Saving Violet Crepuscular for Posterity

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G’day! Byron the Quokka here. I’ve been elected Big Cheese of the Violet Crepuscular Society. I want you to know I did not seek this office. Some of us have greatness thrust upon them. And some of us have stupid stuff thrust upon them.

Well, Violet’s ratings are in the tank. She’s still popular here on Rottnest Island, but the rest of the world is just not reading her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. I heard a wombat say “I could write better stories than this, and I’m illiterate!” (Yeah, yeah! Let’s see you crank out almost 500 chapters, sport!)

We’re afraid Violet might have had one too many Southern Comfort/toothpaste floats and will soon float away herself–just short of 500 chapters! Oh, to get so close!

As President of the Violet Crepuscular Society, I call upon all good souls to come to the aid of our favorite romance writer. No, don’t send any money, she’ll only fritter it away (you know what those Americans are like). Just read her book! When she sees the numbers going up again, she’ll soon be back to her old self. I’m curious to see what that would be like.

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Maybe if we offered her a bicycle…

 

How They Almost Lost Chumley (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CDLXXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, finds Constable Chumley clinging by his rapidly-weakening fingertips to the brink of a cliff with a hundred-foot drop while Lord Jeremy and the constable’s mother–you will remember she was disguised as Thir Lanthelot the lisping knight–discussing how they might save the poor chap from falling onto the jagged rocks below.

What a sentence! I dare anyone to diagram it.

The constable pleads, “Mum! M’lord! Ith woogen ye minndle!” Meanwhile the constable’s mother asks, “What tipped ya off I was a dame, big boy?”

(Oh, now, just a cotton-pickin’ minute! I refuse to sit here and edit and publish such twollop. If the characters are going to start talking like a 1930s gangster movie, I’m out of here.)

“Some of you have complained about the constable’s mother’s choice of words,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “In fact, I have received death threats–as if those could scare me! Obviously the readers are ignorant of the art of stymphalianism, which allows fictional characters in any genre to talk like a 1930s gangster movie. Edward G. Robinson isn’t the only one allowed to talk like Edward G. Robinson! But in deference to my readers’ philistine tastes in literature, I’ll give this a twenty-three skiddoo from now on.”

How much longer can she keep poor Chumley hanging?

Byron’s TV Listings, June 25

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G’day! Byron the Quokka here–and would you believe it? Next time I’m here, it won’t be June anymore. But in the meantime, Quokka University still brings you shows like these:

7:01 P.M.  Ch. 18   OCD EXPRESS–Crime drama/Game show

The cops at the 55th Precinct all suffer from OCD–so they need the help of you, the viewers, to get out from behind their desks and solve some crimes! The world’s first interactive cop show, you name the crime and you decide whodunnit! Inspector Farrakhan: Dom DeLuise. Sgt. Flabb: Unidentifiable. Officer Perky: Irish McCalla. Lt. Fillibuster: A potted rubber plant.

7:15 P.M.  Ch. 05  WHIMPERING SMITH–Western

Sam Waterston stars as Sheriff Jake Smith, the whiniest lawman in the West. It’s all Deputy Snivel (Yogi Bear) can do to stop him from “annoying people to death!” This week: A psychotic rotifer rustler (Alain Delon) tries to shoot himself rather than listen to any more of Jake’s whining.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 27  NEWS WITH GNUS–News & commentary

Highest ratings ever for a major news show! A team of wildebeests, backed up by great ventriloquists just out of sight, covers all the news while munching grass, mating, head-butting, and running away from lions. Of course, that’s it for Sports that night, if the lions catch the gnu who happens to be covering it…

Ch. 41  RUIN YOUR HEALTH!–Health & fitness

Uzguck Swaley has been called “the Anti-Jack LaLanne,” but there’s a method to his madness! Unfortunately no one knows what it is. This week Uzguck introduces a new exercise “that hurts like hell and doesn’t accomplish anything at all.” Special guest: the cast of “The View.”

8 P.M.  Ch. 71  MOVIE–Ancient Egyptian fertility tragedy

(Give us a break: we don’t make ’em, we only show ’em!) In My Mommy the Mummy (Norman/Saxon, 1966), the June Taylor Dancers star as oppressed but dismayingly cheerful peasants whom the evil Pharaoh (Reggie Jackson) just can’t control… but maybe Vincent Price (himself) can! Columbo: Peter Falk. Peter Pan: Mary Martin.

Well, folks, have we aroused your appetite for gourmet TV? Sorry, we had a live cooking show planned, but everybody’s laid up with food poisoning. I told them about those mayonnaise!

