Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Queen of Colors

I have had so many people ask questions over the last year about one special animal that has captured the hearts of many. And I don't mean that in the way that the Olsen twins captured our hearts in the '90s (gag). I mean it in the way that, like, Satan captures hearts.

The Queen of Colors.

I mentioned her for the first time a year ago in a post about a text exchange over Snuggies. I never thought anyone would read that post or really think it was all that funny. And I especially never thought anyone would pay any attention to my passing reference to the Queen of Colors in one of the text messages I sent to Jane.

But in the days that immediately followed, it became apparent that that was the thing that a lot of people seemed to pay the absolute most attention to.

Since then, many of you have sent me pictures of Queen of Colors look-a-likes and paraphernalia. I have received tons of emails referencing the Q of C and asking questions about her. For some of us in our little Stranger community, the Queen of Colors has become a household name. Something that represents evil hilarity.

But many of you have wondered where on Earth she came from. And I suppose it's because you aren't satisfied with the answer I have given time and time again: straight from Hell. Many of you have also wondered about the infamous "hair" story.

I'm here to answer your questions for you today, and tell you, once and for all, that the Queen of Colors is real and the story is absolutely, positively, true. Well, mostly.

So sit back and enjoy, finally, the story of the Queen of Colors.



 
When I was a small wretched child, Bob and Cathie had a chicken coop. The biggest way in which this affected me was through the constant looming threat that I was going to have to sleep in the chicken coop if I didn't behave. This was possibly the most terrifying fate I could imagine at age 6, which made it pretty effective at getting me to do absolutely whatever Bob and Cathie wanted me to do.

Bob and Cathie: 1.  Six-year-old Eli: 0.

I never really knew what sleeping in the chicken coop would be like. I just knew that Bob and Cathie threatened it in a tone that made it sound like something no person would ever want to experience. Fortunately, the chicken-coop-sleeping-punishment was only ever threatened, and not enforced.

Your bark is louder than your bite, Bob and Cathie. And I'm on to you.

The fact that Bob and Cathie had chickens was a very strange thing. Bob and Cathie have never been animal people. I can count the number of "pets" we had during my childhood on two fingers. One, a horrifically mean bird named "Feathers" who one day without any notice went away to live on a farm where he would be happier. And two, a dog named Winnie who bit me every single day of her spoiled, untrained existence.
I asked Cathie one day why we had chickens in the first place.  I did not grow up on a farm. Nor did we live in an area where there really were farms. Cathie told me that we had those chickens for two reasons: 1) to teach responsibility, and 2) because of something about the Mormon pioneers and how we should be able to take care of ourselves.
Far and away, the scariest thing about the chicken coop was that it was where the Queen of Colors resided. She lived there and was absolutely the most unpredictable, mean, atrocious, evil creature that ever roamed the planet. My sisters and I used to stare out of the back windows, making sure she hadn’t gotten out of her cell, before daring to venture into the yard.
My older sisters named her the Queen of Colors because, well, she was a colorful chicken. The Q of C was smaller than the others but absolutely had a vendetta against all other life. My sisters were responsible for gathering the eggs from the chickens and they both swear that every time they approached the Q of C, she would scratch, squawk, and nip at them, on occasion, drawing blood.

BLOOD, you guys. She drew BLOOD.

She was just exactly like Satan. She acted calm and gentle and inviting until you got within a few feet of her. Then without warning she would spread her wings and sprint-fly at your shins. And then eat your soul.

Some of the earliest memories of my life involve the Queen of Colors chasing me around the yard, both of us screaming for entirely different reasons. Bob and Cathie would stand idly by, unwilling to interrupt the fray. I assumed this was because they didn't want to make enemies with the Q of C.

