Will the Queen Elope with Willis Twombley? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

The terrible tale of the Kentucky Fried romance novel | The Delve

[Editor’s Note: Ms. Violet Crepuscular is mad at me for switching over to this book cover to illustrate the latest installment of Oy, Rodney. Well, confound it, I can’t find the regular cover anymore! This one will have to do. It’s very much in the spirit of the thing.]

Introducing Chapter CDXXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular reminds the reader that Queen Victoria is about to elope to Abilene, Kansas, with Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. Word of this has reached Lady Margo Cargo and threatened her impeding nuptials with Lord Jeremy Coldsore–she thinks he and Twombley are the same person and resents her fiancee cheating on her with the Queen of England.

In desperation–and you have to be really desperate to do this–Lord Jeremy turns to Constable Chumley. “Please see what you can do to salvage this mess!” vocalizes Lord Jeremy. The constable replies, “Aye, thar forthin yon cusster, M’lord!”

Making an appointment to confer privately with Lady Margo, Chumley explains to her: “Favvin’ yoster me kippens, Lady me Lad, ye netter by swelvin’ a quarn?” She gives her enthusiastic consent to this proposal. With this to sustain him, the constable arrests Twombley and forces him to bathe in the ice-cold duck pond in Scurveyshire Common. Passersby are appalled.

But just as the constable hoped, this does the trick! Twombley is practically killed with cold by the time Chumley allows him to come out of the water. Passersby turn away, unable to bear the sight.

“Well, that’s froze the romance right out of me!” truncates the American. “Now I wonder what I ever saw in that there queen of yours! But you’re lucky I didn’t shoot you, ol’ hoss.”

“Mizzen yair frocken, sir!” says Chumley. Willis sighs deeply. “One cannot but agree!” he concedes.

Byron’s TV Listings, May 15

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G’day, g’day! And I hope you’ve got your TV warmed up for another weekend of tip-top broadcasting from Quokka University!

Byron the Quokka here, with a tiny sample of some of our unique programming. Sorry, I’m not allowed to tell you where we get it! We don’t want anybody thrown into jail or shot on our account.

So here’s a little bit of what’s in store for you.

8:17 a.m.  Ch. 03   BREAKFAST WITH CTHULHU–Discussion

Sneak preview of Dracula singing Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love, Gavin Newsom recalling that he had very few toys as a child, and a crowd of people trying to get away from Cthulhu before he eats them. Featuring Justin Trudeau and his little beard.

8:30 a.m.   Ch. 16   CAPTAIN FACEHEAD–Children’s Programming

Capt. Facehead demonstrates how to mix pickles with Woolite, and Mr. Droopy stops by with a swarm of ravenous mosquitoes. Also: how to play solitaire tackle football.

Ch. 21   MACRO PUNCHUM, M.D.–Medical Drama

Macro’s theory of beating patients back to health lands him in a spot of trouble when a patient dies. Old Dr. Peedle (Andre the Giant) defends him, but even older Dr. Bizz (Martha Washington) is out to get him. Nurse Tweedle: Twiggy. Macro Punchum: John Rhys-Davies.

Ch. 42   MIGUEL BORRACHO–Very Poor Excuse for TV Programming

A Spanish-language soap opera written by persons who don’t speak it very well, starring actors and actresses who don’t speak it at all. Panchito: Justin Trudeau. Luisa: Angela Merkel.  Capablanca: Benny Hill.  Juan Valdez’ Aunt: Name Withheld.

9 a.m.   Ch. 08   MOVIE–Drama/Surfing/Sci-Fi

“What Goes Up” (1977) asks the haunting question, What if there were a planet full of surfers? And what if they all looked like Supreme Court justices? Scuffy: Earl Warren. Muffy: William Rehnquist  Gidget: Sandra Day O’Connor  Ho-Baby: Harry Blackmun.  The Voice of Doom: Jon Hall. Plus a Tamil-language tribute to the Bowery Boys.

Well, there’s your sample. Believe it or not, we also have shows that are a lot better than these. I never did like Macro Punchum: it made me afraid to go to the doctor’s.

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Anyone for Clue? Col. Mustard in the Conservatory with the Candlestick…


Willis Twombley’s Romance (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Livin' the Dream with Green Stamps: A 1975 Catalog - Flashbak

Editor’s Note: We are again unable to find an illustration for the Oy, Rodney cover. It was actually easier to find a Green Stamps saver book from 1960. This bodes ill for Violet Crepuscular’s book sales.