Quokka (Setonix brachyurus) eating a banana peel that it has stolen from  the bin in accommodation hut, Rottnest Island, Western Stock Photo - Alamy

Byron the Quokka, signing off. Banana peel, anyone?

Who’s Been Spying on Violet? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CDLXXXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, crashed to a suspenseful end with the sudden arrival of Thir Lanthelot the lisping knight from King Arthurth Thecret Cathtle. She introduces Chapter CDLXXXXII with an unexpected gambit from Lord Jeremy Coldsore.

“How do we know you’re really Thir Lanthelot?” he demandth. (Stop that, Lee!) “You’re in full armor, with your visor down. You could be anybody, in there!”

“Tho itth like that, ith it?” parries the knight. “Very well! Hold thith lanthe while I take off my helmet.”

Off comes the helmet. Underneath it is a woman. Constable Chumley’s mother, in fact.

That anguished scream you just heard is Ms. Crepuscular, who has just discovered a comment made by a reader last week suggesting that the lisping knight will turn out to be somebody’s mother. We can allow publication of only a small part of Ms. Crepuscular’s lament.

“How dare you spill my plot? I’ll murder you, whoever you are! Everyone who read your ham-faced comment last week knew exactly what was going to happen! How did you gain access to my notes? Eeeeeyaaaah!” And so on.

(“Mum?” says Constable Chumley. He is still hanging on by his fingertips to the edge of the cliff. We don’t call these stories cliffhangers for nothing.)

In any event, Violet is too upset to continue. “It’s times like this when nothing but a floating ball of toothpaste in a tall glass of Jack Daniels can get you back to normal!” she obstreporates.

Tune in next week to see if she’s back to normal.

Saving Constable Chumley (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels – Lee Duigon

Violet Crepuscular, the Queen of Suspense, ended Chapter CDLXXXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, with a cliffhanger: in fact, with Constable Chumley hanging from the brim of a cliff. Scurveyshire is famous for incredibly high, sharp cliffs with no geological reason for them.

In Chapter CDLXXXXI, with most of Scurveyshire focused on the annual fox hunt, now a nude fox hunt, Lord Jeremy Coldsore repairs to The Cliffs of Doom for some peace and quiet. There he finds Chumley hanging on by his fingertips, 100 yards above the jagged rocks below. If you can think of any cliches Violet left out here, please let us know.

“What are you doing there, man?”

“M’lord, vor’ mickle gascon divy,” the constable explains–and soon has Jeremy transfixed in disbelief.

“What do you mean, you were searching for King Arthur’s Castle?” Jeremy snaps. “Don’t you know that’s just a fairy tale? Ods bodikins, Chumley! A man of your age and experience! I suppose–”

But he is interrupted by a very heavy and not at all pleasant tap on the shoulder. He wheels around to find himself confronted by– [Pause for suspense, like in the movies]

A knight in full armor, on an armored steed, with a vorpal lance pointed straight at Jeremy’s duodenum. “What the–!” he cries.

And the knight answers, “Thir Lanthelot at your thervithe; and you’d betht have a good excuthe for being here!”

Here Violet breaks the chapter, to generate suspense. We are promised a recipe for toothpaste bon-bons, to shut us up.

Byron the Quokka to the Rescue! (With TV Listings)

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G’day! Byron the Quokka here, trying to save this blog. At Quokka University we have made an extra-special effort to point you to the very best in weekend television. You wouldn’t believe what we had to go through, to get these shows!

Here’s just a sample of them.

8 P.M.   Ch. 06   ADVENTURES OF IZOD LACOSTE–Are they kidding?

The famous fashion designer discovers a lost city inhabited by maniacs! Major Fapp: Orrin Hatch.  Cannibalistic milk-maid: Heather Locklear. Featuring a special appearance by Tommy the Corgi as a German shepherd.

Ch. 10  SPECIAL AGENT 717–Spy thriller

As the World Economic Forum heats up, Col. Babycakes (Junior Sample) tries to thwart a scheme to kidnap the June Taylor Dancers. Can Agent 717 (Arnold Stang) save the world from a fleeting bout of incredulous dismay? Cameo appearance by Alvin the Octopus taking Alfred Hitchcock for a walk.

8:08 P.M.  Ch. 13  NEWS FOR NUDISTS WHO TALK BACKWARDS–Niche programming

Would you believe this was 2017’s top-rated news show? The ratings have slipped since anchorwoman Leslie Oop started to wear clothes and speak normally, but the rest of the studio crew and the reporters in the field are still barely comprehensible. (That’s a joke, my friends!)

