Introducing Chapter CDX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “Dear reader, in order to fully understand Chapter CDX of my epic romance, Oy, Rodney, it is necessary for us to go back in time some fifteen hundred years. This is what we writers call a flashback. Because we’re flashing back.”
What she’s leading up to is a discourse on the Picts, “the original inhabitants of Britain, who came to this happy isle, this seat of kings, from the Solomon Islands. To this day,” she babbles, “the trained ear can detect no difference between Pictish and Solomon Islandese. They also play several of the same board games.”
What does this have to do with anything? Oh, come now–you don’t think Ms. Crepuscular would ever leave us stranded in a non sequitur, do you?
She does point out that the Picts were responsible for people in ancient Britain getting rid of their trousers and wearing kilts instead. “It is because the Picts were invertebrate thieves,” she writes. I am not sure about that word “invertebrate.” Something’s wrong with it. “Many a Roman, reaching into his pocket for a denarius, to his dismay found all his pockets empty. This happened to so many people that they started referring to their empty pockets as ‘Pict Pockets.’ Later this referred to picked pockets of Pictish populations isolated in northern Britain and West Virginia.”
You learn something new every day.
“Getting to my point,” Violet promises, “as every schoolgirl knows, roller derby was the national pastime of the Picts and their gift to the world at large. And roller derby is coming to Scurveyshire! And what, dear reader, would happen if there were picked Picts secretly hiding out on Scurveyshire, waiting for the opportunity to cast all the foreigners out of Britain? And using roller derby to do it!”
But we will have to wait for another chapter to learn the answer to that question.