Andy's StoryTime
Interactive Storytelling

Thoroughly Modern Barney

Story Beginning:
The bell rings as the patrol car rolls up in front of Wally's Service and out walks Goober Pyle.

Sheriff Andy Taylor steps out of the car walks toward the pop machine. Andy says, "Fill it up, Goob," as he reaches deep in the cooler to get a cold "Big Orange." 1 Goober flips a few pages from a book he is intently reading before he inserts a rubber gasket he's using for a bookmark between the pages, then puts the book face down next to a pile of old comic books and ambles over to the gas pump. Andy takes a sip of some orange pop while curiously wondering about it's contents, "So what'cha readin' Goob?"

Goober starts getting all flushed in the face and replies, "Aww, nuthin' really Andy. Just sumpthin' they had on sale in the mail order catalog." While Goober starts pumping gas, Andy casually turns the book over with his free hand, and to himself quietly reads the title: "HOW TO PICK UP GIRLS, What Women Want in A Real Man". 2 "Yo!. I figured Barney didn't do much good helpin' me since it made you and Helen mad when we were lookin' at you all through her winda". "Aw, Goob, that's all been forgotten", Andy replied. "Well, I just figgered this would be easier even though Barney is a master at pickin' up girls." said Goober. 3 Andy smiles and looks over at Goober. "Barney's way works for him ... sorta. Maybe this book will help you, who knows." He puts it down.

"Well I figured it can't hurt; you know how I am around women, Andy. I just don't know what to say or do," Goober replies and slowly shakes his head. The pump dings as if it's agreeing with him.

Andy takes another swallow and steps closer to his friend. "Goober, you know as much about women as I do," he says and looks him straight in the eye.

Goober looks at Andy with a puzzled frown. "I do?

"Yep, and that's exactly nothin'." Andy stated it as a fact. Goober's frown gives way to a big grin and he says, "Yo." Some gas splashes on Goober's hand so he slows the flow and when he hears the next ding he stops the flow, shuts off the pump and hangs up the nozzle. He pulls a rag out of his hip pocket and wipes his hands. He turns back to the sheriff. "She took twelve gallons, Andy."

"Okay, good. Goober, if you want to read that book, go ahead, but I doubt if it will teach you anything useful. You just need a little more experience with women and you'll get the hang of it. Instead of reading about women, why don't you try meeting some women," Andy advises as he puts the empty soda bottle into the rack next to the pop machine and then gets into the car. "Thanks, Goober. I'll see you." Andy cranks the car and slowly drives out.

"Bye, Andy." Goober waves then yells "Where do I meet women?", but Andy was gone. 4

Goober gets an idea and starts to write it down as the next scene shows Andy parking the squad car at the courthouse and going in. Barney is in Andy's chair talking to Juanita and Andy listens for a while, then Barney starts singing to her "Nita, Juanita...", then, Andy joins in and Barney is caught off guard and says, "Oh, you're funny, you're real funny, why don't you put a flower on your lapel and squirt water?", then he messes up his hair. 5 Barney drops the earpiece and stands up with a scowl directed at Andy.

Andy chuckles and says, "Aw come on, Barn. I was just havin' a little fun."

"Yeah! Well go have fun somewheres else," Barney shoots back at him with a glare. "I was having an important, PRIVATE conver-

"Barn," Andy cut him off. "Barn ... Juanita's still on the phone; shouldn't you finish your important conversation?" Barney's eyes open wide as he remembers the call and he sits down, picks up the earpiece and speaks into the receiver. "Juanita, I'll have to get back to you; something came up ... yes ... yes ... YES! ... okay, bye bye." Barney hangs up the earpiece and moves to a nearby chair so Andy can sit.

Andy looks over at Barney and says, "You want to fix ... uh, comb your hair, Barn." Andy smooths his own hair. Barney looks up, trying to see his hair, pulls his comb out of his pocket and runs it thru his hair. 6 Andy heads towards the back room, "You want some coffee?", he asks, Barney nods. Then, Opie comes running into the courthouse. "Pa, Pa!, guess what, I made the "B" honor roll, and others that made it, like me, are going to Raleigh for a big presentation!". Andy hurries out and says, "Well, congratulations, that's a fine achievement!". "It sure is", Barney adds. "I gotta go to Raleigh, anyway, so, why don't I just take you?", asked Andy. 7 "Did your teacher say when this presentation was gonna be Ope?" "Yeah Paw, next Tuesday!" Andy replies, "Well that'll work out just fine then, since I'd be leavin on Monday." Barney's brow starts to furrow, "You didn't tell me you were goin' to Raleigh Ange?" Andy pours some coffee and says, "Well I been meaning to Barn, but I didn't have the chance til now." He passes a cup to Barney, "I have to attend the annual Sheriff's convention and I'll be gone just three days". Don't feel slighted that I can't invite you, but I'll need you to be in charge here while I'm gone. You understand." Barney starts to fume. The vein in his forehead starts to bulge as he mumbles under his breath, "Yeah sure, while the queen and her step-sisters are at the Big Ball, Cinderella here will be at home sweepin' the cinders outta the chimney!" Andy asks, "Did you say somethin' Barn?" "It's nothing", Barney retorts, "...Just FORGET IT!!!" as he spins on his heels and races to the back room, spilling most of his coffee along the way.


By the time Barney has cleaned up the floor, and his uniform, he has decided that being the high sheriff for three days might not be a bad thing after all. He joins Andy at the desk.

"Where's Ope?", Barney asked as he sat.

Andy glanced at Barney. "He went home to tell Aunt Bee the big news, I expect. Barney, about me not telling you that I was -

"I been thinkin' about it, Ange, an' it'll be fine." He smiled at Andy and continued, "You go to that there convention in Raleigh and have a good time and don't worry about a thing. Ol' Barney Fife will take care of things right chere." He folded his arms and pursed his lips.

Andy eyed him warily, trying to decide if he was just kidding and decided he was serious. "Are you sure? Cause I can get a state man in to take over for a few days if you can't handle it, Barn."

Barney gave Andy a withering look. "Sheriff, if I can't handle this town by now I never will be able to. You don't have a thing to worry about."

9 "I'll get Goober to help me if I need him and if he can tear himself away from that book on how to pick up girls" long enough, Barney said. "Well, I guess that'd be alright, but, I'm leaving you responsible for any damage he might do". "I'm going on patrol", Andy said as he headed for the door. 10 Quickly, Barney jumped over into Andy's chair and pulled open the bottom drawer of the desk. "Okay Ange. I'm going to bone up on Mayberry's laws and ordinances," he said as he pulled an old brown book out of the drawer.

Andy stopped when he heard that, turned around and said, "I'll call the man," and started back to the desk.

Barney looked up. "But I'm going to be the sheriff while you're gone."

"Not if you're going to go crazy and arrested everybody in town like you did that one time you're not," Andy said sternly.

"Now Andy, almost every one of them charges was valid, you know that," Barney countered and stood up. "Okay, maybe one or two were borderline, but the rest broke the law and I did my duty as a duly appointed officer. You wouldn't want me to shirk my duty now would you, sheriff?"

"Well no, but there's a difference between maintaining law and order and trying to find any little thing to arrest someone on, and that's what you did and it looks like you're fixin' to do it again. Either I'm going to call the man or you're going to promise me you aren't going to arrest anyone while I'm gone." Andy reached for the phone.

"I can't promise that. There's no tellin' what might happen while you're gone that might require me to make an arrest." Barney gave Andy his most earnest look. "Don't ask me to promise that, Ange." Andy hesitated for a second then picked up the phone and lifted the receiver to his ear.

"Alright, I promise!" Barney spat it out.

Andy put the phone down. "Okay Barn, I believe you. Now I've got to go on patrol," he said and headed for the door again. As Andy exited the courthouse Barney mumbled something about a powerless sheriff and sat back down at the desk.

Andy thought about Barney as he drove the quiet streets looking for anything that might cause trouble to the town or its people that he loved so much.

11 He stopped by the printing shop and found two men working in there, so, he parked the car and went in. The men tried to hide what looked like fake money under the counter before Andy came in. He came in and introduced himself, "Howdy, I'm Sheriff Taylor. You're new here in town, ain't ya?" 12 Barney stands at the courthouse window with both hands on his hips, looking up at the ceiling and still stewing to himself over the course of these latest humiliating developments.

"A eunich, that's what it all boils down to...a eunich with a badge. No different than throwin' a T-bone steak in front of a lion after pullin' out all of it's teeth, or training a falcon to swoop down n' snatch up a field rat after clippin' it's wings..." Peering through the blinds, Barney continues to ramble on, muttering to himself "Take away my pride, next thing ya know, they'll take away my one bullet. Then I might'as well trade in my revolver for a billyclub n' join up with the Keystone Cops!" Barney's ornery train of thought is suddenly derailed by the sound of the courthouse door opening, and the footsteps of Hank the mailman making his daily delivery to the courthouse desk. "Mornin' Barney, got this package here from outta state that I need for you to sign..." 13 "for", he says. "Oh, alright.", Barney responds as he takes the clipboard. The mailman leaves as Barney examines the package. He hears ticking inside and frantically goes out to look for Andy. "Andy, help, Andy!!", he shouts. 14 By a stroke of good luck, Andy is pulling up just as Barney bursts out of the door. He jumps out of the car and quickly goes up to Barney. "What's wrong?"