Introducing Chapter CDXXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular cites a letter received from reader Jennifer Solstice in Bad Axe, Michigan.

“This clod of a reader,” she begins–she must be really mad–“has accused me, Violet Crepuscular, a college graduate, mind you, of ‘turning this wonderful story into a mushy kissing book–yew! Who wants to read that? And Willis Twombley, of all people! Unless you put the kibosh on him romancing Queen Victoria, I won’t read you anymore!'”

“And thus,” declares Violet, “I am corruscated to write a romance that has no romance in it! Well, Jennifer Solstice, write your own shimshing romance novel! I have real readers to attend to!”

That being said, she has barely enough space to mention that Willis Twombley and Queen Victoria are feverishly planning to elope to Abilene, Kansas–the queen doesn’t know anybody there–and open up a Greek restaurant without any Greeks. It will be an excellent opportunity for Victoria to learn to cook. And to throw Scotland Yard off the scent, they plan to call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Orestes Papadapoulos.

“I warn you, Lord Jeremey,” exclaims Johnno the Merry Minstrel, who has made a study of these matters, “this is the work of Black Rodney the medieval sorcerer. He’ll by the ruin of the entire British Empire if we don’t stop him!”

Lord Jeremy Coldsore can only sigh. He’s had a lot of practice sighing, lately.

Did we mention Willis Twombley is an American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad? We do not know whether Queen Victoria believes him.

Byron’s TV Listings, May 8

Vintage 1960 Tv Listings Related Keywords & Suggestions - Vintage ... |  Keyword suggestion, Tv guide listings, Tv guide

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with another weekend’s worth of spectacular TV brought to you by Quokka University. Just don’t ask us where we get it!

Without any further ado–we’re just about out of ado, anyhow–here’s a sample.


You won’t get rich, but you might get entertained. What the heck, it’s only money. Let Gumby and Poky show you how to invest it.


Anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Gumby, please contact the Channel 3 Fraud Squad. $15 reward!

8:15   Ch. 5   CROCKED NEWSTALK–News and Commentary

You have to be noticeably intoxicated before they let you join this panel. Tonight’s celebrity drunkard: Big-game hunter Hap “Oops!” Chandler. Tonight’s topic: “String Theory: Who ****ing Gives a ****?” With Xi Jin Ping and his orchestra.

9 A.M.  Ch. 12   MOVIE–Waste of time

“Hamlet Prince of Denmark, Michigan” (2002)  Re-adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in modern dress and setting, with Hamlet as the son trying to inherit a shoe store after his father is murdered by Brownies. Hamlet: Alec Guinness. Father’s Ghost: Ben Dover. Ophelia: Zsa Zsa Gabor. Polonius: the Bowery Boys. With Henny Youngman’s Joke Machine.


While a rogue shark picks off Dodge City’s innocent swimmers, Sheriff Flimsy (John Gielgud) must ask Ma (Shari Lewis) to buckle on her guns again to deal with a mysterious stranger who shoots everybody. Dusty the Dog: James Whitmore. Sid the Horse: Alva Toffler  Mary Ellen the Beetle: Linda Hunt.

Well, there you have it–just a taste of what awaits you when you tune into Quokka UTV.

Queen Victoria Loves Willis Twombley! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

We cannot find our regular illustration today. We hope this field guide to insects will be a satisfactory substitute.

Peterson Field Guide To Insects Of America North of Mexico 1970 Paperback  Book | eBay

[Editor’s Note: Thanks to Phoebe for her profound Shakespearean insight.]

In Chapter CDXIX of Violet Crepuscular’s immortal, epic romance (Did he just say “immortal”?), Oy, Rodney, we learned that Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, had fallen passionately in love with Queen Victoria. Today in Chapter CDXX we learn… she loves him back.

Ms. Crepuscular explains: “Dear reader, who can unravel the exfoliations of the human heart? Some subtle nuance in Mr. Twombley’s love letter has lit a fire under Queen Victoria! Not literally, of course–you mustn’t take that literally. I prefer not even to imagine it!”

How do we know the queen returns Twombley’s passion? She has sent a special messenger to Scurveyshire: a servant with two heads and a hand, just like the one in Titus Andronicus. He is rather conspicuous, but his message is for Twombley’s eyes alone.

