Oops–Dueling Is Illegal (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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We are dumbfounded by developments in Chapter DXXXIX (look at all the cool x’s!) of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney. The Queen of Suspense is at it again! See how she ratchets up the tension till you could just plotz! Well, I could…

As if he weren’t already in enough trouble, having challenged himself to a duel and rashly accepted, Lord Jeremy Coldsore has a private consultation with a solicitor named Jox, who normally hangs out in Charles Dickens books. Here in Scurveyshire he used to mind Farmer Feep’s ferocious feral pigs.

“Not only can you not back out of the duel without destroying your reputation for untold centuries to come,” Jox counsels him, “but as the shire’s justice of the peace, you have another problem. Dueling is against the law! First you broke the law by challenging yourself to a duel, then you broke it by accepting, and as justice of the peace, you ought to put yourself on trial, and, if found guilty, sentence yourself to be drawn and quartered!”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” Jeremy admits. “I say–they don’t still do that, do they?”

“I’m afraid they do, my lord… in Scurveyshire.”

[Loud, portentous music signals the end of this present chapter. Readers who can’t tolerate the suspense are urged to seek professional help.]

The Field of Honor (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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

“I fell down and sprained my coccyx a few days ago,” Violet Crepuscular confides in her readers, “but did that hold back the creative processes? You should live so long!”

Thus turn we unto Chapter DXXXVIII of Ms. Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

Lord Jeremy Coldsore has let his impetuous nature get the better of him, and has challenged himself to a duel–with sabers! He has asked the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, to be his second.

“What’re you gonna do if you go and stab yourself?” Twombley asks. He thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, but we can’t go into that just now.

“Tell Lady Margo that I died for love!” says Jeremy.

However, a snag has developed. It seems the only field in all of Scurveyshire suitable to be a dueling venue was once, and not so long ago, a cow pasture.

“This is ridiculous!” Jeremy fostulates. “I refuse to fight a duel in a field that used to be covered with cow-poop!”

Then he says, “Hah! Unless I’m very much mistaken, I’ve got him on the run!”

Twombley withdraws to The Lying Tart for a gin and hair tonic. There he finds Johnno the Merry Minstrel composing “Ye Olde Ballad of Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s Affaire of Honour.” News travels preternaturally fast in these rural communities.

Byron’s TV Listings, March 18

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G’day, out there! Byron the Quokka here with another weekend of fabulous TV brought to you by Quokka University. Honest, someday we’ll offer courses in something! Meanwhile, here’s a sample of our weekend menu:

7:30 P.M.   Ch. 08  MATT BODICE, P.I.–Mystery/adventure

Bodice (Sen. Hiram Fong) infiltrates “the Church of Evolution,” where he finds the members evolving backwards into murderous primitive ape-men! Mr. Rogers: himself. Grannie: Irene Ryan. Murderous primitive ape-men: Themselves (don’t ask!).

Ch. 14   WORLD NEWS WITH ITCHING–News with a stupid gimmick

Have you ever wondered how news anchors and reporters could do their jobs if they were uncontrollably itchy and couldn’t stop scratching? This show lasted only two weeks on CNN, where it had the highest ratings of any other news show on the network. Host: Greta Thunberg. Sports: Rutherford B. Hayes (itchy beard).

8 P.M.   Ch. 66   BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL!–Reality TV

The contestants are all convicted felons who’d been given a choice: state prison, or back to high school. This is about the ones who chose high school… and never came back. Principal: Ragnar Hairy-Britches. NOTE: The ACLU has condemned this show as a cruel and unusual punishment as forbidden by the Constitution. Especially the episodes about dating.

Ch. 71  MOVIE–Historical Mish-mosh

Could a pair of American cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry) have prevented the Norman conquest of England in 1066? “Conquer This, Podnuh!” (Ethiopian, 1989) explores this fascinating might-have-been. King Harald’s bodyguard: The June Taylor Dancers. William the Conqueror: Tim Russert. Queen Matilda: Paris Hilton.

8:30 P.M.   Ch. 41  THE FLOBSTERS–Totally tasteless sitcom

It’s the ritziest neighborhood in Boonton, New Jersey–or was, until the Flobsters moved in. This week: Moko’s efforts to clean his clothes subject the entire neighborhood to unendurably rancid odors. Meanwhile, Dayzee (Gloria Scott) is caught hiding in the mayor’s house again. Moko: Jerry Springer. Mayor Schwab: An unidentified cartoon character.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be watching these wonderful shows today!

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Bloody computer! Wouldn’t let me post pictures of anything but puppies. Byron the Quokka, signing off (I know when I’m not wanted!).

