(Gar)field trip – Chapter 1, Strip 63

Snuka accosts Rutentuten for the first direct confrontation between hero and villain. Obviously, he hasn’t heard yet that the villain always wins the first one.

Just for the record, cats were not considered guardians of the Underworld in Ancient Egypt, even if it is claimed in a number of mummy-centric stories and movies. It is true that Ra intended them for that role, but…

Ra: “Cat goddess, the council of gods has decided to charge you with another, very important, task. In future, you and your cats will…”
Bastet: “Purrr” (Falls asleep)
Ra: (wakes Bastet) “Please bear with me here, this is important. In future, you and your cats will be guardians of the Underworld, responsible for ensuring the safety of every departed soul that…
Bastet: “Meeow!” (Plays with yarn)
Ra: (takes yarn away) “Seriously, Bastet, the responsibil…”
Bastet: “Chrrrrr!” (strolls off)
Ra: (to his secretary) “Let’s forget about this. Look up the number of that Anubis guy for me….just hope he is housebroken yet.”

Stephen Sommer’s 1999 ‘Mummy’ also declares cats to be guardians of the Underworld, pretty much gratuitously, since there’s only one scene where it plays a (replaceable) role. Perhaps it was a fragment from an earlier version of the script. Shooting of that scene required Arnold Vosloo, who was motion captured for the CG-mummy, to act horrified at the sight of a teddy bear, which was used as a stand-in for the cat.

You shouldn’t hold Snuka’s attempt at trading in Mopey against him. Deep inside of that immoral little thug, there’s a kind and caring kid that just wants to get out. But he can’t, since he was beaten senseless and tied up by a gang of juvenile delinquents that are also in there.

Seriously though, Snuka cares deeply for his friends, they mean more to him than a million dollars. Really. Well, not his first million, of course, but they will mean more to him than his 175th million dollars, once he gets there.

Actually, Rutentuten has got a piece of good luck here, successfully springing surprises on clairvoyant villains has been done in b-movies, logic notwithstanding. But then, he had another b-movie law on his side: no villain ever succumbs in the first confrontation.

The principle he mentioned is one of the principles of b-movie justice. In b-movies, if a character puts greed over friendship, he gets some kind of punishment, often in the vein of poetic justice. In reality, the same mode of behaviour usually gets rewarded.

Boy, I want some lasagna, too.

Please vote for me, if you do, you get a discount on renting advertising space on Snuka’s cap. Other great suggestions: visit the forum, and come back on Thursday, when we’ll have a snippet of the blooper reel.

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