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!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pre-Thanksgiving Prognosticating: 2006 Dumbass Awards

Thanksgiving is two weeks away which means it’s time to start thinking about the 2006 Dumbass Awards.

For those of you who are new(er) readers, every Thanksgiving my in-laws vote on which family member has the dubious honor of being elected Dumbass for the year. Basically, it’s a great excuse to tell some hilarious stories about one another. The winner get a plaque with must be prominently displayed in their house until the next Thanksgiving.

The current Award holder is my mother-in-law (click here for her award winning story), and her father was the 2004 winner (click here for his story).

Unless there are some good stories I haven’t heard, I think I will be a serious contender for the award. Don’t worry, if I win, I’ll post my story (turnabout is fair play). So far, one of my wife’s fifteen year old cousins, Casey, is my main competition.

My in-laws were driving down to visit Debbie, Casey’s mom, and they called for directions to their house. No one answered the home phone, so they called Casey’s cell phone. The conversation went something like this:

Casey (groggy): “Hello?”
Jack: “Hello, this is Jack. How are you?”
Casey: “I’m okay.”
Jack: “Did I wake you up?”
Casey: “Yeah.”
Jack: “Sorry. We need directions to your house.”
Casey: “I’m at a friend’s house. I spent the night.”
Jack: “Okay.” (pause) “So how do we get to your house?”
Casey: “I’m not there. I can’t give you directions.”
Jack: “What?” (the line goes dead as Casey hangs up).

Jack: “She hung up.”
Fidge: “Did you get the directions?”
Jack: “No. She said she wasn’t home and couldn’t tell me how to get there. Does she know where she lives? How does she get home from school?”
Fidge: “Well, she is a blonde.”

And, she is her mother’s daughter. Her mom, Debbie, was nominated one year for leaving Paducah, KY, for Pine Bluff, AR. She got lost but didn’t realize it until she was outside of Chicago, IL.

I don’t know if the playing field is a level as it used to be. Some of the older members of the family have gotten kind of puckered about the Award (they got tired of being nominated every year), so there has been a growing conspiracy of silence among them (black mail, threats, etc). We may institute a Dumbass Life Time Achievement Award to goad them just a little.

With the information currently available, I’d say the odds are 2 to 1 that I’ll win. Anyhow, stay tuned. I should have the results posted sometime during the last week of November.


Blogger Chris and Mandy said...

No offence, but I sincerely hope you win just so I can read the story that beats Casey's.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Listen, I do a lot of campaign training and so please do let me know how I might be of support to you to help ensure a win. Petitions? Fans throwing intimate objects while you relate the story? Blondes mobilized from around the county as a backdrop? The possibilities are endless...

6:05 AM  
Blogger John said...

Don't worry: win or lose, I'll post my nomination for you all.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

I have been reading your blog for awhile and very much enjoyed your writing style and stories. I was motivated to finally post a comment though after reading the story of your MIL and the cat from last year's Dumbass award. I have not laughed that hard in weeks. Tears are streaming down my face! Of course, that is partly because I too lived with not one, but two very small, very strange Persian cats (and a not so bright labrador). All I can say is thank god we don't live on a mountain...

Good luck with your nomination this year :-).

7:11 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks Lesile. You have no idea how glad I am that you enjoyed it.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Good luck! Or ... bad luck?

2:16 PM  
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