Tag Archives: general silliness

The Effects of Eating Food Left Over from the Third Crusade (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Longmire does Romance Novels | Book humor, Romance novels, Funny ...

As we plod wearily into Chapter CCCLXVIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we discover that Black Rodney, the medieval sorcerer who vexes all of Scurveyshire, has again been up to mischief.

“Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular begins, “you have doubtless been wondering how the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, has managed to subsist on provisions left over from the Third Crusade. Permit me to elucidate.” We love it when she does that.

Most food left over from the Third Crusade, she explains, is no longer edible some 600 years later. But sorcery can make it so–up to a point. “And we all know Black Rodney’s favorite target for his spells and hoodoos is Coldsore Hall.”

Now that he has escaped from the antique cedar chest which only has three sides, and consumed all the antique victuals  that have been stored in that room since before the Magna Carta was written, Sir Robin has begun to have thoughts that should not occur to any aristocratic thief at any time.

“I shall emerge from this, my hiding place,” Sir Robin cogitates, “and proclaim a new Crusade! Iceland must be liberated from the Saracens!” History has never been his strong suit. He is much more well-versed in gluttony and drunkenness.

He slams open the door to his hiding place and races up and down confusing corridors until at least he finds an open-air balcony overlooking Coldsore Hall’s scenic driveway and beautifully manicured front lawn. To his delight, he finds an audience already waiting for him. He does not know they have assembled to demand a lower price of ale at The Lying Tart.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen–lend me your ears!” he bellows. This succeeds in gaining the crowd’s undivided attention. In fact, there happens to be a genuine Roman in the throng, one Massimo Jidrool, who thinks the speech is meant especially for him.

“I have come to proclaim the liberation of Iceland from the Saracens! And I–” here he has just enough sanity left to remember that he is wanted for a whole cornucopia of poorly executed crimes: he needs an alias, big-time–“I, Lord Henry de Swivenham, shall lead you!”

Immediately someone down below shouts, “It’s Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief! Get him!”

With a roar like fifty locomotives giving birth to sixty marching bands, the crowd streams into Coldsore Hall, brandishing pitchforks and torches–

“And here, dear reader, I must break off the chapter,” Ms. Crepuscular writes. “I tried a bowl of Mrs. Skinnard’s Baseball Innards, and it has disagreed with me.”


The Whole Thing Freaks Out (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Image result for images of english country houses

This is not Coldsore Hall, but it will have to do.

You will have noticed that there is no picture here. Ms. Crepuscular’s computer doesn’t work either. It must be related to mine.

Anyhow, introducing Chapter CCCLXVII–no, I have no idea what happened to Chapter CCCLXVI–of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular seems to be as confused as I am.

“What a mess those literary critics made of my front yard!” she writes. “I was all day picking up the stones and brickbats. But if they think they can stop me from producing the rest of my epic romance–well, fap! to them. Literature marches on!”

The chapter opens with Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief, back on his feet in the middle of his hideout in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall. How did he get out of the cedar chest, after he’d locked himself in? “I am not going to write Chapter CCCLXVI all over again,” Ms. Crepuscular declares. “Suffice it to say there was a side missing from the chest. The fifth Earl Coldsore, Lord Pratt, acquired this chest from a shady antiques dealer in Cyprus when he went on the Third Crusade and brought it back to Scurveyshire with him when Richard the Lionheart kicked him out of the army for persistent cowardice. Lord Pratt carried the massive chest all the way across medieval Europe–only to discover, upon his return after an incredibly hazardous Channel crossing, that he had somehow lost one of the chest’s four sides. As a consequence, his health deteriorated. His last act was to stow the chest away in that room that no one ever used.”

Reader Thelma Potstock of Double Trouble, New Jersey, wants to know what Sir Robin has been eating, all this time he’s been hiding out in Coldsore Hall. This is a detail which had never crossed Ms. Crepuscular’s mind.

“The room is stocked with provisions left over from the Third Crusade,” she explains.

