I can hardly describe the fever pitch of anticipation which gripted me all week, as I waited for Violet Crepuscular to unveil “the funniest book in the world.” They have to read it aloud to the vicar to cure his conniptions–but what could it be? Is it Baby Talk Made Simple? The suspense was killing me! Well, they don’t call Violet the Mistress of Suspense for nothing…
Imagine my disappointment, therefor, when I opened the email yesterday to read the latest from Ms. Crepuscular… and found…. this.
“I have hit upon a very nice dessert made with toothpaste and croutons,” she writes. “It’s a kind of pudding that cleans your teeth while you’re chewing the croutons that are in it. It does use up an awful lot of toothpaste, but what’s life without some luxury?”
So what’s the confounded funniest book in the world? (I’m warning you, Violet! Don’t you dare skip over it–“Now that they’ve read the funniest book in the world and cured the vicar’s conniptions…” We’re onto that trick–don’t even think of trying it again!)
In an aside to the reader, who is still waiting for Chapter CDXLVIII to begin, Ms. Crepuscular folasticizes, “Doubtless some of you are still waiting for Chapter CDXLVIII to begin, and eager to know just what is the funniest book in the world! Anyone can think of dozens of books it might be. I always thought Moby Dick was a scream. My neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, thinks it’s The Hand-Made’s Tail.
“So I will set aside the narrative–not on the back burner, that’s got my toothpaste pudding on it–for a week, to give you, the reader, the opportunity to say what you think is the funniest book in the world! Don’t bother to mention anything by Dean R. Koontz–he always cracks me up.”