"THERE'S A BOMB IN THE COURTHOUSE AND IT COULD GO OFF ANYTIME NOW! WHAT DO WE DO?" Barney was waving his arms in the air as he shouted.

With some effort, Andy managed to calm him down and led him up the sidewalk to the bench outside Floyd's shop where they sat. "Now, where is this bomb?"

Barney looked at him as he answered, "It's on your desk."

Andy hesitated for a second then said, "Barn, I was settin' at that desk no more than fifteen minutes ago and there was no bomb on it. Where did it come from?"

"Hank brought it over. We got to do somethin', Ange." Barney was getting anxious.

"We are. Why would Hank want to bomb the courthouse?"

"He doesn't know it's a bomb. It's wrapped up in a box and addressed to the courthouse. He brought it over I signed for it. I was lookin' at the label when I heard it tickin'. You know what's gonna happen when it stops tickin'?" Before Andy could answer, Barney said, "Blooey!"

"Well if it does Aunt Bee will be real upset. That's not a bomb, Barn. It's that old mantel clock we've had in the family for years. It's back from the factory. I talked to Hank last evening and he said he would drop it off at the courthouse today."

Barney's shoulders slumped as he realized the mistake he had made. He started to apologize. "Well, I did it again, didn't I, Ange. When will I learn to think before I go off like that?"

"There's no harm done, Barn. I'm just glad you didn't throw that package out back in the alley or dunk it in the rain barrel." Andy's brow furrowed for a second and he gave Barney a serious look. "You didn't do nothin' like that, did you Barn?"

Barney looked at Andy like he was crazy. "I ain't a idiot, you know. Why would I do that to a clock?"

"Alright then, let's get back."

They stood and started toward the courthouse. After they were seated and Andy started opening the package, he spoke. "Oh, it looks like we got some counterfeiters in the print shop again." 15 With a look of bewilderment, Barney slowly swivels around in his chair to look at Andy, "You're kidding". Andy replys, "No I'm not, I had to give them a citation. Anyhow, why are you so surprised?" Barney hesitates as he starts to burn, "Because I was over there the other day and the proprietor asked me if I could do him a favor and break a twenty..."


"You didn't!" asks Andy. "Well how was I supposed to know, he seemed like a nice fella and I had enough small bills on me to swing it!" "Well," Andy asks, "Do you still have the twenty dollar bill?" Barney reaches into his back pocket and produces only eighteen dollars from his wallet. "Oh I remember now, I went to Floyd's for a haircut. I gave him a dollar seventy five for the haircut and a quarter tip, and this is what I got back." Andy looks impressed and whistles, "A whole quarter. Your something else, you know that Barn?"

Barney sniffs, "Well, generosity was always a trademark of us Fife's....passed down right through the generations..." Andy interrupts, "Yeah well, if that bill is truly bogus, we'd better get over to Floyd's before it gets into circulation. And maybe we better drop that clock off with aunt Bee while we're at it" 17 Things were pretty quiet the rest of the day. Sure, Floyd did some complainin' about having to surrender the bogus twenty but he was all smiles after Andy replaced it with one of his own. The counterfeiters were taken care of; turns out they were wanted in Virginia. The antique clock is happily ticking away on the Taylor mantle and keeping great time. The rest of the week passed quickly, with nothing much happening around town that the lawmen needed to be concerned about.

"Well, I ate too much usual," Barney says, turning to look at Andy. Andy returns the look and smiles. "Yeah, me too," he agrees and gently pats his stomach. It's Sunday afternoon and the two men are sitting on the Taylor's front porch enjoying the weather and digesting. "Aunt Bee outdid herself this time; I'm about to pop," Andy adds. "Let me know when, so I can move out of the way, will ya?" Barney laughs, which causes Andy to chuckle too.

The screen door hinges complain a little as Opie comes out onto the porch. "Pa, can Arnold go with us to Raleigh; he made the honor roll too." Opie looked hopefully at his father. "I don't see why not Ope, as long as it's okay with his folks." Opie's hopeful look turns to a big grin and he says, "Oh boy! Can I go over to his house and tell him and play for awhile?" "Sure Ope. Just remember we'll be leaving tomorrow after you get home from school so make sure you both have your bags packed and let Arnold come home with you after school." "Okay Pa. Thanks," Opie said and raced off to see his best friend. "See ya, Barney," he yelled over his shoulder. The men smiled and watched him 'til he was out of sight, then Barney spoke. "Remember when we used to get excited like that, Ange?" "Yep. It's been a long time." "He's a fine boy, Ange." "I agree with you one-hundred percent, Barn." Andy was grinning from ear to ear.

"Speaking of Raleigh, you heard what I told Opie." Andy turned to Barney. "We will leave tomorrow afternoon. Opie, and maybe Arnold, will ride home with Helen; I've already talked to her. Remind me to call her about Arnold, Barn." "Check," Barney said in his official voice. Andy continued,

"I've already made a reservation for three nights at a place near the hall. If the convention winds up early enough Thursday afternoon, I can be back before nightfall." Barney broke in. "Why don't you just stay over Thursday night and do a little sightseeing, Ange. I hear that the state capitol building is something to see. And I think them Smith Brothers got one of their institutions in Raleigh. Don't hurry back on my account. I can take care of things here." "I know you can, Barn, but I'll have a little time during the convention to see a few places. The room is costing me ten dollars a night and between that and meals and such I'm already spendin' enough. No, I'll be back Thursday evening at the latest." "Well, okay." Barney sounded disappointed. "You remember your promise, don't you, Barn?" "I ain't forgot it," Barney snapped. They settled back into silence.

18 Aunt Bee walks out with a tray with dessert plates on it and says "Anybody for some Baked Alaska?". Barney says, "mm-mm. I ain't had this since we tried to get into the Esquire Club, 'member, Ange?", Andy shakes his head and smiles. Barney takes a bite. "Aunt Bee, you make it better." "Thank you, Barney", she responds. 19

The afternoon of the trip to Raleigh finally arrives. Barney is behind the wheel with Andy at his side as the squad car pulls up in front of the Taylor home. Barney puts the car in park as he glances at his watch. “It’s almost ten after three Ange, ya think they should’ve been here by now?” Andy says, “Relax Barn, maybe Helen and the boys aren’t as late as we’re just plum early. School lets out at three, and it might take Helen some time to drive Ope and Arnold over to Arnold’s house to gather up his things. Anyhow it ‘ll give us some time to go over a few things that bear repeatin’...” Barney starts to protest, “Aw c’mon now Sheriff, how many times do ya have to whip a dead horse? I’ve been sworn to uphold the law in this town to the best of my ability, and if you think for one minute...” Andy interrupts, “I I I know that Barn, what I’m just sayin’ is not to let your authority get to be more important than the law you’re representin’, an’ an’ an’ that it’s a good thing to get all the facts first before jumpin’ to conclusions about folks - especially if you think someone’s lookin’ at you crossways...” Before Andy has a chance to continue, Barney gets a word in...”Now look Sheriff, what yer doing is preachin’ to the choir! And give a guy some credit where it’s due once in awhile for Pete’s sake. Why just the other day I gave Eidell Bushey a warning after I caught her jay-walking...when I could’ve easily written her out a $15 ticket!!” At that moment Helen pulls her car into the Taylor driveway, with Opie and Arnold in tow. Andy turns to Barney “All right Barn, just listen here. Before we transfer all the luggage to the squad car have you drop us off at the bus stop...I want you to promise me one more thing...” Barney resigns himself to Andy’s last request. “ I want you to promise me you won’t go to see that new Glenn Ford movie that’s playing in town!” 20 "I give you my word, I won't go near it.", Barney responds. He's saying to himself, "But, he didn't say George Raft, hehehe!", then he says to Andy, "Thelma Lou wants me to go with her to her cousin's funeral, you remember Mary Grace?". "Yes, she passed on, did she?. Bless her heart", Andy said. Oh, one more thing, Barn, don't blow anything up if you find that bomb again." 21

The sound of car doors slamming co-mingled with the familiar sound of the screen door springing open as Aunt Bee suddenly appeared on the front porch with three bundles of sack lunches packed in brown paper bags. “I can’t let these three weary pilgrims travel on an empty I made sure there’s a little of something for everyone! That should help tide you over on that long bus trip to Raleigh.” Opie and Arnold grab for their lunches with one hand while dragging their suitcases with the other, “Thanks Aunt Bee!” “Thanks Aunt Bee!” Andy gets out of the car to greet Helen with a kiss and take the remaining lunch, “Why Aunt Bee, I don’t know how we’d ever manage to get to Raleigh in one piece without you and your survival kits!” Andy gives Aunt Bee a peck on the cheek as he turns to get his satchel setting next to the the living room fireplace, as Barney stands at the rear of the squad car - relaying the boy’s luggage into the open trunk, straining not to lose his equilibrium under the weight of the suitcases. Almost serious, Barney says “If I didn’t know any better Arnold, I’d swear you were going to a brick layer’s meetin’!” 22