Little did they know, the Q of C considered everyone an enemy.  
All of our fears culminated one day when the Queen of Colors launched her greatest attack.
My oldest sister, Krishelle, had a friend named Kelly who had come over to play. Kelly accompanied Krishelle in her walk out to the chicken coop to gather the day's eggs.
Krishelle's memory, 20-something years later, is still in slow-motion.
If anyone was afraid of the Queen of Colors more than anyone else, it was Krishelle. She bore the bulk of the chicken-egg-gathering responsibilities, presumably because Bob and Cathie were too afraid to handle the job themselves. Krishelle often approached the chicken coop brandishing make-shift weapons in the event that she would be required to go head-to-head with evil.

Occasionally she held a Bible and a cross, too.

On that fateful day, Krishelle opened the door to the chicken coop while Kelly stood a few feet behind her. Her weapon of choice: a shovel.

After 20 plus years of dissecting the incident, my family has all reached a common consensus that the Queen of Colors's next move was clearly premeditated.

She was not startled.

For one could not startle the Queen of Colors.

She was not acting in defense.

For the Queen of Colors would never allow herself to be put on the defensive.

She acted out of pure, planned, poisonous, hate.
Without any hesitation, the Q of C sprang from the ground, five feet into the air, and flew directly at Krishelle's head.

We knew that the Queen of Colors had an uncharacteristically creepy ability to fly. But we had only ever seen her catch a few feet of air, and only for a second or two. But on this day, the Q of C flew.
In a split second of panic, Krishelle forgot her weapon and ducked just in time. The Q of C flew past Krishelle and instead landed directly on top of Kelly's head.
Kelly had a perm. And when I say that she had a perm, I mean she had a perm. This was the 80s and if you didn’t have a perm in Utah in the 80s, there was totally no way you were ever going to get a guy with a mullet to look at you. I had ingrained in me that the giant permed hair was attractive from a very young age. For this reason, I automatically had a crush on all the high school girls who helped out in my pre-school class and who had perms. They never gave me the time of day though. Whatever. Joke’s on them. When I'm 70 and they're all 82, they'll be wishing they had a younger man in their lives.

The Queen of Colors was now on top of Kelly's head, holding on. Tight. The high-pitched screams of the terrified 11-year-old girl competed with the screeching “BOCK BOCK” coming from a very distressed and pissed Queen of Colors. And that's when they got tangled.

All stared on in fear. The Queen of Colors dropped and now hung completely upside-down with one shank buried deep in the permed hair. Then, Kelly spun in circles with her head tilted downward, twisting herself more and more deeply into the chicken's grasps. They were like some combination of twine and welded metal. Only scarier.

The scene looked like the shot-put. Only with a lot more screaming. And without the release.

How, exactly, the Queen of Colors was freed from Kelly's perm has always been a fuzzy (pun intended) part of the story to me. I always imagined Bob running toward her with some tool to cut her free. But Kelly may have just continued to spin in screaming circles until the Queen of Colors was finally ejected to the ground.

Had Bob run to the rescue and attempted to hold onto the Queen of Colors so he could control the quick movements that made it pretty impossible to identify the root of the entanglement, this would have been a difficult task. And because she had no allies, the Queen of Colors would have pecked and pecked and pecked at Bob, with hate in her eyes.
In any event, all present remember that the Queen of Colors fell to the ground and then calmly strutted back into the chicken coop, while Kelly, on her back, cried.

That's right. She strutted back into the chicken coop.

The Queen of Colors was not trying to escape. She wasn't trying to have a different life. She didn't attack so that she could be freed, or get more food, or change her circumstances in any way.

The Queen of Colors wanted to cause pain. Plain and simple.

It wasn't long after that that we came home from school one day and discovered that the chicken coop was gone. Bob and Cathie made an executive decision, and just like that, the chickens were taken away.

It has been said that there is a black spot on the ground directly below where the Queen of Colors's bed sat.

Also, nothing has been able to grow there ever since.

Not even dreams.

Especially not dreams.

~It Just Gets Stranger

53 comments:

  1. Grand post. Look at you and your Wilburn W Boggs reference.

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  2. This is easily one of my all-time favorite blog posts, from anyone.

