[Editor’s Note: This chapter is especially for Phoebe; may it put a smile on her face. No, Violet, it’s not necessary to send her any toothpaste rolls.]
Introducing Chapter CDLXVIII (is there a chapter missing?) of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular delves into Mr. Bigcheeks’ past. “I find it needful to delve into Mr. Bigcheeks’ past,” she confides in her vast multitude of readers. “As the lineal descendant of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, Mr. Bigcheeks has deep roots in Scurveyshire–by way of Czechoslovakia.” Okay, now we get it.
Some of Mr. Bigcheeks’ roots are in his back yard, where they connect to a stand of famished-looking oak trees. Ms. Crepuscular provides us with an Identikit picture of Mr. Bigcheeks, courtesy of the Prague police:
In 1186 Lord Jrstvelo Bigcheeks, fleeing from a Bohemian collection agency, settled in Scurveyshire and bought a cottage made famous by Shakespeare. His son Rodney, born in 1187, showed early promise of becoming a great sorcerer by turning a toad into a frog. After that came nothing but trouble.
When Black Rodney, as he came to be called, mysteriously vanished in 1233, there were no more Bigcheeks family members to be found until 1796, when our current Mr. Bigcheeks’ father, Leo Durocher, mysteriously appeared to carry on the Bigcheeks line in Scurveyshire. He had to leave when he organized a croquet match using exploding balls. His son, Archibald Bigcheeks, now occupies the cottage.
“So far,” fulminates Ms. Crepuscular, “Archibald Bigcheeks is known only for his penchant for lurid family picnics in the unmapped fringe of Scurveyshire Forest. He has forgotten that he has a plan to take over Western Europe. But! As the Queen of Suspense, I pose the question… Will it stay forgotten?”
What are the odds that she’ll get around to writing about it?