“Dear Mr. Twombley” (writes the Queen) “I yearn for you so bad, I could plotz! I love Albert, but oh, you kid! We must arrange for us to make whoopee. P.S.–I love your idea of me abdicating the throne of the British Empire and taking up a new career as a saloon girl! Mr. Disraeli will have a kazoo.”

Ms. Crepuscular temporarily suspends the story to address an issue raised by a superfluous–“vole,” I think she said.

“I have been accused of many things in my life,” she says–“barratry, counterfeiting, wasting police time, treason–but to be accused of willy-nilly blending the dress and customs of several different eras–! This is the most unkindest cut of all. Let anyone who thinks she can do better… just try! I triple-dog dare you!”

Byron’s TV Listings (May 1)

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1963

Wow! Here on Rottnest Island, it’s almost time for Deputy Dawg! But first a word about this week’s TV listings, brought to you by Quokka U. If we can raise enough money, we can buy one of those air-boats like they had in “Everglades.” Now all we need is a swamp!

Byron the Quokka here, and here’s a sample of this weekend’s fabulous television.


The pirates swoop down on a wagon train in the middle of the prairie and suddenly discover they’ve lost their ship! Cap’n Cod: Lorne Green  Clambrain: John Kerry   Marvin the Talking Ox: Howard Cosell


Who says the news anchor has to be human? As Steve runs faster and faster in his hamster wheel, news stories fly out from the bottom and Ed McMahon digs them out of the cedar shavings and reads them for the camera.

6:36 P.M.  Ch. 46   SHERPA TO THE STARS–Travel

Hollywood superstars love to climb the Himalayas! And Sherpa Gutzu Lhotsa Sope is the man who guides them to the summits. Even if he doesn’t always come down with the same celebrities with which he went up. With Andrew Cuomo and his orchestra.

7 P.M.  Ch. 10  HOPALONG HAGGIS–Scottish Western

Hopalong Haggis really does have to propel himself by hopping along on alternate feet, but that doesn’t stop him from solving crimes for the Phnom Penh C.I.D. in Cambodia, with whom he communicates telepathically. This week: someone’s left the water running. Hopalong: Harry Wong   Sgt. MacPherson: Sid Fernandez   Mrs MacGavin: Linzy Kagemusha


Shakespeare’s gory mess makes for hilarious cartoons! Host: Suitcase Simpson.

Ch. 17  MOVIE–Tragicomedy

“Lost in the Outback” (1958) features the Bowery Boys being picked off one by one by rogue kangaroos and vengeful wandering minstrels. Filmed in Brooklyn but made to look just like the Australian wilderness, give or take a few cars and sidewalks. Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall.  Rogue kangaroo trainer: Loretta Young. Suspicious-looking Rock: Tommy Lee Jones.

Well, there you have it! I can’t wait to see “Lost in the Outback.” A lot of ninnies get lost in the Outback. Some of them get lost looking for it. They think it’s somewhere “out back.”

I hope our university opens soon.

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Willis Twombley in Love (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CDXIX of her epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “I am pleased to tell you that things in Scurveyshire are all back to normal!” With one exception.

Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, has fallen head-over-heels in love.

With Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria - Canada Postage Stamp

“Can’t you introduce me to her, Germy, ol’ hoss?” he pleads with his bosom friend, Lord Jeremy Coldsore. This is awkward for Lord Jeremy because his fiancee, Lady Margo Cargo, still thinks he and Twombley are the same person. Jeremy is trying to figure out whether this would be some form of bigamy.

“I just can’t do without her, Germy!” Twombley erupts. “She’s one hot filly! And I don’t think that German guy she’s teamed up with, Prince Alvin or whatever his name is, appreciates her. But if she hitches up with me, she’ll be gettin’ half of my Akkadian Empire, once I get it up and runnin’ again. Be a sport and send her this here love letter that I wrote.”

Jeremy reads the letter. It is unspeakably lurid.

“I say, old boy!” he fusticates. (What? Where did she get that word? Sounds great, though.) “I mean, really, truly, this just isn’t on! She is the Queen of England and Empress of India–and you just can’t talk to her that way! You make it sound like she’s some kind of tavern wench in one of your Wild West saloons.”

“Ooh, she would be good that that!” says Twombley. “Jist send her the letter, wouldja? And watch her and me gallop off into the sunset together!”