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  3. Sounds like she's been reincarnated into the body of Mean Jean, the meanest chicken in the coop here in Scituate. Mean Jean weighs about 2lbs, had the comb of a rooster and runs her run like the almight crip nation. Once she stared down my neighbors 100lb black lab....he's never been the same.

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  4. Oh wow, this sounds like 2 diff. stories from my childhood; the bat that got tangled in a neighbors high teased hair, and the goose that ran at you with it's neck swaying back and forth in the grass like a snake. The goose was the meanest little 'b'rat. I had so many bruises on my backside from her biting. (Hugs) Indigo

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  5. ALL chickens are of the devil if you ask me.

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    1. I once took care of my neighbor's chickens for a week. never again. The rooster was definately demon possessed. I think he and the Q of C might have both been part of the IWRUIHYS(i won't rest until I have your soul)club. Once when I was leaving, he chased me all the way to my car. CHASED ME THE WHOLE WAY! I barely made it to the car alive and with my soul. hate chickens with a passion...

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  6. I can't help but wonder... where were you in all this Mr. McCann?

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    1. Probably in a ditch, being neglected.

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    2. HAHAHAHA Nice response. I still would say that this blog makes my life so much better.

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  7. We had a chicken with a similar hatred of all living things. She would crack the other chickens' eggs, chase the dog and the cat, fly at the heads of small children. The problem was that since all the chickens were Rhode Island Reds, we couldn't tell which one was the psychopath. Eventually, she snapped and there was an in-coop reenactment of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None". That's right, she murdered the other chickens in cold blood, one at a time, so the remainder lived their last nights in terror, wondering which of them would be next.

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    1. Awesome story. A chicken that cracked the other chickens' eggs? I would pay to see a movie about that.

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  8. While reading this laughing my butt off, I am thankful for my good chickens. Q of C would have been a stew real quick! I have had several conversations about Q of C to my family because it is too funny not too, plus I'm the only one with chickens, so who else is going to tell it... and for legend to be made it has to be shared right! I hope Kelly was able to get therapy, is there a group for surviving devil chickens? Thanks Eli for another day of making me laugh!

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    1. I bet the Q of C would have tasted like tar.

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  9. A few years back, the husband and I were in World Market, browsing ornaments, when he decided he had to have this large, shiny blue chicken ornament. Deep inside, I wanted to crush his dreams, but one does not stay happily married for 17 years by crushing dreams. So, to the back of the tree she hung, until yesterday when I saw her starring up from the box. I giggled secretly to myself and selected a spot front and center for her to hang and terrify filthy paws of children and pugs alike. Thank you for sharing your wonderful stories!

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  10. This reminded me of my daughter. When she was younger she went to a friends house and they went into the chicken coop and the chickens decided that they would evacuate all at once. After that she has always been scared of Chickens which made it bad because our landlords had chickens and they would let them out all of the time. When we would pull into the driveway and they were allover she would refuse to get out of the truck until I scared the chickens away and then it was a mad dash to the house.

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    1. There should be some kind of recovery group for this sort of thing.

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  11. I'm sorry, but aren't the colorful one roosters?

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    1. Probably. And that picture is definitely of a rooster (not that I know anything about animals). I asked my parents to see if they could find a picture of the actual Q of C so we can see how colorful she really was.

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    2. That picture actually looks pretty close to the queen. Just take away the roostery parts and there she is. I am sure that there are no pictures of her in existence. Yet another thing she has in common with satan, how convenient.

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    3. Krishelle, while I feel so bad for Kelly, I am certainly happy you were able to duck in time to avoid the wrath of the Q of Cs. Thank goodness she was there . . .

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  12. Colorful ones! I meant :)

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  13. Cool about the pic! I thought maybe it being a picture of a rooster was part of the joke.

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  14. This has answered a lot of questions. So we know where the QofC was in the 90's, but what about the 80's? And even more pressing, the present!?

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  15. This post is my favorite thing I've read on here in a while. And that's saying something. I love the shot-put image.

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  16. That is the best worst story ever! I have always been pretty scared of chickens, and now I have the best reason to be terrified!

