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, January 05, 2006

The Original Dumbass, Accept No Substitute

My mother-in-law is now internationally famous because of this post. She wasn’t too concerned at first, but then she discovered that her uncle reads it to his co-workers every day. I guess the knowledge that somewhere in Kentucky, a room full of grown men (and women?) were flopping on a floor and sobbing because they were laughing so hard wasn’t a real feel good for her. Me? I still think it’s hilarious which is one of the reasons why my wife says I am not nice.

“You know, if you win the Dumbass Award this year, you’ll have to post it on the blog,” my wife said to me the other night.

“Well, yeah. But, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that.”

“Why’s that?” she asked.

“It would probably be on the blog already. I mean, the whole thumb and grinder incident for example, that’s up already.”

My wife is right though. I’m not nice. However, I do believe in fair play. Just to prove that I’m not singling Fidge (and Charlie) out, I started writing up the tale of Adam, our 2003 Dumbass Award winner. It had been a while so I emailed his mom for all the gory details. She wrote back (with a few edits):

Hey there John,

Now this isn’t anywhere even close to being as funny as Fidge’s story. Her story is book worthy. Here’s the scoop on Adam’s dumb ass award…. Adam was between the ages of 16 and 17 when all this happened.

He did date a pregnant girl. As soon as she told him she was pregnant he didn’t hesitate in asking for his class ring back.
[For clarification, the child was not his – Adam was not the deadbeat dad of this story]

He ran into the garage one time….once was enough. Thank you very much.
[I thought he’d done it twice - that was a different cousin, my mistake] It was so loud it sounded like a bomb had hit the house. He was confused as to whether he should hit the break or gas to stop. So he stomped the gas peddle and rammed the garage wall. Luckily the brick stopped him.

He set his bedroom carpet on fire shining his boots because he had been told by someone in JROTC that lighting the shoe polish would make his boots really shiny. He lit the can of shoe polish and when it got too hot, dropped it and the now liquid polish hit the floor splattered and set the carpet on fire. He cut out the bunt carpet, replaced it with a remnant and covered it up with a Razorback rug.

He did all this while Jim and I watched a movie in the living room. We had no clue any of this was going on. I discovered it a couple of months after the fact when I needed to paint his room and moved the Razorback rug. From that day on anytime we had visitors the story about the carpet in Adam’s room was told and we showed them his handiwork at replacing carpet. It was really a sad day when we replaced the entire carpet in his room.

That’s it in a nut shell….you should tell about the runner up that year too. Uncle Mike shooting the electrical box several times while trying to shoot a cat was really funny.

After reading this, I agreed. If I remember correctly, I didn’t even vote for Adam that year. I voted for Mike.

Mike is the Ur-Dumbass. Not only was he the original Dumbass Award winner, he is the only person to be nominated for the award every year since its inception. The man is serious overachiever.

Mike won the 2001 Dumbass Award with the following story.

Mike, like many of his siblings, suffers from diabetes. He has a pill he takes after meals to help control his blood sugar. He’d been taking them for years with no problems. They seemed to work just fine. Then, they suddenly stopped working over the course of a month. He had trouble with his blood sugar and felt mildly ill most of the time. He was moody, irritable, and just didn’t feel right or well. Allegedly (I can’t remember if this was true and he wouldn’t tell me if I asked), he also suffered from hot flashes and sore & enlarged man-breasts.

No one could figure out what was wrong with him. Then his wife made a discovery. Her estrogen pills were gone. Mike had been taking pills from the wrong bottle in the medicine cabinet for a month.

Mortified, he immediately started taking his sugar pills and felt much, much better for it.

Needless to say, he got teased by his family for a very long time.

I hate to leave y’all hanging, but, for space and time considerations, I'll wait to tell all of his runner-up Dumbass tales. After you read them though, I think that you’ll have to agree that he deserves a Lifetime Achievement Dumbass Award.

More later.


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