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My Evil Family

The Black Widow

Almighty was born with lots of money. I've already told you some of the evil ways her ancestors earned it. But she has even more money now. How did she get it? By marrying people.

My grandmother has been married five times. Her first husband, Alphonse Sullivan, Jr., my grandfather, was rich like her. But he died of a heart attack when he was 43. People said he worked too hard. My father was only ten years old at the time. Almighty inherited Al Jr.'s share of his family's money, of course. Cha-ching.

Once the proper mourning period was over, Almighty had no trouble finding new beaux, as she so delicately puts it. Within two years she had remarried. Her second husband, Geoffrey Weems, was an investment banker. He worked too hard too, I guess, because he died a year later at 54, also from a heart attack. Double cha-ching!

Next she married Leo Maguire, who owned a shoe factory. You might not think a person could get rich from making shoes, but Leo did. He was very rich. And when he died five years after the wedding (cancer), Almighty inherited the shoe factory. Triple cha-ching!!

At this point she wasn't just rich, she was filthy rich. Husband Number 4, Bertram Hightower, wasn't rich, so she must have loved him, though looking at his picture it's hard to see why (he was a total horse-face). His family was rich once, but by the time Almighty came along they were just snooty. Bert's family owned a horse farm but they couldn't afford to keep it anymore, so Almighty took it over and now it's hers. She has a whole stable of beautiful thoroughbred horses to ride. That marriage lasted a good twelve years. It was really sad when Bertram died in a riding accident. Sad, and not suspicious at all.

After Bertram died, Almighty stayed single for a while. Then, at age 70, she decided to get married one more time. Husband Number 5 is Wallace Beckendorf. He's bald and quiet and he owns a nursery. He spends a lot of time tending Almighty's giant gardens, even though she has a gardener. He just likes being outside with the plants. We like him. He's very nice. We were hoping his mild demeanor would rub off on our grandmother, but no. Oh well. You can't have everything.

If anybody feels like investigating the circumstances of some of the deaths of Almighty's late husbands, be my guest. I'd do it myself, but I'm too busy getting brainwashed by religion.

While Almighty was busy getting married and widowed, the Feud between her and Mamie went on and on. If Mame donated a gym to St. Maggie's, Almighty donated an auditorium. When the mayor named Almighty head of the City Arts Commission, Mame accused Almighty of bribing every politician in the state to get it. After which Almighty made a point of cutting off funding for Mame's pet project, Tin Ear Alley, a summer camp for underprivileged kids who suffer from that dreaded handicap, a lack of musical ability. Back and forth, back and forth. If Almighty invited you to a party and you went to Mame's instead, you went on her blacklist, never to be invited to anything again, unless you came crawling back to her on your knees and begged—and then only maybe.

Finally, ten years ago, after decades of scrapping over their little patch of Baltimore society, the source of their rivalry, Junius Overbeck, died. At his monster funeral, which filled the new cathedral, Almighty Lou made a big show of sympathy for Mame in her grief. I was there—I saw the whole thing. (Yes, I was only six, but I remember it.) Playing the magnanimous one, Almighty publicly called for an end to The Feud. It was time, she declared, for her and Mame to be friends and allies once more. "Together the two of us can do more good for the City than either of us ever could alone," Almighty declared at Junius's wake. "My dear Mame, let us put aside our long-held differences and declare a truce. I miss you, my old partner in crime."

Everyone clapped and had tears in their eyes. It was such a touching moment. The ancient Feud at an end at last. Or was it?

I have to say, I know my grandmother, and she does not give up that easily. My theory: After Junius died, she saw weakness in her victim and pounced. She saw a way to get Mame where it would really hurt her, get her good, once and for all. Would you like to know what it is? Maybe I'll tell you my theory sometime.

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