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  17. I am so glad you posted this! Now... on to Lohan...I haven't been able to find many posts that explain how you got him and how you confirmed what he was and if you still have him. Please please please :)

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  18. Wonderful and exciting writing, reminds me of the time my sister was attacked by a rooster....Keep writing!!!

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  19. I remember that chicken coop...one day while your dad was at work i stenciled the words, "Bob's Chicken Coop" on it because he built it with his own hands - the only structure he has ever built. It was two stories high (in chicken height) and had a ramp so the chickens could slip 'n slide on when it rained. So fun for them! There was an enclosed room so they could get out of the rain if they wanted to - it was a beautiful thing! :) OK everyone.....Only believe about half of what you read. Bob and Cathie had no involvement whatsoever with the Demise of the Chicken Coop or the Disappearance of the Queen of Colors or anything that happened.... ;) Xoxo

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    1. BTW, a kid from a local psychiatric hospital adopted those chickens and took them to his farm. We are sure they had a good rest of their lives. :) Bob & Cathie

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    2. They sound like the luckiest chickens. Ever. I bet they totally used the slip 'n slide ramp all the time!

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  20. Thank you for curing me of any desire I may ever have to own chickens.

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  21. Thank you for curing me of any desire I may ever have to own chickens.

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  23. This story begs the question:

    I know you dislike cats. And you LOATHE snakes. Where does Q of C fit? Do you hate her (and even her evil memory) more than serpents, Eli?

    Does this...experience...kinda makes you wish that the Q of C had attempted homicide on someone outside the family much earlier in your lifetime? You know, since that's what it took for Bob and Cathie to get rid of her (in whatever way they saw fit). (And when I say "that's all it took," I mean no disrespect to poor Kelly, who may have required counseling to get over that horrific episode, and no disrespect to any of your family who have terrible memories of Satan's bird.)

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  24. Haha! Yay finally the Q of C story. I was wondering all this time. We all had our share with those meanies.. why does it have to be birds? those flightless (but somehow could fly in weird situations) birds?

    Mine was with turkeys yes turkeys. They always waited for me to come home from school right behind the corner of my street waiting for the right moment to chase me and my friends and start knocking on our door (yes they knock!) hoping we would go outside and be chased again while we scream and they "clook" (sounds they make) with joy!! I was 6 at the time. It went on for 3 years! I am traumatised till this very day! Those things, they are smart! SMART! I still can't be around 10 feet when i hear the sound of clook clook! aaargh!!! I would run.

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  25. Are you sure Q of C wasn't a rooster? The picture looks like a rooster with spurs and the tail plumage and they ARE mean. Had several run-ins with ones we had. The hens are usually pretty gentle.

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  26. Will you tell the story of The First Eye now? Please?!

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    1. Amy, you can find that story here: http://itjustgetsstranger.blogspot.com/2012/01/first-eye.html

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  27. I was a brave little tom-boy growing up. I jumped from the roof of the goat barn onto the back of our 2 year old stallion, no problem. The German Shepherds we raised to be ferocious narcotic sniffing attack dogs didn't bother me in the least. Harvesting honey from our beehives was a lark, and I spent many an idyllic afternoon in the chicken coop training the baby chicks in the acrobatic arts.

    But my innocent childhood all came to a crashing halt the day one of the deceptively fuzzy chicks went through puberty and turned into Mr. Mean, the Demon Rooster.

    From that day forward, we were basically prisoners in our own home. I kid you not, my sisters and I would watch bleakly from an upper story window until we could confirm that Mr. Mean was in the furthest corner of our acre lot before we would RUN to gather the eggs or feed the dogs or water the horses. Mr. Mean seemed omnipresent. He could smell our fear.

    I have a vivid and terrifying memory permanently etched into the very fiber of my soul of my 9 year old sister Sarah sprinting pell-mell in muddy rubber work boots with the hood of her rain slicker whipping uselessly behind her, screaming her head off as Mr. Mean flew after her in hot pursuit with malice in his beady little eyes. I shudder to think what would have happened if she had stumbled on the rain slick grass and he had caught up to her.

