Introducing Chapter CCCXXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares an insight with her readers.
“Allow me to share this insight with you, dear readers,” she writes. “Medieval sorcerers, like Black Rodney, have a way of turning out to be real if you write about them often enough. Yesterday morning I simply couldn’t find my Acme False Facts catalogue, although I looked everywhere for it. Finally it turned up in my refrigerator, behind the toothpaste, and I know I didn’t put it there! I suspect black magic.”
We pick up the chapter with Lord Jeremy Coldsore trying to learn to sing I’ve Got Rhythm in classical Greek, for reasons which were made abundantly clear in Chapter CCCXXIII.
Meanwhile his bride-to-be, Lady Margo Cargo, has taken to her bed.
“I feel woozy,” she confides to her crusty old butler, Crusty. “I have to be careful, you know–my father died of hypochondria.”
“If you die of hypochondria,” snaps Crusty, “then it wasn’t really hypochondria, was it? Stupid old bat!”
Summoned to her bedside, Dr. Fanabla is able to find no symptoms at all. “It’s hypochondria, all right,” he declares, “and the only sure-fire cure for hypochondria is to get really sick. I recommend you stand around outside in your undies until you catch a proper cold. And you’re in luck–it’s going to rain all night.”
Faithfully following the doctor’s advice, Lady Margo, clad only in her unmentionables, spends the entire night wandering around her property in the rain; and the vicar, chancing to look out the window at just the right moment, sees a pale white figure slowly parading back and forth in the rain. This causes him to suffer a relapse into his conniptions. The only sense anyone can get out of him is “I saw the White Witch! And she was sneezing! Eeeyaaagh!”
Lady Margo takes the sneezes as a hopeful sign and goes back to bed.