The Vicar’s New Conniptions (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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“I have not forgotten my promise to explain what’s so bad about Bug-Men,” writes Violet Crepuscular, introducing Chapter CCCLXXXVI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “But first we must consider the vicar’s new conniptions.”

The vicar no longer thinks he’s Wally Moon, an American baseball player from the future. That delusion vanished when he discovered a particularly noisome Bug-Man perched atop his plate of falafel. This has plunged him into a whole new set of conniptions. Once again, he is not able to perform the long-awaited marriage of Lord Jeremy Coldsore and Lady Margo Cargo. He is too busy doing head-stands and singing lurid Estonian folk songs.

“Maybe we should find another vicar to marry us,” suggests Lord Jeremy.

“I don’t want us to be married to a vicar,” Lady Margo objects. It takes some time to patch up this failure to communicate. Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, subtly implies that “Maybe two people who only confuse each other shouldn’t be married in the first place.”

“I’m not speaking to you, Crusty!”

“You just did, you daft old trout.”

This conversation might have continued for hours, but for a flood of letters from exasperated readers demanding to know what’s so bad about Bug-Men. We deem it unnecessary to provide yet another picture of a Bug-Man. Ms. Crepuscular has no choice but to keep her promise.

“These unnatural little creatures,” she explains, “carry nameless diseases which make lumbago or psoriasis seem like a walk in the park, albeit not a very nice park. They also spread baseless rumors that can start deadly feuds. This is not to be taken lightly!”

Bug-Men can only be brought onto the scene by medieval sorcerers casting evil spells on a community. Once established, they’re very hard to get rid of. They know this, and it makes them cocky.

Johnno the Merry Minstrel is investigating the problem. “Chameleons eat them,” he reports. “They’re scared to death of chameleons. You’d be, too, if you were only the size of a Bug-Man.”

At this point Ms. Crepuscular concludes the chapter: it’s time for her to watch re-runs of The Gong Show.

11 comments on “The Vicar’s New Conniptions (‘Oy, Rodney’)

  1. Falafel in what appears to be Regency England? (I’ve lost track of what century we’re in, and I’m going by the gown on the cover.) No wonder the vicar is having conniptions.

    I’m having a few conniptions myself today. Not only is Iggy having a bad day, but a while ago I stooped forward too fast to catch something that was falling and I banged my forehead against the edge of a granite countertop. I put ice on the lump as soon as possible, but I’ll probably have a black eye tomorrow and a raccoon-face by Tuesday or Wednesday. So please pardon me if I don’t do much responding for the rest of the day. I’m too busy gnashing my teeth. (Sigh.)

  2. Every time you use the term “old trout”, I break into laughter, which goes on until they sedate me. 🙂

    “ Maybe two people who only confuse each other shouldn’t be married in the first place.”

    Where was this advice before I walked down the aisle? 🙂

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