Tag Archives: general silliness

The Wedding Rehearsal (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Now that he’s been elected justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy Coldsore can perform his own marriage to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, and so save Coldsore Hall from its wolf-pack of creditors–some of whom have already been shot, and hidden away, by his friend Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad.

Welcome to Chapter CXLII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney. Here we adjourn to Lady Margo’s parlor for the wedding rehearsal. Present are Jeremy and Lady Margo, Twombley, and Lady Margo’s pet crayfish, Oswin, serving as a witness. The crusty old butler, Crusty, has refused to come up from his butler’s pantry: “I refuse to be a party to this monstrosity,” he says.

“I feel a bit strange about all this, Sargon,” Lady Margo says. “I find it hard to remember that you and my dear Jeremy are actually the same person.”

“Don’t you let it worry you, l’il gal,” says Twombley. “It took me a long time to learn how to be two different guys at once, but it’s the only way I can keep them pesky Babylonians from dry-gulchin’ me.” He points to the window. “See that gardener out there, with the wheelbarrow full of poison ivy? He don’t look it, but he’s two guys masqueradin’ as one–a Babylonian spy. I’ll deal with him later.”

Lord Jeremy, as justice of the peace, will perform the ceremony, with Twombley as best man. From time to time they must switch their positions. Like this:

“Do you, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, take this woman, Lady Margo Cargo, for your lawfully wedded wife?” He then moves to Lady Margo’s side to say “I do.” Meanwhile, Twombley takes his place as justice of the peace. After saying “I do,” Jeremy goes back to being the justice of the peace and Twombley takes his place next to Lady Margo. “Do you, Lady Margo Cargo, take his man, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, for your lawfully wedded husband?” Glancing at Twombley, she replies, “I do! I mean, I think I do. This would be so much easier if we had the vicar here!”

“He’s still down with the conniptions, l’il gal,” Twombley explains. “We can always fit him in if he snaps out of it.”

He and Jeremy trade places again, and Twombley says, “If there is anyone here who’s got any kind o’ tomfool reason why these two here should not be hitched, let him speak now or forever shut his trap.”

“I object!” peeps the crayfish.

And Lady Margo, having time only to mutter, “Black Rodney strikes again!” keels over in a swoon. Twombley, unable to catch both her wig and her glass eye, lets both drop to the floor. In fact, so does Lady Margo.

“We’ve got to do better than this!” cries Lord Jeremy.

“Practice makes perfect, Germy,” says Twombley. “And a certain crayfish is gonna wind up in a bowl of gumbo if he tries any more tricks!”


The Trial of the Century (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CXL of Violet Crepuscular’s indescribable romance, Oy, Rodney, she takes up “the Trial of the Century” in Scurveyshire.

Jasper, the village idiot, comes before Lord Nodule, Justice of the Peace, on the charge of creating a public nuisance. Before any testimony can be given, Lord Nodule bangs his gavel and announces, “I sentence you to be impaled!”

A shocked silence falls over the courtroom, broken only by Willis Twombley’s comment to Lord Jeremy Coldsore in the gallery, “Y’know, Germy, them johnny-come-lately Assyrians used to impale folks all the time. Did wonders for public morale. I’ll definitely consider it, once I git my kingdom back. Run out the Turks and impale the whole gang.” Twombley, an American adventurer, still thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad.

Jasper is the first to find his voice. Well, not the first: more like the second. “My lord, I must object most vigorously to this absurd and barbarous sentence, and you may be sure I shall file a formal complaint with the Chief Justice of England. You have no authority to levy these draconian punishments!”

Lord Nodule is confused. “Draconian?”

“Yes, my lord. According to Plutarch and other classical writers, Draco was made dictator and lawmaker of Athens in the generation or two before Solon–”

“Enough!” Lord Nodule snatches off his wig and slams it on the bench. “Enough, I’ve had enough of mollycoddling public offenders! No impalings indeed!” He hurls his gavel over his shoulder and storms out of the courtroom. His parting shot: “Tell the Lord Chief Justice he can’t fire me, I quit!”

