Point/Counterpoint: Wilford Brimley

May 13, 2009

Editor’s note: Point/Counter-Point is a friendly, cultural debate between Taylor Baldry and John Reinan. Their views are not intended to suggest that Wilford Brimley is anything other than a great American who still looks fantastic in tight jeans. See Taylor’s original Point on Wilford Brimley.


John’s Counterpoint:

Taylor, let me put this in terms suited to your pea brain and your disturbing predilection for barnyard animals.

Once there was a farmer who had a pig with a wooden leg. A visitor asked  him about it.

The farmer said, “Let me tell you about that pig. One day the tractor tipped over on me, and that pig pushed the tractor aside and pulled me free. Last year Johnny fell in the pond and was drowning, but the pig swam out and saved him. And just last week, our house caught fire. The pig smelled the smoke and woke us all up so we could get out in time.”

“But what about the wooden leg?” the visitor asked.

“Well,” the farmer said. “A pig like that, you don’t want to eat him all at once.”

Taylor, Wilford Brimley is that peg-legged pig. He kept Howard Hughes safe from imaginary attackers. He singlehandedly lowered the cholesterol of millions of Americans and saved this great nation of ours from a mass diabetic coma with his persistent urgings to “check it often.”

In his classic movie appearances — many of which are readily available on basic cable — he has inspired fear, love, lust and that feeling that it’s OK to go to sleep in the back seat because Daddy will be at the wheel throughout the long, dark night.

Taylor, if Wilford Brimley was your pig, you would gobble him up with nary a thought. Me? I prefer to savor him, one fleshy roll at a time.

I’m talking about Summer of the Monkeys (French title: L’Ete des Singes), when he was cast against type as Grandpa Sam Ferrans. That performance took real courage, forcing him to tap the deepest recesses of his tormented soul. For a man who can do that, peddling oatmeal represents not a sellout, but another step in that long, human journey toward enlightenment.

Taylor, I weep for your cold, shallow understanding of life. I mourn your callous disregard of all that is good and holy. And I think that Wilford Brimley could shoot up with insulin, stuff himself with Quaker Oats and poop out a better man than you.