"Just be glad I'm not a girl with a lot of clothes and make up, or as Opie said Sheriff Taylor called it 'female war paint'", responded Arnold. "Alright, everybody, c'mon", Andy said. They all got in and started singing to occupy their time during the ride. 23

The squad car pulls up at the corner bus depot several minutes before the 4 o’clock bus to Raleigh is scheduled to arrive. Barney, Andy, and the boys line the luggage up at the curb, with aunt Bee’s lunches sitting on top. With a squeal of the brakes, the Raleigh bus soon announces it’s arrival. The bus driver loads the luggage into the lower compartment while Barney reassures Andy that everything will be ok in Mayberry with the Sheriff away. Privately though he delights himself thinking how best to use this new window of opportunity to further explore experiments in better law enforcement. 24 He gets an idea and goes back to the courthouse to type a letter to the county to ask for surveillance equipment. He orders a camera to put on the courthouse roof along with a television monitor which sits on his desk, where he and Andy can both see it while they work. This does not solve the problem completely, though, they both know that they still have to patrol the rest of the town on foot or by driving. 25

Two hours out of Mayberry, Andy gazes out at the passing countryside while Arnold turns the pages of a comic book and Opie works on a moving puzzle. Andy looks over to catch Opie looking up from the game, as if in a trance, apparently staring at some point in space above the overhead luggage rack. "What are you staring at Ope?" Andy asks. "Oh I wasn't staring Paw, I was only thinking about what I was gonna say when I go up to accept my award, and..." Opie hesitates. "And...what Ope?" Andy prods. "Well...and if everything will be normal when we get back to Mayberry again?" Andy reads Opie's thoughts and tries to dispel any doubts by reassuring him that Barney can be trusted to act in a mature, reasonable, and responsible manner. In doing so he also realizes at the same time, he's also trying to convince himself.

Back at the Courthouse, the door swings open wide as Barney backs some used radar and electronic surveillence equipment in on a hand truck, courtesy of the Army Surplus, Ben Weaver's, and local Dollar $tore. 26 He gets the wires straightened out and starts to realize that they only have one outlet to use to plug everything in. Barney, wondering "What now?", gets an idea to run extension cords throughout the office to the point where he can't walk in the place. 27 Barney is standing in front of the desk with his hands on his hips admiring his handiwork. There are no less than five sets of wires running up, down, under, and across walls, furniture and floor, all held in place with various lengths of masking tape. There are even wires running under the back door and up the outside wall to the roof. On the desk behind Barney are several green metal cases with knobs, switches, and dials on the fronts. Two even have small television screens. The backs of these cases each have one or more sets of Barney's wires attached to them one way or another. The power cords from these units are all plugged into two extension cords that are plugged into the wall socket behind the desk.

Barney has spent hours planning and wiring for this leap into the modern age and is anxious to try it out before he has to make his rounds, and dusk is rapidly turning to dark. He checks all his wires one last time and sits down and pulls his chair up to the desk. He looks at the equipment arrayed in front of him and rubs his hands together. He speaks in a low voice. "In just a few seconds the Mayberry Sheriff's Office will be in the electronal age."

Gently, he turns on each unit, watching as various red, green, and amber lights come to life, needles jump and the two TV screens start glowing a pale green. A low hum starts emanating from one of the units and the sound reminds Barney that he has another piece of equipment and he fumbles for a large pair of black headphones and puts them on, laying his hat on top of a unit. The headphones made him look like a giant insect hunched over the desk fiddling with the equipment.

He listens for a several seconds before adjusting the fit, hoping that will help. When it doesn't he wiggles the jack that plugs the phones into the unit on the left, causing a low crackling in the headphones. He decides to turn the large black knob on the left. He rotates the knob slowly to the right and notices a needle moving to the right as well but the headphones are still quiet. Intently focused on the needle, Barney doesn't notice that the courthouse lights are dimming slightly as he continues to slowly turn the knob. With still no sound out of the headphones, he becomes impatient and quickly turns the knob all the way to the right. The needle disappears off the dial as the low hum quickly turns into a loud hum and the lights dim to yellow. A loud pop and flash come from the wall outlet and the courthouse plunges into darkness.

Barney jumps up and the headphones, stopped by the shortness of their wire, fly off his head and knock his hat onto the floor. Barney, for a few seconds unsure of what happened, realizes that a fuse has blown and sits back down in the dark. "That's what I get for buying Army Surplus," he sighs and leans back in the chair and closes his eyes. 28 As he drifts to sleep he thinks aloud, but, softly, "Maybe I can get Goober to fix it for me."

He starts to smell smoke, gets all panicky and fidgets around, then goes to the phone, "Sarah!, mayday!, Sarah!!, help". She answers him and he tells her he needs the fire department and quick. But, damage is only limited to smoke, fortunately. 29 In the midst of a now pitched black and smoke-filled courthouse is heard the “click” of the front door opening, followed by a familiar voice. “Yo, is anyone home...You in there Barn???” Barney looks up in the direction of Goober’s voice and replies, “Yeah Goober, I’m over here in the Sheriff’s chair. I know what yer gonna ask, so just DON’T ASK IT!!” There is a pause as Goober thinks of how to avoid the first thing that comes to mind, “Well, I wus just passin through when I noticed the lites flickerin’ on n' off... then go off in the courthouse. I got concerned when I saw the smoke comin’ out from under the door and all...” Barney retorts, “Forget it Goober, it was all just the result of a failed experiment designed to finally get us into the electronic age.” Goober relies, “Well it looks more like it got you into the Dark Ages instead there Barn...”

Barney smoulders along with the room, and after a short pause addresses Goober, “So you think you’re bein sarcastic, do ya?”

Goober, now confused, replies, “Well I don’t know nuthin about that Barn, but I do feel like I gotta cold comin’ on...”

“Just shut up and keep talkin’ Goober, so I can follow the sound of your voice to the door and breathe me some fresh air!!” 30 "Well, what do you want me to say?" Goober asked. "I don't care, anything, just talk!!", responded Barney. "Well, Gomer's comin' home on furlow, next month, can't wait to see him", says Goober. It's getting a little clearer now and Barney can make out Goober's sillouette. 31

Goober's monologue trickles down to a few syllables once the smoking outline of Barney's lean figure emerges from the door of the courthouse, exposed by the light of a pale moon. Goober is particularly distracted by the dishevelled appearance of Barney's hair that resembles an untended garden overgrown with weeds.

"Looks like you had a long day Barn!"

At around this time, Andy and the boys have checked into their hotel and have been getting acquainted with their room and it's view of downtown Raleigh. 32 “Oh boy, let’s order something from Room Service!” says Opie. “Now hold on there a minute Ope, this here isn’t one of those fancier hotels that has those kinda amenities. If you want room service, you’ll have to take some quarters with you down the hall to put into the vending machine.” Opie and Arnold then take some loose change from their pockets and head down the hallway. A few minutes later Andy lets them back in the room as Arnold complains about the machine only having stale danish and coffee cake, while Opie gets used to sipping pop out of a can rather than the more familiar bottles they use back home.

The next day finds Barney employing the services of Emmett to repair the new surveillance equipment and restore power to the courthouse. In the meantime, he deputizes Goober and Floyd as he enters Phase 2 of operations in his attempt to modernize Security in Mayberry. He stations metal detection booths at two key hot spots for crime, one at Mr. Melvin’s bank and two, the Jewelry Store. A line forms outside the bank as Barney and Goober make final preparations to take a bite out of any potential crime waiting to happen in Mayberry. In the process, Barney wakens Asa the security guard from his nap and gives him the day off. “Whad’ ya do that for Barn?” asks Goober. “Believe me Goober, we’ll be better off without old Rip Van Winkle in the way!” The booth and metal detectors now in place, Barney can’t help but be proud of his groundbreaking acheivement, “Mark my words Goober, Mayberry will someday go down in the anals of history as the birthplace of ‘Homeland Security’, and frankly I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the term stuck and became a household phrase in say twenty or thirty years!”

Mr. Melvin reluctantly cuts the ceremonial ribbon, allowing the first patron to enter the bank through the new security device, who happens to be old Judd. As Goober scans Judd with the detector, the alarm is triggered with a series of beeps. Barney asks Judd, “Do you have any metal on your person such as keys, the frames from your glasses, watch bands, etcetera etcetera? If so please remove them and place them in the container before passing through again...” Judd removes his watch and keys and attempts to pass through once more, but like before he trips off the alarm once again. “If you’re wearing a belt with a metal belt buckle, or such things as a gold chain and-or necklaces, possible shoe inserts, etcetera...please remove it!” Ten minutes go by as Judd is now reduced to his tee shirt, boxer shorts, and garters. Surely he should pass through this time without the dreaded alarm going off again. But alas, once again the alarm betrays Mayberry’s oldest citizen. By this time, the rest of the people standing in line are grumbling and growing restless, obviously unimpressed with this new devise designed to make their lives safe and more secure.

