H.P. Laughcraft Yelp Review: The Palm

Garfield is well past his professional and physical prime.

I had found myself at the Palm during a frozen January night. I was meeting a date there, and as I usually do I arrived a few minutes earlier to grab a quick drink and alleviate some anxiety. I sat at the bar drinking a glass of scotch and observing the historic cartoons that plastered the wall when a rasping, yelling voice interrupted my concentration. “You call this calamari fried?!” I looked over to see a celebrity I actually assumed died years ago, Garfield the cat.

He was sitting at a table across from a balding, bespectacled man who was staring intently at the menu, and he just didn’t look the way I remembered him in the cartoons of my childhood. Of course he was always overweight, but now it seemed he was so fat he might not be able to move under his own power. He reminded me of Chris Farley towards the end of his life. His breathing was labored, he was clearly drunk, and a few specks of white powder on the tip of his nose suggested recent cocaine use. He seemed more like an orange, furry Jabba the Hutt than a cat.

“Take this squid back to the kitchen, bread it again, and re-fry it. I want those tentacles to be saltier than the ocean!” He yelled, shoving the plate of calamari at the waiter. “And bring a glass of melted butter!” The waiter walked away briskly.

“Garfield, please try not to make a scene.” The man sitting across from him said, not even looking up from his menu.

“I always make scenes! I’m probably going to eat 4 lasagnas. You think people don’t notice that?”

“Fine, but at least stop yelling.”

“Why? Because it would damage my career? Garfield yelled, slurring his words. “I don’t have a damn career anymore, Joel! You’re my agent. Get me work! Look at all these cartoons on the wall. I’m not even up here.” Joel calmly put down his menu and stared directly into Garfield’s bloodshot eyes.

“I’ve told you at least a dozen times, obesity is a serious health problem and isn’t funny anymore. If you want work you’re going to have to lose some weight. People like that these days. Just look at Jonah Hill and Jared Fogle. Well, not Jared Fogle.” Garfield tried to stand up angrily, but could not and slid back in his chair.

“It’s too late for me to change, dammit! This is who I am! Being fat is my talent. Just like Alfred Hitchcock.”

“Alfred Hitchcock made brilliant movies, he didn’t just lie around all day eating fried oreos and soiling himself.”

“I’m sure he had accidents just like all of us.”

Garfield ate 4 pans of lasagna on this bizarre night.

I had been doing my best to not get caught up in all this, just staring into my drink and pretending not to notice the loud argument, but I was sitting just across from them. “Hey you!” I heard Garfield yell out. Even before I looked up I knew he was talking to me.

“Me?” I said looking up from my scotch.

“Yes you, I’m looking right at you. You know who I am?”

“Sure, you’re Garfield”

“See, I’m still famous, they know who I am.” Garfield said to Joel who just rolled his eyes. “So do you think fat is funny?” This was really a position I did not want to be in.

“Well, I think comedy is subjective. Y’know, some people like blue stuff, some people like clean stuff. It’s all just a matter of opinion.” Garfield just stared at me for a moment, absorbing my response.

“Kid, you dodged that question masterfully. You should be a politician.” Before things escalated further an army of waiters armed with food descended on Garfield’s table. There were 5 steaks, 8 shrimp cocktails, 2 baked potatoes, a plate of calamari that looked like it had been cremated, 4 pans of lasagna, and a pint glass of melted butter. It should be noted lasagna is not on the menu, but I guess they made an exception for Garfield. Watching him eat was one of the most disgusting and awe inspiring experiences of my life. He just picked up each plate, seemingly unhinged his jaw, and just dumped the food down his throat. In just about 4 minutes, everything was gone. Garfield ended his truly epic binge with a loud belch that smelled like death. “Alright, Joel. Let’s get out of here.” Garfield tried to get up, but again just slid back into his chair. “Ok, this ain’t happening. Joel, get the barrow.” I saw Joel get up and go around a corner. When he returned he had a large wheelbarrow with him. He scooped Garfield out of his chair with great difficulty, plopped him in the wheelbarrow, and carted him away. I could almost hear Garfield’s heart struggle as they exited, but as soon as they did I went to the bathroom. I took out my pen and drew a crude sketch of Garfield on the wall. I’ve never been great at drawing, but this might be the only remaining tribute to this faded legend of comedy, who I fear may not live to see many more of those Mondays he hates so intensely.

Anyways, The Palm serves a great steak and in a fun atmosphere. I love the food, and I love walking around the restaurant looking at all the historic cartoons.

For more bizarre Yelp reviews of horror and mystery, check out the H.P. Laughcraft Yelp page here: http://hplaughcraft.yelp.com