Suddenly Scurveyshire is without a justice of the peace. The mayor laments, “Suddenly we are without a justice of the peace! What are we to do? We need a replacement!”

“I nominate Jasper,” calls out Mr. Jimcrack, the wool magnate. A hubbub ensues, until Sir Alastair Widget, an amateur scientist who breeds very skinny, bad-tempered hogs, calls for silence.

“There is only one obvious replacement for Lord Nodule!” he bellows. “I nominate Lord Jeremy Coldsore of Coldsore Hall! He’s the only lord we’ve got left.”

Jeremy is speechless. The crowd goes wild with enthusiasm, and he is elected on the spot by popular acclaim. Twombley claps him on the back.

“Atta boy, Germy! You’ll soon set this place to rights!” And whispers into his ear, “You can save the impalings for later, after the folks get used to you.”

Jeremy can only mutter, under his breath, “Oh, no!”

Twombley Plays His Trump Card (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CXXXVI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, visits the taproom of The Lying Tart to buy drinks for Col. Fildebert Blemish, who insists that he married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy many years ago. If his claim stands, she won’t be able to marry Twombley and Lord Jeremy Coldsore: Twombley has convinced her that he and Lord Jeremy are actually the same person, and marrying into her wealth will enable Lord Jeremy to keep possession of Coldsore Hall.

But first, for reasons known only to the author, the jolly villagers in the pub break into song, “We are jolly villagers.” Ms. Crepuscular has probably watched one too many old pirate movies.

By now Col. Blemish is well and truly tanked, and Twombley is telling jokes. Each one evokes loud belly-laughs from the colonel.

“Here, now,” says Twombley, “let me tell you the funniest joke I know. Quiet, everybody!” The villagers comply. “Are you ready for this, ol’ Fildy ol’ pal?”

“Ready and willing, Twombley–fire away!”

“All right. Now, Colonel, the first thing is, you’ve got to say ‘I am a bigamous bounder!’ Say it nice and loud, y’hear. And then I’ll say the punch line.”

The colonel burps. “Right-o, Twombley!” He clears his throat and announces, loud and clear, “I am a bigamous bounder!”

Twombley leaps to his feet. “Right! You all heard that! Col. Blemish has admitted to the crime of bigamy. He can’t marry Lady Margo Cargo! You all heard him say it!”

The crowd cheers: they don’t like the colonel. “You bigamous bounder, you!” shouts a mob of assorted laborers, scriveners, and shepherds. They begin to throw things at the colonel. He laughs uproariously until he realizes that Twombley has destroyed his claim to being Lady Margo’s lawful husband. He flees the scene, colliding with the Japanese ambassador who is just trying to enter the taproom. Trampling over him, Col. Blemish vanishes into the night.

Lord Jeremy has his doubts about this procedure. “Won’t he just come back and try again, once he sobers up?”

“Not a chance, Germy! See, I done some readin’ up on him, and he really is a bigamist. He has wed three wives!”

Jeremy sighs with relief. “So then the way is clear again,” he says, “for us to marry Lady Margo.”

“That’s about the size of it,” says Twombley–“once the vicar gets over his conniptions, that is.”

‘They Had One Job to Do’ (2014)

Sometimes I wonder why none of the pagan civilizations ever came up with a god or goddess of stupidity. He would’ve been the biggest idol of them all, with by far the most worshipers and the biggest temple. Only they would’ve built the temple lying on its side or something.


‘Oy, Rodney’: The Trial

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I was relieved to discover, in Chapter CXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, that Lady Margo Cargo, fruitlessly searching for her detached wooden leg and coming by night upon the fateful wading pool in the vicar’s back yard–just as something unspeakable was emerging from beneath the pool–set an all-time speed record for one-legged runners. She made it back home somewhat the worse for wear.