“I GOT IT!” says Judd, I forgot to take my teeth out that has a metal bridge in it!!” The riddle finally solved, Judd passes through - this time without a peep from the scanner. Barney now turns his attention to the next person in line, who of all people happens to be Aunt Bee!! By the look in her eye, Barney realizes this next one is not going to cooperate without a fight! 33 As Barney continues his test, in Raleigh, Helen relaxes by the outdoor pool, while Opie and Andy (with the other boys watching) are heavy into a competitive tennis match. "Pa, I'm kinda worried about this presentation, what if I get up there in front of a bunch of people and can't talk?", Opie casually says to Andy. 34 Gingerly, Aunt Bee steps thru the scanner and it starts beeping again. She ignores the sound and keeps walking. Barney runs up and starts to grab her arm. Bee whirls to face Barney and says, "Don't you dare!" She spears Barney with a stern look and stands tall and straight. "I will not stand here on the street and submit to this kind of treatment." Barney tries to get a word in but Bee turns her wrath on the banker. "Mr. Melvin! Is this how you treat loyal customers whom you've known for years? If it is, then I will find another bank to do business with." There was scattered applause and a "You tell 'em, Aunt Bee" from the crowd as Mr. Melvin stepped up to Bee. "Barney! Shut that thing off and get it out of here!" He lowered his voice. "I'm so sorry, Miss Bee. Nothing like this will ever happen again. Please let me escort you in and wait on you personally." He turned to the crowd. "Folks, this was all a mistake. I'm sorry you were inconvenienced. Please come inside and we will get you taken care of as fast as we can." He took Bee's arm and walked her into the bank with the rest of the crowd following. The scanner goes wild as people start passing thru it two and three at a time. It starts beeping so fast it sounds like a steady whistle. Mr. Melvin turns. "Barney! Get it out of here and I mean now!" Barney flips a switch and the whistling stops. He stands there, dejected. As the last of the crowd files into the bank, Goober says, "Well, where do you think we ort to put in now, Barn?"

"I know where I'd like to put it," Barney mumbles and Goober says, "What?"

"Nothin'! Come on Goober, let's get this thing out of here. We still have the other one set up and the jewelry store will open shortly."

With some effort and the hand truck that Goober borrowed from Wally, they move the machine to the shed behind the courthouse and get over to the jewelry store in time to explain their idea to Mrs. Sterling who is just opening up.

"Everyone that leaves has to walk thru the metal detector. If it beeps, you know they have something made of metal on them like a ring or bracelet. This will probably cut your theft rate in half, Mrs. Sterling," Barney says to the woman, who was undecided about the whole thing.

"I don't have a theft rate, Barney; we haven't had anything stolen since I've owned the store. Besides, didn't I just see this machine at the bank where all that commotion was half an hour ago? Did this machine cause that?"

"Mrs. Sterling, I can truthfully tell you that this here machine had absolutely nothing to do with that trouble over at the bank."

"Barn, thi-

Barney turned to Goober and made a face. "Shut up Goober!" he said, then turned back to the woman, who still wasn't buying Barney's plan.

"I don't think I need this thing, whatever it is, in front of my shop. I'd appreciate it if you would take it away. If I have any thefts, I know how to get in touch with you. Now I have to open up for business." She takes her key out of the lock and enters her shop, leaving Barney and Goober and their machine standing on the sidewalk. Barney's plans are shot down again.

"Let's put it with the other one, Goober," Barney says in defeat, and they dolly it to the courthouse. After they got it stowed Goober said he had to go to work and left. Barney went into the courthouse and sat at the desk and sighed. "Shortsighted, that's what they are, shortsighted. All of them." 35 Talking to himself out loud, Barney laments “They’re ALL so shortsighted, maybe we should just hire an Optimist to come in and have them all fitted for glasses! Maybe THAT’S what we oughtta do!!” A few seconds later the door opens as Floyd looks in, “Hi Barney. I thought I should come by to return the badge and hat!” Barney looks up, just leave them on the desk Floyd.” Floyd walks over to the Sheriff’s desk to deposit the remnants of his short stint as deputy. “It’s a real shame about what happened over at the bank and jewelry store Barney, a real shame...” Barney replies, “Yeah well, what else can ya do with a populace that is so shortsighted, that’s all there is to it Floyd! I mean, we’re living on the cusp of potentially dark and dangerous times ahead, where maybe someday sooner than we think - it’ll be Survival of the Fittest! And THEN Heaven forbid, something bad really does happen in this town... people might finally wake up and smell the coff...” At that moment Barney begins to look up toward the ceiling, his hunched shoulders now arched back and erect. Floyd, now totally lost trying to follow Barney’s train of thought, asks “What about the people Barney, what’re they gonna smell when they wake up?” Barney, now stoking the embers of a good idea replies, “A nice hot cup of java Floyd, served via courtesy of yours truly...Bernard P. Fife!” Looking very impressed, Floyd shakes Barney’s hand. “That’s awfully big of you to be treating everyone to coffee down at the Diner Barney, especially after what happened to you today.You’re a real Prince, do you know that? ...and I always thought you were such a cheapskate!!” Barney releases Floyd’s grip, “You have no idea what I’m talkin’ about, do you Floyd?” Clueless, Floyd shrugs his shoulders as Barney continues, “Well maybe Mayberry won’t feel so smug for once - if they find out what it’s really like to get caught with their guard down!!” 36

Later that evening, the back room at Wally's Filling Station finds Goober lying face up on his cot with legs crossed, flipping through the pages of an 'Archie and Veronica' comic book. Goober snickers "That Jughead, he sure is sumpthin' else!" He then looks up to see two spheres of light on his wall coming from the window, reflected from the headlights of some vehicle pulling into the station. This is soon followed by the sound of car tires kicking up gravel, a squeal, the slam of a car door, footsteps, and then a knock at the door. "Who is it?" Goober asks. "It's me Goober, Barney Fife. Open the door, I have something to discuss and it's pretty big!" Goober springs from his cot to unlatch the door as Barney enters. Goober points to a milk crate "Pull up a chair Barn an' make yourself at home." Barney stoops over to pick up a book sitting on top of the crate before he sits down and glances at the cover "So I see you're reading about how to pick up girls Goober." Goober's cheek leans into his shoulder, "Yeah..." Barney goes on "Well if you do something for me you can put away the book, maybe fer good!" Goober says "How's that?" Barney continues by asking "How would you like to go out on a real date with Juanita from the Blue Bird Diner?" Goober's jaw drops a few seconds before replying "Well, I ain't too sure if I'm reddy....but what would I have to do?" With that, Barney starts to unfold his plan to stage a fake robbery of Mr. Melvin's bank using Goober as the masked gunman. "But why can't you do it Barn?" Barney's eyes roll as he explains "Because they'd know it was me even with the best disguise...but they'd never expect somebody like you!" Goober thinks it over a minute. "But what about the security guard at the bank?" He might think I was a real bank robber an' take a shot at me!!" In a reassuring tone Barney replies "You mean ol' Asa? He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at ten paces, and that's on a clear day!" And besides, I can call him to the courthouse just before on a routine gun inspection. If he has any bullets left over from the Civil War in that old Smith and Wesson of his, I'll remove 'em and he won't be any the wiser!" Goober thinks it over, and after several minutes asks "And Juanita, she says she wouldn't mind goin' out with that what she thinks?" With confidence Barney replies "The cats Goober, she thinks you're the cats!"

Now excited, Goober says "I'll do it!!" 37

“But there’s one thing ya gotta remember Goober. If we’re gonna pull this thing off, ya can’t tell anybody anything about it. You’re sworn to secrecy. If word ever got out about it, it would nip this whole thing right in the bud!” Goober nods in agreement, “I unnerstand Barn. I won’t even mention it to cousin Gomer when I write him in the Marines...” Barney says “That’s good Goob. Now we’re both agreed... that zero hour will be at ten a.m. tomorrow?” Goober says “Right!” “...and that you’ll remember to wear the ski mask and gloves I'm gonna give ya to conceal your identity." Goober says "Right!" "...and that you'll be finished repairing Earl Gilly’s roadster by 9 so you can use it as the getway car?” Goober says “Right!” “...and that you’ll meet me in back of Jubel Foster’s barn after you leave the bank with the money?” Goober says “Right!” “...and that you’ll not say a word to anyone about this?” Goober says “Right!”

