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, February 12, 2007

You've Got to Be Kidding Me

I mean, really? Haven't we already suffered enough? I would have taken pictures but it slipped my mind. I was a little worked up.

So, what in the hell am I talking about? I'm sure that all you regular readers are quite familiar with the circus of decrepit, shit-bag cars ad nauseam, so I'll spare you the recap. As of Saturday, the VW was quietly sitting in our driveway. Aside from the thoroughly sodomized cooling system, nothing was amiss. Sunday afternoon, we are on our way to visit my mother-in-law. As I round the corner, I am confronted with a sight no car owner ever wants to see: the rear windshield to the Beetle is shattered. Somehow the glass is still hanging in the frame, but it has cracked into tens of thousands of safety glass pellets.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me! What the hell happened to the car?! It was fine yesterday!"

After some brainstorming, my wife and I concluded that our son is the most likely culprit. My wife and Gideon were outside playing Saturday. As little boys are prone to do, he was lobbing small rocks and gravel. Gideon just turned three, and his aim is pretty poor. If you're standing together throwing rocks at the pond in front of you, there is about a 50% chance that you will be hit in the side of the head even though he's trying to throw straight ahead. Scarlet said she heard a loud noise while they were outside but couldn't figure out what had caused it. In hindsight, it does explain why Gideon kept trying to tell us something about the "home-car" (Giddy-speak for the VW).

Even if it was a stray throw, we need to sign him up for baseball camp because he has a lot of potential. The window didn't crack, it exploded like a body had been thrown into it. He must have a great arm.

Of course we don't know for sure if it was him, and, even if it was him, it was an accident so there is no one to punish. It is just another bit of shitty luck that has been kicked straight up our asses.

So, what do you do? I taped a plastic drop cloth over the gapping hole (the middle of the window collapsed later), and left this monument of ruin parked in our drive. I don't have any idea how much this is going to cost, and I don't care to find out at the moment.

Eighty percent chance of rain tonight; I might need to reinforce my patch job.

And, for those of you sick of the shit-car-saga, the next post (hopefully tomorrow) will actually be a house post.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rear windows of most cars are not laminated safety glass, they're just tempered and it take surprisingly little to shatter them (the tempered part means that it's internally stressed to make it stronger, when you remove an isolated area via a chip/crack/whatever the internal stresses aren't balanced properly, and the whole piece goes). On the plus side it's stronger in bending (you have to put a lot more force into it to get your tension forces to overcome the internal compression forces) and when it does break it breaks into the little granules instead of big chunks.

The Mythbusters show ended up determining it only took 6 pumps on the typical BB gun to reliably break the rear windshields like you describe.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

When it rains it pours eh? Particularly facetious comment I suppose, as you're actually expecting rain.

Our thoughts are with you and your loved ones at these most difficult times. Things can only get better?

5:22 PM  
Blogger Poppy said...

I am truly at a loss for words.


9:02 PM  
Anonymous Jordana said...

When we lived in Alaska our rear window spontaneously exploded one day from the temperature difference. Obviously that is not so much of a problem in Arkansas, but the good news was that our insurance paid for the entire repair and it didn't raise our rates. It might be worth calling to ask at least.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Bless your heart! ... geez, I really am Southern.

7:27 AM  
Blogger John said...


Thanks for the info. My wife and I spent a long time trying to figure out how a 3 year old could do that. Now we know.


Thank you much, and I certainly hope so.


Thank you.


If I can remember long enough, I'll look into that.


Thanks, and there is nothing wrong with that.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Lillian said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. Just so you know you have company, I'll tell you a couple (short) stories.
I was backing out of my parking space at work and backed right into the parked cargo trailer that had been there for ten days. It shattered the rear window and bent up the roof of the car. I had people in traffic asking how I had done that. Heavy plastic duct-taped over the hole kept the rain out until we got it fixed.
Four years later with the other car, my husband and son had gone canoeing. While lifting the canoe back onto the car, my son dropped his end and the canoe shattered the sunroof. We couldn't get duct tape to hold plastic on and the plexiglass replacement never really kept much rain out. The car was old and by the time we got rid of it, no charity would take it because of the mold smell inside the car.
I hope things start improving. We readers care about you and your family.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...


11:57 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Maybe our litle vacation story from 2 years ago will make you feel better. Steve and I rarely get a vacation. We borrowed my Mom's car to drive to Michigan and see Steve's parents who live there. We had a nice relaxing 4 ays and got ready to leave. When backing the car out of the driveway, we neglected to close the back door. We backed the door into Steve's parent's car and scraped the side of their new car as well as bending my Mom's car door. Fortunately it was able to close so we could drive home, but it ran us about $1000.00 for the repairs.

Suffice it to say, we don't borrow anyone's car anymore!

5:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

Wow, that really sucks. And, thank you very much.


That is pretty bad.

I try not to go anywhere near my mother-in-law's new $20,000 car. I had to borrow it once, and just sitting in the driver's seat was enough to make me sweat. I returned it ASAP.

8:24 AM  

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