Moving on to Chapter CXXXV, the good people of Scurveyshire have finally run out of patience with these goings-on, and the vicar’s housekeeper, Mrs. Dreary, has been hauled into court on charges of reckless endangerment. This could be tricky for her: Lord Nodule, the Earl of Turkeyham, has been named Justice of the Peace and already compiled a lurid reputation for judicial rigor.

“How do you plead, woman?” asks the bailiff.

“I’m sure it’s not my fault the vicar saw fit to have that blasted wading pool–”

Lord Nodule slams his gavel. “Enough!” he roars. Patience is not his long suit. “Wanda Dreary, I sentence you to be hanged, drawn, and quartered! Take her away!”

The bailiff approaches the bench and whispers, “M’lord, we don’t actually do that anymore, that drawing and quartering business. Not legal anymore, M’lord.”

“I’m dashed if I know what this country’s coming to!” remarks the judge.

“I thought her name was Olivia,” Lord Jeremy Coldsore whispers to Willis Twombley, the American adventurer. They are pressed against the back wall of the crowded courtroom. “Wanda was her mother, I believe.”

“Wanda was Lord Nodule’s mother!” whispers Lady Margo. Crusty the butler has found her wooden leg and reattached it, so she is in fine fettle.

Grumbling, Lord Nodule commutes the housekeeper’s sentence to transportation to Australia. Mrs. Dreary returns home with Lady Margo: no one expects the judge to remember anything he ever says or does.

Is She Already Married? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Returning to a point raised some chapters ago, Chapter CXXXII of Oy, Rodney has author Violet Crepuscular devoting some time to the man who supposedly married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy many years ago. Unfortunately for all concerned, Mr. Proxy cannot be found.

The man in question addresses the crowd of inebriated villagers in the taproom of The Lying Tart:

“I am Colonel Fildebert Blemish, of the East Bunkingham Blemishes. In the year 18-something-or-other, while serving with Her Majesty’s 8th Hussars in Africa or somewhere, I married Lady Margo Cargo by proxy. This marriage has been valid all along; she is not free to marry anyone else.”

In the crowd, Willis Twombley whispers to Lord Jeremy Coldsore, “Don’t worry ’bout him, Germy. I’ll bushwhack him when he leaves tonight.”

“He isn’t going to leave! He has a room upstairs in this establishment.”

“Then I’ll have to do what I once did to some snake in the grass from Babylonia,” says Twombley. He still believes he is Sargon of Akkad. Lord Jeremy does not want to hear what he did to the snake in the grass from Babylonia.

Conspicuously absent from the gathering is Lady Margo herself. On her way out the door this evening, her wooden leg fell off again. It being his night off, Crusty the butler is not available to re-attach it. He has gone all the way to Plaguesby to attend a lecture on the mating habits of literary men.

Crawling about in the dark, Lady Margo soon loses her way–until suddenly, as the moon emerges from behind a cloud, the dreadful shape of the vicar’s backyard wading pool looms up in front of her.

She just has time to say “Uh-oh.”

Here the chapter concludes with Ms. Crepuscular’s recipe for cat food casserole.

‘It’s Poop!’

You might’ve seen this video already, but it’ll still make you laugh when you see it again. Mommy can’t convince her little boy that that thing on his plate is dinner. “It’s poop!” he replies, again and again.

I can’t endorse as wisdom the decision to give such a little kid such a large meal, with chips thrown in. But he isn’t going to eat it anyhow. “It’s poops! See?”

Lord Jeremy’s Love Triangle

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This is supposedly Chapter CXXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, but I couldn’t swear to it.

The wandering spider collector, Miss Lizzie Snivel, has taken to hanging around Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s driveway lemonade stand and frightening the customers by trying to give them spiders.

“Want me to shoot her for you, Germy?” asks Willis Twombley, the American adventurer. He has been methodically picking off Lord Jeremy’s creditors, one by one. The most recent victim, this morning, he has concealed in Coldsore Hall’s infamous Haunted Bedroom.

“Rather you didn’t, old boy.”

