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 14, 2006

The Real Importance of Family

The holidays are approaching with the inevitability of a biblical plague, and, as always, there are a thousand things to do and money is always tight. As such, I thought that I might share one of my favorite stories to remind us all what the holidays are really about, family.

This story took place at Uncle Burt's house in Little Rock around thirty-some-odd years ago. And, I'd just like to add that it actually did happen. Really.

Uncle Burt, one of my wife's great-uncles, had seven daughters. Inevitably, as girls are wont to do, they married off, one by one. One of these daughters married a real jack ass. He was an obnoxious blow hard who didn't get along too well with his in-laws or anyone else for that matter. And, since he was family, it was hard to get away from him.

Now, I should say here that Uncle Burt is a geniunely nice man; kind and funny, he is the kind of guy that just about everyone loves to be around. This makes what happened next especially entertaining.

This problem son-in-law was really starting to get to Uncle Burt. He tried to be a tolerant, forgiving Christian but it was very hard on him. In spite of himself, he started giving into his family's terrible mean streak. One Sunday, Uncle Burt decided that he simply could not tolerate the bastard anymore. Something had to be done.

The family all came over to Uncle Burt's that night to have dinner which included the jack ass son-in-law. Everyone sat down at the table to eat, and, before too long, the son-in-law was running off at the mouth in the most offensive way. He was ruining the whole evening for everyone.

Uncle Burt, who was sitting across from him, jumped up from his chair. "That is it! I have had enough of you and your mouth!" Uncle Burt then pulled a pistol out of his pant's pocket, pointed it at his son-in-law, and pulled the trigger. Everyone was parallelized with shock as the gun thundered with one deafening CRACK.

The son-in-law screamed as he and his chair rolled over backwards onto the floor. He bellowed, "Oh Sweet Jesus, you shot me! You shot me! Oh my God, I'm dying, I'm going to die!" He clutched his chest just over his heart and writhed on the floor.

Pale and wide eyed, the family struggled to get to their feet and rushed over to help the wounded man when someone noticed something of singular importance. There was no blood.

A quick examination of the son-in-law reveled that he was whole and intact. Uncle Burt, raised in the country, was a good, experienced shot. He hadn't missed, he'd deliberately fired a blank. Someone snickered. Someone else laughed, and soon the whole family was laughing so hard that they were reduced to tears. That is, except for the son-in-law. He was very quiet.

The son-in-law was mortified and Uncle Burt was warmed by an intense feeling of satisfaction.

I can't recall what ultimately happened to the son-in-law (divorced out of the family or is still around somewhere), but I suspect that he may have had better luck controlling his mouth while visiting his in-laws. I mean, screaming like a little girl in front of the whole family is not something they'd let you forget. I bet every time something crosswise came out of his mouth, they'd turn to one another and say, "Do you remember when Uncle Burt shot ol' So-and-so here? No? Let me tell you the story. . ."

Can you see why I try to stay on very good terms with my in-laws?

So, if the holidays are getting you down, remember that it's all about family. Try to relax and enjoy yourself. We don't live forever, so try to enjoy the time you have now.

And, if that doesn't work, remember blanks are cheap.

Disclaimer: I'm sure that I may have missed a few details, but this is more-or-less the story. Some of my in-laws read this from time to time; if you're out there and I've messed it up, let me know and I'll fix it.

And, a special thanks to Chris at The Emery Restoration for reminding of this story.


Blogger Allison said...

Oh my god, that's hysterical. If only I could carry a gun full of blanks to work...

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this story...alot.

3:53 PM  
Blogger My Marrakech said...

If you are just trying to get me to be happy, it's working! And thanks so much for your kind words on my blog. I appreciate it.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous mindy said...

Wonder if he pissed himself a little. That's a great holiday story ;)

9:42 AM  
Blogger Chris and Mandy said...

That really is a great story. Almost makes you feel sorry for the son-in-law. Almost.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed this story the first time around. Ha! Ha ha ha! I wish I had the guts to try that trick on a few folks.

2:18 PM  
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