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.