“Alas, dear reader!” soliloquizes Violet Crepuscular, introducing Chapter CDXLIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “What have I done? Amid the clamor of a thousand squeaky toys, who can think straight?”
They can’t get rid of the squeaky toys. All Scurveyshire is enamored with them.
But the good news is, the constant din of squeaky toys has freed the vicar from his conniptions. For the first time in many months, he can get out of bed and spin around on tiptoe until he makes himself dizzy. He can go to his window and make grotesque faces at passers-by. And he can perform a wedding!
“Quick!” he orders his new housekeeper, Mrs. Stalin. “Go find Lord Jeremy and Lady Margo and bring them here so I can marry them!”
Mrs. Stalin wipes her mustache. “You can’t marry them,” she says. “It’d be bigamy.”
Ensues a long and mostly fruitless discussion of what the vicar actually meant. Mrs. Stalin wobbles out of the room. Ever since a mad masseuse made her right leg six inches longer than her left, she has wobbled. “Try it yourself,” adds Ms. Crepuscular, “and you’ll see.”
The bad news is that by the time Mrs. Stalin returns with the happy couple, the vicar has acquired a whole new set of conniptions. They have to tie him to a chair.
“What causes these?” cries Jeremy.
“I think it’s that Mr. Gesunt who sits in the third pew and smells funny,” expounds Mrs. Stalin.”Why don’t you have Constable Chumley arrest him?”
But Chumley is going door-to-door in search of legless amphibians called caecilians, not to be confused with Sicilians. He has only just stopped looking for caecilian footprints. He thinks he may have found some Sicilian footprints, though. “Dinny yon bray frothering!” he explains.
We’ll have to leave it at that for now.