Tag Archives: general silliness

The Elopement, at Last (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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At last! Lord Jeremy Coldsore has eloped to marry Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire.

Chapter CCCXLI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, opens with Lord Jeremy and the vicar waiting in the abandoned warehouse in Plaguesby, where the marriage is to be secretly performed. They have to be careful because there’s plague in Plaguesby. Also in attendance, as best man, is Jeremy’s bosom friend, the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. He has a burlap bag over his head. This provokes a fit of the giggles from the vicar.

“Why has he got a burlap bag over his head?” the vicar asks, giggling.

“Because Lady Margo thinks he and I are the same person, and it confuses her when she sees us both together,” Lord Jeremy explains. The vicar finds that richly humorous.

Midnight draws near, without a sign of Lady Margo. “What’s keeping her?” Jeremy grumbles.

“Alas, dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular breaks into the narrative, “Lady Margo, escorted by her crusty old butler, Crusty, has misunderstood the plan and gone to an abandoned warehouse in the isolated nearby village of Plaguespot. The place has an unwholesome reputation! It is said that Black Rodney’s brother, Red Pokey, passed through Plaguespot in 1483 and, just for practice, put a terrible curse on it.”

As midnight draws near, Crusty grows impatient.

“I told you Coldsore was no good, you stupid old bat,” he confides in Lady Margo. “How can you trust a man with two left feet? Both of which seem to have gotten cold!”

“I can’t say I like this as a location for a wedding,” mutters Lady Margo. “All those sinister voices whispering I don’t know what, all around us in the dark! Are you sure this is where dear Jeremy said he’d meet us?”

Crusty is jealous: he has long desired Lady Margo for himself.

Just then, a long-drawn-out, hideous moaning erupts from the shadows–

We suspect it’s the reader.

Violet’s Fan Mail (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Rather than move on to the next chapter of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney–because she hasn’t gotten around to writing it–Violet Crepuscular has decided this week to share some of her fan mail. “I have decided, dear readers, to share some of the fan mail I’ve gotten from all over the world,” she explains. I thought I’d already said that.

From Brazzaville, Congo Republic: “You are as great a writer as Shakespeare, my dear Miss Crepuscular! I have therefor chosen you to help administer my $5 million inheritance! Please send me your credit card and social security numbers.”

From Bad Axe, Michigan: “I was going to drown myself in the bathtub, but I got so hooked on reading your epic romance that I forget to put my head under the water. I did get terribly wrinkly, but it was worth it!”

From Ongs Hat, New Jersey: “Where can I buy one of those wading pools like the vicar has? I have several neighbors that need to disappear.”

From Fimbo University: “Deer Mis Crapuckaller, Wee ‘are’ reeding yore boock in Nothing Studies and it is reely grate, axxept ‘thare’ is a lott of speling and grammer airers in it!!'”

From death row, Mount Doom State Prison: “Please keep writing! The governor says they won’t fix me up with Old Sparky until after I’ve finished reading Oy, Rodney.

From Arkham, Massachusetts: “They think they’ve got troubles in Scurveyshire? Hah! At least they haven’t got shoggoths crawling up and down the streets all night.”

From Reykjavik, Iceland: “Help! My husband has fallen madly in love with Lady Margo Cargo. I have half a mind to get an upholstered wooden leg myself, just to keep up with the competition. Meanwhile, do you have a recipe for salt cod with toothpaste?”

“Those are only a few of the fan letters I’ve received from readers all over the world,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “And no, I don’t have a recipe for salt cod with toothpaste–but I will soon!”

The First Horseless Carriage (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCCXL of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, the mad genius of Scurveyshire, Lord Devius Scrumble, Baronet, has been released from custody to demonstrate his “Horseless Carriage,” which he has secretly constructed out of uneaten scraps of food and bits of wood and iron smuggled into his cell by the vicar, over whom he wields some inexplicable power. The project took all of six years to complete.

“Just let me out of here for one day,” he declares to Lord Jeremy Coldsore, “and I’ll sign over to you half the profits from my Horseless Carriage!” Desperate for money, Lord Jeremy agrees: as justice of the peace, he has the authority to furlough the not-quite-with-it baronet.

Unveiling his carriage on the village common, right next to the statue of a gigantic mouse, erected to commemorate some event in Scurveyshire’s history that nobody remembers, Lord Devius creates a sensation. What kind of sensation, we are not told.