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 34  MOVIE–Classical Tragedy for really smart people

In “Tarzan’s Vegas Gig” (Spanish-Canadian, 1987), the ape-man plays the Vegas nightclubs as a stand-up philosopher while a vampire (Haystacks Calhoun) stalks the city. What happens when the two of them try to buy the same flower shop? Featured song, It Must Be the Diuretics!

Ch. 61  JIMMY FRAUD PRESENTS–Game show

At last, a game show for people who literally have nothing better to do! Ideal for heavily sedated patients in a hospital. “In fact, they might not even need sedation anymore!” says Jimmy. Each contestant gets 50 tries to guess what’s in Jimmy’s cardboard box–and if you grovel, you get another 50 tries! In-House Poet: Some guy Jimmy went to high school with, but can’t remember his name.

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There! If these shows don’t stirrup interest, I’m riding out of here! That’s a pun, son. It’s making the rounds on Rottnest Island and we’re all laughing ourselves silly over it.

Back to the Fox Hunt (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels – Lee Duigon

[The management wishes to thank readers who objected to the omission of a chapter about the Scurveyshire Fox Hunt. Violet Crepuscular has finally given in to popular demand.]

“I’ll do practically anything to please my loyal readers,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, introducing “a pivotal chapter,” Chapter CDLXXXX, of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “Yes, I’ll even lacerate my authorial instincts, totally ignore my own literary judgment, and give the wretched peasants their stupid idiot fox hunt! But only because I esteem them so highly.”

So we’re back to the fox hunt. An unexpected economic downturn earlier this season forced the members of the Scurveyshire Hunt to sell their hounds, horses, saddles, stables, homes, and those smurfy red jackets, funny hats, funny boots, and tight pants. They even had to sell those goofy little horns they blow.

But the hunt must go on! Only now the hunters wear grass skirts (kind of chilly for that), chase the fox on foot without any hounds to catch the scent, and scarf down anything edible that they might lay their hands on. It’s what comes of the entire upper class investing in a scheme to boil potatoes without using any pots or pans. They were all supposed to get rich, but they lost their shirts–literally.

“I would not be the Queen of Suspense,” she concludes, “if I didn’t end this chapter with a cliffhanger!” So we have Constable Chumley hanging from a cliff. We are not told what he’s doing there, but it sure is suspenseful.

 

Byron’s TV Listings, June 4

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G’day! Byron the Quokka here, on this stupid crummy computer that won’t let me post a TV guide page… and all the letters come out light-grey, almost impossible to read. This is why certain people hate technology. It was all we could do to post this picture of moi.

Well, we have another weekend of scintillating TV for you. Grab a crunchy leaf, settle down, and tune in. Here’s a sample from our menu.

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 56  FUMFER!–Sitcom, with hydrological overtones

Sid Fumfer (Slim Pickens) thinks there’s an intruder hiding in his house who looks exactly like him, wears exactly the same clothes, and does exactly the same things at the same time. Ma Fumfer: Joey Heatherton. Mirror repairman: Charles Atlas. Featured song: “I Look Like Dali Drew Me.”

7:45 P.M.  Ch. 19  ‘ALWAYS POSITIVE’ NEWS & WEATHER–(You’re asking?)

It doesn’t have to be true, as long as it makes you feel good! Join anchors PeeWee Herman and Chelsea Clinton as they serve up one happy news item after another! The weather’s always going to be nice, too! Meteorologist: Woody Woodpecker (the real one, not the cartoon).

8:00 P.M.  Ch. 05  MOVIE OF THE WEAK–Feeble Bergman imitation

In “Wild Boysenberries” (Swedish/Franciscan, 1994), a college professor (H.P. Lovecraft) falls in love with a young girl’s paper hat while his wife learns yoga from a puckish Scotsman (Howard DaSilva). Unforgettable cameo appearance by Dan Rather on a pogo stick.

Ch. 16  BLAZING GUNS OF YASHMAK CITY–Experimental Western

The June Taylor Dancers have their work cut out for them when they’re elected sheriff of Yashmak City, the town where a 22% murder rate is the least of their problems. For one thing, it’s almost impossible to fit all 16 of the Dancers into the pokey little sheriff’s office already crowded with the mummified remains of previous sheriffs. And then there’s Fong Hsueh-Ting (Simon Oakland), the meanest man west of the Pillars of Hercules…

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 64  BOWLING FOR YOUR LIFE–Game show

What if your life depended on making that spare? What if some maniacal announcer (computer-generated: no one’s that crazy) kept distracting you? What if the bowling ball stopped rolling, halfway down the lane? What if you couldn’t pull your fingers out of the little holes? How much can you take before you just plain snap? It’s a laugh a minute, produced by the World Health Organization.

