Food for thought (fun with Jethro Bodine)

I’ve made a major discovery this morning –and it’s occurred so early in the day my coffee’s still warm.

Here it is: All people of the world can be said to fit in just one of two categories related to the two Jethro Bodines:

a) Those preferring the Jethro Bodine as played by Max Baer in the Beverly Hillbillies television series

b) Those that prefer Diedrich Bader as Jethro in the movie with Jim Varney.

In other words, all the people of the world can be said to understand there are basically just two forms of idiocy and all people of the world instinctively relate more to one than the other.

That’s my Big Observation. I swear it hit me today with the same intense clarity as the apple that konked Newton on the head.

Admittedly, it’s a theory still in its infancy. It may be years before the math is worked out. Right now, the formula I’ve put on the chalkboard is still “chicken scratch”. But someday, if Mankind continues his evolutionary trajectory, we’ll nail this baby. I’m almost sure of it.

I’ve lived long enough in enough different places to believe the Max Baer Jethro has a sinister side versus the “just plain dumb” vibe Diedrich Bader’s Jethro radiates.

Max Baer’s Jethro isn’t far from banjo toting and pig squealing. There’s a primal danger lurking stage left. When I imagine what might be going on in the skull of Max Baer’s Jethro what I see resembles the prehistoric shadow tip toeing across a yellowed movie screen with the image part on the screen and part on the wall. A raptor, up on its hind legs, waving the blades of Edward Scissorhands, creeping up from behind. Had the Beverly Hillbillies television show gone on forever, eventually Max Baer’s Jethro would’ve wound up locked away forever for a series of awful crimes involving neighborhood children and animals.

Diedrich Bader’s Jethro is the flip side of that worthless

Diedrich Bader's Jethro (see the butterflies?)
Diedrich Bader’s Jethro (see the butterflies?)
Diedrich Bader’s Jethro (see the butterflies?)

currency. When I imagine what might be going on in his skull I see the quirky image of a broken television set with a bad antennae and poor airwave signal: Static. Then, a field of bright flowers alive with happy butterflies shown in Wizard of Oz-style Technicolor. Then a screen saver image that goes from aquarium full of fish …to logs burning in a fireplace …to a basket full of kittens. Then static again. The whole deal repeating itself on continuous loop. Had the Beverly Hillbillies movie gone into sequels, Diedrich Bader’s Jethro would’ve led a small but fervent (cult-like) flock of followers, a ministry of Skittles & Rainbows.

Diedrich Bader’s Jethro radiates “warm and fuzzy” while Max Baer’s paints your survival instincts in a color called Neanderthal.

Diedrich Bader’s Jethro suggests comfort food: a pile of mashed potatoes with lots of real butter running down the sides.

Max Baer’s Jethro suggests a late night crime scene surrounded by yellow police tape with spotlights pointed to a mass of still quivering raw meat.

Are they equally dangerous in terms of their potential end results?

Think about it. Seriously. Because both Jethros are alive and well, living among us in plain sight, like Freemasons …but really really really stupid.

O they may seem funny and harmless in a series of thirty minute doses or just one sitting of barely two hours but, on the long haul, nothing good comes from either kind of Jethro.

I can promise you that.

Your thoughts on the two Jethro Bodines?

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— Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill