Tag Archives: general silliness

‘Oy, Rodney’: the Footnotes

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In Chapter CLXII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic and spectacular romance, Oy, Rodney, we learn that Scurveyshire needs a new Member of Parliament. This is because the shire’s long-time, beloved representative, Sir Belisarius “Old Binky” Boggington, has been sucked under the vicar’s backyard wading pool, never to be seen again.

Wait! How did we miss that incident? It’s not mentioned in any of the four or five preceding chapters, where I searched for it in vain. But then I noticed a footnote.

“1. I was about to describe this horrifying event in great detail, in Chapter CLXI, when suddenly my smoke alarm went off. The noise was unbearable! I tried to turn it off but the wretched thing just wouldn’t stop. Finally I  called the Fire Dept., and they discovered some kind of insect egg-case inside the smoke detector, positioned in such a way as to force two wires together that should never touch each other. They also found that the cake I was baking in the oven was all but incinerated, but I’m sure that wasn’t what triggered the alarm. To make it worse, the fire chief gave me a right bollocking! I was so upset and humiliated, and distracted, that I forgot what I intended to write. My apologies to the reader; but it is the smoke detector’s fault, not mine.”

Below it was another footnote.

“2. If you are wondering why Constable Chumley, on guard near the pool, didn’t prevent Old Binky from getting too close to the death-trap, I can only say the constable had been distracted, too. I cannot remember how.”

And on the next page, another one.

“3. I realize it is not standard practice to include scholarly footnotes in a romance novel, but my hand is forced by certain persons who have alleged that my depiction of Scurveyshire in Queen Victoria’s time is absurd and unbelievable. They are much mistaken! For the genuine historical background, please consult A Narrative of Recent Events in Scurveyshire by Richard Bucket, A.B., C.D., V.C., O.B.E. etc., Chas. Gibbet and Sons, London: 1904.”

My hat’s off to anyone who can find that book.

As for the rest of Chapter CLXII, it is better left alone.


Lady Margo’s Love Child (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CLIX (which spells “clix”) of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular confides to her readers, “Now I wish I’d written this as a plantation novel. I love plantation novels!” And lets it go at that.

A new complication has arisen, a new obstacle to Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s ambition to marry the wealthy Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, and thus foil the creditors who are out to take Coldsore Hall.

Lady Margo thinks she is with child. The difficulty is compounded by Lady Margo’s house being full of upholsterers hard at work re-upholstering all the furniture.

“It’s just wind, you silly old bat,” says Crusty the butler.

“I’m sure I don’t know what it is,” she replies, “but I read somewhere that upholstering a woman’s wooden leg can cause a pregnancy.” Crusty nearly faints: that word is not lightly bandied about in Lady Margo’s circles. “I wonder whose child it is,” she adds wistfully. Crusty sends for Dr. Fanabla, the shire’s renowned phrenologist, who examines the bumps on Lady Margo’s head and pronounces her “not you-know-what–although she does have a slightly serious touch of Colbury’s Complaint. Call me at once if her other hand falls off.” He prescribes a daily morning regimen of jumping jacks. On his way out the door, he is espied by Miss Lizzie Snivel, the spider girl, who falls passionately in love with him and starts following him all around the countryside.

Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad, sulks because he has little to do in this chapter. He seeks out Constable Chumley for a companionable nip from the constable’s hip flask which he keeps under his policeman’s helmet. “Chumley, ol’ hoss, I been tryin’ every trick in the book to get this here weddin’ to come off, and we’re still stuck in the startin’ gate.”

“Dint feen thysel,” Chumley replies. “‘Tis a mickle gair as fenners no shough.”

“That’s what they told me back in Texas,” Twombley sighs.

 

 

 


Test Your College Grads

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How thoroughly has college educated your son or daughter, niece or nephew, or your hamster, for that matter?

This quickie True-False test will help you find out. Just pop these five questions on ’em.

*Basques were invented in Polynesia and didn’t arrive in Spain until the 1950s.

*The Romans only stopped staging gladiatorial shows when the TV ratings hit bottom.

*Shakespeare’s plays were written by Zach Von Beethoven.

*In physics, Newton’s Third Law refers to getting a license to operate a telescope.

*The Vikings were not able to discover America until 1808, long after the rest of the world had done so.

This, of course, is “education,” so you only get credit for getting the answers wrong. So the right answers–all five are False: honest–are actually the wrong answers. Got that? I hope so, because explaining it is beginning to tax my wits. And here’s how you evaluate.

All five True: a Ph. D. candidate

Four of five True: master’s degree

Three of five: bachelor’s degree

Two of five: Go back to high school, you’re not ready for college

One of five: We suspect homeschooling!

