Let it be here and forevermore known that I might just very well be the greatest father in the world. You ask why? Fine. Here's Exhibit A, my friends.
The boys didn't want to go to bed Friday night, so I made them a deal. As long as they watched "The Andy Griffith Show," they could stay up as late as they wanted. At first, my bright idea went over like a lead balloon. Words can't fully describe their horrified reactions, and when I announced that the shows were in black and white, it really hit the fan.
Still, the deal was on the table. Andy Griffith or bed.
For a little perspective, most of you know that I truly do love TAGS. After Jeanie and I were married, I made it my mission in life to tape every episode. I had it down to a science. I'd check the TV listings a week in advance and set the VCR accordingly. It took more than two years to track down each show, and to this day I can remember the show that completed my set -- it was the one where Opie was conned into selling the miracle salve.
When the DVDs came out in season sets, I bought them -- and when the complete series came out in a mega-collection, I got it, too. I've made the pilgrimmage to the Andy Griffith Museum in nearby Mt. Airy, where I met Betty Lynn, the actress who played Barney's love, Thelma Lou. She's the cats.
I won't even go into the summer I taught Sunday School lessons centered around various episodes of the show, or how I've offered to trade almost anything up to and including my children for a radio once owned by Frances "Aunt Bea" Bavier. So far, no dice.
So, yeah, I kind of like "The Andy Griffith Show."
Still fussing, Adam loaded the DVD. Any show that centers around Barney is pure gold, so I started off with the one where he joins the choir. Within minutes, Adam and Jesse both were laughing and giggling like it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen on television. Come to think of it, it probably was.
The show ended, and I asked if they wanted to watch another one. They couldn't wait, and I knew, right then and there, that I had 'em hooked. Best of all, when they finally did go to bed Friday night, Adam had one last parting request.
"Can we watch more Andy Griffith tomorrow?"