That will have to do for now. There is some doubt as to whether this installment of the saga can be successfully posted.


Literary Critics Protest ‘Oy, Rodney’

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Introducing Chapter CCCLXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares a personal experience. Oh, boy.

“I had a most unpleasant time yesterday,” she writes. “A busload of literary critics pulled up in front of my house and at least two dozen of them poured out and started yelling and throwing things. I am not sure why. Some of them carried signs bearing lewd and unsavory messages regarding my epic romance, Oy, Rodney. A few of them demanded that I come outside so they could drown me. Several carried pitchforks.

“I called the police, but there was no one there to take my call. I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t started to rain. The critics in a mad panic swarmed back onto the bus and it pulled away. I’m afraid they stomped my crabgrass.”

Nothing daunted, she goes on to write the chapter.

Here we have the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, wondering whether he ought to explore the other rooms in search of something valuable to steal. He is interrupted in his meditations by a sound of footsteps in the hall. It’s only Johnno the Merry Minstrel, searching for cuss-bags planted by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney; but Sir Robin decides he’d better hide in case it’s the police.

The only hiding place in his room is a ratty-looking cedar chest just big enough to accommodate him. Deftly, he crawls inside and shuts the lid.

Unforeseen by him, the lid automatically locks when it is closed.

“Here I break the chapter,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “to heighten the suspense! Will Sir Robin get out of the cedar chest, or is he doomed to die in there? How awful it will be, years from now, when someone discovers the chest and goes to see what’s in it! I feel quite faint, just thinking about it!”

A snack of toothpaste sandwich cookies, washed down by a tall glass of absinthe, restores her equanimity.


Lady Margo’s Grandmother’s Glass Eye (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Chapter CCCLXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, ended with Lady Margo Cargo averse to having her wedding without being able to wear her grandmother’s glass eye, which her crusty old butler, Crusty, has hidden in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, along with all the other glass eyes and Lady Margo’s jewels. Ms. Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCLXIV with a selection of fan mail.

“Reader Smokey Burgess, of Fishbowl, Alabama, writes: ‘What’s so special about Lady Margo Cargo’s grandmother’s glass eye? I always say if you’ve seen one glass eye, you’ve seen ’em all.’  And from Mrs. Ellen Melon of Sons of Hercules Township, Michigan, we have, ‘I wore the wrong glass eye for my wedding, and it was the ruin of everything!’

“Well, dear reader, now you can understand Lady Margo’s dilemma! Who wants to risk the ruin of everything?”

Ms. Crepuscular admits that she has been “inundated” with reader mail throughout the week, “not counting those nasty letters from people who tell me I should just stop writing and go soak my head,” she adds. “There are many schools of thought on choosing a glass eye for a wedding, each school bitterly opposed to all the others. I had no idea!”

Meanwhile the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in Coldsore Hall, has begun to wonder if there’s anything worth stealing in this ancient, opulent country house: maybe he ought to peek into some of the other rooms. Comments Ms. Crepuscular, “I think you will agree that this heightens the suspense to a nearly unbearable degree! I had to drink a whole bottle of rum before I could get to sleep last night. Yo-ho-ho indeed!”

Maybe that’s why she has not yet written Chapter CCCLXIV, except for the parts we have already considered here. It has not been much of a performance.


Quokka University: More Progress!

Rottnest Island Quokka Pictures | POPSUGAR Smart Living

G’day, Byron the Quokka here. And hooray, hooray for the month of June, Quokka U. will be open soon!

I can hardly believe our good fortune! Late yesterday we received a $12 (!) grant from one of our most beloved celebrities, the immortal Helen Schnitzelbonk of Pie-Eye Nebraska, USA–Helen Schnitzelbonk, who won the hearts of quokkas everywhere with her death-defying ascent–by pogo stick, mind you!–of Mt. Cornucopeia… while it was erupting. True, it was a rather small eruption; but Helen didn’t know that at the time.