Byron’s TV Listings, March 4

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1974

Jambo, boys and girls! Byron the Quokka here. Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to roll? Or would you rather just stretch out on the couch and watch the fabulous TV shows that we’ve lined up for you? Like these, for instance:

7 P.M.  Ch. 41  LADDIE THE GATOR–Drama (of a sort)

This show was an attempt to one-up Lassie–if a collie can do it, surely an alligator can! This week: Laddie has to figure out the combination of the lock before Grandpa Jeb (Jose Cuervo) suffocates inside the airtight steamer trunk. And the June Taylor Dancers (themselves) keep distracting him! Grandma: Cheryl Ladd. Fritz the Alpaca: Himself.

Ch. 54  NEWS FOR NUDES–News & commentary

Everyone seen in this broadcast is stark naked! (You’ll be amazed by how en-erotic that can be!) Tonight: Anchorman Ted Koppel gets stuck to his chair, Sen. Mitch McConnell delivers a speech from his shower, and Buffalo City Councilwoman Mandy Pumps freezes to death, leading a protest march.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  TOM DUNG, PRIVATE EYE–Crime drama

The world’s most accident-prone private detective (Yuan Shih-Kai) finds his life in danger after he falls into an open man-hole. Can Junior (Roy Rogers) pull him out? Or will Junior fall in, too? Criminal Who Gets Away: H.P. Lovecraft. Song: “I’m in the Mood for a Blubber Sandwich.”

7:38 P.M.  Ch. 09  MOVIE–Unbearable suspense

In “I Wake Up in High School” (Latvian, 1967: 364 minutes)), Moe Howard stars as noted physicist Hector Lopez (with the real Hector Lopez playing the real Moe Howard), grappling with tainted orange juice supplied by the KGB. Mrs. Malloy: Susan Anton. Russian Chess Master: Joe Besser. Larry and Curly: Themselves. Is this how time travel was invented?

8 P.M.  Ch. 22   LASSO THIS!–Western drama

Trail boss Ingemar Thorlaksson (Willie Mosconi) can’t figure out why his herd of longhorns keeps disappearing on the way to Peking. Could it be because he keeps driving them into the Pacific Ocean, mistaking it for Butler’s Creek in Kansas? Chief drover Rowdy Patel (Rod Stewart) tries to convince him to drive the herd to Dodge City instead. Mrs. Abernathy: a member of the studio audience. Gerald: He’s outside on the sidewalk.

Well! I’ll betcha anything you’ll want to see every show we’ve got! I think I saw Mrs. Abernathy in a movie once. It was one of those samurai movies, with Shakespeare.

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Hurry up with those snacks! You don’t want to miss anything! Byron the Quokka signing off.

Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 25

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1976

G’day, fellow TV connoisseurs (however you spell it)! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend of gloriously edifying TV viewing brought to you by Quokka University. Honest, any day now, we’ll start offering courses. Meanwhile, here’s a sample of red-hot television:

3 P.M.  Ch. 09  DEADLY DANCERS–Crime Drama

The June Taylor Dancers star as high-kickin’ women who are also the Mob’s favorite hit men! Tonight: A rival mob boss (Hugh Downs) trains fierce armadillos to attack the Dancers. Joey Colooch: B.D. Wong. Thutmosis III: Unknown Egyptian actor who came in out of nowhere. Song: “Afflicted by Chiggers.”

Ch. 12  STICKS & STONES–Game show

Celebrity guests are pelted with sticks and stones by the studio audience! (It’s OK, they’re well-paid.) Last celeb standing wins a 5-film contract. Tonight: Chuck Connors, Cher, and Elizabeth Warren. Host: Wayne Newton (until he gets plunked, too).

3:30 P.M.  Ch. 18  TENTACLES!–Sitcom (we think)

See Alvin the Octopus in his breakthrough role as Mr. Squidgy, the air-breathing, short-tempered giant octopus who teaches English Grammar at Jim Bob Booker High School. Don’t say “ain’t got no” in Mr. Squidgy’s class! This week: Mr. Squidgy helps honor student Mary Sue (Heather Locklear) rob a bank. Principal: Sophia Loren.

4 P.M.  Ch. 03  HERE AND NOW–News and commentary

Exclusive fairy news! Gnomes and goblins, too! Anchored by Anderson Cooper handcuffed to his desk! Tonight: “Do Those Big Gigantic People We Keep Seeing Really Exist?” Mibbly Buttercup’s award-winning series on the existence of “human beings”. Tonight: A gnome on a beetle hunt insists he saw a human mowing his lawn.

Ch. 31  MOVIE–Paranormal, with just plain silly

Former U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong stars as a frustrated camel salesman in “Humps, You Sucker!” (Canadian, 1986). No one on Staten Island wants to buy a camel! In desperation, salesman Oleg Gesundheit (Fong) finds evidence that aliens from Orion are involved! Mrs. Portnoy: Nancy Culp. Hermann Hesse, famous German author of books that were trendy in the 70s: Mickey Rivers.