With that Barney asks Goober if he has any other questions. Goober asks, “When I hold up the bank, can I use my Edgar G. Robinson voice?” 38 Barney rolls his eyes and whispers, "Oh brother." "Huh Barn, can I? Please," Goober begs. "Okay! But you don't have to talk at all. I made a note for you to give to the teller. Here it is." Barney takes a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket, unfolds it and hands it to Goober. Goober looks at the 3x3 piece of paper torn from a pad that has something spelled out in letters cut out of a newspaper and pasted onto the notepaper. It says:

THiS Is a hOld u p

i have A Gun iN my PocKet

PutT all ThE moNey in the Bag

dO nOt sCream

Goober studies it for a minute before he speaks. "You mean I get to carry a gun!" That excites him. Barney snorts. "No! No! You aren't gettin a gun, Goober. That's just to scare the teller so she follows orders. And before you ask, here's the bag for the money, the gloves and ski mask." Barney stands and pulls a folded brown paper bag from his left back pocket, the mask from his right side pocket, and the gloves from his left side pocket and sits back down. He hands it all to Goober and adds, "Put the note in the bag and just hand the bag to the teller." Barney goes over the plan with him several more times, until he's satisfied Goober knows it inside and out, before saying goodnight and heading to Mrs. Mendelbrights. During the short drive home he thinks about Mr. Melvin and what happened that morning. "The shoe will be on the other foot tomorrow," he says under his breath.

Wednesday morning finds Barney sitting at the desk with the phone in front of him and the receiver to his ear. He smiles at something and several seconds later responds. "He did?...Both of them! Well that's great. I bet they're proud of that. You should get Opie a picture frame so he can mount his and hang it on his wall....yeah, I bet...well you should be." Barney's smile dissolves as he says, "What?...Oh sure, everything's fine here. NO, I haven't arrested anyone...Andy, everything is fine, I tell ya." Barney was getting testy. "No, don't do that...okay, I know...yes...I said yes." He looked up at the ceiling. "ALRIGHT! You just don't worry about it...I know, I'm sorry. Okay, until then. See ya." Barney hung up the receiver and stood up. "Sheesh! He can drive a body crazy."

The phone rang and Barney lifted the receiver. "Sheriff's office. Deputy Fife speaking. Oh, hi Sarah. What? I know I didn't tell him about what happened at the ba-" Barney's eyes widened and his voice shot up. "You were listening in again, weren't you, Sarah. You know darned good and well you're not supposed to be eavesdropping. I've got a good mind to call the telephone office and have you fired. SNOOP!" Barney slammed down the receiver and straightened up. He went into the bathroom and splashed water on his face to calm down. He combs his hair and as he puts his hat back on he notices a smudge on it and brushes it off. He thinks about how it must have gotten there and decides it was when he stepped on his cap the other night when the fuse blew. That reminds him that he still had to take up the wires around the office before Andy gets back tomorrow. 'There's plenty of time for that' he thinks as he exits the bathroom. As he walks back over to the desk he glances at his watch and sees that it's time to get Asa out of the bank.

39 Barney sits down in the sheriff’s chair and picks up the phone with his left hand while lifting the receiver in his right...”Sarah, let me have the bank...And I’d appreciate it very much if you just attended to YOUR OWN BUSINESS and stayed outta mine!!” As Barney waits for someone at the bank to pick-up, he props his feet up on the desk “Ba ba bumm bummp, bada dee dumm...” until a voice can be heard at the other end, “Hello?” Barney clears his throat as he draws closer to the phone, “Hello Harriet, did Asa Breeney get in yet? He did? Well then, could you please tell him to come to the phone, It’s official police business. Thanks Harriet.” Barney can hear Harriet’s brisk footsteps grow fainter as she walks to the other side of the bank. A good while passes before he hears the shuffling gait of Mayberry’s senior security guard approaching. “Hello, this is Asa speaking...” Barney removes his feet from the desk and onto the floor as he leans into the phone, “Hello Asa, this is Barney Fife over at the courthouse. I was just going over my records and noticed you’re overdue for a firearms inspection...” There’s a short pause at the other end before Asa replies, “I am??” Barney continues “Yes, as a matter of fact I believe we haven’t checked your revolver in close to 2 years now!” Having trouble recalling this, Asa replies “Ohhhh, it’s been that long?” Barney now attempts to refresh Asa’s failing memory, “Yes, don’t you remember the last time we took a look at came apart in several pieces just like Humpty Dumpty...and you had to take it to that Gunsmith in Mt. Pilot to put back together again?” Asa’s memory slowly begins to roll in like a wave at low tide, “Oh yeah, I remember now...the man said my gun belonged in the Smithsonian! And he had to soak my bullets in hydrocloric acid for over a week to remove all the mould!!” Barney recoils at the recollection, “Now look Asa, I don’t have all day to chat about old times. Just get yourself over here with the firearm so I can give it the proper check so I can recall, er...I mean re-install your bullets!!” With that, Asa feebly says “Okay Barney, I’ll be right over!” and hangs up.

Barney paces nervously back and forth for nearly 15 minutes before Asa finally comes through the door. With a trace of sarcasm in his voice, Barney tells him “If I knew it would take you this long ta get here, I would’ve painted the courthouse!!” Apologetically, Asa says “I’m sorry Barney, but I had to stop at the drugstore first and pick up my low-blood pressure medication!” Trying to calm himself, Barney goes on “All right c’mon in and sit down...and fer gosh sakes don’t trip on any of those wires!” Asa slowly tip-toes over the maze of wires until he finds his way to a waiting chair. Barney extends an outstretched hand to receive the ancient weapon as Asa gently places it into it. “Just wait here Asa while I take it into the backroom for an official inspection...” Once in the backroom and away from Asa’s prying eye, Barney opens the gun chamber and blows through it, sending a billowing cloud of dust through the air. He then holds it upside down and shakes loose 4 dingy and unevenly shaped pellets - which only vaguely resemble bullets. Upon closer inspection, Barney thinks to himself how they look more like the extracted molars one would expect to find at the dentist office... 40 Thinking out loud, Barney comments to himself that the four slugs would look more suitable in the webbing of a child's slingshot than in the barrel of a gun. He proceeds to pick them up and deposits them next to a bottle of aspirin in the top drawer of the back room's nightstand. Spinning the rusted barrel, he clicks it back into place and proceeds to return the gun to it's rightful owner. "Everything checks out Asa. Just don't open the gun's chamber since I adjusted everything just right and wouldn't want you ta throw it out of alignment..." Asa says "ok Barney." Barney adds "And remember to come back tomorrow for a follow-up re-inspection!" Asa asks "Why so soon?" Not wanting to disclose the real reason, Barney explains "Because I should have my tool kit by then, and there are a few screws loose that have to be tightened!" Talking to himself, Asa comments "Ya can say that again!" Barney quips, "You say somethin' Asa?" Asa replies, "Nothing, I just said I'm glad I don't have to 'pay to have it fixed' !" Although still skeptical, Barney buys it before asking "You don't have any other bullets besides these four, do ya?" Asa scratches the back of his head and says "I did have one more..." Barney prods "And???" Asa continues, "I used it to start the potato sack race at the County Fair back in the summer of '48!" Barney mutters "Oh brother..." Asa goes on, "But I'd gladly trade in all my bullets for your one Barney. I always said you had the prettiest bullet in the whole county!!" With that, Barney tells Asa that he's now officially "dismissed" and that he return to his post at Mr. Melvin's Bank ASAP! 41 Twenty minutes after Asa goes to the courthouse for his firearms inspection, Goober parks a small car at the curb in front of the bank. He turns away and slumps down in the seat as someone passes then quickly puts the mask and gloves on. He looks around to make sure the coast is clear, takes a big breath to get his courage up and jumps out of the car and goes into the bank. Goober is pleased to see the bank is empty as he walks up to the nearest teller who is busy writing. When she looks up her eyes widen and her jaw drops at the sight of the masked man.

Goober pulls the bag out of his pocket and shoves it thru the opening in the glass divider. The teller just stands there frozen. "There's a note-" Goober forgot to use his Edward G. Robinson voice so he starts again. "Read the note in the bag." The teller finally moves and opens the bag and takes out the note. She reads it and then tries to look at the man's pockets but can't because the counter is too high. She starts to tremble slightly as she looks into the man's eyes for a second. "I just came on and haven't gotten my money yet," she explains. Her voice trembles too. "I'll have to go into the vault. Should I do that?" "Yo, I mean go get the money now." The woman's brow knits and she looks at the man's eyes again. "Goober, is that you?...It is you! What in the-" Goober cuts her off. "It's not me, I mean it's not Goober. Who's Goober?" The gangster impersonation is gone. "I'm getting the manager," the teller says, her fear gone, and walks away. Goober looks around wildly then turns and runs out of the bank, leaving the bag and note.

He jumps into the car and pulls the door closed. He digs into his pocket for the key, with some trouble because of the gloves, pulls it out and tries to insert it into the ignition but between the gloves and his hand shaking he can't seem to find the hole. He continues to fumble with the key until he drops it, at which point he yells a "Golldern it!" at the ignition. He reaches to the floor for the key but can't find it because he can't feel it. He finally gives up and flings the door open and jumps out. He leaps onto the sidewalk and starts running down to the courthouse thinking 'Barney'll know what to do.' Mr. Melvin comes out of the bank in time to see the masked man running down the sidewalk. Not wanting to leave his bank unprotected, he doesn't follow but does notice that the man slows at the courthouse.

Goober bursts into the courthouse and runs into Asa and almost knocks him down. Asa regains his balance and starts to say something but stops when he sees a masked and gloved man standing there looking at him. Barney, seeing Goober, takes charge. "Asa! I told you to go back to the bank. Git! Now!" He extends his arm and points in the direction of the bank. Looking confused, Asa says, "Okay Barney, I'm going," and exits the courthouse, closing the door behind him.

