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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Nip it...Nip it in the Bud!!

Don Knotts has passed away. American audiences will remember him primarily for his endearingly zany portrayal of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show. Younger audiences will unfortunately recall him as the over-sexed, over-polyestered second landlord Mr. Furley on Three's Company.

Knotts approach to comedy, shambling, bug-eyed, and blustering, worked magic on the Griffith programme, and while undeniably funny on Three's Company, was also a bit disturbing at times. Admittedly, this also may be because the idea of "Barney Fife" living a "swinger's life" and the implications of his character's sexual attraction to nubile twenty-something women, were in themselves the dramatic equivalent of nails on a blackboard. In fact, the idea of Barney Fife even being familiar with something like a condom or a "one-night stand" is enough to flat out kill a certain class of Americans above the age of sixty, and understandably so.

Nonetheless, he will be missed. He was a broad burlesque of a character on a medium full of burlesque, and he left an indelible impression. Why, I recall a poem by the noted philosopher, poet, and bird-chaser Max Speebek on the very tension of Don Kontts approach itself, and I hereby offer it in tribute.


Nip It in Those Buds!

A provocation by Max Speebek

Would you take the squad car down the street to Apartment 201 Roper Apartment House
There is a disturbance
Which involves an older man
Wrapped in polyester and oogling young sexpots
Nip esso nel germoglio

"Outrageous, Andy! we'll just see about that!"

The siren screams high above Santa Monica Mayberry RFD
The stars in the heavens whirl about in anticipation
Of the cataclysm to come
Like the bosom of a moderately attractive ingenue
In the office of a reasonably sleazy producer.

The small town deputy pulls into the parking lot
His hands tremble
His legs tremble
His feet tremble
His face trembles
His, well let's not go there trembles
Each step upstairs fills him with dread though he knows not why
He suspects he is uncomfortable with young sexpots
Being unfamiliar with either sex or pot.
The door looms like the pit of an olive
He opens it.


Time stands still, frozen in the icy gaze of
Barney Fife staring at his future self
Mr. Furley, robed in patterns that would make a Scotsman blush
Fainting in the arms of a scantily clad young dish
Gaping back at his younger self
Innocence with a .38 and a full body tremor
Is it any wonder people thought Gomer was gay
What would Aunt Bee say to see him so?

We will never know. The universe folds in upon itself at the sight.
Two Barneys
Two Furleys
One really weird party.


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