Sheesh! I don’t know which of these I want to watch first! I think I’ve seen all Alvin the Octopus’s movies…

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And look at this–I’ve got a date! Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 18

TV Guide – Saturday, March 24, 1979 – Retro Hound

G’day, folks! Byron the Quokka here–and I missed the Super Bowl because I thought it was the Stupor Bowl and couldn’t find it… Anyway, here’s a sample of this weekend’s stupendous colossal television brought to you by Quokka University.

4:30 P.M. Ch. 08  FLASHING WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON–Reality (?) Show

Can you get in trouble by flashing with your clothes on? Will people shriek and drop packages before they realize that you aren’t showing anything they shouldn’t see? Join host U Thant as the Flasher Crew shakes up a crowded Wal-Mart… and creates a dilemma for police. Special Guest: Thor Heyerdahl.

Ch. 15  EYEWITLESS NEWS–News for simpletons

Anchor Dan Rather doesn’t know he’s on the air, so he sits there making goofy faces and morally questionable gestures. In fact, none of them know they’re on the air, and their natural witlessness takes over. No news value–but wait’ll you see Sam Donaldson get all tangled up in his underwear, trying to dress himself.


Violet Crepuscular doesn’t only write suspense: she lives it! Watch the fun as convicts from the State Prison volunteer to taste her latest creations. This week: Asparagus & Toothpaste with Sausages. Special Guest Star: some old guy who wandered into the studio and can’t find the way out.

5 P.M.  Ch. 31  MOVIE–N.Y. Yankee Baseball/Horror

In “The Vampire of the Right Field Bleacher Seats” (Cuban-Dutch, 2013), Yankees’ star Dave Winfield spoils his own acting debut by playing two characters at once, and neither one of them the role he was cast for. Plot (as we call it): A right field seat in Yankee Stadium becomes a death sentence until Detective Lieutenant Jim Nast (Betty White) can collar the Rogue Vender (Froggy the Gremlin). Song: “I Miss My Coccyx!”

Ch. 55   THE HAIRBALL KID–Sitcom

12-year-old Herbert S. Klein (Abe Vigoda) is a super-hero with a problem: being part cat, every time he gets excited, he tosses up a hairball. Super-villain Ace King (some guy from Baltimore) thinks he can use that in his scheme to take over the world–Can Herbert stop him? Mrs. Nazgul: Paula Prentiss. Chief Swinburne: Bill Harzia. Egyptian Mummy: Not Yet Identified.

I don’t know about you, but boy, howdy, I can’t wait to watch these! I thought I heard them singing “I Miss My Coccyx” in pick-up sticks practice.

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Byron the Quokka, signing off.


Knee-Deep in Froth (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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

Our thanks to Mr. Pitfall, who held Violet Crepuscular’s feet to the fire until she agreed to drop Squire Oochy from the epic tale of romance and suspense, her magnum opus, Oy, Rodney. 

“All right, all right!” she screamed, as her stockings smoldered. “He’s just some guy, okay? The dragon frothed his greenhouse. You’ll never hear of him again–I promise!”

And so we advance into Chapter DXXXI without Squire Oochy. What we have, instead, is the Frothing Dragon dropping froth all over Scurveyshire, sort of like a cosmic Frothee incident.

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[Editor: Stop this at once! Has the woman gone completely mad–sticking a lousy commercial into the middle of her book? By Jove, I’ll set the dogs on her! I’ll… Editor is carried off by two attendants.]

Holy cow, we seem to have lost our bearings. “All Scurveyshire is now knee-deep in froth,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “Johnno the Merry Minstrel argues that an Age of Froth is about to overtake the world.” We are not told with whom he argues.

And here the chapter breaks–with a promise of more suspense next week.

Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 11

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G’day, g’day to all that may, chicken-fat canning begins today! Byron the Quokka here, trying my hand at poetry. Meanwhile, here are some samples of Quokka University’s weekend TV offerings.


Last week’s champion, Lorna Doone (allergic to rectangles), takes on challenger Terry Mildew (“My cat gave me leprosy!”) in The Battle of Horrific Symptoms. Host: Bud Collier. Featured: Dr. Pillpop’s Medicine Show.

Ch. 06  SECRET NEWS!–Inane News and commentary

You won’t understand a word of this broadcast unless you have Uncle Flabby’s Secret News Decoder Dial! Special tonight: “World War III Breaks Out.”  Featured: The June Taylor Dancers make like dandruff and “flake off.”

5:30 P.M.  Ch. 11  LET PUPPETS RULE YOUR LIFE–(Don’t ask, we just work here)

Tired of being a puppet? Try being the puppet of a puppet! Why make decisions, when Spunky and Gargo and Burpy and The Gang can make them for you? Just phone in your predicament and then do exactly what the puppets say! Host: David Hasselhof and hair.

