This isn't Mayberry after all.
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Sheriff Ray Thinks He’s Sheriff Andy Of Mayberry But No One Else Does
Sheriff Ray got a call telling him there was a fight going on at Paul’s Bar. He thought about calling one of his deputies to handle it since he didn’t like to get too close to violence. He was in this business for the money. Then he decided to handle it himself since these bar fights usually ended when a badge walked in. Also, the bar was right across the street from his office. It might not look right for the fight to end before a deputy got there while he sat across the street. Sheriff Ray liked to think of himself as being like Sheriff Andy from Mayberry. He grew up watching reruns of the show and liked the way Andy handled things the way he did. Sheriff Ray had never been able to do that but he still wanted people to think of him that way.
He walked out and looked at the men fighting thirty feet away. It was Big Bear Bobby Bennett and Crafty Cunning Carl Cooper. They were both mean and big. Neither of them had much common sense but that didn’t seem to make any difference in the way they acted. Doc Hemmer told Ray they were nuts and that was that. When Ray pointed out to Doc that he wasn’t supposed to comment like that the doc said, “Bullshit. I’m not a psychiatrist but those two are nuts.”
Bear made his fame the day he rolled into town with a bear in the bed of his truck. Nothing unusual in that. This was bear country and the locals liked to hunt bear. They always brought the dead bear to Hank’s Groceries. Hank was the only one around could skin and butcher a bear correctly. You could always tell when he had one due to the smell. You could smell a dead bear from miles away.
Bear Bennett parked his truck and went in to see Hank. Millie Pearlman was walking by the truck when the bear stood up. Millie didn’t scream but wet her pants. Dudie Smalls did scream though. This brought a crowd that soon dispersed when the bear started looking for a way out of the truck. Deputy Sheriff Wayne Mullins had no choice but shoot the bear as a public menace.
Bear Bennett came out of Hank’s to see what the shooting was all about and yelled at Mullins. “Hey, if I wanted that there bear killed I a done it myself.”
Mullins told him, “You’re lucky I don’t shoot you as a public service.”
“Yea? Mighty big talk you holdin’ a rifle and all.”
“Bear, I am holding a rifle. Don’t let that slip by you.”
Sheriff ray came across and asked Bennett what he was doing with a live bear and how he caught it. “Why, I was a walkin’ in the woods and this ole bear rears up and roars at me. No one and nothing roars at me and me stand there and take it. So, I punched it a good one. I got some poles and rolled it into my truck. I stopped here at Hank’s to see if he knew how I could make a pet of it. Guess that don’t matter none now. Hank can skin it and butcher it for me now.” He shot Deputy Mullins a bad look when he said that.
“I wasn’t huntin’ him. He seemed ta be huntin’ me. I was only defendin’ myself. Man gotta right to do that, don’t he?”
“Listen Bear, I could arrest you for hunting out of season. You know that?,"Mullins said.
Mullins looked at Sheriff Ray and saw Ray shrug. The damned idiot had them at that.
“The law also says I can claim it as long as I report it. I’m reporting it.”
As Bear walked away Sheriff Ray told Deputy Mullins, “See. Took care of the problem without violence just like Sheriff Andy of Mayberry.” All Mullins could think was he was glad not be Barney Fife.
Carl Cooper got tagged with Crafty Cunning by selling things that worked just long enough to give him an out. If you bought a car from him you’d get six months before the tranny blew. You be bitching to him and he give you his “How would I know how long the tranny would last?” routine. You’d think he couldn’t yet it seemed like anything you bought from him lasted just long enough- for him. Add that to his size and he was usually home free on any deal Sheriff Ray always said the best way to deal with Carl was, “don’t ever deal with him.”
Carl wouldn’t deal with anyone he thought could harm him. This included the Sheriff, his deputies, Big Bear Bob Burnett, Hank- he could poison his food-, or his mother- who could poison his food-. For everyone else it was open season all the time. He hooked people with his low prices. You knew, just knew, you would regret buying from him but the price would tempt you and he’d sing you a sweet song and sell to you. You could hardly bitch to anyone because you knew better than to buy from him and didn’t really want anyone to know you had.
Now the two of them were duking it out in front of Paul’s Bar. It was a huge fight. It had blood, spit, yelling and cursing. It also had a crowd. Sheriff Ray walked over and yelled,
“Knock it off, jackasses. I’ll put you both in jail and hold you until someone gets a court order. That’s if anyone would get one. Most folks here would like you both put away for good.”
Bear and Carl had stopped to hear what Ray had to say. After he finished they went back at it. Ray wished he’d brought his gun. He could fire a shot into the air or into one or both of them to stop this fight. Damn!
Deputy Mullins arrived and drew his gun. He yelled out, “I’m going to shoot the winner. I don’t care who I shoot either.” The fight ended immediately. Bear and Carl both gave Mullins an evil look.
“Big talk considerin’ you got a gun in your hand. Maybe I’ll catch up to you sometime when you ain’t. Then we’ll see,"Bear said.
“Bear, I’m always packing. Always. If I ever come across you with any kind of weapon in your hands I’ll shoot you dead as that bear you used to have.”
That put a crimp in Bear’s threatening. He didn’t quite know if Mullins would do that, or get away with it, but he wasn’t any more sure he wouldn’t.
Sheriff Ray told Mullins, “See. Just the threat of violence did the trick. That’s the way Sheriff Andy would have done it in Mayberry.”