Who has time to worry about medieval curses when roller derby is coming to your town?
In Chapter CDIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, the populace of Scurveyshire has worked feverishly to set up a roller derby rink on the village common, where the Plaguesby Headhunters will take on the Vichy Poisoners, France’s number one roller derby squad, in a match that promises to be an all-out war.
Meanwhile, the ancient curse, activated by Lady Margo Cargo when she dug up a prehistoric plate with an inscription which she has wrongly interpreted as a recipe for Store Brand Corn Flakes, has been taking its toll: a hangnail here, a dislocated coccyx there, a bad set of involuntary ear-wiggling somewhere else.
But Lord Jeremy Coldsore is otherwise occupied, re-wooing Lady Margo and trying to get their upcoming marriage back on track.
“I can’t help having second thoughts,” says Lady Margo. “You’ve been acting very queer lately, when you’re Willis Twombley. Threatening to shoot me–what kind of fiance does that?”
Ms. Crepuscular intervenes. In an aside to her audience, she writes, “I have a letter from a reader in Palookastan, Mrs. Amy Tanystropheus, who asks, ‘Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Lord Jeremy to have explained to Lady Margo, months and months ago, that he and Mr. Twombley are not the same person? Wouldn’t that have eliminated all this confusion?’
“Well, Amy,” Violet replies, “I’m afraid that ship has sailed! It’s much too late now to clear up that matter. Lady Margo is entirely convinced that Jeremy and Willis are one person, albeit with two totally different personalities. And did I mention that multiple personalities are kind of a tradition in Lady Margo’s family? Her father, Lord Largo Cargo, had four personalities, none of which was functional.
“But even matters of the heart must take a back seat to roller derby!”
Ah! But will the curse adversely affect the roller derby match?
Victorian roller derby uniforms were much less revealing than these.