‘Mopey Dick’ Strikes Back (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Pin by Ross Johnston on totally judging books by their covers | Book  parody, Book humor, Romance novels

Introducing Chapter CDL of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “Now that the vicar has been cured of his conniptions–”

Whoa! Just a cotton-pickin’ minute, Violet! He should’ve been cured in Chapter CDXLIX–or not cured, as the case may be. You can’t get away with this. I know where your publisher lives! If he doesn’t bring you to heel, I’ll threaten to tell you where he lives.

[Grumbling, she returns to writing Chapter CDXLIX. This would be a stage direction, if this were a play.]

“You may recall,” she addresses her readers, “that the plan was to read aloud to the vicar the entire 900-plus pages of Mopey Dick, or, The Depressed White Whale, reputed to be the funniest book in the world. Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his fiancee, the wealthy Lady Margo Cargo, take turns reading. And when they reach Page 468…”

With a horripilating scream, the vicar leaps from his bed, seizes a handy butcher knife that happened to be lying on the quilt, grabs Lady Margo, and with a single sweep of the knife, scalps her!

Well, sort of scalps her. He never knew she was as bald as a cue-ball, owing to a childhood fixation on click beetles. So what he actually has now is her wig, which he brandishes exultantly, whooping like a greater hornbill.

“Give that back, you confounded lunatic vicar!” she fasculates. “Jeremy, make him give me back my wig–it’s cold in here!”

But the vicar dives out the window and dances about the yard. Very fortunately indeed, before he can be sucked under the wading pool, a passing cowboy manages to lasso him–

Oh, forsooth. A passing cowboy? Who just happens to have his lasso handy–in Victorian Scurveyshire?

This more than flesh and blood can bear.

2 comments on “‘Mopey Dick’ Strikes Back (‘Oy, Rodney’)

  1. Actually, as conniption cures go, this is one of the more satisfying accounts I have ever read. The faux scalping was a wonderful touch. Frankly, I think that a faux scalping brings a lot of charm to any novel. I have hundreds of novels with detailed accounts of conniptions being cured, and the ones that include faux scalping occupy the very top shelf.

    As for the cowboy; well let’s just say that a lot of people don’t realize that cowboys were common in Victorian England. They were actually a bit of a nuisance, in those days, spitting their chewing tobacco on the floor and refusing to practice even the most rudimentary hygiene.

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