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“There goes a goober for ‘ya …”

My golf friends Dave and Ray introduced me a few years ago to a new moniker for locals I’d otherwise call rednecks.

“There goes a goober for ‘ya,” they’d say, referring to someone who was, well, a goober.

It’s a delightfully derisive term that’s a mixture of hick, hayseed, redneck and perhaps any other sort of Southern ruralism you’d care to apply.

With apologies to the original Goober on The Andy Griffith Show, the name now applies to the goobers who defile our walk ways.

With apologies to the original Goober on The Andy Griffith Show, the name now applies to the goobers who defile our walk ways.

I’m not sure of the exact origins of the name, other than it also referred to that hapless denizen of fictional Mayberry, Goober, who was a regular character on The Andy Griffith Show. Goober embodied all the things you envision in a goober: slow of wit, slow on the uptake, and mindless. But he was an affectionably kindly guy that you couldn’t help but like. Not so with the dolts we clean up after.

As you know, my description of litterers is fairly narrow and largely unimaginative; slobs, louts, jerks, idiots, morons, et al. But it occurred to me at roughly the halfway point in this morning’s stroll to add goober to my arsenal of less-than-flattering descriptors.

It is truly an apt term. It is at once insulting, derogatory, belittling and demeaning without being overly mean spirited. Which makes it an ideal way to reference the bums who toss stuff out that you and I have to pick up.

Here’s looking at you, goobers.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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