George Lindsey portrayed Goober Pyle on “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Mayberry RFD” from 1964 – 1971.
Known as a lovable goofball who pumped gas, in one notable episode, Goober returns from a hunting trip wearing a beard. Mayberry’s citizenry comments on what a great change the beard makes – that now he appears “intelligent”.
Goober takes this to heart. Pretty soon, he become the town’s thinker, philosophizing about everything and anything — to the point where he starts getting on people’s nerves…especially Sheriff Andy Taylor. It reaches a head when Andy asks Floyd the barber to talk to him about it.
When Floyd fails, Andy goes on a tirade, telling Goober what a nuisance he’s been, saying that people are avoiding him and basically it would be better if he went back to the way he used to be.
The supposed lesson in all this is not to get too big for your britches. Remain who you are.
What’s wrong with this picture?
For me, I take it as Andy being threatened by a new authority figure. Previously, he was the one the townsfolk came to for advice. Now with Goober and his beard, Andy is no longer the top dog. He can’t stand being usurped.
Shakespeare’s famous quote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
The moral I learned from the show is – people often force you to be who you are, through no fault of your own. It’s up to us to break free of those bonds. Be who you want to be.
Text © 2021 – ERN