“Well, it’s a carriage, I guess,” remarks the American adventurer Willis Twombley, “and there ain’t no horse to pull it; but I’ll be darned if I can see how it goes.” It has wheels, a frame, and a steering rudder, but not much more.

“Behold! The Twentieth Century has come to Scurveyshire!” exults the baronet. The year being 1869, no one is quite sure what he means.

He climbs into the carriage and, wonder of wonders, it takes off at high speed. The crowd oohs and aahs, but Twombley is unimpressed. “It’s only goin’ anywhere because he’s runnin’ with it,” Twombley observes. “He’s doin’ the horse’s job! What kinda stupid invention is that?” Culturally aware readers will immediately recall The Flintstones: it is, for all practical purposes, a Flintstone car.

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Powered by the driver’s own legs and feet–might as well walk! But Lord Devius Scrumble is a very fast and powerful runner, and before anyone can stop him, he makes his escape. Lord Jeremy comes in for some criticism for that.

“Imagine the whole shire’s consternation,” concludes Ms. Crepuscular, “when the Horseless Carriage attempts to pass the vicar’s backyard wading pool and is quickly pulled under by enormous tentacles, never to be seen again.”

How she can expect to win a Pulitzer Prize for this defies the imagination.


The Mad Genius of Scurveyshire (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Striving mightily to get her story back on track, Violet Crepuscular plunges into Chapter CCCXXXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

At his wit’s end, with his marriage to Lady Margo Cargo still hanging fire (“I am not sure exactly what that means,” Ms. Crepuscular admits), Lord Jeremy Coldsore is desperate for good advice. His boon companion, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, gives him some.

“What about that guy who they locked up for bein’ flat-out crazy, Germy?” Twombley says. “Betcha he can help.”

The man in question is Lord Devius Scrumble, Baronet, who has been locked up for his insane prediction that there will one day be horseless carriages that run on internal combustion engines. As a peer of the realm, he has been locked up at home and is allowed to receive visitors. Jeremy and Twombley go to see him.

Before they can present their problem to him, Lord Devius insists on telling them all about his new invention.

“Once every man in England has his own horseless carriage,” says the mad baronet, “they will all need parking space and there will never be quite enough space to go around. I have therefore invented The Parking Meter. Installed at regular intervals along the streets of all our towns and cities, these devices will ensure that no one just parks his horseless carriage in front of a shop and leaves it there. The Parking Meter, upon the deposition of a penny into this slot, will measure the time; and each horseless carriage that is parked in that space will not be allowed to exceed the time paid for. Thus there will always be spaces that are about to become available, and the towns will acquire a steady source of revenue.”

Lord Jeremy wonders, “What’s so daft about that? It sounds like a good idea.” But Twombley asks, “How much time does your penny buy you, ol’ hoss?”

Lord Devius draws himself up to his full height of three feet, seventeen inches, and proudly replies, “Four seconds, man! Four seconds! If you need another four seconds, you have to put another penny in. This will revolutionize England’s urban life!” He then breaks into uncontrollable laughter.

“The moral of the story,” adds Ms. Crepuscular, “is, ‘Shop fast!'”

Constable Chumley’s Pets (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCCXXXVIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Constable Chumley is seen walking two baboons, on leashes, up and down on Scurveyshire’s High Street.

The baboons’ names are Fritzy and Bitzy and are a gift from the constable’s long-lost millionaire cousin, Sir Henry Blithering. Sir Henry has gotten rid of them because they tend to attack people, dogs, horses, and shade trees. Constable Chumley explains, “Thim’s fair throckin’ ye timbrith.”

In no time at all Lord Jeremy Coldsore, as justice of the peace, is snowed under with frantic demands to get rid of the baboons. He is sympathetic to those demands, having been severely bitten in the leg by Fritzy and pushed into a water-trough by Bitzy.

“Really, old boy, this won’t do!” he exclaims to the now-crestfallen constable. “I don’t often get the opportunity to describe anyone as ‘crestfallen,'” Ms. Crepuscular confides to the reader. “It’s quite exhilarating! And there’s another wonderful word that’s seldom published nowadays.”

Chumley has grown quite fond of the baboons, although they have bitten him innumerable times (“You should see all the bandages!”) and he has to lock them in the pantry overnight, or they will finish him off in his sleep. “Us medderin’ gree frath,” he answers Lord Jeremy. A tear trickles from his eye.

