The Lesson of Lumpy Rutherford

My husband and I love Netflix video streaming service. For about eight bucks a month, we have our pick of tons of movies, documentaries, television shows. We don’t watch a lot of TV, but Netflix gives us quality shows and no commercials. Recently, we’ve been catching up on “The West Wing” (he never watched it, I watched sporadically, and watching a program from 2002 only reminds me how little anything ever changes in Washington). I’m hooked on “Breaking Bad” in the afternoon, and we’ve also been watching “Leave It to Beaver.” Now, unless you’re of a certain age, LITB will mean nothing to you. It premiered in 1957, the year my husband was born. My older sister and I watched it all the time, probably in the early sixties.

There was always a moral to the show’s story. The other night we watched an episode about the town bully, Lumpy Rutherford, who made life miserable for Wally and Beaver Cleaver. Lumpy’s parents were oblivious to his antics, and the Cleaver brothers didn’t want to tell their parents. Finally, the Rutherfords and the Cleavers, who were friends, worked it all out. And in the final scene, dad Ward Cleaver says to his son Beaver, “There’ll always be people like Lumpy, you know, people who trample on other people to get what they want. And sometimes you just can’t do anything about them. You just have to learn to live with them, to get along with them.”

Beaver asks, “You mean, you can’t beat people like that, Dad?”

And Ward replies, “Oh yeah. sure you can, Beaver. You can beat them by never becoming like them.”

Or as a wise old man once said, “Never get into a fight with a pig. You’ll both get filthy, but the pig will enjoy it.”

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