    Thankfully she made it safely to the house where we awaited her with a dry blanket and soothing words.

    Now, I don't want to alarm anyone, but I feel obligated to mention that Mr. Mean passed away right around the time my sister Amy's 10 year old son Matthew was born. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I had any reason to link the 2 events in my mind. But on more than one occasion in recent years I've heard unholy squawks coming from my nephew...and he seems to take an unhealthy pleasure in tormenting people.

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday in an attempt to rule out my ludicrous suspicions, I respectfully (and with downcast eyes) asked Matt if I could speak to the Demon that lives inside him. He said, "NO," in a chilling guttural voice that will forever haunt my dreams.

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  28. i love that you call them "bob and cathie"

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  29. One, brilliant story.
    Two, y'all realize that's a photo of a Rooster, right?
    Three, you also realize that chickens are completely high strung and neurotic because we take their babies and EAT them, right? They know this and it doesn't sit well. Makes them jumpy and well, not right in the head. What to do?

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  30. That Quinn of colors - what a bitch!!!
    Queen

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  31. I thought you said Q of C died by machete...

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  32. My school keeps pets. I have been hissed, and chased by peacoaks ( when in mating season, if you get too close they open their tail and hiss,,, but it sounds more like a rattlesnake )
    I have seen people chased by ducks, because they accidentaly got to close to a duckling........ and yet the bird i fear most is the ostrich,,,, they are evil looking.
    Now i might also add chickes to the list of scary birds

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  33. Omg, this has made my day. I almost peed myself lol'ing!

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  34. This was freakin' hilarious! Thanks for the good laugh :)

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  35. We had many demonic roosters growing up . But they were just sub demons. Mean with small brains an easily fooled. The king of all the demons on the farm was 'goosey' our goose. ( yes we were very creative with our animal names) he bit an flogged us children if he caught us an we had to develope war plans to get from the house to the barn . Cuz between the two was no mans land an goosey laid in wait. I still remember the honk he would give when he saw you and then get ing low to the ground an hissing all the way he would charge scattering us to the wind. But how I know he was truly evil thru an thru was a incident that has scarred me for life . He hated us kids but loved my mother. Not sure what that says for her what with him being from satan an all but she was kind of a animal wisperer or something. So us kids always saw him come to her an she would pet him an he would rub her leg an try an jump on her lap. Soooo one day goosey is coming and I prepare to run . But he is not hissing and he is not charging and I think what in the world? And I let him waddle up to me cuz he is acting just like he did with my mom just kind of murmering little goose talk. So he comes up to me right up against my legs still murmering his gentle goose talk an so I reach out very tentatively an very slowly to pet him and......he dosnt bite me! He seems to be enjoying it! And I think" did a wondering priest come by and perform a excercism?" I bend down to pet him an he trys jumping on my lap sooo I pick him up course. It was a picture of sweetness . Goosey in my arms with his head on my shoulder. I was just holding an petting him when suddenly he pulls his head back an looks me square in the eye. Looking in to his beady eye I wonder what is going on when he suddenly shoots forward an latches onto my nose. Without thinking I throw him from my arms.....but since he is attached to my most prominent facial feature he took most of the skin off my nose with him. As he hits the ground he gives a hiss an then runs of flapping and honking . I run to the house bawling to tell my mother. As I tell her she starts laughing so hard she is crying . Then tells me I'm a idiot for picking him up. Well today my nose is kind of mishapen and my f amily says the goose did it. We also had a billy goat from hell but ill shut up now....

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    1. Wow I feel really bad for you. But that is a great story!

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  36. Thank you...no seriously, THANK YOU!!!! for the laugh! I am and forever will be a loyal fan of yours! Thanks to an article on ksl.com for steering me to your blog. Now, to read the rest of your hilarious, well written posts!

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  37. i completely understand your feelings about chickens. when i was young, my grandparents had chickens and one started to charge me...if i didn't have my cousin there to punt it across the yard, i would be in a lot worse shape, for sure.

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