Humor Magazine

Only in 'Arkieland' Or Serbia, Perhaps!

By Davidduff

This blog is pleased to announce that we are celebrating a very distinguished and historic anniversary tomorrow, the 17th October.  'Our Man In Arkansas' finally managed to stagger away from Barney Magroo Jnr. and his 'Still on the Hill' and in fulfilment of his duty to keep D&N readers right up to date with the very latest news from that key State of the Union, Arkansas, he has sent in a report from, er, circa 1931 - yeeeeeees, quite, it's so difficult to find the staff these days!  Even so, events of some 80-odd (and I do mean 'odd') years ago still provide, shall we say, the flavor of this particular example of 'God's eccentric little acre'. 

Talking of God, and begging His celestial pardon, reminds me that the anniversary concerns the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro (Craighead County) and what became known as the Jonesboro Church War.  Normally when one thinks of Baptists, which isn't often, I agree, the image is of nice old ladies and kindly gentlemen filled with nothing but love and charity - but not in Arkansas, I gather!  Perhaps, God bless them, back in the day they fell under the influence of Barney Magroo's great gran'pappy whose hooch in those days was said to be flavoured by the devil!  Whatever, an enormous fight broke out between rival preachers and their sects.  At one stage the Baptist church was filled with two seperate congregations all singing and praying simultaneously in an effort to lay claim to the church.

This being Arkansas it had to end bloodily and in due course someone was killed, there were riots and the army had to be called in to maintain the peace. Finally, and this says much about the character of 'Arkieland' and its denizens, the perp concerned was held in a cell in the local jail.  An opponent managed to gain entrance to the jailhouse and thrust a machine-gun through the bars and opened fire.  He missed!  Totally!  Rumours that he had started the day at a 'tasting' at Gran'pappy Magroo's 'Still on the Hill' are hotly denied, "If'n he'da drunk any a' Gran'pappy Magroo's hooch he'd a shot hisself, more'n'like", said a PR spokeman for the firm's latter-day successor, Magroo Inc.

Even a writer of my superb skill and imagination - sorry, did someone say something? - finds it impossible to describe this stirring tale of Arkansian history and so I urge you to read the real thing here:

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=3487

Somehow, after reading that, in some way, I can't help feeling that 'Zummerzet in Olde England' do be a bit quiet and boring.  Not, I hasten to add, that I'm complaining.  However, I leave the last witty words to 'Our Man In Arkansas' who, apropos my second post below, wrote this: "it does show you at least, the Serbs and the Albanians got nothing on Arkies!"  Well, I'm not going to argue with that!

 


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