Barney turns and stares at Goober, who tries to explain. "I didn't...there wasn't any...Barney, she recognized me." "Who recognized you?" Barney snaps and has the foresight to lock the courthouse door. "Harriet Coombs." Barney frowned. "How did she recognize you? I don't recognize you." "She was the teller so I had to give her the bag." "Why did you pick a teller you know, Goober? What's wrong with you?" The door knob rattles as someone tries to open the door. A few seconds later there is pounding on the door and a voice. "Barney, open up. What's going on in there?" Barney grimaces and in a low voice says, "It's Mr. Melvin. Goober, go into the bathroom and close the door. Now!" "Okay, Barn," Goober whispers back and starts for the bathroom. "And take that darn mask and gloves off," Barney calls out softly. He collects himself before he unlocks and opens the door.

42 In a subdued tone of voice Barney looks out and says “Come on in Mr. Melvin n’ have a seat. Oh, and be careful not to trip over any of them wires...” Mr. Melvin enters, and in a demanding voice makes his plea “Barney Fife, would you be so kind as to grant me some kind of an explanation for what exactly is going on around here? And where’s Goober??” Barney fumbles for the right words to explain this latest bizarre and unanticipated turn of events, “Well ya see Mr. Melvin, it was like this...”

At that precise moment, both Barney and Mr. Melvin are startled by the loud sound of a car backfiring outside, followed by the screeching of tires, and commotion of people starting to gather at the scene. Barney peers through the blinds in time to spot someone behind the wheel of Goober’s aborted getaway car driving at a high rate of speed, and wearing what appears to be ladie’s pantyhose pulled down completely over his head, with both nylon legs trailing and flapping in the wind. Standing on the corner just outside the bank are tellers Harriet Coombs, Dolores Prichard, Asa the security guard, and a handful of Mayberry’s more recognizable citizens and curious onlookers. On instinct, Barney makes a mad dash out of the courthouse, nearly getting run over by a passing pickup truck as he races to the scene of the crime, with Mr. Melvin bringing up the rear a good twenty paces behind. Panting heavily and gasping for breath, Barney asks for someone to volunteer information about what had just happened. Harriet speaks up first, “Well it all started when Goober came in here pretending to be a bank robber, passing me this phoney note that told me to put all of the money in his little bag. As soon as I recognized him, he lost his nerve and ran out of here like a scared jack rabbit! Well, while he was outside trying to get his car started, he jumped out and ran down the street when he seen Mr. Melvin coming...” Barney asks “Yeah OK, then what happened?” Harriet goes on, “When Mr. Melvin walked outside the bank, this other man just appeared out of nowhere, wearing a sheer stocking cap pulled down over his face and headed for Dolores’s window where he demanded all of her money!” Barney turns to Dolores, “So what did'ya do Dolores?” Dolores Prichard replies “I laughed in his face after what had just happened before...because I thought it was you Barney!” Slightly mortified, Barney asks, “And when did you realize that he wasn’t?” Dolores pauses for a second and says “When he pointed his weapon and I could see that he had more than just one bullet!” During this part of Barney’s interrogation, Asa speaks out, “I drew my gun to take a shot at him Barney, but for some odd reason there was no bang...just a couple of clicks! It’s hard to figure, especially since you just passed me on the firearms inspection!?” Barney quickly tries to draw attention away from Asa’s incriminating story by asking the tellers for a physical description of the gunman. Dolores Prichard obliges by stating that “He was about your height Barney, although more stockily built. And he wore a green hunting jacket with maroon colored slacks, and of course that woman’s panty hose stretched over his head that scrunched up his face and made him difficult to describe.” Harriet adds, “And after he stuffed his bag with the cash, he walked out and got into the sports car that the first robber, I mean Goober left parked outside. He was bent over as though he was looking for something...” Barney says “Something like maybe the car key?” Harriet says “Yeah, that would make sense!” Meanwhile Mr. Melvin’s state of confusion only adds to his growing impatience, “And how does all this tie in with what you were trying to tell me back in the courthouse Barney?” Backed into a corner and on the defensive, Barney announces “Well if you must know, I recruited Goober to stage a phoney hold-up ONLY TO SERVE AS A WAKE-UP CALL in the event there ever was a real emergency!” “So are you trying to say this last robbery was not part of your act?” asks Mr. Melvin. “Well Mr. Melvin, I’m sorry to say this last one appears to have been the ‘real deal’...BUT mind you just the kinda thing we was trying to prepare you for!!”

With that a heckler from the crowd blurts out “...Yeah, but probaly never would’a happened if you hadn’t rolled out the red carpet and handed a common thief our life savings on a silver platter!!” Sensing the growing restlessness of the crowd, Barney attempts to break it up by ordering everyone to return to their homes and places of business while the case of “the Pantyhose Bankrobber” is pending further investigation. But somehow in the middle of all this he finds himself backpedaling to the sanctuary of the courthouse, whereupon he locks the door behind him and joins Goober in the bathroom. With eyes wide he turns to Goober and says, “What we got here is a situation!” 43 Goober looks Barney square in the eye and asks “Does this mean I don’t get a real date with Juanita?” With veins bulging and teeth clenched Barney responds with “You’ve got to be kidding!” He tries to compose himself long enough to try to figure what Andy would do in this predicament? He gets an idea... “The car, that’s it!” Goober asks “How’s that Barn?”

“The car Goober, the car. You were working on it the whole time leading up the bank robbery that you botched...what was the make, model, year, license plate number???”

Goober’s pupils disappear under his eye brows for a few seconds as he tries to recall the answers to Barney’s questions. As the answers come, his eyeballs slowly descend “ was a 1957 Studebaker with a Paxton Supercharger V-8 engine, license plate number...HLW...463 I think.” Barney reaches for a notepad and writes down the information. “Who’s car was it?” he asks. Goober starts to look worried as he begins to realize how mad the owner will be when he discovers his car stolen, “It was Earl Gilly’s car that he brought in about a week ago. Let’s see...I had to adjust the carburetor, install a rebuilt intake manifold, new coil-over shocks, and...” Goober pauses. Barney looks up from his notebook “Go on Goober!” Goober starts to dread as he suddenly remembers something important he forgot to do to the roadster... “Gilly’s really gonna kill me now, even if we find the car! I only spot welded the replacement front axle. I guess I got all excited about bein' a bank robber an' using my Edward G.Robinson voice, besides winning a real date with a...’girl’...that I forgot to finish welding the job!?” Barney is still writing down the information about the intake manifold when he suddenly pauses and slowly looks up from the pad to Goober. “What was that last part you just said?” Goober repeats himself “The front axle...I forgot to weld it. If that should fall off, Gilly’s gonna kill me for sure...that’s if if he don’t kill me for borrowing the car and then it bein’ stolen!” Barney then asks Goober “Give me an educated guess ...about how long would you say Gilly’s front axle will last before it breaks off?” Goober replies “Well let’s just hope that don’t never happen, cause if it does...he’s gonna kill me...” Barney snaps “GOOBER JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION!” Goober says, “In about no more’n 5 miles.” With the bare essential information, Barney turns his attention to the newly restored Army surplus ham radio on the other side of the room, and as he walks towards it... trips over the wires.


"Careful a'them wires Barn." says Goober as Barney picks himself up off the floor and dusts himself off. It would appear that his pride is slightly more bruised than his shins. Goober rambles on about the spotty welding job "Of course that axle could come clear off even sooner if the car goes over a bump or through a pothole! Just like one time I remember when Elmer Carson drove his Chevy right through a big one that used to be over on Spring Street and near lost his whole front end..." Barney stews "Just do me a favor Goober and get a roll of duct tape to cover over some of these wires. And if ya have a piece leftover, tape it over that pietrap of yours!"

45 Barney points to a roll on the small table that holds the water crock. "There's a roll right there, Goober." As Goober goes for it his foot catches the same wire that Barney tripped on, only Goober doesn't fall. The wire gives and the ham radio slides off the desk and hits the floor with a loud crash and glass and plastic fly halfway across the room. "Dagone! Looks like I did it now," Goober says sheepishly and looks at Barney, who just stands there with his hands on his hips and shakes his head.

Barney calms down enough to say to himself, "I've go to get out of here." Raising his voice, he says, "Goober, I've got a job for you. I want you to pick up all these wires and roll 'em up nice and neat and take 'em out to the shed along with that radio over there. When you finish that, sweep up all the broken glass and put it in the trashcan. Do you think you can do all that?" "I'll do it!" Goober grins and starts to move. "I ain't finished yet! After you dispose of the glass, you can go back to the garage. If Gilly's there tell him his car was stolen and I'm out lookin' for it. Now I'm finished." Barney started for the door. "Do I have to go back to the garage. I don't want to see Gilly or Wally. I ort to tell Wally what happened but I can call him from here. Can't I just stay here while you're gone?" Barney stopped but didn't turn around. "Okay Goober, you can stay, but lock the door and don't answer the phone. Lock the door as soon as I leave." Barney pulls the door open as Goober says, "Yo."

