Aunt Bee's Brief Encounter


Original airdate
December 4, 1961
Directed by
Written by


Aunt Bee has hired Mr. Wheeler to help with the flowers around the Taylor home. Andy's not too sure about him but Aunt Bee is quite taken with him. When Andy notices how Aunt Bee is taken with him, he relaxes and agrees to let him stay and help around the house.


Andy comes home for lunch one day and finds a strange man spraying goo on his roses. Aunt Bee tells him that the man noticed that they had aphids on their rose bushes and Andy immediately becomes suspicious. Knowing Aunt Bee's propensity for falling for every pitchman that comes along, Andy suggests that they're being ripped off, but it's clear that Aunt Bee enjoys the company of an eligible bachelor, even for a few hours, and Andy drops his protest. Later that evening, Andy realizes he was wrong about being ripped off when the handyman, Mr. Wheeler, only charges $1.60 for his day's work, saying he could have charged $1.75.

After he's paid, Mr. Wheeler asks Andy if he can park overnight in the driveway as his truck also serves as his temporary home. He cooks his meals over a little stove and sleeps in a sleeping bag in the back of the truck. Of course Aunt Bee and Andy insist that he have dinner with them and user their spare bedroom. Furthermore, Mr. Wheeler suggests that he can stay on an extra day and do some other odd jobs, like fixing some loose shingles on the roof.

A few days later, Mr. Wheeler is still holed up in the Taylor's spare bedroom, enjoying three homemade meals a day, and oddly enough, not doing any real work. Between his lumbago and sudden needs to take Aunt Bee places, it seems that Andy is really doing all the work. When the mailman notes how peculiar it is for a handyman to have such soft hands (while his own hands have become sore and calloused), Andy finally becomes suspicious. He phones the sheriff of Mt. Pilot and discovers that Henry "Goldbrick" Wheeler has a notorious reputation for weaseling his way into the affections of older, single women like Aunt Bee, freeloading, then just up and disappearing when he's good and fed.

That evening Andy decides to take care of the situation: while cleaning his double-barrel shotgun, Andy explains to Mr. Wheeler that he expects a marriage proposal very soon, that very night in fact. Furthermore, he doesn't know what he would do to the man that would hurt his Aunt Bee (he says this with his shotgun aimed at Mr. Wheeler). Andy's scheme works as an exasperated Mr. Wheeler sneaks off to his truck and speeds out, never to be seen again. Andy breaks the news to Aunt Bee, who is tearful and heartbroken, but realizes that men like Mr. Wheeler can't be tied down. Andy consoles her and they go inside to eat supper.


  • The fact that Mr. Wheeler said he noticed the aphids on the Rose bushes should have been a red flag for Andy, perhaps the amount of money he charged threw him off.


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