All five False: Racist! White privilege! Colonialist! Ablist! etc.


The Wedding’s Off Again (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Nothing much happens in Chapter CLVI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney. In his capacity as Scurveyshire’s justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy Coldsore has released Jasper the Village Idiot from the local jail, on the condition that he impersonate the Japanese ambassador, Walt Dropo, to prevent the Emperor from learning that his favorite nephew has been sucked under the vicar’s backyard wading pool and is highly unlikely ever to be seen again.

In Chapter CLVII, the vicar comes to his senses but immediately relapses into conniptions when his housekeeper, Mrs. Przewalski, tactlessly asks him what exactly he saw peeking out from under the wading pool.

But the main thing is, Lady Margo Cargo’s wedding to Lord Jeremy and the American adventurer Willis Twombley, well, it’s off again, postponed indefinitely, because Crusty the crusty butler disapproves. He believes Lord Jeremy to be a foundling and Twombley to be an escaped mental patient. He also doesn’t like the idea of his mistress marrying both of these mountebanks at once. To stop the wedding, he has called in upholsterers to re-upholster every piece of furniture in Cargo Hall. Only when that project is finished, he decrees, can the wedding proceed.

“Oh, Crusty!” cries Lady Margo. “Is that really necessary? And I don’t see why my wooden leg has to be upholstered, too.”

“You must allow me to be the judge of that, my lady,” answers the butler.

“You want I should shoot that butler, Germy?” Twombley asks. “We can dump him in the well.”

“Please don’t do that, Sargon, old boy!” Jeremy replies. [Note: Twombley believes himself to be Sargon of Akkad, in case the reader has forgotten.] “Lady Margo’s quite fond of the blighter. He’ll come around when we let him accompany us on our honeymoon.”

“Then let’s have the honeymoon first,” Twombley suggests. “It’ll give us all something fun to do while the upholsterers do their stuff. Where are we goin’, by the way?”

“Lady Margo has always wanted to see Plaguesby.”

“Plaguesby? But that’s only the village next door to this one! What’s she want to go there for? What kind of honeymoon is that?”

Jeremy shrugged. “She’s never been to Plaguesby,” he explains.

“There ain’t nothin’ there, though! Couldn’t we at least go to Monte Carlo? And I hear Kizzuwatna’s nice, this time of year.”

“Where the devil is Kizzuwatna?” Lord Jeremy wonders.

“In Scotland, someplace,” Twombley says [editor’s note: he is badly mistaken].

Jeremy gives in. He always gives in to Twombley’s daft ideas. It’s easier that way.

 


The Ambassador’s Geisha Party (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CLV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, should have told us what happened at the gala party thrown for the Japanese ambassador, Walt Dropo, at Lady Margo Cargo’s opulent drawing room. Instead, we are treated to several recipes utilizing Frothee and sauerkraut, none of which seems particularly appealing. We have to move on to Chapter CLVI to get to the party.

With the members of the Scurveyshire Ladies’ Garden Club done up as middle-aged geishas dressed like cowgirls, and square dance music played inexpertly on traditional Japanese instruments, the only hope of making this event a success lies in Willis Twombley’s strategy of getting Dropo-san roaring drunk as soon as possible. This is accomplished with terrifying ease.

“Now I demonstrate my skill with sword!” he bellows, clumsily drawing his samurai sword and laying about the decorations. Crusty the butler disapproves. Everyone else panics. Dropo-san blunders out of the house, crashing through the unopened French window and out into the night. No one seems disposed to follow him.

“I say! This is a disaster!” exclaims Lord Jeremy Coldsore.

“Guess we better catch him before he beheads somebody,” says Twombley. “Heck, this never happened at any of the parties at my royal palace.” He still thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. Flourishing his six-gun, he sets out after the Japanese ambassador. Jeremy follows. It would be a regrettable incident if Twombley were to shoot the Emperor’s favorite cousin.

It’s a dark and moonless night. Jeremy immediately loses sight of his friend. Suddenly, several shots ring out. With a sense of foreboding, Jeremy follows the sound of the gunshots–to find Twombley standing a safe distance from the vicar’s backyard wading pool.

“Too late, ol’ hoss!” says the American. “I got here jist in time to see poor Whatsisname disappearin’ under the pool, still swingin’ his sword. There was big slimy tentacles wrapped all around him, and my shootin’ didn’t do no good. He’s a goner.”

They sit down, sighing, on an antique marble bench. “I shall be hard put to explain this, old boy,” says Jeremy.

They are joined by Constable Chumley, who offers them a pull from the flask he carries under his helmet. “I throck it were mickle gree,” the constable remarks philosophically. He has been longing, for years, to deliver a philosophical remark, and now that he has the opportunity, makes the most of it.


