A scene depicting the general routine for fainting goat surprise parties.

A fainting goat returns home from work one evening, unaware that his family and friends have thrown him a surprise party. They emerge from behind furniture wearing party hats and yell “Surprise!”. All faint.

For those unfamiliar with fainting goats, also known as myotonic goats, they are a unique breed of goat with a special ability to lock up and fall over when startled or excited. It’s actually a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. The goats are only affected for a few moments before getting up and running about again. Adult goats tend to cope a little better than the kids and often manage to continue to run stiff legged in a very awkward looking fashion.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video must be worth many thousands more, so I have included a viedo here (care of Youtube) as a better introduction to these fascinating animals:

Supposing that fainting goats have surprise parties, consider what might result if hidden goats suddenly jump out from behind furniture and yell “surprise” in unison at an unsuspecting birthday goat (assuming goats can walk and talk and otherwise behave like people). The cartoon above is my interpretation of such a scenario.

A ‘Spot the Difference’ has been created from this image. See Goat Difference Spot for details.