Dad is actually arguing that the kids should be glad Momma did marry him and not her other suitor, Moses "Hambone" Henderson. Dad says that Moses, whom Dad facetiously nicknamed "Hambone," had "a head shaped just like a hambone, had more knots and bumps on his head than a dinosaur." Dad says that if Momma had married Moses, the children would have had to "go through life being known as the Hambonettes."
Dad loves to tell funny stories, and he starts relating this one to get himself out of trouble. The heater is not working, and the family is freezing at their home in Flint, Michigan. The weather report on television states that in Atlanta, Georgia, the weather is currently warm and sunny, prompting Momma to joke that she "made a bad choice" in marrying Dad, who brought her away from her home in the South, where she could have been nice and warm right now. Momma had had two suitors, Dad and Moses Henderson, and Moses had warned her that Flint was "colder than inside a icebox." As the family sits shivering in their front room in Flint, Momma teasingly tells Dad she should have chosen Moses and stayed in the South, causing Dad to bring up Moses' ludicrous shortcomings in his own defense (Chapter 1).