‘International Manhunt: Reddy Kilowatt’ (2015)

Reddy Kilowatt was all over the place when I was a kid. Remember him? But I’m afraid he’s now on the Climbit Change bad-guy list.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/06/24/international-manhunt-reddy-kilowatt/

And just wait’ll he teams up with Speedy Alka-Seltzer!


Bring on the Geishas! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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I don’t understand Violet Crepuscular’s literary technique. I was expecting to read, in Chapter CLIII, all about the preparations for the party to be held in honor of the Japanese ambassador, Walt Dropo. Instead, she gives us a digression about her sister-in-law’s atrocious table manners. This is most unedifying.

Moving on to Chapter CLIV, we find Lord Jeremy Coldsore trying to recruit geishas to serve at the party. He has to settle for members of the Scurveyshire Ladies’ Garden Club, who agree to do it in return for a zoning variance that would allow them to erect a colossal statue of their founder, Mrs. Elefanta Williams, in a statue-free zone.

“I hope this works,” says Lord Jeremy. “Not one of those women is a day under fifty, and not one of them knows the first thing about being a geisha.”

“Get the ambassador drunk in a hurry, and he’ll never notice,” replies Willis Twombley, the American adventurer.

With the vicar still laid up with conniptions, his gardener, Jock the Crotchety Gardener, takes it upon himself to empty the controversial wading pool and put it away. Jock and all his crotchets is promptly sucked under the wading pool, never to be seen again. Constable Chumley arrests the one eyewitness on the scene, charging her with Not Watching.

“But I saw some octopus kind of thing shoot out and grab him, and pull him under!” she protests. “Ain a fair vymin’ wi’ me hatriff,” counters the constable.

Lord Jeremy has no time for this: he is desperately trying to find half a dozen geisha costumes. Jo-Jo the Carefree Tailor, in complete ignorance of what constitutes a geisha costume, has created six outfits can only be described as rather like cowgirl clothes. This makes Twombley nostalgic for the plains of Texas.

“If we throw a square dance instead of one of those Japanese tea parties, we’re home free,” he assures Lord Jeremy. “Sort of a Japanese square dance, with that funny-soundin’ music that they like.”

There is no time left to pursue alternatives. The party must be held this very night.


Japan Declares War on Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CLII of Violet Crepuscular’s romance masterpiece, Oy, Rodney, it turns out that the Japanese ambassador who keeps getting snubbed and trampled on is a favorite cousin of the Emperor, and they are mighty mad over the treatment he’s been getting in this book. Consequently, Japan has declared war on Scurveyshire. Rumor has it that a Japanese fleet is on its way.

“Everything happens while you’re trying to arrange a wedding!” Lord Jeremy Coldsore complains. He and his friend, Willis Twombley the American adventurer, are to be married to Lady Margo Cargo, who has been tricked into believing they are one and the same person. Lady Margo’s wealth will save Coldsore Hall from its creditors.

In the absence of any undertaking by Her Majesty’s government to defend Scurveyshire–“Let them sort it out!” says Queen Victoria–Lord Jeremy, as Justice of the Peace, finds himself saddled with the responsibility to defend Scurveyshire. “With what?” he cries.

“Germy, you worry too much,” says Twombley. “All we gotta do is throw a nice party for the ambassador, and it’ll all blow over. Only thing is, first we got to find him.”

Together they pore over the chapters of the book related so far. Finally, late at night, they locate the Japanese ambassador. His name is Walt Dropo.

He enters Coldsore Hall with a samurai sword in his belt and bows stiffly from the waist, as far as his tight corset will allow.

“You have treated me very badly!” he declares.

“My dear fellow, we’re going to make it up to you!” says Jeremy. “You are to be the guest of honor tomorrow night at Lady Margo Cargo’s lavish country house.”

“I don’t have a date.”

“We’ll set you up with one, ol’ hoss!” says Twombley.

“Will there be geishas?”

In fact, Scurveyshire is clean out of geishas. There hasn’t been one in the shire since 1602, and she was only passing through. Twombley assures the ambassador that there will be geishas galore. Dropo-san is greatly pleased.

“I will immediately contact my government to call off the war,” he says. Bowing, he takes his leave, promising to return when they have his date ready for him.

“Where are we supposed to get geishas?” cries Jeremy.

“We got a whole chapter to scare some up,” says Twombley.

 


I Am Not Violet Crepuscular (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Just because Ms. Violet Crepuscular’s books are so hard to find doesn’t mean I’m writing them. I am not Violet Crepuscular. I have a beard; she doesn’t. I’ve never read a romance novel, except for her inimitable Oy, Rodney. That having been settled, we move on to

CHAPTER CL

Every trial in Scurveyshire is the Trial of the Century. This time the defendant is the merry poacher known as Mickle the Merry Poacher and the plaintiff is Lord Nodule, demanding justice. This is the first case to be tried by Lord Jeremy Coldsore as Justice of the Peace.