Twelve dollars! Think what we can do with that. Of course, it’s twelve dollars in American money, I don’t know what that comes out to in real money, but it’s still more than we had in our whole treasury two days ago. My vote is, we buy a bicycle with it.

So now we are shooting for a September opening of our first semester and trying to beautify our campus here on Rottnest Island (kangaroos leave things lying around that no one should see). I think by then we’ll have two more woven grass dorms finished–and I hope we’ll have selected a mascot by then.

And for now, in the words of our university’s classic Latin motto, “Ipso loquitur mannimota!”


Win a Chance to Play Poker with Lord Reesh!

Claude Rains - playing King Herod in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." | Claude  rains, Rains

If you’re one of I don’t know how many Bell Mountain readers who’ve wondered, “How would I do, playing poker with Lord Reesh?”, today’s your lucky day!

The reader who accounts for the 400th view tonight will win a chance to play poker against arch-villain Lord Reesh as soon as he can be brought back from the dead. Close watch will be kept on the old guy to make sure he doesn’t have you poisoned or make you disappear.

(Ooh, why didn’t I think of this sooner!)


Let’s Have the Wedding Anyhow! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor, Romance novels,  Funny romance

Introducing Chapter CCCLXIII of her epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular praises her protagonist, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, for taking the bull by the horns. “It’s really the only thing you can do when you’re on the horns of a dilemma!” she confides in her readers. And P.S.–Mr. Pitfall is out of jail because no one remembered to lock the door.

In taking the bull by the horns, Lord Jeremy exhorts his fiancee, Lady Margo Cargo, “Let’s have our wedding anyhow! The vicar is free of conniptions, the roof of Coldsore Hall has been repaired, and why should we wait any longer?”

“But I had my heart set on wearing my grandmother’s glass eye and my mother’s pearls, and they’ve been stolen!” wails Lady Margo. She is not aware that her crusty old butler, Crusty, has hidden the jewels and the priceless collection of glass eyes in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall. He has forgotten why he did that. Nor is anyone aware that the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, is hiding out in the room across the hall from where the jewels are hidden.

“Oh, bother your grandma’s glass eye!” ejaculates Jeremy. “The eye you’re wearing now is perfectly suitable to the occasion. In fact, I rather like it!”

“Oh, Willis, you say the most romantic things!” Lady Margo cannot distinguish between Lord Jeremy and his close friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad.

The next two pages of the chapter are blank: Ms. Crepuscular has left them blank to reflect Lady Margo’s indecision. The third and last page features Violet’s own recipe for a six-tiered wedding cake with assorted toothpaste icings. As for Lady Margo, “You can’t rush these things,” writes Violet. “Many a wedding has been ruined by the bride wearing the wrong glass eye for the occasion and being consumed with self-doubt forever afterward.” Apparently this has happened in her family, but not in anyone else’s. Not that I know of, anyway.

 


We Still Need to Laugh

Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best: The Collected Blandings Short ...

Well, that last post snuffed out my little flicker of optimism. On to something different!

A good laugh helps us keep our sanity. Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best, by P.G. Wodehouse, is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Just thinking about it begins to raise my spirits.

It’s a collection of stories featuring the addled mind of Clarence, Lord Emsworth, and his batty neighbors and relations. The stories are full of gems like this:

“There was a sharp clicking noise in the darkness. It was caused by Angela’s upper front teeth meeting her lower front teeth; and was followed by a sort of wordless exhalation. It seemed only too plain that the love and respect which a niece should have for an uncle were in the present instance at a very low ebb.”

When the central character of the stories owns “an IQ some 30 points below that of an absent-minded jellyfish” (Wodehouse was being charitable), all sorts of odd things happen. The earl is aided and abetted in creating ridiculous situations by his domineering sister, Constance, and his scatterbrained wastrel of a son, Freddie.

As gorgeous and as loony as the humor in these stories is, it’s never mean, never nasty. That was the author’s gift: we love these goofy characters in spite of their incurable goofiness. It’s not a flattering picture of the English upper class, but it’s not exactly the Three Stooges throwing pies, either. It’s just unique.

