The Day of the Jackalope (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels – Lee Duigon

“I was really stuck on this chapter,” Violet Crepuscular confesses to readers of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “Being the Queen of Suspense is hard! Why, just the other day I caught some wacko going fishing in my goldfish pond! I had to have Mr. Pitfall come over and do him an injury.”

In Chapter CDLIV the suspense builds to a crescendo. Lady Margo Cargo’s wig has caught fire. Lord Jeremy Coldsore has a quadruple fracture of the coccyx (“That’s what he gets for trying to turn this drama into a musical!” sniffs Ms. Crepuscular), the wandering cowboy, having swooned to the floor, is doing nothing, Crusty the Butler is trying to find a fire extinguisher (not aware that they haven’t been invented yet), the poor vicar’s conniptions are getting really unseemly, there is a hydra loose in town…

And the jackalope emerges from the vicar’s kitchen garden.

The Jackalope, Everything Science Knows About Them [Satire]

“I have added this TV news photo of a jackalope,” explains Ms. Crepuscular, “because it is suspenseful! I mean, the hydra might devastate the town, but at least no one will go crazy for the rest of his life just because he’s seen it–but you can’t say the same for the jackalope.”

As this fearsome bunny with antlers emerges from the garden with a mouthful of parsley, Lady Margo forgets that her wig’s on fire, although it’s still on her head, Lord Jeremy oscillates, and Crusty begins to act peculiar.

Here the chapter degenerates into a defense of alcoholic toothpaste.

Coping With a Rampaging Hydra (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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

“A hydra has nine heads, and every one of ’em is mean!” writes Violet Crepuscular (“Don’t forget to call me the Queen of Suspense! It’s for the marketing”), introducing Chapter CDLII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

The long-ago machinations of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, have unleashed a jackalope and–and, I say!–a hydra on defenseless Scurveyshire. Even now, the jackalope is loose in the vicar’s garden, noshing on yams, while the hydra, preparing to ravage the town of Scurveyshire itself, roars with all nine heads.

And Lord Jeremy Coldsore says, “I feel a song coming on!”

When you’re menaced by a hydra, shake your fist!

But you might be the last one on their list.

With a do derry-do doddy-do!

He manages a few dance steps to go with it.

[Editor’s Note: I can’t stand musicals.]

In  the vicar’s sun parlor, the cowboy lies on the floor in a swoon, Lady Margo Cargo’s wig has flown off again, Lord Jeremy dances back and forth, and the vicar himself has lapsed into new conniptions which take the form of cartwheels–exercises which he is by no means well equipped to carry out.

I see the last page is coming up. Yup, there it is. The Queen of Suspense has simply stopped writing.

P.S.–We are welcoming reader comments today, as long as they consist entirely of fulsome praise. It’s for the marketing.

The Funniest Book in the World (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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

Introducing Chapter CDXLVII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, or, A Gentlewoman’s Malady, Violet Crespuscular–

Wait! What’s this “or” business? Since when is there an “or”?

“The subtitle,” Ms. Crepuscular explains in  a series of smoke signals, “is a staple of Victorian literature. I don’t know why I haven’t been using one!”

Be that as it may, in this chapter, none of Lady Margo Cargo’s folk remedies has sufficed to halt the vicar’s conniptions. “I have never seen more disgusting conniptions in my life,” says Lady Margo.

In desperation, Lord Jeremy Coldsore consults the Wise Woman of the Gaol, formerly the Wise Woman of the Woods; but she prefers the gaol.

“Ah, yes, conniptions!” she festiculates. “Constable Chumley has kept me well-informed of the vicar’s conniptions. They are of a special kind–Smythe-Peddington Conniptions, named for the first doctor who was unable to cure them. Fortunately, I know exactly how to cure them! And the method is simplicity itself. So simple, the patient will practically cure himself.”

“So what is this method?” cries Jeremy.

The Wise Woman lowers her voice and, almost whispering, replies, “You must read him, aloud, the funniest book in the world! That’ll stop the conniptions.”

“Excellent!” Jeremy exclaims. “And what is the funniest book in the world?”

She shrugs broadly. “So what am I–the London Times Review of Books? I haven’t read a book in 30 years. And that one wasn’t funny.”

MUCH LATER THAT DAY… A search of Lady Margo’s copious library turns up only one book that might be amusing, in a way: Baby-Talk Made Simple, by Benjamin Franklin.

“It’s our only hope!” says Margo… TO BE CONTINUED!

(“There! How’s that for heightening suspense?” crows Violet. We sigh in unison.)


Curing the Vicar’s Conniptions (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Lady Margo Cargo – Lee Duigon

Introducing Chapter CDXLIV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular tackles the problem of the Vicar of Scurveyshire’s recurring conniptions.

“I am frequently asked to describe the vicar’s conniptions,” she writes, “but I have always held back from doing so because they’re such tacky conniptions! Dr. Fanabla has thrown up his hands in despair–and now he can’t bring them down again. People who see him on the street assume a robbery is in progress and throw up their hands, too. And now he finds it virtually impossible to put on his socks and tie his shoes.”

Constable Chumley interrupts his door-to-door search for legless amphibians to answer repeated summonses to stop a robbery on the High Street. The fact that there is no robbery never daunts him. “Fray nobbin to nobbin,” he explains, “sithen yon manny grue brach!” Many find his words reassuring. Some don’t.”

Meanwhile, the vicar’s new conniptions take on a form which will forever haunt all those who witness them. In desperation, Lady Margo Cargo suggests a folk remedy: tie a burlap bag over his head and sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” “It sometimes worked when our head house parlor maid had her conniptions,” she reverberates.

“We’ll have to wait for the next chapter to find out whether it works,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “That’s how I heighten the suspense!”

I fear that means she doesn’t know.

P.S.: Reader Doris Magnoon of Inchworm Township, Kuwait, objects to the use of Roman numbers as chapter heads. “We have been cheated out of the magical numeral, 444, which has massive therapeutic properties!” she complains. It is Ms. Crepuscular’s plan to ignore her.