, I just cracked myself up.  I needed to ask someone to do something at work.  Ten years ago at Skadden, I would have told them to do it.  It doesn't work like that over here in England.  I wrote in an e-mail:  "do please let me know if you cannot fit this into your schedule".  Anyone who worked at Skadden with me really will not recognize this as a level of courtesy available to me but all these years in the UK have beat some civility into me. 

So the conference was great.  Before I left, I negotiated with Owain to watch the end of Garfield before he went to bed.  He looked up.

"Garfield is really the greatest show, mom, isn't it?"

I thought of Bill Murray on his deathbed in Zombieland when he was asked if he had any regrets.  "Maybe Garfield."  I never could stand Garfield.  My hesitation was enough to sting my sensitive son. 

"Garfield is great because it shows you that fat people can be so exciting!  And Garfield has really big adventures.  And he's a hero.  He saved that dog Odie and he doesn't even like him."

Truly it was the best defense of Garfield I had ever heard and I told him so.

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