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, December 05, 2008

The 2008 Dumbass Award

Things have been a bit miserable around here lately: break-ins, a demon plague of blowflies, and a serious case of the flu. In an attempt to shrug off the oppression and misery, I thought that I'd post this year's Dumbass Award. For those of you not familiar with this fine, time-honored tradition, click here.

To be honest, I'm not sure if it's the dumbest thing anyone has done for the award. I'd argue that my mother-in-law nearly cutting her little toe off with the pressure washer was a probably a dumber thing to do, but it wasn't as wild of a story. If I've learned anything from the Dumbass Award, it's that bribery works and that the telling of the story is almost more important than the story itself

Anyhow, the 2008 Dumbass Award goes to Aunt Candy and her daughter Alicia for spending two days on the side of the road looking for an eye.

Of course there is a back story.

Candy's older daughter, Misty, was working at the Pancake House in Conway, Arkansas. As is typical for Misty's luck, the Pancake House was being robbed, and an irate young man was holding a gun to her head as he bagged all the cash he could find. The owner of the Pancake House, a friend of the family (distant enough that I don't know his name) heard that his restaurant was being robbed on the police scanner (some people listen to these for fun apparently).

Distraught, he jumped in his car a drove off to the Pancake House. This resulted in a traffic accident which was serious enough to eject his glass eye through the car windshield.

A little later, Candy and Alicia were at his bedside in the ICU. He was unconscious. Neither was aware that he had a glass eye or that it was missing. All they knew was that there was a huge, caved-in hollow in the middle of his face. Alicia stood looking over Candy's shoulder at their friend.

"Mamma. Mamma."

"What is it?" Candy said.

"Look," Alicia said.

"At what?"

"His eye. Mamma, where's his eye?

About this time, their friend woke up. He was very distraught to discover that his glass eye was missing, and they vowed that they'd find it for him.

They spent hours over the next two days wandering up and down the shoulder of the highway near the scene of the accident, looking for his eye. People, mistaking Candy and Alicia for stranded motorists, would stop and ask if they needed help.

"Yes, we need help. We're looking for an eye." Some drove off, but a surprising number of motorists stopped and helped them look for the eye, including an entire crew of electricians from a local power utility at one point.

Lamentably, no eye was ever found.

The only bit of drama came when Alicia found a small, rubber ball. "Momma! Look! The eye! I found it!" Then she threw it at Candy. Candy did the typical movie slow-motion scene: the sprint, the dive, and the accompanying "Nooooooooooo!!!!"

At the end of the story's telling on Thanksgiving, Candy said, "Really, though. Only this family has crazy stories about stuff like this! Does anyone outside us have stories about glass eyes?!"

Debbie, a cousin of my mother-in-law's and a parole officer, said, "Sure, it happens all the time. My friend X----- was at the Western Sizzlin, and this guy choked. Well, she has her certification, so she did the Heimlich on him. Saved him, but she sure popped that glass eye right out of his head."

What is even better, is that after telling the story to my Dad and sister over lunch, my Dad asks my sister, "So, do you have any glass eye stories?" I think he meant this rhetorically. My sister says, "Actually, one of Matt's aunts has a glass eye. She had cancer."

My Dad looked momentarily shocked, I just laughed.

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Anonymous Jenni said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting the Dumbass award. It totally makes my year, I laugh so have that I think I should pee my pants! After all the crap you guys have been thru this year, the dumbass award has to be a bright spot!

7:20 PM  
Blogger G8rAlly said...

Eye, eye, eye...that's FUNNY!

7:40 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

You really need to write a book. I'm serious.

6:30 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

There's nothing like a good laugh...especially one that leaves you crying. Your family is priceless. Congrats to Aunt Candy an her daughter Alicia!!!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I agree with Jenni! This is definitely a bright spot.

6:48 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thanks everyone, glad you enjoyed. As you said, definately a bright spot in a pretty ugly year.

Jocelyn, thank you, you flatter me. That is not to say I don't appreciate it. Actually, I keep hoping Scarlet will tackle the family history/comedy writing challenge, she is the professional writer after all. However, if she doesn't, I just might.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Lenise said...

Just FYeye, a close college friend of mine has two glass eyes. There is apparently a fabulous glass eye supplier in the county seat here: Graham, NC. I have another friend who works at Duke Eye Center who mentioned this independently.

Eye am not making this up (really)!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to have a neighbor who had a glass eye. He told me about the time he lent his eye to his (then) wife. She was a nurse at a little tiny clinic up in Alaska, and it was time for her annual gynecological exam. She took the eye and put it where the doctor was going to be looking for that exam. Apparently, when the doctor found the eye looking at him from that location, he reacted so strongly that he and the rolling stool he was sitting on slammed into the wall behind him.

The telling of this story was followed by an offer to lend me his spare eye, so that I could use it for the same purpose. It qualifies as one of the strangest (and somehow best) offers of a lend that I've ever gotten.

6:46 AM  
OpenID ottawa-emptor said...

YAY!!! I love Dumbass Award time! Every year, it's like a Festivus Miracle!

Anyway, that story is hilarious, tragic and kinda sweet, which I think makes it very Southern.

-- Janine

7:30 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

My little sister is blind and went to the school for the blind here in Iowa. One of her classmates used to take one of his eyes out on the bus and roll it down the ribbed middle isle in the bus. Now that I'm older and a mother this is much more distressing due to the germ factor than poping out the eyeball.

5:27 PM  
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Oh my God, I thought the original post was hilarious but the comment about the gyn exam is PRICELESS!

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