Glen Eades' column in the Magnolia Banner News:

December 21, 1990

The Emir Visits Brister

   An unusual and historical event happened in Brister last week.  We sat on the front porch and watched the colors of autumn change most days.  And we figured on applying for jobs one afternoon, but a man with a pillowcase tied around his head, who claimed to be an Arab, came calling.  The first foreigner we ever saw; he was a refugee of the Middle East oil grab, and turned out to be the Emir of Cashmere, a member of the Royal family, and next in line for the throne in that oil rich country!

   He told Billy Joe and I about being deposed by fascist soldiers and about escaping on a loaded Saudi banana boat headed for New Orleans.  The Emir witnessed the murder of his relatives; he shot his way out of his bombed-out and ransacked country. He told of melancholy, and of being so frightened of the Marxist thugs that he rode all the way to Arkansas without eating or sleeping – just so he could feel safe.  The man is well known by high government officials in Washington and Little Rock, but he said he could not notify them just yet, because he did not know who he could trust at that time.  Billy Joe told him he knew exactly how he felt, because people in this country can’t trust them either.

   The Emir stayed with us for several days, insisted we address him as your highness and taught us how to behave around nobility; so we wouldn’t make the mistake of kissing a subject of the crown on her lips like a former president did, or curtsy a butler.  We were honored in the company of the Emir, but we were a little nervous about royalty taking refuge in our home until he promised us millions for our hospitality after the Persian Gulf War is over.

   We learned so much about the noble people.  We didn’t know royalty drank their tea hot, loved Tichenor’s and liquefied corn, always had their meals brought to them on schedule, wiped their noses all the time and hated hominy and possum meat.  The Emir figured on staying until the war was over.

   One night, we were listening to a police scanner report about a savings and loan executive who had jumped bail at Lake Charles.  The crook was believed by police to be headed north.  The Emir suddenly felt faint at the mention of lawlessness, went to bed early and completely disappeared after dark.  And that same night we were to take him deer hunting.  That’s when we figured out the conceit and the lack of gratitude shown by royalty.

   After the Emir left, we were in awe at the honor of his surprise visit to Brister.  He had told us about his castles with boiling oil moats, gold toilets, knights in armor, ivory staircases, dining fit for a king and about his valet who waited on him hand and foot.  And beautiful princesses were forever trying to lure him into some kind of monkey business.  Then he talked about some of his friends in Washington – public servants who wish voters would mind their own business and stop meddling with American interests.  He told how his government friends are getting tired of people back home running to the polls and causing trouble.  The Emir complained of anti-American factions enlisting voters help in giving the rightful owners of government jobs – jobs they had worked in for decades – to a rival gang.

   We haven’t heard from Bubba Earl in weeks.  I guess he meant what he said about not coming back to Brister.  Billy Joe rode the mule down to the small community of Ralph, between Dorcheat and Walkerville, where Bubba Earl’s house is parked, but no one was home.  He reported the place being deserted so long that the junk cars in his front yard could hardly be seen for the weeds and grass.  B.J. said the place looked spooky with dead branches of an old oak tree still in the wind.  Information concerning Bubba Earl’s whereabouts would be appreciated.  Please write to us at: 3730 Highway 79 S., Emerson, AR 71740.


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