Gomer Pyle was on to something

Published 11:56pm Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh if there were only a law against being a jerk and the ability for citizens to enforce that law on the spot.

Imagine something like when Gomer Pyle started screaming “citizen’s arrest” in an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Only the cry would be something like, “citizen’s a jerk!”

I had at least two moments when I longed for that law and the power to enforce it on Friday night as Julie and I made our way along the bluff to the opening event of the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.

My jerk detector first sounded when a young male walking just in front of us with his dog kicked into full jerk mode — on a child who couldn’t have been more than around 8 years old.

Seeing the man’s dog walking alongside him, the little girl lunged toward it with outstretched hands before the young male stopped in his tracks and suddenly wrenched the dog’s leash back.

“Don’t do that,” he admonished the little girl and her father. “Don’t go toward my dog. You don’t just go jumping at a person’s dog.

“If she gets bit you’ll blame me.”

It was quickly clear to everyone nearby that this sorry excuse had less compassion than the pit bull whose chain he wielded.

Rather than being an adult, the fool chewed out a young girl.

Of course, the problem began when the fool decided to bring a freaking pit bull that he didn’t trust to meet people to Natchez’s biggest event and family night.

Even an 8-year-old girl knows that’s not very smart.

Yet this fellow thought it was more important to be seen strutting around with a masculine dog on his arm.

Apparently the dog had the opposite effect from what he probably sought — no single women seemed to be paying him any attention.

If there were any nearby, those stragglers didn’t last long after seeing the stud fussing at a young girl.

In my dream world, this guy would have been immediately arrested, removed from the bluff and have his dog ownership privileges revoked.

Alas, no jerk arrests, just a little girl who went away wondering why the mean man didn’t want to help her pet his puppy.

A few yards down the sidewalk and the man’s apparently jerky cousin was walking along, a stream of cigarette smoke left in his wake.

Now I appreciate that adults have a right to fill their lungs with whatever they’d like. They’re big boys and girls.

Aside from the likelihood that the health effects of smoking may eventually cost taxpayers when older smokers go on Medicare, it’s none of my business what they do.

But why do smokers feel it’s OK to smoke their heads off at events with large crowds present?

Even if the event is outside, the smoke’s smell still lingers around and makes it unpleasant for all the non-smokers — including children.

A flicked cigarette butt illustrated just how trashy the smoker actually was. Not only did he not care that he was polluting his own lungs and stinking up the great outdoors for dozens of non-smokers nearby, he was also literally trashing up the Natchez Trails, too.

My inner Gomer Pyle was just itching to scream: “Citizen’s a jerk.”

But sadly, it’s not against the law to be stupid — or rude.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

  • Anonymous

    YOU SEEMS TO HAVE HAD YOUR SELF A GOOD TIME AT THAT BALLOON RACE. ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE GARDEN CLUB ? THAT PERSON YOU LOOKED AT AS A JERK, THAT PERSON PROBABILY LOOKED AT YOU THE SAME WAY. IF YOU HAD THE POWER TO MAKE AND ENFORCE THE LAW, EVERY BLACK PERSON IN THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE WOULD BE BEHIND BARS. YOUR INNER GOMER PYLE SHOULD HAVE SCREAMED OUT, SO THAT MAN AND HIS DOG COULD HAVE GOTTEN ALL OVER YOUR HEAD.

  • Anonymous

    Kevin, you are the fool and the jerk. You should be grateful that person did such a thing as to tell your 8 year old never to put her hand out and touch a dog without the owner’s permission. Never. Do dogs bite? They are dogs, they might! It’s not so much that this dog might bite but that all dogs might bite. This person taught you and your daughter a valuable lesson. The world is not perfect, so you might as well teach your children to get along rather than showing her how to blame someone else for your thin skin. She’ll grow up better for it, believe me. You must be a very grumpy over-protective parent if you expect people to make a 10 foot space around you when you are out in public with your child. That won’t happen so you might as well teach your child how to walk about in public and get along with people without getting mad because someone else offended your super-sensitive skin. If you had gone off on that guy, you would’ve have gone to jail. Is that what you want your daughter to see?

  • Anonymous

    Bilble verse of the day: Judge not lest be judged first.

  • Anonymous

    Nowhere in that article did I see the word “Daughter” or “My Child”.
    I don’t see why people would want to bring a dog (large dog) to an event like that either, especially one that may do someone harm. Not only does it scare people, but he probably would have let him use the bathroom right in the middle of the crowd for someone to step in. How can you enjoy yourself while you are taking care of a dog? Why even go?
    I smoke, but when I’m in a crowd, I’ll try to find a place where I won’t bother others. Also if there is a receptable provided for butts, I’ll use it, but there probably wasn’t one provided in all fairness Keven, though I wasn’t there so I don’t know.
    While I agree that you should teach your child the ways of the world, they should also be taught how to act and know that’s not the way decent people behave themselves.
    And DaveDunce U MOST EVER NO MAKE CENTS WATEVER U OR TALKIN BOUT.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    Dave,

    I don’t think males can join the local garden club, or if they can, I’ve never been invited, so I’m certainly not a member. My wife isn’t a member, either, but it’s unfair of you to use the phrase “garden club” to try to generalize about some certain segment of society. Lumping people together like that is no different than when people suggest that “all whites” or “all blacks” think or feel a certain way. No two people are alike.

    Regardless of whether you like the garden clubs or not, they’ve done (and continue to do) a ton of good things for our community.

    For the record, all of the people I referenced in my column were, in fact, white. I didn’t see the point in pointing out their color though as it didn’t matter, but since you always feel it necessary to whip out the racial stick with me, I’ll set the record straight.

