The Burrowing Rhinoceros (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

Violet Crepuscular introduces Chapter DV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, with an extensive list of flaws in her neighbor, Mr. Pitfall’s, character. “He’ll eat your toothpaste sandwich cookies and then just leave you!” she laments. “Or else he’ll just stick around and bug you!”

So much for Chapter DV.

In Chapter DVI, while the American adventurer Willis Twombley is still organizing a safari, the rhinoceros has again crept out from under the vicar’s backyard wading pool and returned to digging burrows all around the property. Twombley would see the brute if he only turned around!

“Someone’s going to fall into one of those burrows and break a leg!” excalibrates Lady Margo Cargo, who already has one wooden leg (upholstered) and would rather not have two. “Quick, darling–there it is!”

Twombley can scarcely conceal his disappointment. “Gol-durnit, honey-child! That ain’t no African rhino!” He wipes the tears from his weather-beaten cheeks. “Hell’s bells, that’s an Indian rhino! Which means I can’t use this here safari: gotta send ’em all home–” some of them have come all the way from Zanzibar, they’re that desperate for work–“and recruit Indian men for a shikari!”

“Couldn’t you just…er… shoot the rhino, now that he’s here? Oooh, he’s digging up my gladiolus! Will you please just shoot the bloomin’ rhino!”

Twombley floxerizes. “No can do, dearie! The rajahs get mad if you shoot their rhinos without their permission. Gotta find the rajah and square it with him. And then go about hiring new bearers and beaters.”

Lady Margo screams (they heard her in Detroit), “There are no flaming rajahs in Scurveyshire!” The chapter ends before she can have full-fledged conniptions.

4 comments on “The Burrowing Rhinoceros (‘Oy, Rodney’)

  1. Now I’m starting to feel sorry for the rhino. Surely there must be some kind (and hardy) soul in Scurveyshire who’d be willing to take in an Indian rhino as a pet — or as a working animal for road construction or field harrowing.

  2. I admire Twombley. Such integrity is startlingly rare. If you are going to do something, it must be done right.

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