Well, that does it. You have to watch at least one of these shows because I have a bet on with Joe Collidge that my posts get more views than his. If he wins, he gets an honorary degree from Quokka University and that’s that for our credibility! If I win, he has to soak his head. It might do him some good.

P.S.–Now the letters are normal again. I’m confused!

 

Shakespeare in Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels – Lee Duigon

So what about ye olde Fox Hunt? What about the Scurveyshire Fair, and all those people sucked under the vicar’s backyard wading pool?

Introducing Chapter CDLXXXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular, the Queen of Suspense, makes no mention of fox hunt or fair. Have they quite slipped her mind? Now she’s writing about the Royal Society of Shakespeare Stuff holding its annual meeting at Scurveyshire’s favorite pub, the Lying Tart. The RSSS is presided over by Queen Victoria’s third cousin thrice removed, the Duke of Bossa Nova. He has been removed as far as possible.

“First,” Violet writes, “I’d like to share with you this beautiful poetic verse composed and sent to me by a loyal reader, Mrs. Jody Bathtub of Inchworm, New Jersey.

“‘Dear Ms. Crepuscular'” (she reads), “I have composed a beautiful poetic verse just for you. It goes like this. ‘Nobody’s prose is half so muscular/ as anything written by Violet Crepuscular!’ P.S.–I have pictures of you all over my crying closet!'”

The topic of this year’s RSSS conference is, “Did Shakespeare ever wear shorts?” This will be the third go-round for this topic. The first two erupted into riots. Several of the ringleaders had to be hanged.

Lord Jeremy Coldsore, in his capacity as Justice of the Peace, fibrillates Constable Chumley. The constable is up to the challenge.

“Vye deagle, m’lord,” he says, “niffer tway the bealies!”

(I just know she’s going to break off the chapter right–)

End of chapter.

Byron’s TV Listings, May 28

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

Note to readers: I have no idea why this ^%$#$ machine refuses to publish the TV guide page. This blog is behaving as if there were a curse on it.   LD

Look at this! The month of May is almost all used up.

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with TV shows that’ll pump you up and calm you down! Here are a few examples:

7:30 P.M.  Ch. 18   KANSAS CITY KONFIDENTIAL–Krime Drama

In “The Last Person to See Him Dead,” Lt. Fezziwig (Don Wilson) has discovered a diabolical plan to re-start the Roman Empire; and Deputy Chief Sheena (Irish McCalla) is investigated for barratry. Commissioner Chumley: Wallace Beery. Music by the McGuffin Middle School Band, directed by a ghost.

8 P.M. Ch. 07  YOUR SWEET REVENGE–Game show with Classical overtones

Originally the plan was to act out in real life some of the more gruesome acts of revenge taken by characters in Shakespeare’s plays. As it turned out, that was mostly against the law. Now contestants pelt each other with pies and the June Taylor Dancers… well, dance in the background. Host: Yuan Shih-kai.

8:08 P.M.  Ch. 14  NEWS WITH NEWTS–(You have to ask?)

Dan Rather’s back, and News with Newts has got him! In fact, he’s still trying to get George W. Bush kicked out of the White House. You’ll be amazed how he twists every news story we cover into an anti-Bush rant! Now all we have to do is somehow lure the newts back to the show. With Joey Heatherton and her orchestra.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 51  MARSHAL MEDEA–Western with ridiculous overtones

What would’ve happened if Medea (Sandy Duncan) left those Greek tragedies behind and went Out West to become a U.S. marshal in Popsy, Maryland–“the town too dead to die”? This question has vexed no one, ever. This week, Marshal Medea confronts the question of Maryland’s geographical location. Prof. Ringworm: Soupy Sales. Jolly sidekick: Alvin the Octopus.

Ch. 66   MOVIE–Suburban Adventure

In “Tarzan Makes a House Call” (French-Canadian-Etruscan, 1997), the Ape-Man (Spencer Tracy) is pressed into service as a pill-bearing doctor to a lot of neurotic women in a posh suburb of an even posher suburb. Jane: Angela Merkel. Suzie: Theda Bara. Saxon Warrior: Lon Chaney Jr. Note: Cardboard cutouts were used in place of real gorillas.

Well, now, that’s that! A whole weekend’s worth of glorious TV–who could ask for anything more? Well, okay, you could… but who would listen?

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You’ll never make it through “Marshal Medea” without a leafy snack! This is Byron the Quokka, signing off.