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, September 21, 2006

Man of Constant Sorrow

When you get married, everyone always tells you, “Marriage changes everything.” You kind of nod in agreement, but you really don’t know what they mean until you are there yourself. Last night my wife refused to go to the XXX Store in Clarksville with me.

Right about now you are thinking, “Whoa, way too much information!” But, don’t leave just yet, it’s not like that. In fact, it is a far more benign need that drives me to such an extreme: I need a Halloween costume.

Since the Devil Queen is officially semi-civilized (see the Turning-On-The-Water-Party post), it is only fitting that we throw a Halloween party. Best of yet, the general consensus is that the Devil Queen requires no decorating aside from a few Jack-O-Lanterns. For once, distressed and scary are good things.

My first thought for a costume was the Home Improvement Gimp. The general idea is I dress up in my Devil Queen work clothes (torn, stained pants, work boots, Voodoo Contracting T-shirt, and tool belt), put a studded dog collar around my neck (with attached chain), and don the zipped mouth gimp mask (for the one or two innocent souls out there, see Pulp Fiction). Since I don’t have the last two items (collar and mask), I’d have to buy them. And, what better place is there to look for them than the XXX Store? To the best of my knowledge, Wal-Mart’s idea of “everyday low prices” still doesn’t extend to bondage wear.

My wife is less than enthused with this costume. Her exact words were, "Where do you come up with this?"

So, dear readers, do you have a more palatable suggestion for me?

Budget is somewhat of a concern. If I had a ridiculous amount of money to blow on this, I’d buy some reproduction Viking warrior gear (sword, helm, chainmail, etc). It’d be nice to get in touch with my primordial Norse ancestors since I’m half Scandinavian, and I can’t think of a better excuse for violent, debauched socially acceptable behavior besides joining a college fraternity. Since we owe a kidney’s worth in college loans, that isn’t a viable option.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found your blog through the CNN article. I do have a suggestion for your Halloween Costume. Since, your blog is the Devil Queen and you call your house the Devil Queen why don't you dress in drag as a woman dressed in a Devil's costume then you could be the "Devil Queen."

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Amanda (WV) said...

You know you don't have to take your wife with you. Just announce (with clarification) that you are heading out to the XXX store. Although from what I've seen of the XXX stores in Arkansas they probably won't have what you are looking for. I bet you can find it cheap online. Myself, I decided not to go the costume route for my "pre-Halloween/post bath gut" bash.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Tunride said...

I too found you at CNN and you got me! I have been the proud owner of "The Money Pit" for the last twenty years. The tub hasn't fallen threw yet but the bathroom sink might. Tomorrow is play plummer day. Strange how these older homes never get finished! Your costume? I love the shirt. Try an old belt, or fake leather and Ben Franklins, New Albany Plaza for the studs/spikes (craft-jewelry making isle). Probably get a nice piece of fake leather for a buck or two. It's got to be cheaper than XXX.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the trip to the store is something you would rather not do, try just doing a search for "bondage hood"
on Google. Beware, though. The coolest looking ones are expensive!

1:26 PM  
Blogger merideth said...

okay that first commenter who suggested you go in drag as the Devil Queen is dead, freakin, on! Do that and post photos!! :)

3:56 PM  
Blogger LA Mama said...

I just found your blog via CNN, as well. Too bad it's your previous home that's blue. You could stick with the devil theme and go as the devil with a blue dress on.

On the subject of DIY home improvement, have any helpful advice for a couple planning to buy a fixer-upper? We have virtually *zero* experience in this sort of thing. Did you and your wife know what you were doing when you began this type of thing?

5:23 PM  
Blogger ben said...

you could always be the "home improvement accident" like nails through the hand or copper pipe through your neck. just cut spare pieces to fit and liquid nail them on, then liberally apply ketchup. cheap and no trip out. oh, and carry around a running circular saw with no blade. That should freak out the guests.

5:24 PM  
Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

Congrats on the article. It's funny that people who read the article will come to your site and find a painting of a gimp.

6:55 AM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for all the comments.

For all of you with costume ideas, please see current post (Drag).

LA Mama, also, please see current post (Did We Know?) for a "full" response.



As for the gimp, sometimes life is beautiful.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous wretched homeowner said...

you could wear a toga and go as sisyphus.

6:07 PM  
Blogger John said...

Sisyphus - genius!

5:57 AM  
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