For more stories, Google 'Eighties Draper' or visit the link on my profile. Bomdigidy, gents. Ladies too.

Thanks for stopping by gentlemen, please, take a bean bag.

I don't want to take up too much of your time today so I'm going to keep this brief. You boys came to me with a product: a tangerine-colored plush toy with a wide smile and suction cups for feet. You asked me to find a way to make your merchandise an integral part of our everyday lives, and I told you "no problemo". After all, 'Garfield' is already a beloved figure of our time - he's on our bookshelves, he's in our newpapers, he's even on our television sets. I said to myself, "these people are paying for alchemy yet all they're asking me to do is turn gold into gold!"

Yes, enjoy my little joke before I skillfully divert what seems like casual patter into an affecting and thought-provoking commentary on our lives and times.

Because it seems, gentlemen, that we do have a "problemo" after all. The Dow Jones is in the toilet and people are scared for their livelihoods. No one knows who to trust anymore, and here we are, with Nixon still ringing in our ears, trying to sell the Great American Public on a rascal. A cynic. A thief. Oh sure, a lasagna thief if you want to get technical, but a thief none-the-less.

I hope you gentlemen will permit me to be frank in saying (and I don't mean to sound melodramatic here) that selling this product is the greatest challenge that this company (this generation even!) has ever faced.

In the end we went back to basics. Stripped the Garfield paradigm back to its core, and in doing that I believe we found a solution. Sure, we already let Garfield into our homes, but who exactly is this rascal we gave the keys to? What are his qualities? His hopes? His dreams even? We know he loves baked pasta dishes and hates Mondays, but can that really be all Garfield's about? Oh, of course, Mister Davis, he likes tormenting Odie too, we hadn't forgotten about that. Have yourself a cookie.

See, this is a time where forming a deep emotional bond with our customer base (our shrinking customer base) is more important than ever, but if we carry on using the existing Garfield model we're in serious danger of finding ourselves on the inside looking out (quite literally in the case of our suction-cupped mascot here.) The angle's all wrong. If we're to thrive in this market we need to show our customers that we stand for something. Something that matters. Something bigger than binge eating and an over-protective love of a teddy bear named Pooky.

So what's the juice? Well, last night I was sat in a diner avoiding my fifth wife whilst enigmatically sketching on the back of a napkin, when a news story caught my eye. It was another Black Monday column about a stockbroker who'd taken a dive from a seventh story window, and that's when it hit me, what it is that people need right now. Three words:

Dependability. Tenacity. Loyalty.

We need to show people that while some may be throwing it all away, this cat… this cat clings on. We have to demonstrate that no matter how bad things get, this guy will never come unstuck. Garfield may be looking from the inside out… but with good reason.

Now allow me to coolly lift away this piece of cardboard to reveal an awe-inspiring tagline that I will then read aloud in a sonorous, bourbon-lacquered baritone…

Garfield: "Looking out… for you."

Finally, a pause while I marinade in your reverent applause. Thank you. Thank you very much. Peggy, would you be a doll and pass Mister Davis a handkerchief, his eyes seem to have become a little dusty…