“Can’t you donate them to the circus?” Jeremy pleads. The suggestion reduces the constable to a sobbing fit, during which the baboons tear their leashes out of his hands and race off into the sunset. For the next four years they terrorize anyone foolhardy enough to try to pass through Plaguesby Wood.

“None of this is gettin’ us hitched to Lady Margo, Germy ol’ hoss,” remarks the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. Lady Margo thinks he and Lord Jeremy are the same person.

“I will end the chapter here,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “to heighten the suspense. But now it’s time for a cherry Coke with Frothee!”

Don’t Give These Videos as Gifts!

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Killer Quokkas!

Any time is a good time not to give the following videos as gifts!

Killer Quokkas, starring Chips Rafferty, Michael Caine, and Hedy LaMar. Quokkas are on the rampage, threatening to depopulate Australia. Only Hedy LaMar knows how to summon Godzilla from Monster Island–and she won’t tell, because she’s mad at Michael Caine.

(Byron the Quokka: “I resent this movie!”)

Only Slightly Better than Garbage: Join Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, washed-up football flop Colin Whatsisname, and the entire cast of The View in listing all the ways America sucks, all the ways Venezuela is better, and all their excuses for not going to live in Venezuela and bother us no more.

Eat Like a Cat! Cult documentary filmmaker Dolph Magnoon teaches you how to save money on your groceries by eating cat food in very small quantities and being hungry all the time. Special guest star: dietary expert Chelsea Clinton.

My Shameful Secret, a Swedish movie made by carpenter ants, stars a Howard Cosell look-alike whose speech is so garbled that even dubbing and subtitles can’t make him understood. To protect his life and property, his name has been removed from the credits. As to what the shameful secret is–well, we never find out, do we? You will be so sorry you paid $2.98 for this video disc!

There, you’ve been warned.


‘Oy, Rodney’ Gets Serious and Sane

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Gotcha with that headline, didn’t I? But let’s see what’s really going on.

Introducing Chapter CCCXXXIV of her epic (and interminable) romance, Oy, Rodney, author Violet Crepuscular reveals a startling piece of news.

“I am delighted to report,” she writes, “that my ground-breaking epic romance, Oy, Rodney, has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize! My neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, nominated it, after I treated him to some of my home-made whiskey.” We are not told what is in the whiskey.

Meanwhile, the mysterious stranger who looks just like Broderick Crawford is assiduously courting Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. To the acute distress of Lord Jeremy Coldsore, who is engaged to Lady Margo, the stranger has totally charmed her with a magic trick which creates the illusion that he is able to pull off the top half of his left pointer finger and re-attach it at will. Even I can do that trick, but Lady Margo has never seen it before and can’t get enough of it.

There is also bad news from nearby Plaguesby. Lord Jeremy remarks: “I knew a new pneumonia was out there.” I take this as just another unworthy attempt by the author to display a new crepuscularity.

Nothing can be done because the stranger is a dead ringer for Sir Osmund Footeball, who also looks just like Broderick Crawford. There is no sure way to tell the two of them apart, and arresting the wrong man would be politically disastrous.

“This is only one of many problems a writer encounters when transforming a romance into a serious mainstream novel,” Ms. Crepuscular confesses. “But I can’t let Mr. Pitfall down! He has his heart set on my Pulitzer.”

For those who wish to learn this fascinating bit of legerdemain, here’s how it’s done. I did it in a job interview once, but I didn’t get the job.

A Local Character (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXXXIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “I can’t believe I’ve written 350 chapters of this book–” Whoa! Did she just say 350? Her editor is going to plotz–“without introducing Sir Osmund Footeball, the local character of Scurveyshire Village. Oddly enough, he, too, looks very much like Broderick Crawford; but he is no relation to the mysterious stranger in town who also looks just like Broderick Crawford.”    Image result for images of broderick crawford in highway patrol

Sir Osmund’s father, Sir Ethelred “Slimy” Footeball, made a fortune blackmailing the royal family; but Sir Osmund has frittered most of it away. He became a local character by his habit of pressing his face to shop windows and making horrible faces at the customers inside. Constable Chumley, as a raw rookie, made the mistake of arresting him for this. Sir Osmund’s connections had the young constable locked up for a week. “‘Tis a whither frae nae folladew fairn,” Chumley recalls nostalgically.

Sir Osmund now supports himself by betting passersby that he will eat various insects. He is, as it were, a walking tourist trap. We are unable to detect any contribution he makes to the plot. He is, like the Matterhorn, “there.”

