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!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Operation Trebuchet

I feel that I am left with no other choice but to build a trebuchet. Since Monty Python launched that first fateful cow, the launching of unorthodox objects from medieval siege weapons has become a time-honored way to make a memorable statement. The 1990’s TV show Northern Exposure featured one of the most notable examples of this fine tradition: launching a casket & corpse into an Alaska lake at a funeral. Now, I too aspire to become part of this illustrious group. My kitchen sink simply must go.

Despite a spirited effort on our part, the kitchen refuses to be finished. Late Saturday we subdued the kitchen floor with the last of four coats of polyurethane. Scary, black cracks to the Underworld between the floor boards and the base of the wall behind the stove and dishwasher were filled with spray foam insulation. The marble countertop and grout were sealed. The cabinets were cleaned and a light was installed under the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink, however, refused to be mastered. Two trips to town for parts and after two hours of armed struggle our conquering efforts were rebuffed. We retreated to bed in shameful, teeth-gnashing defeat.

The kitchen sink we now have was salvage from somewhere or other several years ago. I can’t remember where exactly, a house in Russellville I think. It’s huge, cast iron, and made in the early 1970’s. I’d show you a picture of the evil hussy, but I was too pissed off to think about pictures last night. The sink is in good shape minus some scratches and wear. Aside from a good washing, the only thing the sink really needs is to be re-plumbed. In order to do this, we have to remove the two old, corroded drain traps and install new ones. Everything else should be fairly straight forward, a sure sign of trouble.

The sink has two sides (one small for rinsing, the other large for general use). The small basin surrendered its drain trap without too much effort. The other trap was obstinately immobile. Our curses, pleas, bloody knuckles, tears, and bruises were futile. It was adamantly unmoved. Maybe it was the suffering induced delirium, but, I think we may have agreed to get a new kitchen sink before we tumbled into bed around midnight.

Refreshed after five hours of sleep and half a pot of coffee I’m thinking about giving the sink one last chance to repent. Jack is coming over to help me move the stove and refrigerator tonight. Maybe while he’s there he might help me beat the everlasting shit out of that drain trap. If it refuses to see reason, it’ll have a one way ticket to the Big Ol’ Dumpster in the Sky.


Anonymous davidLBC said...

Don't be shy about mangling that trap to get it out. If it's loose but stuck you can cut through the lip of the trap on the basin side using tin shears in several places and pry the thing in on itself. I'm guessing it's one of those cheap stamped stainless steel units. If it is cast brass this may not be possible. If the nut underneath is too tight to budge, you might be able to break it into pieces with a hammer and chisel. These are usually made of soft diecast pot metal. Good luck!

11:38 AM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Get out your reciprocating saw. I have learned from experience that you need to bring out the big guns to show that plumbing that are not one to be fcuked with!

12:22 PM  
Blogger ben said...

I have a co-worker who built a trebuchet. It was a school project for his teenage daughter. the whole class made them and launched bags of flour in the school parking lot. Have fun!

12:24 PM  
Blogger JLynnette said...

WD-40 and the biggest wrench you can find.

If you do launch your sink, please don't point it in the direction of my house:)

1:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for all the tips. Tried the WD-40 but it didn't work. My father-in-law and I worked it over & we finally got it loose. If that didn't work, the saw was definately next.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Northern Exposure also launched a piano, once, with the trebuchet. It was a yearly event in the community, if I recall correctly.

The piano launch was done as a kind of performance art.

-- Janine

11:34 AM  

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