For over 30 years, brilliant orange “Garfield” telephones have been appearing on the French coast to the bemusement of nearby shoreline cleaners, who have at long last split the riddle behind them.
Local people had since quite a while ago presumed a lost delivery container was at fault for the novelty landline telephones, modelled on the thorny cat animation character, that have tormented the northern Finistere shorelines for a considerable length of time.
“Our association has existed for 18 years and in that time, we have found pieces of Garfield telephones almost each time we clean,” said Claire Simonin, the head of local beach cleaning group Ar Viltansou in Brittany.
Yet, it wasn’t until a nearby inhabitant uncovered that he had found the container after a storm during the 1980s that they were at long last ready to find it — wedged in an incompletely submerged cavern just available at low tide.
“He told us where it was … it was very, very dangerous,” Simonin told AFP after an expedition to track it down. “We found this incredible fissure that is 30 metres deep and at the very bottom, there were the remains of a container.”
“Under the boulders in front of the entrance, we found 23 complete handsets with electronics and wires. They were everywhere,” she added.
Yet, the puzzle isn’t completely tackled.
“We have no idea what happened at the time: we do not know where it came from, what boat,” said Fabien Boileau, director of the Iroise Marine Nature Park in Finistere.
“And we don’t know if several containers fell into the water, or only one.”
The dry-witted Garfield, first cooked up by artist Jim Davis in the late 1970s, has since brought forth a TV program, a film series featuring Bill Murray as the voice of the main feline, and a merchandising empire worth a huge number of dollars every year.
Image via Vulture