Sunday, February 01, 2015

Goober and the Art of Love

Barney (Don Knotts): You'd better be going on your date, hadn't you? It's almost eight o'clock.

Goober (George Lindsey): I already been.

Barney: You're on your date already?

Goober: Yeah, and it sure went fast. I follered all the directions.

Barney: Goober, you were on a date. You weren't taking medicine.

The Andy Griffith Show had many amusing episodes, episodes that still make me laugh today after countless viewings.

The one that first aired 50 years ago tonight, "Goober and the Art of Love," was such an episode for me.

Andy and Barney were frustrated because Goober insisted on being around when they were on double dates with Helen (Aneta Corsaut) and Thelma Lou (Betty Lynn), and they decided that Goober needed a girlfriend of his own. Goober wasn't enthusiastic about the idea, but he admitted there was one local girl he'd had his eye on — Lydia (Josie Lloyd). Apparently, she came in to have her car's oil changed.

Goober said he'd like to go out with Lydia, but he wouldn't know what to say. Andy noted that they talked when she brought her car in for service. Goober agreed. Well, what did they talk about then? Andy asked.

"Her tires," Goober replied. "She's got bad tires."

"Don't you talk about anything else?" Andy asked.

"Well, she does have an oil problem," Goober answered.

That was a bit much for Barney. "You mean you never talk about anything but her tires and her oil?" he asked.

"Well, ain't nothing else wrong with her," Goober observed.

Which made perfect sense from Goober's point of view. He was a mechanic; Lydia brought in her car for service. But it brought Andy and Barney no closer to their objective.

So Andy tried to steer the conversation back to more promising pursuits. He encouraged Goober to call Lydia and ask her out that very night.

"I wouldn't know what to say on a date," Goober protested.

So Andy and Barney gave him some conversation starters.

"By the end of the evening, you ought to be friendly enough to hold her hand," Andy said.

"Hallelujah," Barney muttered sarcastically.

But Goober took their advice too literally and raced through the conversation starters like he was double parked. He went back to the courthouse to get further instruction from Barney, who recalled that Andy was over at his girlfriend's house watching TV. He took Goober over to observe from the shadows of Helen's front porch.

That would have been a good idea — or, at least, one with better results — if Goober had been able to restrain himself, but he got worked up when Andy and Helen began to kiss. And that was that.

Anyway, the Goober situation continued to be a rocky one until Goober announced that his social calendar was "all dated up" with Lydia and wouldn't be able to spend time with Andy and Barney anymore.

Barney and Andy told Goober a good way to start his new relationship would be to bring Lydia a box of chocolates, and they gave him some money to get the biggest box available. It was a well–intended gesture that backfired.

When the two couples were about to go to a dance, Goober showed up once again, this time with Lydia. They had eaten all the candy, he said, and "there wasn't nothing else to do."

The fifth wheel had returned — with a sixth wheel.