Why I May Not Have Liked Sheriff Taylor

December 19, 2008 at 2:37 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

To a viewer of The Andy Griffith Show, it’s tough not to like Sheriff Taylor. He is our equal as we all watch the antics of Barney Fife, Floyd Lawson, Gomer Pyle, and the rest of the citizens of Mayberry. However, when I put myself in the place of an ordinary citizen of Mayberry, I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t have liked Andy that much.

Andy’s trickery and lack of consistent firmness would have proven fatal to the chances that I would have voted for him – not that my vote would have swung the tally to Deputy Fife or some other lawman-in-training such as Otis or Goober.

Floyd says it best in “The Jinx” after Andy rigs a contest in the town to convince Henry Bennett that he is not the town jinx. The eloquent barber said, “Sheriff Taylor, I gotta hand it to ya. For a fella sworn to uphold law and order and decent living, you sure are a good sneak.” Judging from Taylor’s shenanigans throughout the years, it’s a stretch to think that not many people in Mayberry knew that he was a devious person when wearing the tin star. To me, he would have compromised the truth and justice the uniform and badge he wore stood for.

My last thought is that I would have always felt nervous about a man who never let Barney Fife go. After all, it was Barney who held up the bank president in one episode while tearing down the vault’s back wall in another. At the very least, the incompetent Fife should have been demoted to covering just the school crossing, although that too would be risky.

The beautiful thing about all of this is that I never lived in the make-believe world of Mayberry. Some things are better left untouched by the politics, biases, selfishness, and inequalities of our reality that I would have brought with me. There’s the possibility that Andy is not the one at fault for giving his friends the benefit of a doubt and doing his best to make everyone feel like they had a friend.

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