“The time has come,” writes The Queen of Suspense, Violet Crepuscular, introducing Chapter DCXLX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, “for us to spelunk into the darker regions of Rodney’s Curse, where doom will come to Scurveyshire and adjoining hamlets in the winsome English countryside.” [Editor: “I quit!” He is not sure the Roman numerals make sense.]
Scurveyshire’s rogue rhinoceros has just knocked down and trampled Bysmal’s Pyjama Emporium and fled away with nightclothes streaming from its horns. “I have included the above video,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, “so that readers with sheltered lives will have some feel for what the people of Scurveyshire have to contend with. And all because of a curse pronounced some six centuries ago!” Or whenever.
Charged with getting rid of the rhino before it depopulates the shire, Johnno the Merry Minstrel pops into The Lying Tart for a nip of ale and some discreet poking. The town’s most prominent citizens have joined the secret poking ring. “Between this and the rhino,” Johnno muses, “it looks like our number’s up.”
“Do not despair, loyal readers!” adds Ms. Crepuscular. “In ancient times there was Beowulf to save a troubled kingdom. Now there is the American hero, Willis Twombley!” We did not notice when Twombley was promoted to Hero.Let’s hope he can handle it.