Meanwhile, Lady Margo Cargo is up and around again, having found her lost glass eye, but Lord Jeremy Coldsore has been unable to arrange the details of their elopement and wedding because the mysterious stranger who looks like Broderick Crawford won’t stop hanging around the front door of her opulent country house and Constable Chumley is afraid to arrest him, lest he once again mistakenly arrests Sir Osmund Footeball.

“I could just shoot him, Germy ol’ hoss,” offers Lord Jeremy’s close friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley. But Jeremy fears Twombley might accidentally shoot Sir Osmund. Then the fat would really be in the fire.

Another Mysterious Stranger (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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“Beyond Vegetables” proved to be a cultural disaster, her cooking show was canceled after the first episode, and Violet Crepuscular has finally written Chapter CCCXXXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

A mysterious stranger who looks like Broderick Crawford has turned up in Scurveyshire, to seek Lady Margo Cargo’s hand in marriage (1). Meanwhile, Lady Margo is celebrating because she has found her missing glass eye. It was under her pillow all along.

“When I was young,” she confides to the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, whom she thinks is the same person as her current betrothed, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, “my mother told me that if I put my glass eye under my pillow at night, the Eye Fairy would come and leave me a shilling.”

“But then you’d be short an eye, l’il darlin’,” says Twombley.

“The fairy never took the eye,” explains Lady Margo. “Even so, half the time I forgot I’d put the eye under my pillow and I’d have to do without it for several days.” She sighs deeply. “I can never remember the things I forget,” she laments.

“You will notice a footnote pertaining to the mysterious stranger who uncannily resembles Broderick Crawford,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, in an aside to the reader. “This has been added for a scholarly purpose. Footnotes are meant to be read, dear reader, so don’t forget to read this one!”

There being nothing much more to this chapter, we shall advance to the bottom of the page and read the footnote.

“1) Among the stranger’s descendants are Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban dictator ousted by Fidel Castro. This explains President Batista’s fleeting resemblance to the America actor who used to star in Highway Patrol.

So we can stop wondering about it.

Chapter CCCXXXII has been postponed due to bad weather.


Violet Crepuscular’s Cooking Show (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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We are lucky to have Chapter CCCXXX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, as skimpy as it is. For this was the week the local cable TV station aired the first and only episode of Ms. Crepuscular’s cooking show, “Crepuscular Cuisine.” Much of Chapter CCCXXX is devoted to this.

“I could not help being inspired,” she writes, “by all those new ‘Beyond Meat’ products, which are all-vegetable dishes cunningly prepared to taste like meat dishes. This has proved tremendously popular!

“So I thought, ‘What about something for meat-eaters who won’t eat vegetables but nevertheless want meat dishes that taste like vegetables?’ Why not ‘Meatables’? Or ‘Beyond Vegetables’? I mean, I read about this on a chess website, so it must be a terrific idea!”

Here we have part of the transcript of the show. Violet is in her studio kitchen, introducing “Beyond Vegetables.”

VIOLET: In truth, creating meat dishes that taste exactly like vegetarian dishes requires much more skill, labor, and preparation than I, for one, would ever bother with and neither should you! So I will teach you a simple but effective cheat.

I have found that creating a dish whose taste is completely unidentifiable, well, that’s the ticket! If your dinner guest has never heard of the Slovenian radish or ‘that wonderful variety of cauliflower from Kenya,’ called mbumba or something, how is he going to know he’s not eating a meat dish made entirely of vegetable ingredients?

And so we experiment with a wide variety of ingredients–here you see I have peppermint toothpaste, Frothee artificial foam, red pepper, black pepper, salt, Sweet ‘n’ Low, and A-1 Sauce–until we have something that tastes like nothing anyone has ever tasted before. And voila–the cook has a triumph!

*** But her triumph is short-lived. According to local news reports, less than an hour after the show went off the air, a crowd of irate viewers assembled outside the studio and began to pelt it with stones, loudly demanding the immediate cancellation of “Crepuscular Cuisine.” Several of the viewers threatened to sue the network, claiming that family members who had sampled Ms. Crepuscular’s experimental “Beyond Vegetables” were almost instantly smitten with digestive upsets.

As for Chapter CCCXXX of Oy, Rodney, all we have, really, is a mysterious stranger who looks like Broderick Crawford nosing around the grounds of Coldsore Hall until he is chased off by squirrels.


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