See? I feel better now! And so will you, if you visit the earl at Blandings Castle.

Oh–and the BBC Blandings series, based on the books, is screamingly funny, too.


Rodney Repeals the Law of Gravity (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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I could hardly wait to read this chapter; but as usual, Violet Crepuscular’s literary genius has thrown us a curve ball.

“Dear Reader,” she introduces Chapter CCCLXIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, “I simply must share with you my romantic evening with my neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, who has quite forgiven me that episode of inadvertent but well-nigh fatal poisoning. In short, we had a date!”

I don’t see how it could have been much of a date. Mr. Pitfall insisted on dinner at their local Alternative Foods restaurant–“Their termite puffs are out of this world!” exults Ms. Crepuscular–but when he discovered they had only curbside takeout service, she writes, “That lovable Pitfall temper flared up again and he began pounding on the door, demanding to be let in for a proper sit-down dinner. One thing led to another, until finally the romantic silly man was dragged off by police. I might have been arrested, too, had not my lively writer’s imagination inspired me to pretend I was the mayor.” Way to go–why didn’t I think of that?

And so, with the chapter already more than halfway over, we come to the wicked medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, cursing all of Scurveyshire by repealing the law of gravity.

You might have expected that all the shire’s people, animals, and buildings would float straight up until they left the earth behind and were lost in outer space. That is what usually happens when you repeal the law of gravity. “Imagine the sorcerer’s surprise and disappointment,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “when nothing happened! It seems this is one of those spells that must be regularly practiced in order to get it right. So this time its only effect was to grow rather unsightly beards on The Lying Tart’s bar maids–and one of them already had a beard, so so what? A most discouraging failure for Black Rodney!”

So what about the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in an uninhabited wing of Coldsore Hall, just across the hall from the room where Crusty the crusty butler has hidden Lady Margo Cargo’s priceless glass eyes and family jewels?

“I will take up those matters,” Ms. Crepuscular promises, “after I find some way to raise bail for Mr. Pitfall. He gets so downhearted when he’s in that holding cell!”

 


A Visit to Coldsore Hall (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Photographs of English Castles and Manor Houses

Introducing Chapter CCCLXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular pauses to inform us that the repairs on Coldsore Hall–new roof, in particular–have been completed.

“As you can see by the picture, dear reader,” she writes, “Coldsore Hall is a very impressive-looking building! Several hundred people could live in it quite comfortably. Indeed, I am afraid there are a number of people living in it that Lord Jeremy doesn’t know are there.”

One of those persons, unbeknownst to Lord Jeremy, is Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief, younger (and disinherited) son of the Earl of Fapley. This is awkward: excited by promises of a fabulous reward, every man, woman, and child in Scurveyshire is looking for Sir Robin, who is suspected of having stolen Lady Margo Cargo’s priceless family jewels and world-famous collection of glass eyes.

But we have been told that only Crusty, Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, knows what really happened to the jewels.

“I will now reveal what Crusty knows,” declares Ms. Crepuscular, and then embarks on a recipe for homemade Twinkies filled with Pepsodent. On we go to Chapter CCCLXIII.

“I do not appreciate the threats made against me,” she writes, “to force me to divulge Crusty’s secret. A reader in Namibia has even threatened to mail me a boomslang if I don’t come across. So here it is! Here’s what happened to the jewels.”

It turns out that Crusty himself has taken all the jewels, plus the box of glass eyes, wrapped them all up in a duffel bag… and concealed them in an unused bedroom inside Coldsore Hall! He does not know that Sir Robin Banks the aristocratic jewel thief is hiding in the unused room across the hall. No one else is using any of the rooms in the hall’s East Wing, because legend has it that a vampire has parked his coffin there.

“Further revelations will be made in the next chapter,” Violet concludes. “If you really just can’t wait, I suggest a cold shower.”


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