Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Mayberry abortion law enforcement

MAYBERRY, N.C. (Sometime in the not-so-distant future….)

Gomer: “CITIZEN’S ARREST! CITIZEN’S ARREST!!! Stop right there, Thelma Lou! You need to come with me right now. I’m going to get a minimum of $10,000 because it looks like you were thinking ‘bout getting an abortion to me.”

Thelma Lou: “Gomer, don’t be absurd. You know a well-dressed woman with her own home and no discernible source of income will always be able to get an abortion! Now you just run along and pester somebody else.”

Gomer: “CITIZEN’S ARREST! CITIZEN’S ARREST!!! I see you, Helen Crump, walking down the street toward Thelma Lou. Were you going to give her a ride to the abortion clinic? Looks like that’s ANOTHER $10,000 for me! Wow! This sure nuff beats doing oil changes down at Wally’s!”

Helen Crump: “Gomer, please stop talking nonsense. I’m on my way to see Andy at the Courthouse. I will sit in the jury box and grade this mountain of papers before inviting him to sit on my swing and drink a Co-Cola. Do you even know what an abortion is?”

Gomer: “Sure do, Miss Crump. It’s a medical procedure that Floyd the Barber used to do and will do again once this bounty hunter thing takes off.”

Thelma Lou: “Helen, I do believe Gomer has lost his mind! I’m going to tell Barney all about this!”

(One hour later)…

Barney: “So, you’re telling me…that any ordinary citizen can get at least $10,000 to report someone helping a woman get to an abortion clinic even if it’s Otis the town drunk and he’s just giving her a ride?”

Thelma Lou: “Exactly! Gomer is going all over town making CITIZEN’S ARRESTS!!!!”

Barney: (shaking all over) “Man alive, this really fries my tater. I’m going to tell Andy and he’s not going to like it. Nosireebob! He’s going to want to nip it, nip it in the BUD!”

(That night…)

Otis: “Hey, Barney, I’ll just put myself in jail like always. Night night.”

Barney: “Otis, what’s up? You’re not even drunk!”

Otis: “Awwww, Gomer made a Citizen’s Arrest on me. I was giving Aunt Bee a ride over to Shaw’s grocery in Mount Pilot, but he said he didn’t believe us. Aunt Bee sure did give him a piece of her mind! Whew! She said the idea of some fool like Gomer running around acting like he knows anything about a woman’s reproductive cycle made her bitter as Clara’s kerosene pickles!”

Andy: “Hey! What’s all the fuss? I just walked Helen home and she’s mad as a wet setting hen. Then Aunt Bee said she’s not going to ever cook my dinner again! I swanee if I didn’t know better, I’d think this whole giving everybody money to enforce unconstitutional abortion laws is a bad idea!”

“It’s me, it’s me, it’s Ernest T!!!!”

Andy: “Hey Ernest T. What brings you here at this hour of the night?

Ernest T: “Well, I overheard Charlene Darling say she thought it was time to take a lesson from the ancient Greek play Lysistrata in which women withheld sex to end the Poloponnesian War…”

Andy: “Naw, naw, naw. That doesn’t sound like Charlene to me. Also, what’s this Listerine stuff?”

Ernest T: “Well, I told her I was gonna join up with Gomer and Goober and start turning in people who look like they might be helping somebody get an abortion.”

Andy: “Well. It is good money. Still, I gotta admit, I’d be upset if a woman tried to tell me what to do with my man parts.”

Barney: “What do you mean, Ange?”

Andy: “Well, what if they turned the tables on us? What if they started doing Citizen’s Arrests on us when we tried to get a vasectomy or Viagra?”

Opie: Hahahaha! Good one, Paw.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Write her at [email protected].

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