Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gomer says hey

Mills of the gods

Andy Griffith, whose character Sheriff Andy Taylor was one of the heros of my youth, has filed a law suit in Wisconsin against Andy Griffith. William Fenrick was not getting much traction in his race for Sheriff in Grant County, Wisconsin, so he legally changed his name to Andy Griffith. The new Andy finished a poor third in the race, picking up all of 1,248 votes of the 16,000 or so cast in that election. That is probably what the real Griffith is pissed off about. He never lost a race in Mayberry, even a couple of times when his name was not on the ballot (remember those shows?) and now he finishes a dismal third in Wisconsin.

The lawsuit demands that the new Andy publish disclaimers that he is not the old Andy. As if anyone in Wisconsin honestly thought that they were casting their ballots for the real Andy Griffith. Actually, make that the original Andy Griffith, both are real, and neither is a sheriff, although one of them used to play one on television.

Andy Taylor, the character that the original Griffith used to play would never have filed this law suit. He would have been amused by the story, and told everyone about it over at the barber shop or the diner or Wally's filling station, but it would no more have crossed his mind to sue, than it would have for him to evict a family from their home on Christmas. Andy Taylor was a good guy. Andy Griffith is starting to sound like a jerk off with very little sense of humor. Maybe he got a big head after President Bush gave him the Medall of Freedom last year. Well he may be a national treasure, but to me he is still an actor who made millions shilling for the Nabisco Corporation all of those years. "Good cracker, gooood cracker". And even if he is a national hero, so what ? How many people in this country are named after Washington and Jefferson. You don't hear of those guys suing anyone. We had a state treasurer in Texas named Jessie James, he was followed in office by Warren Harding, and no litigation ever popped up. All of us knew that these guys were not the original Jessie and Warren. If they had been they never would have been elected.

This smacks of something that Barney Fife would have done, and that Andy Taylor would have had to talk him out of. Barney could get a little hot tempered at times, but Andy pretty much always had a cool head(except the times when he would overreact over something Opie did and end up apologising for it at the end of the episode). That reminds me, Opie's real name is Ron Howard. Do you have any idea how many Ron Howard's hold public office in the United States ? Well, I don't either, but it has got to be a lot. Did you ever hear of Ron Howard suing anyone over it ? Of course not, because he was brought up properly , as Opie, by Pa and Aunt Bea and was taught that you work out problems like this. You don't file law suits.

All of this should be settled at an old time J.P. Court, presided over by Andy Taylor (I always liked the fact that he was both the Judge and the Sheriff on that show). Andy would tell Andy that Andy was just having a little fun and that Andy should really try to get a little perspective on the situation. If Andy still could not convince Andy to drop the suit against Andy, then Andy would find some creative way to hold Andy in contempt of court and lock him up until he came to his senses, or until Otis Campbell needed the cell, whichever came first. In the end, Andy would take both Andy and Andy over to the house where they would all stuff themseleves on Aunt Bea's fried chicken until Ernest T. Bass through a rock through Andy's window, signaling the start of a new adventure.

All of this is how things would have been handled in Mayberry, and you know what ? The result would have been the same, it would have cost a lot less money, and everyone would have gotten a nice dinner out of it. They say that life imitates art. The problem is that it just does not so so often enough.


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