Yet Another Obstacle to Wedded Bliss (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCCLXXVII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lady Margo Cargo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, has come up with another obstacle to her marriage to Lord Jeremy Coldsore, whom she thinks is the same person as Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad. Crusty himself wishes to marry Scurveyshire’s richest widow, so he has to prevent her marriage to Lord Jeremy.

“Bad news, m’lady!” he announces. “I have done genealogical research that shows that you are Lord Coldsore’s cousin. And we all know that cousins shouldn’t marry!”

“Oh, fie, Crusty! Don’t be ridiculous!” Lady Margo replies. “Everybody is somebody’s cousin! If cousins can’t marry, then nobody will be able to get married and the human species will die out.”

“He is your cousin, m’lady.”

“It would be remarkable indeed if he were nobody’s cousin, Crusty!” She sighs: her upholstered wooden leg is fiendishly itchy today. “You’re making me tired. Go to the pet shop and buy some crayfish food for my pet crayfish.” (It appears Ms. Crepuscular has forgotten the crayfish’s name. So have I.)

Meanwhile, as Detective Chief Inspector Magog and Detective Sergeant Dottle work feverishly to frame each other for stealing the locomotive that was, in fact, swallowed by the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard, Jeremy has authorized Scurveyshire’s own Constable Chumley to launch an independent investigation of the incident. “I shall expect your report tomorrow,” he adds.

“Yoiks an’ frather, m’lord–a wee saithit morkin’ a wally!” says the constable. What he means is that he does not know how to read or write, having forgotten everything he ever knew about it. Nevertheless, the investigation must go forward.

“As you can see, dear reader,” interjects Ms. Crepuscular, “this is a deeply subcutaneous societal problem which has no easy solution.” We cannot tell which particular problem she is talking about.

9 comments on “Yet Another Obstacle to Wedded Bliss (‘Oy, Rodney’)

  1. I love this chapter! Such beautifully piled-up exposition! (The bit about the crayfish’s forgotten name is priceless.) I read this through twice, laughing even harder the second time.

    It also occurred to me as I was calculating the chapter number to wonder what will happen when we reach chapter DCLXVI. Will the whole book explode? or go up (or down) in flames? or disappear under the vicar’s wading pool? The suspense is making my head spin.

  2. Lady Margo’s reasonings on cousins seems to make more sense than I could have ever imagined. Everybody is somebody’s cousin, and pretty much everyone you meet is likely to be a cousin of some sort, be it 1st, 2nd, 10th, 20th, 40th or more. So where does one draw the line? And if you need to borrow a pencil in order to draw the line, you’re probably borrowing it from a distant cousin. Now I’m getting a headache and instead of headache powder, I accidentally took crayfish food. Does this make me a distant cousin of Oswin, Lady Margo’s pet crayfish? 🙂

    1. I wish I could claim such a detailed memory, but in fact, I used the Duck Duck Go search engine and entered “crayfish Lee” and found the original post.

    2. And Lee, if there’s going to be an “Oy, Rodney” course at Quokka U., I’d like to sign up for the distance learning version. When will the textbooks be available?

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