“Lady Margo isn’t going to like this,” mutters Jeremy. It’s a cinch the queen won’t like it, either.

At this point the chapter breaks, owing to a breakdown in Violet’s antique manual typewriter. It’s also her time for baking toothpaste sandwich cookies.

Byron’s TV Listings (April 24)

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1961

Tally-ho, and away we go! Byron the Quokka here, with this week’s Quokka University TV listings. We show the stuff that none of the networks dared to show, back when. But we have to admit we don’t have sponsors like Gro-Pup. We do have Go-Gro Crayfish Food, but their advertising budget won’t grow anything bigger than a crayfish.

Anyway, here are a few samples of fantastically wonderful TV for your weekend. Just don’t tell anybody where you got it.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 02  GIRDLES GALORE–Fashion

You’ll never again have to ask, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Because you’ll have a Hollywood Girdle on under it! Hosts: Boris Karloff, Ayn Rand. With Gene Woodling’s Xylophone Orchestra.


Howard Cosell interviews athletes who play sports you never heard of–Papuan egg-swallowing, speed crocheting from Estonia, 43-man Squamish, wheel barrow-throwing from the most isolated regions of Spain, and many others. Nominated for a Broken Coccyx Award!

Ch. 14  SHOOT ‘EM ALL!–Western

Sheriff Grendel (Alan Alda) recovers from having a load of bricks dumped on his head, but has now become a serial killer out for revenge–against whom, he doesn’t know. It’s up to shy schoolmarm Pam Spam (Joan Rivers) and plucky Deputy Horace Dawg (an animated root vegetable) to stop him. Toby: Steve Reeves  Mayor Motormouth: Nick Cravat


Anchor David Pong reports from underwater at Weeki Wachee while the famous Mermaids cavort all around him. Be sure to send away for the Bubble-Meister, or you won’t be able to understand a word David says–remember, he’s sitting underwater and it makes him sound funny.

8:01 P.M.  Ch. 16  MOVIE–Romance/Adventure

“The Lost City of Almost-Naked Women” (1970) finds the Bowery Boys exploring a lost city deep in the heart of Brooklyn. This was the first and last movie directed by Sen. Walter Mondale. Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey.  Prof. Peedle: Arnold Stang  Dr. Von Schussnig: Zsa Zsa Gabor  Featuring the Bil Baird Puppets.

Well, that ought to be enough to get you started! And please let us know if you actually get a Bubble-Meister after you send away for one.

Constable Chumley Quells a Riot (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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At the close of Chapter CDXIV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lady Margo Cargo’s upholstered wooden leg, accidentally thrown onto the roller derby rink, has turned the skating match into pure chaos as the visiting Ulan Bator Lake Smelts, with several of their star players critically injured by the errant wooden leg, and with Lady Margo herself trying to crawl across the rink to retrieve it, storm the rails to take vengeance on all of Scurveyshire.

“And they say I can’t write a coherent sentence!” interjects Ms. Crepuscular.

Powerless to stop the violence, Lord Jeremy Crepuscular pleads with Constable Chumley. “Do something, man! Do something before they destroy the whole town!”

“Frith my linkle vostry, m’lord,” calmly replies the constable. To Lord Jeremy’s appalled amazement, the constable takes a red yo-yo from his pocket and begins to play with it. “Ye gods, the man is mad!” cries Lord Jeremy.

But the results fully justify the constable’s prompt, decisive action.

“At this point in world history”–she’s interjecting again: I don’t know how to stop her–“the yo-yo was unknown in Mongolia. Marco Polo presented one to Kubla Khan, but the khan’s successors lost it in a poker game with a traveling Manchu card sharp, and by now there is no one in Ulan Bator who has ever seen or even imagined one.”

The Lake Smelts instantly lose the impulse to riot, and they gather around Constable Chumley in frozen fascination. The effect is supernumary! Lady Margo is even able to recover her upholstered wooden leg while all the skaters, entranced in pure wonder, watch the yo-yo bob up and down.

“‘Tis all yon frothering with a wee braystick,” he explains. The Lake Smelts tamely follow him to the railway station and embark on the next train, with team Captain Draja Chukutaiev now the proud owner of a bright red yo-yo.

The chapter ends with the entire population of Scurveyshire trying to buy yo-yos.