    I’m sure I do thing (beyond writing columns that annoy you) that irritate others. We all do. But I don’t go out of my way to be mean to people, especially little children.

    Have a good day, Dave.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    bellesouth1: I think you misread my words. I don’t have an 8-year-old daughter, but I see how it could be easily construed from how I wrote it. Believe me, I’m not super sensitive. If I were I’d constantly get my feelings hurt by things some of you say about me in comments. Regarding the guy with the dog: If he was worried about the dog biting someone, he should have left it at home, and he could have easily explained his worries to the young girl and her father without biting their heads off.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    Thanks, RTSJR2. BTW, I know a ton of very courteous smokers, who, as far as I know, never litter the world up with their cigarette butts. My thought has always been, if cigarette butts shouldn’t be any different than any other sort of trash. If I’m drinking a soft drink in my car, I don’t just toss it out the window when the container is empty. I hold onto it until I have a suitable place to stash it. I’ve never understood why smokers cannot follow the same logic.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    I’m not judging their souls. I simply said their behavior was uncivil. Even the Bible suggested that we rebuke one another when necessary.

    A more appropriate verse might be: Matthew 7:12

  • Anonymous

    Are you playing God!? OMG!

  • Anonymous

    I am a smoker, through and through and I always field strip my butts and put them into my purse or pockets until I can dispose of them.

  • Anonymous

    I realize that this eight year old is not your child. Goodness help them if she were. Was the guy wearing a hoodie? Did he have skiddles and iced tea? Did he scare you? Boo! Happy Halloween! And as edtior of the newspaper you should very well know that dogs are not allowed inside that event, unless of course you were on the Vidalia side and it was a cop’s dog out there.

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully the child will have learned a lesson she won’t forget.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    Bless you for being “one of the good ones.” :)

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com Kevin Cooper

    I did not fear him or his dog. I was simply floored by his abrupt rudeness to an innocent child. We were walking along the bluff/Natchez Trails — a dogs-are-welcome zone.

  • Anonymous

    Just don’t be so quick to judge.

  • Anonymous

    No one from either club asked your wife to join? Why, that’s a disgrace!

  • Anonymous

    No one from either club asked your wife to join? Why, that’s a disgrace!

  • Anonymous

    Dd – YOUARETHEBIGGESTBIGGOTONTHESEFORUMS. WHATDOESADOGHAVETODOWITHBEING BLACK? YOUGIVEPUBLICSCHOOLSABAD NAME.

  • Anonymous

    Dd – YOUARETHEBIGGESTBIGGOTONTHESEFORUMS. WHATDOESADOGHAVETODOWITHBEING BLACK? YOUGIVEPUBLICSCHOOLSABAD NAME.

  • Sally Hart

    Wellllll, Kevin, we did find two on here that citizen’s arrest (concerning stupid) could be applied to, didn’t we? It’s seems this blog area has become an arena for all stupid remarks by stupid people. Your column spoke loud and clear when it comes to the stupidity that good people have to contend with when out in public. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and discouraging such action by inept people. We all have let it go on for too long. In my old age my memory is quite short so I had to get my Bible and read Matthew 12 for refreshment. Such a wonderful message for all of us to follow. If only we would. Please keep up the good work.

  • Sally Hart

    Wellllll, Kevin, we did find two on here that citizen’s arrest (concerning stupid) could be applied to, didn’t we? It’s seems this blog area has become an arena for all stupid remarks by stupid people. Your column spoke loud and clear when it comes to the stupidity that good people have to contend with when out in public. Thanks for stepping up to the plate and discouraging such action by inept people. We all have let it go on for too long. In my old age my memory is quite short so I had to get my Bible and read Matthew 12 for refreshment. Such a wonderful message for all of us to follow. If only we would. Please keep up the good work.

  • Sally Hart

    When writing rebukes to this person we do have the right to ‘thumbs down’ on it. My suggestion is for all who disagree to make sure you click the ‘thumbs down’ button. I noticed one day not long ago one of his blogs was removed for having too many ‘thumbs down’ votes. He is beyond reasonable thoughts and it’s time to take the bull by the horns……

  • Sally Hart

    When writing rebukes to this person we do have the right to ‘thumbs down’ on it. My suggestion is for all who disagree to make sure you click the ‘thumbs down’ button. I noticed one day not long ago one of his blogs was removed for having too many ‘thumbs down’ votes. He is beyond reasonable thoughts and it’s time to take the bull by the horns……

  • Sally Hart

    No he isn’t but you could ask yourself the same question…

  • Sally Hart

    No he isn’t but you could ask yourself the same question…

  • Sally Hart

    You’re the fool and the jerk, you have no idea of which you speak….such as many fools.

  • Sally Hart

    You’re the fool and the jerk, you have no idea of which you speak….such as many fools.

  • Sally Hart

    And here I really think you really proved your stupidity.

  • Sally Hart

    And here I really think you really proved your stupidity.

  • Sally Hart

    Thank you for your insight and taking the time to express your thoughts on the subject.

  • Sally Hart

    Thank you for your insight and taking the time to express your thoughts on the subject.

  • Anonymous

    You talk a lot about stupidity but you haven’t exactly proven yourself as smart.

  • Anonymous

    You talk a lot about stupidity but you haven’t exactly proven yourself as smart.

  • Anonymous

    bellesouth1, it is good to see that you are just as (stupidly) antagonistic towards others as you were to me. You need to really go to cognative training and anger management.

  • Anonymous

    She probably never asked! What’s your problem?