Monday, February 8, 2010
My Weekend as a Garfoose...
This weekend, I had a special project - becoming a Garfoose...
The Garfoose is a creation from the mind of Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst. A magical creature that is half-Giraffe/half-Moose, with fire breathing abilities, a mesmerizing gaze and wi-fi enabled antennae. In the folklore of the Garfoose, it lives in the mystical baseball groves, protecting the baseball trees where Major League Baseball gets their supply of baseballs each season.
Very active on Twitter with his fans, Hayhurst goes by the name TheGarfoose and sometimes shares stories of the Garfoose that lives in his garage (along with Roy Halladay’s evil twin Ray). Pictures of the Garfoose and his history can be found at Dirk’s website, http://www.dirkhayhurst.com/ and in honour of his 1,000th Twitter follower, Hayhurst began a contest, allowing his friends and fans the opportunity to become “Garfoose” too.
My mission on the weekend was to bring the Garfoose within me, out for all to see. Perhaps the silliest thing I have ever done, it was also by far the most illuminating experience I have ever had. As strange as it sounds, my household began to take on a different feel, as if someone other then my wife and I had moved in for the weekend. I now know from personal experience, when Dirk speaks of the Garfoose in his garage, he is serious - there is something fantastical about the creature known as Garfoose. Once you “become” Garfoose, it can be difficult to tell whether he is the person in the costume or a separate being all his own. You find yourself talking about the Garfoose in the first person - he is you and you are him... It can be quite confusing - and exhilarating.
After spending Saturday posing in bizarre Garfoose photographs and tweeting the pictures, I began to experience some strange activity in my household, and my mind. Not taking the Garfoose out to the streets to share the experience with my fellow citizens in Toronto would be an injustice to all things Garfoose!
Therefore, off I went on Sunday, into the streets of downtown Toronto. As my Garfoose came into being, I realized that he was slightly different from Dirk’s, mine would be a “Business Garfoose”. A Garfoose that has strayed from the mystical baseball groves and taken a job here in Toronto in the business district.
George Carlin once spoke about being famous. If you do something so outrageous or memorable just once in your life, years from now people will say, “Remember when...” and you will be famous forever. Well, for some folks on the streets of Toronto, February 7th will be the day they talk about for years, the day that “Business Garfoose” went shopping.
Walking through a park on my way to meet a few friends that would be my unofficial photographers, I discovered the park was filled with pigeons. It struck me that a Garfoose would run through the flock, sharing in their animal oneness.
As I did so, I had the thought, “Wow, these people are seeing a Garfoose in the park!”
It then struck me that these people had no idea what a Garfoose was... but instead of feeling embarrassment or feeling self-conscious, I thought, “What lucky folks, they are seeing a Garfoose in real life for the first time!”
So after my encounter in the park, it was off to the stores. After doing some window shopping, I entered a few stores, sharing the Garfoosian experience with people. Reaction was tremendous! While some folks ignored the Business Garfoose (it is Toronto after all - strange things happen every day), others were delighted to encounter a creature once thought to be imaginary. Several were willing to pose for photographs until they discovered they would be posted online. Having said that, Bravo to Tom, for being brave enough to get so close to the Business Garfoose and posing for our picture together. He is a very brave man indeed...
Waking up today, I discovered that the Garfoose is still with me, lurking somewhere in the backyard, waiting for the next time he decides to venture into the streets. One thing that you can be certain of, the Business Garfoose will make more appearances in Toronto and other parts of Canada in the future. He seems to like me and has decided to take up residence with my wife and I.
While you are visiting Dirk’s website to learn about all things Garfoose, it would be a great opportunity to pre-order his upcoming book, The Bullpen Gospels, set for release on March 30th.
What else is there to say, other then the usual - Have a great sports day everyone (and find your inner-Garfoose, it is worth it!).