Thursday, November 5, 2015

There was a TV show
in the 1960s
about a fellow named Gomer Pyle.
It was a comedy.
The first season began with boot camp
in a fenced-in concrete compound
with rows of identical cots
for the men - all men - to sleep.
Gomer was just out of Mayberry
a little southern town
on the Andy Griffith Show.
One sheriff, one deputy,
one barber, one teacher,
one son, one aunt
and a car mechanic with a son named Gomer.

Somehow, Gomer ends up in boot camp with his own show, and he keeps flunking this and that because all he knows about life is fishing and church and home cooking and repairing tractors in an old tree shaded barn and such. His sargent now at boot camp yells at him a whole lot. 'Golly,' says Gomer and 'Shazam, shazam, shazam!' he says.

Boot camp normally doesn't last forever, but Gomer Pyle is so popular on TV that boot camp lasts year after year. The same fenced-in camp. The same sit-ups and push-ups. The same cots without a wrinkle permitted. It was just a television show, but I think as the seasons flowed by, the viewers hoped for something more for their favorite sarge and private.

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