In Chapter CLXX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, Lord Jeremy Coldsore is back to courting Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. They have to meet in Lady Margo’s kitchen: the upholsterers are busy re-upholstering all the furniture in the house, and there’s no room anywhere else. Lord Jeremy notices that even some of the bowls have been upholstered.
“We really must set a date for our marriage, my love,” says Lord Jeremy, who desperately needs Lady Margo’s wealth to save Coldsore Hall from his creditors. “My love for you is so intense, I can think of nothing else. Oh! Your eyes are like ripe olives in a martini mixed by Venus!”
“How romantic!” Lady Margo sighs–then pauses to re-adjust her wooden leg. It has not fit snugly since her crusty old butler, Crusty, had it reupholstered.
“My love, my pigeon, your elbows are–”
He is interrupted by what sounds like a dragon with its tail caught in a wringer.
“What the deuce is that!”
“It’s nothing, dear. Just Crusty teaching himself to play the trombone.” Blaaaap! Honk! “He wishes to play it at the wedding. He doesn’t want to spend money on hiring musicians.” Whonk! Oooop!
“It’s horrible!” Jeremy shudders.
Before he can say any more, the door slams open. It’s the vicar’s nursemaid, Mrs. Froth.
“Lady Margo! Lord Jeremy! The vicar has emerged from his conniptions! He’s wide awake, and calling for ox-tongue stew with marmalade–and we have no ox-tongues! Please come quickly, I don’t know what to do with him!”
They find him sitting up in bed with a pair of pinking shears, cutting his sheet into amusing but not altogether wholesome shapes.
“Ah, Lord Jeremy and Lady Margo!” he exclaims. “I trust your wedding ceremony was satisfactory–money back if it wasn’t.”
“We haven’t had it yet, sir,” says Jeremy. “You’ve been indisposed. Do you remember what you saw that gave you conniptions?”
The vicar thinks it over, shrugs. “Can’t say that I do. Had it something to do with an incredibly horrifying mass of staring eyes and writhing tentacles?”
At this point Ms. Crepuscular digresses, treating the reader to a list of her childhood playmates who turned out very badly when they grew up. We are unable to account for this, and here the chapter ends.