If it ain’t broke. . . .

A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

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While it hurts me to use the ungrammatical title above, the saying is valid. There are many things over the course of my 67 years that have borne the statement “NEW and IMPROVED!” that weren’t any better than the original and should have been left alone.

Here’s one that just popped into my mind that will serve as an example. It’s not the only one, but not much is popping into my mind this morning 🙂

My dad loved the old TV western Gunsmoke, with James Arness as Matt Dillon.  All the characters were perfectly portrayed.  Doc, Kitty, Chester, and later Festus. The actors chosen to fill those parts couldn’t have been better.  Recently I saw an old program with Dennis Weaver (Chester) in it, but without the limp and without the country-boy-naievete.  I liked him better as Chester.

Anyway, in the old black-and-white TV days, it was a program we all could watch without fear of bedroom scenes, language, profanity of any sort. The bad guys messed up and the good guys caught them. There was the ocassional shoot-out, in which the bad guy always lost.  Doc would faithfully patch up whatever holes may have been shot in one of the good guys, a moral lesson was learned, and they all lived happily until the next episode.  Even Kitty, perfectly portrayed by Amanda Blake, truly had a heart of gold even though she ran a saloon.

The bad guys were always mean and rough around the edges, but they never cursed. They never forced themselves on a woman (on screen; sometimes there would be just enough of a threat that you knew REALLY  bad things could happen during the commercial breaks).

One night, everything was going along as usual when one of the bad guys used a swear word. I think it was the D-word, don’t remember for sure.  No big deal for us today, right?  Good grief, that’s NOTHING compared to the language that’s used on “family” sit-coms these days.

I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face.  Don’t forget, this was a favorite program of his.

He got up from his chair, switched off the set, (no remotes back then) and walked into his study. We never (legally) watched that show again.

See, the producers probably figured they were improving the quality of the show by using more realistic language.  Probably figured more people would watch if it wasn’t such a squeaky-clean program.  Maybe they were right, I don’t know.

I just know I wished they hadn’t fixed what wasn’t broken.

And by the way, I’m going to go out on a limb here and speak to those of my fellow bloggers who like to pepper your posts with F-bombs and other crude or profane words. You don’t need to. It’s offensive. Your writing is better without it.

And now I’m going to put on my kevlar vest before I read any responses to this one.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/let-it-be/

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17 thoughts on “If it ain’t broke. . . .

  1. Agree totally, esp. with the last part. I think it reduces the writer to a 5-6-year-old level, “See, I can talk dirty.” If I see four-letter words in a blogger’s post I react like your Dad did.
    For me it’s like seeing dog poo on the dining room floor when I’m trying to eat. It does not enhance the experience.

  2. Growing up in London, England, I still had the benefit of my weekly showing of the Matt Dillon cowboy series – actuallyMatt Dillon was one of my heroes. If I remember, at the beginning the series ran only 30 minutes and was called Gun Law. That was with the lovable Chester “Mr. Dillon wanna cup of coffee”, doc and Miss Kitty. Now and again Matt would bring some words of sound advice. He knew that columbine always grew where someone was buried. The series disappeared and was replaced by a one hour Gunsmoke. I was still a disciple, but somehow the charm of Chester had been replaced by Festus. I even got to like Festus, but Chester was so original. I knew an American girl who once met James Arness in person. That is she turned a corner and was confronted by a giant who she ran into. He laughed and she said he was as imposing in real life as on the TV. Oh yes, those were the days and you know what, they don’t make them like than any more unfortunately. I also loved Wyatt Earp with Hugh O’Brian but that is another story.

    1. My husband listened to it on the radio before TV entered their home. He says TV ruined it for him:) He liked the characters in his imagination better!

      I also remember “Rawhide,” “Sugarfoot,” “Wyat Earp,” and the “Texas Rangers,” among others.

      1. According to my Mom, TV didn’t get here to Saskatchewan until about 1952. The earliest shows I can recall were: The Lone Ranger; Zorro; Davey Crocket; National Velvet; The Million-Dollar Man (who handed out million-dollar cheques; Johnny Uma “the Rebel”; also Wyatt Erp. Never heard of Sugarfoot

      2. If memory serves, Clint Eastwood had his first major role in Sugarfoot. Could be wrong about that. Anyway, he was really, really cute 🙂

        I think it was called “The Millionaire” here in the States. I remember it well.

  3. Very true. Everything is only fair in love and war, not on the social web world on the name of ranting. You have better ways to wind up. Good old days when parents used to watch T.V. with their children. Now it is considered to be impinging to their privacy.

      1. Times have changed so the requirements of a posh upbringing where a class 6th student proudly shares his own personal phone no. I was shocked to hear the dialogue. Boy,” You don’t have your personal phone? ”

        No, you can take my mom’s number in case you want.” replied his class mate.

        ” So ridiculous, How can you share your mom’s phone no. Grow up man! ”

  4. Chris Johnson

    I agree completely. Nothing is more jarring to be reading a good story or an articulate article and get a verbal slap in the face like that. I feel it show a lack of imagination on the part of the writer and brings down the implied level of intelligence of the reader.

  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt - Let It Be | RobertMcQ

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