5:45 P.M.  Ch. 16  MOVIE–Brilliant thriller that never got a break from critics who were only trying to show off

In “Dog My Cats” (Tahitian, 1993), Soviet super-spy Anatoly Przhykwoffskyvich (Tom Jones) defects to Siberian Intelligence–only to discover that Siberia is part of the Soviet Union and all he’s done is make a fool of himself. Billy Martin: Omar Sharif. Natasha: The tall chick from “Rocky and His Friends.” Song: “I’m Itchy All Over.”


Lulu (Heather Locklear) runs into big trouble when the ice gives way under her gourmet hockey team; and at home, Ginger (Debbie Reyolds) and her mata-mata turtle are arrested for poaching eggs. Cloak of Invisibility Salesman: Sorry, couldn’t see him. Special cameo appearance by William Howard Taft.

Now that’s what I call a TV schedule! Please excuse me while I try to find a rhyme for “schedule.”

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Byron the Quokka, signing off!

Chapter DXXX–At Last! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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

You think it’s easy, being this woman’s editor? Hah! All week long, she’s been sulking. A customer review on some Charlie High-school website called her “Violet Corpuscle” and she couldn’t deal with it.

Nevertheless, somehow Chapter DXXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, has gotten written. Let Ms. Crepuscular (not Corpuscle) introduce it.

“I am proud to be introducing Chapter DXXX of my epic romance, Oy, Rodney,” she gestures hypnotically, like Mandrake the Magician. For her it doesn’t work.

We were expecting the Frothing Dragon of Scurveyshire in this chapter, and for once we got just what we asked for. The Dragon comes out from under the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard and starts frothing all over the place. Lord Jeremy Coldsore and Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad, watch in stunned horror.

“Germy, we got to do somethin’ about this!” says Twombley, balancing his six-gun on a fingertip. This makes Lord Jeremy uneasy. He has already been shot in one foot and has no desire for the experience to be repeated. Meanwhile, Squire Oochy’s greenhouse is buried under dragon-froth.

“Who the devil’s Squire Oochy?” Jeremy wonders.

“Suspense!” exults Ms. Crepuscular. “Tune in next week to find out who the devil’s Squire Oochy!”


Byron’s TV Listings, Feb. 4

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1974

G’day out there! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of sustainable TV brought to you by Quokka University. Here’s just a sample:

6 P.M.  Ch. 14   THE TOTALLY PLASTERED 6 O’CLOCK NEWS–News and slosh

Anchorman Poopsie Whippersnapper slurs and mumbles his way through the day’s news as inebriated staffers collide with studio furniture and absent-mindedly start fires. Canadian Mist canceled its sponsorship of this show, but it was quickly picked up by the lesser-known distillery, Old Souse. Sports: Some guy face-down on the floor, we can’t see who it is.

Ch. 51   NEWS FOR SPIDERS–News and commentary

What does the daily news look like to a spider? Anchors Don Fapp and Wendy Bendy, plus all the reporters in the field, wear realistic spider costumes, to reassure real spiders that they have friends in big-time journalism. All news written “with a spidery slant.” Tonight: “Tasty bugs you can catch in the Governor’s Mansion.” Featured: the June Taylor Dancers… with eight legs.

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 22   MISS VIOLET’S KITCHEN–Cooking show

Best-selling romance writer Violet Crepuscular’s real love is gourmet cooking! Tonight she’ll show you “Six Fantastically Creative Uses of Toothpaste”–in cabbage rolls, hors d’ouevres [Search me if I spelled that right!], clam chowder, and three more unexpected dishes. Guest taster: Retired wrestler George “The Animal” Steele.

7 P.M.  Ch. 06   MOVIE OF THE MONTH–Adventure, herpetology

Irving Kallikak stars as actor Burt Lancaster, and Lancaster stars as Irving Kallikak, in Don’t Look Now, But Here Come the Giant Tree Frogs (Indian-Estonian, 2008). A laboratory clean-up goes wrong, and gigantic tree frogs escape to wreak havoc among trees and buildings that can’t support their ponderous weight. General Fizzle: Martin Balsam. Miss Mississippi: Marla Maples. Doc: Joe Pyne. Sneezy: Simon Oakland.

7:30 P.M.  Ch.14   THE SCARLET COCCYX–Historical sitcom

Who is “The Scarlet Coccyx”? The mad bishop (Joey Bishop), the brawling woman with a headache (Patty Duke), the goofy teenage werewolf (Michael Landon)–it could be anybody! This week: Detective Inspector Yogi Shubushu (Matt Damon) thinks he has a clue to The Scarlet Coccyx’s real identity, but nobody cares.

And those shows, boys ‘n’ girls, are just the tip of the iceberg! We’ve been collecting stuff like this from dumpsters all over Rottnext Island.

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Byron the Quokka–inspecting wheels and signing off!