As Barney eases away from the curb he had decided to call on an old friend to help him in his time of need and in just a few minutes he turns onto Beech St. and at the fourth mailbox turns into the driveway of a freshly painted green bungalow with white trim. He kills the engine and gets out as the front door opens and an attractive woman about 60 steps out onto the stoop. She's wearing a bright yellow print dress with little blue polka dots and a pair of white sneakers. "Barney, is that you?" she asks and adjusts her glasses. "The one and only," Barney replies with a laugh and leans in for a big hug and finds she smells like flowers. "How've you been Marge? You're lookin' good." She smiles again and touches her hair. "Well I'm glad somebody noticed; Wendell sure didn't. I just got back from the beauty parlor. Come on in." Marge goes inside and Barney follows her thru the neat living room into the small kitchen and stops at a dinette table. Marge goes to a counter and opens a cupboard. "Can I get you some coffee, Barney?" "Oh, no thanks, I can't stay; I'm on patrol. Is Wendell around? I could use his help with somethin' I'm working on." Marge closes the cupboard and says, "He's out in the shed playin' with his radio. Just go on out."

Barney sticks his head in the doorway of a small wooden structure tacked onto the back of a utility room. In the dim light he can make out a head of bushy white hair that's oddly shaped, a full white beard and a white undershirt. When his eyes adjust he sees a man sitting at a table cluttered with equipment. The man smiles and beckons him in. He takes off his headphones and stands. "Barney Fife, how the heck are you?" He extends a hand and they shake. "Fine, Wendell, just fine." Barney sits down on a stool that Wendell pulls out from under the table. "What can I do for you , Barney?" "I'm looking for a stolen car and I was wondering if you could ask your group to keep an eye out for it." "You're talking about Gilly's car aren't you? It's all over the network, I mean the robbery and all, and we're way ahead of you, Barney. In fact, if you hadn't stopped by I would have called you at the courthouse to give you some good news." Barney about jumped out of his seat. "You don't know how happy I am to hear that. I can't remember the last time I heard any. Lay it on me, I'm all ears." Barney leaned in close as Wendell told his tale.

Thirty minutes later Barney is happier than he's been in a week. When he leaves the Thorntons he heads straight over to Earl Gilly's place. Before he can knock on the door he hears Gilly yell for him to come in. Barney enters. Gilly is sitting on a couch with a Mason jar in his hand. It's half full of a clear liquid. He takes a sip. "You want a belt, Barney?" "No thanks, I'm on duty. Where's the money, Gilly?" Slowly, the man looks over to a bag sitting on the floor in a corner. Barney pick up the bag and opens it. His eyes widen at the sight of that many bills. "It's all there. I haven't spent a cent; ain't had time to. How'd you know it was me?" "I'll tell you sometime. Stand up, Gilly, we've got to go." "I don't think I can walk, Barney." "Sure you can; I'll help you. You're not going to give me any trouble are you?" Gilly shakes his head. Barney takes the jar and sets it on the table next to the couch and helps Gilly to his feet.

Back at the courthouse, Gilly is asleep in cell number one and Barney and Goober have just finished counting the money. "Six thousand four hundred and twenty-eight dollars. Six thousand four hundred and twenty-eight dollars. Sixty-four hundred an-" Goober! Stop it!"


Goober looks up from counting the money to cell number one where Gilly is leaning against the bars "Sorry I took the car out before I had a chance to finish welding the axle Gilly. How's she runnin', is she runnin' okay?" Barney interrupts and scolds Goober "NO FRATERNIZING WITH THE PRISONERS! ...Besides, you don't owe anyone who breaks the law an apology." Barney bends over to place all the money in a satchel, then looks up at Earl Gilly. "I just don't get it...why did ya rob the bank today of all days, then use your own car as the getaway vehicle?" Gilly turns his back to face the opposite wall as Barney tries his best to pry a confession out of him, "I'll let you in on a little secret Earl. If you come clean and play ball with may go a long way towards reducin' your sentence!" A minute of silence passes before Barney warns "Now me an' Goober are goin to return the money here to Mr. Melvin at the bank, and while we're gone I want you to think serious about what I said a minute ago. C'mon Goober." With that, Barney has Goober hold open the door as he grasps the satchel containing the sixty four hundred and twenty eight dollars with one hand, at the same time fumbling in his pants for the keys to the squad car with the other. As he pulls them out he looks back at Gilly and says, "You remember what I said now!" 47 Staggering under the weight of the bag full of money, Barney tells Goober to open the trunk of the squad car in order to deposit the heavy load. Once opened, Barney drops it in like a sack of Idaho potatoes and then slams the trunk. It takes him several minutes for his body to return to it's normal position and for his now stooped shoulders to straighten out. He thinks to himself how he should seriously consider paying a visit to that new Cairo-prackter on Elm Street. "This old chassy ain't what it used to be. It may be time for me to treat myself to a tune-up!" Thinking Barney is talking about the squad car, Goober replies "You just c'mon down to the fillin' station Barn. Wally's got a special goin' on this month for only $19.99. An for another ten dollers, maybe I could talk him into givin you a front end alignment too!" Barney rolls his eyes before he orders Goober to get into the back seat of the squad car. With lights flashing and siren wailing at full tilt, they escort their cargo approximately 75 yards across the street to Mr. Melvin's bank. 48

By the time Barney has manhandled the satchel out of the trunk and dropped it on the road behind the car, several townsfolk have gathered to see what's going on. Even though they aren't in the way, Barney steps over to them and, spreading his arms wide, yells, "ALL RIGHT, STEP BACK EVERYONE. THIS IS OFFICIAL POLICE BUSINESS. GO ON ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, THERE'S NOTHING TO SEE HERE." He turns to look at Goober. "GOOBER, CARRY THAT SATCHEL INTO THE BANK," and watches him as he carries the bag into the bank. When he turns back to the crowd, the only one there is little Leon, who is looking up at Barney, a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his hand and a smear of jelly on his cheek. Without a word, he offers the sandwich to Barney, who declines. "No thanks, Leon. You run along now." Leon walks off and Barney enters the bank.

Barney finds Goober in Mr. Melvin's office where the banker is sorting the money into piles of the same denomination and amount. Goober and Barney both marvel at how quickly he handles the bills and in just a few minutes he says, "Sixty-four twenty-eight. Good, it's all here." He looks up at Barney. "Do you have a receipt for me to sign, Barney?" "I do." Barney pulls a slip of paper out of his shirt pocket and hands it to the man who reads it, then signs it and hands it back. "Anything else?" "Now that you have your money back, Mr. Melvin, I'll take that bag and mask?" Melvin eyes Barney and Goober for several seconds before deciding, then pulls open a drawer and brings out the items and hands them over to Barney, who thanks him. "So it was Earl Gilly who stole the money?" "Yep. He's in jail right now. I'm going to interrogate him as soon as I get back." "What's going to happen to him?" "Well, that's for a judge or jury to decide, but probably a stretch in prison." "You mean he won't serve his time right here?" "Well, he could. We would just put him under maximum security." "How do you do that?" "We put the cell keys in the drawer."

With that statement Barney's eyes went wide as saucers. "We have to go. C'mon Goober." Barney turned and almost ran out of the bank as Goober and Melvin stood there dumbfounded. When he hit the sidewalk he run all the way to the courthouse and burst thru the door only to see Gilly sitting up on the bunk. Barney heaved a deep sigh of relief and wiped the sweat from his brow. "He almost got away, Barn, but I walked in on him as he was unlocking the cell," said a familiar voice. Barney whirled to the sight of Andy sitting at the desk. "Andy, am I ever glad to see you," Barney says and walks over and shakes his hand.

