imagining fiction

D814~Andy-Griffith-Show-PostersJust a few years ago, a lost script for the Andy Griffith show was found. It was found at The Snappy Lunch in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s hometown. Efforts to learn more about this script have proven futile. Calls to people associated with the show were never returned. Therefore, we at have no choice but to run the script and let our readers join us in wondering what might have been.

The Death of Helen Crump


Sheriff Andy Taylor and Floyd the barber are sitting in the courthouse when Gomer Pyle loudly bursts through the doorway.

Gomer:  Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Miss Crump’s dead!

Andy: What’s that Gomer?  You’re all out of breath.

Gomer: Miss Crump’s dead. She got run over by a school bus.

Opie and his friend Arnold then come running into the courthouse.

Opie:  Pa!  Pa!  Miss Crump’s dead!  She’s really dead, Pa.  Arnold and I saw it happen.

Andy: Now, Opie, you’re all out of breath too, just like Gomer.  Arnold, can you just tell me what happened?

Arnold: Sure, Sheriff. You know that new kid, Chester Fields, who just moved here from Winston-Salem?

Andy: Yeah, I’ve seen him around.

Floyd: Nice boy, Andy, and from a good family.

Andy: I know that, Floyd.  Go on, Arnold.

Arnold: Anyway, Chester was caught passing a note in class to Johnny Paul.

Floyd: Another nice boy, Andy.

Andy: Uh-huh.

2412169899_43868cfd0dArnold: So Miss Crump gets mad and writes a note for Chester to take home to his parents.  But then the bell rings and everyone leaves the classroom.  So Miss Crump takes off after him with the note.  She runs out of the building and right in front of the school bus that’s just pulling up.  Well, the bus runs her over.  It was like in a book I read once.

Floyd: What book was that, son?

Andy: Never mind that now, Floyd!  Well, since I’m the Sheriff, I better go down to the school and write up a report.

Gomer: Andy, can I ride over with you in the squad car?

Andy: Sure, Gomer, but you don’t need to blow the siren.  There’s no hurry in getting there now.  Hey Opie… can you call Miss Peggy and give her the good news, I mean tell her what happened?

Opie: Sure, Pa.



The next day Andy walks into Reverend Tucker’s office.  The Reverend has several balled up sheets of paper strewn across the floor.

Reverend Tucker: Andy, I just don’t understand it.  I’ve been preaching funerals for over 25 years and I’ve always been able to come up with something nice to say about the deceased.  But with Helen Crump, I can’t come up with anything good.

Andy: Don’t worry about it, Reverend.  You’ll think of something, I’m sure.  Anyway, I wanted to invite you over for supper tonight.  Peg’s making leg of lamb, my favorite dish.



Later that evening, the viewing is taking place. Andy is with Aunt Bee.

andy-griffith-show-season-2Aunt Bee: Well, I guess I’ll miss Helen. I don’t know why but I guess I will.

Andy: Oh we’ll be okay, Aunt Bee. These things happen.

Aunt Bee: Well, I’ve done my part to lift everyone’s spirits.  I’ve made two dozen jars of my pickles to give to the mourners.

A look of pain is on Andy’s face.  He grabs his Deputy, Barney Fife, by the arm and drags him over to a corner in the viewing room.

Andy: She beats everything, you know that?  The last two days have been so nice and now she has to ruin everything with those pickles. … Hey, Barn, I’ve got an idea. …

Andy tells Barney his idea.

Barney: No way, Andy.  I only go incognito in the line of duty.

Andy: Think of the people you’ll be helping, Barney.  It is in the line of duty.

A few minutes later, Barney, wearing a long dress and a flowery hat, walks up to the coffin, pauses and then sets a jar of pickles inside the coffin.  He walks away but returns 10 more times over the next half hour.

Aunt Bee: Who is that frail old lady that keeps going back to the coffin?

Andy: Oh, that’s Helen’s old teacher from high school.  You know, she was a big influence on Helen.

Aunt Bee:  She certainly looks stern.

Andy: Oh she’s just all tore up over Helen, Aunt Bee.

Aunt Bee:  And where is that Deputy of yours?  He was supposed to help me with the pickles.

Andy: Oh don’t you worry, Aunt Bee.  Barney’s got that taken care of.



The pallbearers are carrying Helen’s coffin to the burial site but they’re tired and irritable.

Otis: Barney!  This coffin is heavy!

Barney: Pipe down Otis!  Pipe down!

Goober: He’s right, Barney.  It feels like we’re hauling Aunt Bee, not Miss Crump!

Barney:  Nip it!  We put jars of Aunt Bee’s pickles in the coffin.  Now unless you would like to eat some of those kerosene cucumbers, you will nip it!



The next day Andy, Barney and Floyd are sitting outside the courthouse.

andyscn3Barney: That was a pretty good service yesterday but I don’t think Reverend Tucker said one thing about Helen.

Andy: No, he just told a few stories about his days at seminary.  But all in all, everyone had a good time.

Barney: Hey Andy, wasn’t that Aunt Bee’s broach on Helen’s blouse?

Andy: Well , yes.  The other day Aunt Bee and I had to go over to Helen’s to pick out some clothes for the viewing.  So we were going through her dresser drawers and then we found Aunt Bee’s broach. Aunt Bee had suspected that Helen had stolen it from her on that Ladies Auxilary trip to Charlotte.  But Aunt Bee decided Helen could just have it.

Barney: That was nice of her.

Floyd: I saw Peg with you during the service, Andy.

Andy: Yeah, she had a pretty good time.

Floyd: Well, it always makes a nice impression when you bring such an attractive date to your girlfriend’s funeral.

Andy: Yeah, boy.

Right in front of the courthouse, a short man with a rumpled hat walks by. It’s Ernest T. Bass. He’s sobbing uncontrollably.

Andy: Well, it looks like we have another mourner still in town.

Barney:  That’s no mourner. That’s a nut.

Jeff Cochran

Jeff Cochran

Jeff Cochran worked in advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years before accepting a buy-out in the Summer of 2008. In the seventies/early eighties, he handled advertising for Peaches Records and Tapes' Southeastern and Midwestern stores. He also wrote record reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a ground-breaking underground newspaper based in Atlanta.