The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The 2005 Dumbass Award Winner

Since Vanessa (and Nightmare on Elm Street) asked, here it is.

This year my mother-in-law, Fidget, won the Dumbass Award.

My mother-in-law lives on 100 acres of woods on the side of Crow Mountain. Her house is built on a broad shelf of rock sticking out of the mountain. The land directly behind the house climbs up toward the sky, and the land in front plunges into a deep gorge.

Fidget has three dogs and three cats. On the whole, they all get along just fine. There isn’t any of that interspecies animosity so prevalent elsewhere. The third cat, Pansy, was a new addition to menagerie. She is a tiny black Persian; she can’t weigh more than two or three pounds at the most. She is also entirely declawed. As with every Persian cat I’ve met, Pansy isn’t quite right in the head. Think Ed, the Hyena, from the Lion King. Since she’s “kind of squirrelly,” Pansy was being kept inside so she could acclimate to her new home and the dogs. I should mention that the dogs are kept outside and the cats are indoor-outdoor pets.

One fine day this spring, Fidget was home alone. She was enjoying the quiet and cleaning house. Everything was good.

Then she went to let Pugsley, one of the other cats, into the house. Pansy ran out as Pugsley came in. Fidget tried closing the door, but couldn’t without closing it on the cats. Pansy was out and away.

Pansy hadn’t been outside in several months. Apparently, her master plan didn’t account for what she ought to do once her escape was complete. She darted around unsure of what she should do. The two youngest dogs, huge 100+ pound creatures, were very interested in the new cat. Curious, they started following her around. They didn’t growl, snap at, or chase Pansy. They simple followed a few paces behind her.

Pansy was freaked out. She ran down the mountain and deeper into the woods. The dogs followed. She picked up her pace, and they matched hers. It escalated. Soon they were following Pansy at a dead run down into the gorge.

Fidget followed after them. As soon as Pansy bolted out the door, Fidget gave chase. Unfortunately, she didn’t manage to catch Pansy. She was worried the dogs might get caught up in the chase and forget the, “Thou shant eat the house cat” commandment, so she grabbed an old paint roller on the way out the door. She was going to use it to beat the dogs if the need arose. I might also add that Fidget was barefoot.

Fidget didn’t catch up with Pansy until they got to the bottom of the gorge. By then the little Persian was bug-eyed and frenzied. With some difficulty, Fidget grabbed Pansy by the scruff of her neck and picked her up. That’s when the cat attacked.

The two-pound titan locked a Kung-Fu death grip on Fidget’s face with the only thing she had, her teeth. It seems Pansy hit something juicy because blood went everywhere. Her top two teeth went in Fidget’s check just above the jaw line, and the bottom teeth went in just below it. Fidget later said the only thing she could think was, “The cat hit my jugular, I’m going to die, and no one is going to find my body down here. The dogs are going to eat me.”

Fortunately, Pansy quickly released her death grip. Fidget wrestled the cat away from her face while maintaining her grip on the scruff of Pansy’s neck. She then did the only thing someone in her situation could do, she stripped off her house dress. She somehow managed to stuff the cat into the dress and tied it off like a sack.

Since Fidget had gone “commando” that day, she was now naked, blood streaked, toting a cat tied in a dress, and fending off two dogs with a paint roller as they tried to nose her private parts. And, after all that, she still had to hike her way out of the gorge while barefoot.

When she got back to the house, she locked Pansy in the pantry and called the vet. She wanted to see if he had any advice about treating cat bites. To the best of my knowledge, she never called or went to the doctor.

I’ve know people that have walked away from traffic accidents that looked better than she did. The left side of her face swelled and turned yellow. The only exception was the purple-red whelp and four tiny, bloody holes. The iodine stains didn’t make it look any better. We’re talking about some serious, fugly damage. The first time I saw her, I was shocked.

Me: “My God, what happened to you?! Are you okay?”

Fidget: “I’m okay, really it looks worse than it feels.”

Me: “What happened?” At this point I’m still thinking car wreck or a serious brawl.

Fidget: “I was attached by Pansy.” She looks abashed.

Me: “Pansy?! Pansy did that to you?” Fidget tells me the story and I nearly die laughing.

Even Jack, her husband, thought it was pretty bad. Having spent six years in the Navy and being a man in general, Jack has a high threshold for gross things. Not much bothers him, but, when Fidget pressed the inside of her check with her tongue and stream of puss sprayed out of her face, he nearly stroked out.

And, as if this wasn’t bad enough, Fidget had a similar experience two or three years ago. The particulars were different, but the gist of the story is running through woods to break up an animals chase can only end badly. Without going into too much detail, this episode ended with her laying naked in the woods at night with a broken toe, a bloody dog, and a dead raccoon.

The general consensus was she should have known better, so she won.

Can you see where pulling your thumb off with a drill & grinder attachment might not rate in this family?

11 Comments:

Blogger JLynnette said...

That is absolutely hilarious! I know I shouldn't laugh, but gads, I can't help myself.

It's a good thing we're not related, I might give you a run for your money for that award. :)

1:40 PM  
Blogger SmilingJudy said...

LOL! LOL! That is hilarious!!! :D

3:18 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

I've heard cat bites are nasty and this story confirms it. Too funny. Thanks for sharing

5:22 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a story! Eeek.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

Depending on your Mother-in-law and wife, you might just end up with the "Dumbass" award by giving MIL an award titled "Dumbass."

that being said, it was pretty funny! Ouch. he, he, he.

2:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

I'm fairly lucky in regard to my wife and mother-in-law. My wife and I have a non-aggression pact in regard to the Dumbass Award.

I'm on really good terms with my mother-in-law, but I'm sure that if I'm nominated in 2006 she'll vote for me. Turnabout is fair play.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

that is too funny. your blog cracks me up.

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