The problem here is that Miss Lizzie is dazzlingly beautiful, except for the unsightly ruin of her nose, where she was once bitten by an Australian Venomous Horror Spider named Jeff. She has fallen in love with Lord Jeremy and can’t bear to be away from him. He finds it very flattering.

The Japanese ambassador makes another cameo appearance here, but no one wants him.

“Lady Margo ain’t gonna like yer flirtin’ with that spider gal,” Twombley warns. “If’n she gits word of it, she might not marry us. There ain’t nothin’ as jealous as a woman with a wooden leg. Believe me, I know!”

“If only she wouldn’t keep trying to sneak into Coldsore Hall at night!” cries Jeremy. Against his will, her persistence is beginning to win her over. Unknown to everyone, Miss Lizzie has amassed a colossal fortune by collecting spiders. She has not yet mentioned this.

“Lady Margo been tryin’ to sneak in? What’s wrong with that?” wonders Twombley.

“Not Lady Margo, old boy! It’s that spider girl. She won’t take no for an answer.”

Meanwhile a loud brawl breaks out in the taproom of the Lying Tart that night between villagers who believe Black Rodney is a dangerous sorcerer returned from the dead to put curses on the shire, and those who are convinced he is a kind of catfish. Constable Chumley restores order with a speech that no one understands. It is not reproduced here. “I am afraid his language is not what it should be,” Ms. Crepuscular confides in her readers.

‘Oy, Rodney’ Gets Mushy

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I am tempted to pass over Chapters CXX and CXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney because they are intolerably mushy. Ms. Crepuscular acknowledges that. “You may find these next two chapters intolerably mushy,” she warns.

Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, is prepared to marry Lord Jeremy Coldsore and the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad. Twombley has convinced her that he and Lord Jeremy are one and the same person.  But the wedding was disrupted and has not yet been rescheduled: Lady Margo thinks she might have a touch of leprosy.

“It’s only wind, you silly old bat,” says her crusty old butler, Crusty.

Then the mush creeps in as Lord Jeremy renews his wooing, this time in person.

“Madam, as soon as the vicar gets over his conniptions, we must be wed,” says Jeremy. They are having rock-hard biscuits baked by Lady Margo’s lunatic aunt. In the opulent comfort of Lady Margo’s parlor, her pet crayfish, Oswin, sulks in his aquarium.

“I love you so much, I could plotz,” says Jeremy. “Your ears are like prize cabbages.”

“Eh?” Those ears do not always function as they should.

“Your hair–” a wig, actually–“is as soft as yogurt,” Jeremy continues. This goes on for the whole two chapters.

Meanwhile, the whole village is startled out of sleep one midnight by horrible groans and shrieks issuing from under the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard. A crowd of peasants armed with scythes and torches descends upon the scene, but then goes home because no one dares lift up the pool and look under it. Constable Chumley reassures them: “‘Tis only yair fickling rawstie,” he explains. This gives them something to think about for the rest of the night.

The Fat-Head’s Tool Kit: Stupid Stats

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In mustering false facts to wow your audience and make them think you’re smart, don’t neglect statistics. Who isn’t impressed by statistics? It’s best you make them up yourself, because that way people can’t check up on what you say; but you do have to make them sound convincing. Stand tall, look ’em in the eye, and lie like a rug.

Here are some examples to get you started.

*98.3% of persons who practice astral projection believe in Man-Made Climate Change.

*43.4% of American Protestants got rather bad marks in college.

*At least 12.5% of women who have had abortions have gone on to become television news reporters and elected officials.

*Scientists at the Greenland Institute of Higher Education have found a one-to-one correlation between homeschooling and social dysfunction.

*Throughout ancient history, persons living in matriarchal societies enjoyed a Happiness Index 36 points higher than those living in other kinds of societies.

*The average atheist is 2.75 centimeters taller than the average Christian.

Yes, there will be silly people who attempt to argue with you. But all you have to do is smile tolerantly, shrug your shoulders, and say “Figures don’t lie.”

There’s no limit to how far you can go with this. I wish I had a statistic for how many future U.S. senators are reading this.


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