Back at the farmhouse, Bubba and Oliver sat at the dining room table. Bubba’s wife, Jenny, was lecturing Oliver on his need for a wife. She was a short, thick woman, not fat, with much more than ample bosoms, who enhanced her verbal points with a rolling pin she brandished.
“It ain’t good for a man to be alone, Oliver. It says so in the good book. God Hisself said it after He made Adam, and that’s why He made Eve.” She poked Oliver with the rolling pin on each of her last five words.
“Well, that’s true, but...”
“There ain’t no buts! You gonna argue with God A’mighty?” She pointed the rolling pin toward the ceiling.
“Heh, heh. No...no...but I just...”
“I told you there ain’t no buts. Now I know a woman, name of Agatha Trumbull...”
“Agatha Trumbull!” interjected Bubba. “Woman, she’s dang near tall as me!” He leaned toward Oliver and spoke in a lower voice, “And I’m a might prettier’n her too.”
Oliver smiled and chuckled, and Jenny walloped Bubba across the shoulders with the rolling pin.
“Ow! Woman!” said Bubba.
“You hush up about her! He ain’t even met her yet, and you go talking her down.”
Bubba rubbed a shoulder and frowned. “Well, Oliver, I suppose you could hitch ol’ Agatha up to a plow. She’s stronger’n any horse.”
With a fierce look on her face, Jenny raised the rolling pin to wallop him again, and Bubba winced in anticipation, but then Jenny melted into a fit of laughter.
“Oh, you are a wretched man, Bubba June!” She laughed and squeaked and hooted until she had to sit down. Bubba and Oliver laughed uncertainly with her, unsure whether she might not yet wield the rolling pin against Bubba.
“I can just see Oliver plowing a field with Agatha.” She hooted again and buried her face in her hands. She snapped some imaginary reins and said, “Gee-yup! Gee-yup!” then collapsed with laughter onto the kitchen table. The men laughed more at Jenny, than at the joke.
When they all calmed down a bit, Oliver spoke. “Jenny, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but really, I think if the good Lord wants me to have another wife, He’ll direct me to her sooner or later.”
“Oh, Oliver! How can He direct with you holed up in that house of yours? Even God can’t steer a parked car.”
Oliver was temporarily speechless at the logic. “Well, I suppose you might have a point there, but still, I’m in no hurry. I loved Ellen very much. It’s just a bit...difficult...for me.”
Jenny stood from her chair, went over to Oliver and hugged his head to her breast. “Oh, Oliver. I loved Ellen too. She was a wonderful friend, but it’s been seven years. Ain’t it about time to get on with your life?”
Oliver withdrew from the embrace, red-faced.
“We just care about you, Oliver. We want to see you happy. Is that so bad?”
Oliver let out a long sigh. “Jenny, you’ve worn me out. If I let you make me a date with one of your ‘matches’, will you quit bothering me about it?”
“Oh, yes, yes, yes! Oliver, you won’t regret...”
“Now hold on...I have some conditions.”
“You just name ‘em.”
“Number one, if nothing comes of this date, you will never mention a ‘match’ to me again.”
“Weeeell, ok. It’s worth it to get your toe in the water. What else?”
“I want Bubba to approve of your ‘match’.”
“Ok. What else?”
“It can’t be Agatha Trumbull.”
Jenny let out a hearty laugh and hugged him again with happiness. “Oh, Oliver! I’m gonna find you the best wife on earth! It’ll be love at first sight, you can bet!”
Oliver extricated himself from her grasp with a tolerant grin.
“Well, we’ll see, Jenny. We’ll see.”