49 "So when did you get back from Raleigh Ange?" Andy replies, "Oh I'd say a little over an two hours ago. We unpacked our things and had an early supper with Aunt Bee..." Still having a hard time containing his relief at the sight of Andy standing there, Barney exclaims "And you didn't even call ahead to let me know you was comin' in sonofagun!" With that, Barney extends his right arm and playfully taps Andy's shoulder with the side of his fist. Andy then goes on, "And she gave me a real good update on some of the things that have been goin on around here while we was gone, so I thought I should come down to the courthouse and see firsthand for myself." Barney clears his throat, and now speaking more softly replies "Yeah, um well, ah....we had some problem with a security breech at the bank while we was tryin' to modernize..." Andy cuts Barney short with a look of almost astonished bewilderment, asking "How Barney? By bribing Goober with a date with Juanita so you could get him to stick-up the bank? By setting up metal detectors to harass people at the bank and jewelry store, like having old Judd stripped almost naked right down to his boxer shorts? By almost burning down the courthouse after rigging miles of faulty surplus wiring?..." Surprised the cat was let out of the bag over this last charge, Barney shoots back "HOW'D YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THAT ONE???" "Oh I ran into Emmett on the way over and he told me all about it!" Barney says "YEAH WELL, you gotta admit we did a job job of coverin'...ah I mean CLEANIN' it up though. And before you get your jaw muscles all worked up again, look at the positive exposin' the chink in our armor we was in a better position to bait a legitimate lawbreaker, track him down an' bring him to justice, WITH I might add...ALL the money retreived and returned to the bank!" Andy counters "Well if you'd left things alone to start with without tryin' to meddle an' fix what wasn't broken, none of this would've ever happened in the first place! I mean it Barney, sometimes you beat know that?!" With that, Andy turns and briskly walks to the backroom. "YEAH WELL, I WAS ONLY TRYIN' TO GET PEOPLE IN THIS TOWN TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE SO THEY'D KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE'S A REAL EMERGENCY!" With no response from Andy, Barney is left muttering to himself and the prisoner in cell number one, who is sound asleep "Try to introduce people to the realities of living in the 20th Century, and what do ya get for all your trouble...nothing but HEARTACHES!!" 50

As Barney vents, he spins around to see Goober standing in the doorway. "How long you been standing there Goober?" Goober answers "Since the part where you said sumpthin about 'waking up an smellin some coffee'...I was just wondering Barn, is that regular or decaf?" Barney stiffens up "Goober this is not a good time for triviality so you'd better have a good reason for being here..." Goober answers "Well I was just follerin you back to the courthouse from the bank when I notice you was runnin an drop these..." As Goober holds up a black bag in one hand and ski mask in the other, he catches a glimpse of the sheriff smoking a cigarette in the back room. "HEY ANDY...NICE HAVIN YA BACK WHERE YOU BELONG!" Andy replies "Hey Goober, nice to be back." Not knowing what else to say, Goober remarks "I'm sorry about gettin cold feet robbin the bank...Barney said..." Suddenly Barney breaks in "Don't you think it's about time you returned to the filling station Goober?" as he ushers him out the door "You wouldn't want Wally wonderin what happened to ya now would ya?" and shuts the door behind him. As he does, Andy enters the room and hands Barney the jail keys "I have to check in with the mayor and run a few errands. Do you think you can keep these out of Gilly's reach while I'm gone?" 51 "I'll put them in the drawer right now. Ange, the squad car is down at the bank." Andy gives him a look. "Is there anything else I need to know?" "No, that's it," Barney replies and Andy heads for the back stairs to see the mayor. Barney pulls open a desk drawer to drop the keys in, then sits for a long time sulking. Finally he gets to thinking about the schemes he's concocted over the years, not just those of the last two days, and realizes he has done some pretty crazy things and deserved the admonishments from Andy.

So lost in thought was Barney that he didn't realize Andy was back until he heard his voice coming from the back room. "Do you want some coffee, Barn?" "Huh! Oh sure, Ange. Thanks." Barney moved to the smaller chair as Andy brought two cups of coffee and set them on the desk then sat and got comfortable. The two sit quietly for a few minutes sipping coffee before Barney speaks. "I did it again, didn't I, Ange?" "Yeah, you did it again." "Why do I always mess up like this?" "I'd say because you act before you think. You need to ask yourself if the results you want are going to come about from the actions you take. Sometimes that takes a lot of thinkin' and you would rather act than think. That's when you get into trouble." "Well, after all, I am a man of action, Ange, you know that, but I'm gonna think before I act next time." "That's the time. Here's something you can think about right now-which one of us is going to spend the night here now that we got a prisoner? Now I've been out of town for three days and haven't seen my family for a while, so I think you shou-" "Me! I've been here working hard to keep Mayberry crime free while you were in Raleigh livin' it up." "Livin' it up!? Do you know how many workshops I had to go to, how many speeches I had to hear? And I came home a day early. Tomorrow is all the fun stuff an..."




Barney eventually gives in and agrees to spend the night at the courthouse, allowing Andy to unwind from his 3-day trip to Raleigh.

The following morning aunt Bee is serving eggs and sausage at the breakfast table as Andy enters the room and pours himself a cup of coffee. Aunt Bee comments how considerate it was of Barney to spend the night at the courthouse, giving Andy the extra time to rest and be with them. Andy pulls up a chair "Yeah, that man can be real impulsive at times...but he makes up for it in other ways." Opie asks "What's 'im-pul-sive' mean Paw?" "Oh it's when somebody like Barney goes ahead and does things first without thinking about the consequences, and usually winds up getting himself and other people in a heap a'trouble." Opie digests the concept along with his sausage "Hmm. Do you think Barney will ever learn how not to be that way?" "Well Ope, Barney and me had a long talk about that yesterday at the courthouse, and I think he may finally have learned how important it is to think first before you act, and to weigh the consequences of your actions if you don't!" Opie adds "It's kinda like lookin' before you leap, huh Paw?" Andy says "Thats'a time son, you got it!"

Later as Andy enters the courthouse, he is startled to find both jail cells empty. With panic in his eyes he calls for Barney, and shortly thereafter Barney enters the room holding a cup of coffee. "Barney, are you aware that Gilly's not in his cell?" Looking smug, Barney says "Andy don't worry about a thing, the situation is well under control..." "What in tarnation are you talkin about?" Andy asks.

Barney puts down his coffee and says "Just trust me for once" as he beckons Andy to follow him to the back entrance. Once they exit the back door, Andy can't believe his eyes. Parked behind the courthouse is Earl Gilly's 1957 Roadster complete with makeover - a fresh coat of black and white paint, mounted lights on the roof, and side door emblem with deputy insignia. "YOU DIDN'T!!?" "Now wait a minute Ange, believe me this'll work out in the best interest of the department and the town as a whole. Ya see, we needed the extra patrol car for the longest time, an' Gilly put a deal on the table last night where he used the collateral from the vehicle to post bail. I had Travis down at the body shop do a custom paint job on it early this morning. So ya see... there's no losers an we're all winners!!"


1. Allan ( posted 13:54:49 12/08/03.
2. Meadowlark ( posted 14:22:39 12/09/03.
3. Dustin ( posted 17:44:06 12/15/03.
4. Howard Sprague ( posted 18:08:08 12/15/03.
5. Dustin ( posted 05:15:49 12/17/03.
6. Howard Sprague ( posted 07:20:59 12/17/03.
7. Dustin ( posted 11:26:14 12/17/03.
8. Meadowlark ( posted 12:57:50 12/17/03.
9. Howard Sprague ( posted 06:13:35 12/18/03.
10. Dustin ( posted 07:43:17 12/18/03.
11. Howard Sprague ( posted 13:19:34 12/18/03.
12. Dustin ( posted 18:38:13 12/18/03.
13. Meadowlark ( posted 19:06:16 12/18/03.
14. Dustin ( posted 21:12:38 12/18/03.
15. Howard Sprague ( posted 15:25:51 12/20/03.
16. Meadowlark ( posted 19:47:09 12/20/03.
17. Leonard Blush ( posted 17:20:50 12/21/03.
18. Howard Sprague ( posted 14:37:16 12/24/03.
19. Dustin ( posted 20:39:29 12/24/03.
20. Meadowlark ( posted 13:48:21 12/26/03.
21. Dustin ( posted 04:28:16 12/28/03.
22. Leonard Blush ( posted 13:15:13 12/29/03.
23. Dustin ( posted 19:20:03 12/30/03.
24. Don Leonard ( posted 15:07:08 01/02/04.
25. Dustin ( posted 19:53:42 01/03/04.
26. Leonard Blush ( posted 19:13:35 01/07/04.
27. Dustin ( posted 17:55:45 01/08/04.
28. Howard Sprague ( posted 17:37:22 01/10/04.
29. Dustin ( posted 21:15:44 01/10/04.
30. Meadowlark ( posted 09:38:29 01/11/04.
31. Dustin ( posted 18:55:08 01/11/04.
32. Leonard Blush ( posted 19:37:36 01/14/04.
33. Don Leonard ( posted 02:38:53 01/15/04.
34. Dustin ( posted 06:08:38 01/15/04.
35. Howard Sprague ( posted 10:39:58 01/18/04.
36. Don Leonard ( posted 10:12:06 01/19/04.
37. Leonard Blush ( posted 14:38:14 01/20/04.
38. Meadowlark ( posted 14:15:40 01/23/04.
39. Howard Sprague ( posted 13:10:14 01/24/04.
40. Don Leonard ( posted 14:29:26 01/25/04.
41. Leonard Blush ( posted 22:21:28 01/25/04.
42. Howard Sprague ( posted 12:02:49 01/26/04.
43. Don Leonard ( posted 18:56:04 01/27/04.
44. Leonard Blush ( posted 20:41:42 01/29/04.
45. Leonard Blush ( posted 09:13:59 02/01/04.
46. Howard Sprague ( posted 19:45:01 02/01/04.
47. Meadowlark ( posted 13:17:00 02/05/04.
48. Don Leonard ( posted 06:47:16 02/07/04.
49. Howard Sprague ( posted 12:14:21 02/10/04.
50. Don Leonard ( posted 19:02:26 02/11/04.
51. Leonard Blush (Netcoaster posted 18:42:59 02/13/04.
52. Howard Sprague ( posted 04:44:42 02/17/04.
53. Don Leonard ( posted 03:46:45 02/18/04.

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