“I demand justice!” barks Lord Nodule. “This peon, this excrescence on the body politic, this walking bubo known has Mickle the Merry Poacher, has been poaching on my land for 15 years and I want him stopped! I demand he be punished by drowning!”

The first witness is Constable Chumley, the arresting officer. “Oh, aye,” he testifies, “Mickle been doddlin’ the cairns swofty-like aforementioned deedle.” He is dismissed from the witness stand as soon as possible.

Several of Mickle’s neighbors, and six of Lord Nodule’s tenants, testify that the Merry Poacher has never actually succeeded in poaching anything. “He couldn’t catch a cold,” swears the Widow Flibbert. But the defendant, when he is finally sworn in, insists he has been very successful indeed.

“Caught me a centaur, once’t!” he boasts. “Let’s see anyone top that!”

“What did you do with it?” Lord Jeremy wonders.

“Was gunner eat it, wasn’t I! Only then I found a note on my door from Black Rodney tellin’ me I had to let it go, so that’s what I done.” The crowd gasps.

“I object!” Lord Nodule roars. “Ask him about the badgers!”

“Badgers? Ain’t never caught no badger,” Mickle admits.

“My lord, there are no badgers in Scurveyshire!” interjects the shire’s game warden, Officer Foffle.

“Caught me a Elf once’t, too,” says Mickle.

The public defender, Mr. Potash, moves that all charges be dismissed. “My client is obviously mad, my lord.” He produces a notably ridiculous-looking gadget. “This absurd contraption is one of Mr. Mickle’s homemade snares. You can see it’s perfectly useless for any purpose whatsoever.” Mickle scowls at him.  “I call on you to find him Not Guilty by reason of demonstrable idiocy.”

“He still ought to be drowned,” grumbles Lord Nodule. “What’s this shire coming to, anyway?”

Lord Jeremy sees no alternative but to dismiss the charges. Lord Nodule glares at him.

“You haven’t heard the last of this, Coldsore!” he declares. “I shall be with you on your wedding night!” [Editor’s Note: I think that’s what Frankenstein’s monster said to his creator, Victor Frankenstein, in Mary Shelly’s classic horror novel. What was Ms. Crepuscular thinking when she penned that line?]

The chapter ends abruptly with a recipe for aphid jelly. I cannot bring myself to repeat it.


The Peasants Are Revolting! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CXLIX of Violet Crepuscular’s worst-selling romance, Oy, Rodney, is action-packed! Honest.

But before it all heats up, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, has a problem. He confides in Lord Jeremy.

“Germy, ol’ hoss,” he says, “you sure got a lot of creditors. I ain’t sure I’ve shot the half of ’em, and I’m afraid you’re goin’ to have to expand your cellar here at Coldsore Hall, ’cause I’m runnin’ out of places to stash the bodies. A few of ’em, y’see, they’re gettin’ kind of high, if you know what I mean. Especially that fella I parked in the closet in the billiard room. We need more space!”

“Oh, really, Sargon!” Twombley still thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. “I am trying to prepare our wedding to Lady Margo, and I’m sure I don’t have the funds to hire a construction crew!”

“Who said anything about hirin’ ’em? You’re the nobility, ain’t you? And they’re the peasants. Just draft a bunch of ’em to dig out a bigger cellar. This is England, after all–you don’t have to pay ’em.”

Meanwhile, Miss Lizzie the spider girl has been crying for action vis-a-vis the vicar’s mysterious, dangerous backyard wading pool. In the taproom at The Lying Tart, her heated oratory inspires the rustic patrons to snatch up scythes and torches and form a mob to attack and destroy the pool–which is now believed to be the “nest” of the ancient sorcerer Black Rodney, from which he periodically emerges to devour his unsuspecting victims.

Howling and roaring, the mob streams toward the vicar’s property. But when the uproar dies down for just a moment, Albert the Daft Old Minstrel asks a daunting question.

“Er, I say! What are we to do if Black Rodney comes out and gits us all?” The mob is a mere twenty yards from the hedge marking the border of the vicar’s yard. Behind it lies the pool.

Albert’s question stops the mob in its track. Everybody looks at everybody else. Suddenly they all drop their makeshift weapons and run away in every conceivable direction.

Constable Chumley, alerted by the noise, arrives too late to see anything but a large pile of scythes, pitchforks, and guttering torches. He shakes his head.

“‘Tis a froffin’ mair dindle hereabouts, this verning,” he soliloquizes.


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