Whenever my best friend Chris and I have conversations on the telephone, it often leads to discussing all of the stresses and challenges we are facing. Jobs, kids, ex-wives, finances, and car problems are often part of the wide-range of issues that frequently dominate our chat time. However, it isn’t long before one of us will say to the other, “Do you know what I’m going to do now?” (…and the response is always, “What’s that, Barn?”) “I think I’ll go home…take a little nap….and then go over to Thelma Lou’s to watch a little TV.” We’ll continue on with this for several minutes, laughing and saying, “Yep, that’s the plan….go home….take a little nap….then over to Thelma Lou’s to watch a little TV.”
In episode 90 of the Andy Griffith show, entitled “Man in a Hurry,” a stranger named Malcolm Tucker is stuck in Mayberry on a Sunday with car problems.
He is an impatient businessman on his way to Charlotte. He’s a workaholic who is used to a fast-paced, “time-is-money” type of approach to life. He has a difficult time understanding how things could be like they are in Mayberry and finds it ridiculous that no one is available to fix his car right away. He gets frustrated when he tries to make a phone call and learns that the Mendlebright sisters are allowed to tie up the telephone all afternoon. (In the old days, people had to share phone lines in small towns. The term was known as “party line.” It is completely different from what the younger generation thinks of today when they hear the term!) When Barney continues on repeatedly about his plan, (going home, taking a nap, and then going over to Thelma Lou’s to watch TV), Malcolm becomes irritated and tells Barney to “Just do it!”
Finally, after several hours, Mr. Tucker starts to see the value in taking a little time to slow down and relax. Even though Goober has given up his boating time to come back and fix his car, Mr. Tucker decides to wait for Wally to come back to work on Monday. He falls asleep on Andy’s porch while participating in an apple peeling contest.
This serves as a reminder to us that we all need to slow down a little and take some time to relax. We’ll always face challenges in life, but there are times when we need to take a break, sit on the porch, sing a few songs, take a nap, and watch a little TV (with your own “Thelma Lou”).