The Prairie Spy

Alan “Lindy” Linda

The Widow Fistula, in case you’ve forgotten, lives in Boatville. She lives alone, ever since her husband, Pickle Pete, who ran The Gherkin Factory, fell—or jumped, depending upon your view of her personality– into a vat of prime dills and perished.

The Widow believes in personal education, and along that line she has expanded her knowledge concerning the language barriers that exist between men and women. “Men live in caves,” she says, “and women live on Venus, and there’s a lot of hollering back and forth which neither one hears.” So with that theory in mind, and a diploma from  Boatville Tech in the Language of Language, she has decided to attack the problem by trying to teach men how to talk right.

“Listen,” she says in that focused, serious manner of hers that turns Coffee Yurho on and the rest of the ladies in the church womens’ group off, “we outnumber men by a ratio of 53 to 47 percent. It’s in all our best interests if we agree on a common language.” After all, she goes on, you don’t go to Spain and expect them to speak English, because there are more Spaniards than there are you. So you learn their language.

“We outnumber you. Get over it.” Get with the program, is really what she’s saying to Smut, who owns and operates Smut’s Bar and ButcherShoppe Emporium. She’s sitting at the bar drinking a light wine, pitching Smut on his hosting her first seminar right there at the bar. “After all,” she continues, “this is where the men are.”

Sometimes The Widow doesn’t think things through very well, and this would seem to be one of them, or Smut is thinking to himself, but The Widow is hard to turn down, so he agrees. Next Tuesday afternoon, he tells her.

She puts a sign in his window:  “Learn how to have intercourse with women.” She’s thinking that’ll bring’em in, even if they do find out she’s talking about verbal intercourse. 

Tuesday afternoon, every drunk within the surrounding three counties crowds into Smut’s Bar. Smut looks around. There’s beer everywhere. It’s running down the bar and down chins. “You know what?” he says to Bingo, his helper, “she’s better’n a stripper.”

The Widow gets her microphone going, and gets everyone’s attention: “Every night all across the country, men and women sit down to supper and there’s trouble because the wives attempt to make conversation with their husbands. The husbands get this deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes like someone’s going to kill them.” She looked at the crowd packed there in the bar, and went on: “Women are more adept at talking, the problem is men are not.” 

They’re listening now, because Smut told them if they’d be good, every other beer was on the house. This was great. He doubled the price, sold at half, everyone was happy. Maybe he’d do this again next week.

“I’ve studied the conflicts between men and women, and women are more intuitive, more intelligent, and more practiced at communicating than men, so I’m going to teach you some things about how to talk to us.” She surveyed the crowd. She needed a volunteer, one that could stand up without staggering. She spied Rollaid Yurho, so named because everyone he talked to got an upset stomach. “Come on up here, Rollaid,” she said.

Every one cheered. “Go get’em, Rollaid,” someone shouted. “Give her hell, Rollie,” someone else said. 

“Now, Rollie,” said The Widow as she pushed the microphone in his face, “what do you say to your wife when she isn’t feeling well.”

Rollie said, “These pork chops ain’t as good as mom made.” He waved at the cheers that provoked, and mined his left nostril with an index finger.

The Widow said: “Now say this: ‘Tell me all about how YOU feel.’ Be sure and accent the “you” so she’ll know you’re interested.” Rollie looked scared. “Don’t be defensive,” she said, “you’re just trying to learn something here.”

Rollie looked at her, looked at all the guys out there, and said: “Tell me ALL about YOUR yeast infection, dear.” The crowd roared. Smut sold a river of beer, thought maybe he’d get a hypnotist in next week. All kinds of possibilities, get a good hypnotist.

“Now, Rollie, that’s too personal,” she said. “You’re sitting at the supper table, your wife looks tired. What do you say to her?” She’d expected this, but she knew that men had to act like they weren’t getting it, for the benefit of the other men, even though they probably were getting it.

“Well,” said Rollie, “I’d say: ‘Do we got any beer in the refrigerator?’”

And so it went. There isn’t room for the rest. The Widow isn’t giving up, that’s for sure.

 After all, she thinks to herself, if everything else fails, we do outnumber them.