Chaos at Coldsore Hall! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

In Chapter DXVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular, the Queen of Suspense, told us how Lord Jeremy Coldsore, locked out of his ancestral hall by roistering servants who think it’s still the 18th century, fell off his perch and was gored and trampled by a rhinoceros. All 213 bones in his body were broken. “That will teach him to try and evolve wings,” writes Ms. Crepuscular.

A week later he’s up and around. The American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, has used his six-gun to re-instill decorum in those wild and crazy servants. “Jist leave it to me, Germy,” quoth Willis. He needs to shoot only two of the servants before the others get the message.

This is all told in Chapter DXX. Chapter DXIX is too puerile and improbable to be reproduced here. Even Violet thinks so. “I have written a chapter too puerile and improbable to be reproduced here,” she writes. Send her a check for $3.98 and she’ll send you a summary of the chapter.

Meanwhile the rhinoceros, having laid several clutches of eggs, is now preparing to spin a cocoon in which to spend the winter. It will be a rather large cocoon.


Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 26

CTVA - US TV Listings - 1964

G’day! Byron the Quokka here, with fantastic weekend television brought to you by Quokka University… where all we do, really, is hunt up rare TV shows, never mind teaching courses. Anyhow, here are some samples:

6:30 P.M.  Ch. 08  SLAPSTICK NEWS–A news show, sort of

Finally! You don’t have to sit there growling and fuming as the news anchor talks down to you and tells lies. Here, the anchormen and anchorwomen stand a good chance of getting a pie in the face! You’ll know who it’s going to be, but the victim won’t. Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Paula Zahn–splat! Take that, motormouth!

Ch. 14  BACKYARD SAFARI–For children and goofy adults

Who needs rhinos and lions and giraffes when you’ve got ants, aphids, and starlings? It’s a lot cheaper, too! Join great white hunter Abe Vigoda as he sidesteps a charging ground beetle and bags an earthworm with his shotgun Celebrity guest: Sandra Day O’Connor. Bearer: Yogi Bearer (get it?).

6:45 P.M.  Ch. 29  FOREIGN MOVIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES–Pretentious twaddle

Impress your friends! Watch Bergman’s Wild Strawberries in the original Swedish, no subtitles, no dubbing, and say things like “Some of the subtler nuances don’t translate all that well.” Do the same with Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress and they’ll gasp in awe! Host: Marcel Marceau.


Hanky (Andre the Giant) wants a tricycle for his birthday, but Mozgush and Doblast (Arthur C. Clarke, Sonja Henie) have already bought him a king-sized hamster wheel. Uncle Hisstah (Frank Botox) is called in to make peace! Provider of Superfluous Exclamation Points: Joyce Carol Oates.

7:04 P.M. Ch. 42  SAGEBRUSH SAM–Underwater Western

People didn’t dig this when it came out in 1964, but Sagebrush Sam, TV’s first underwater Western, is now arguably the most popular show in television history. This week: Can Marshal Dan Schimmelpfennig (Don Adams) hold his breath long enough to burst into the Sea Horse Saloon and arrest manic gunslinger Nijam Mohandalakshiraj (Richard Simmons) for copyright infringement? Can he hold his breath long enough to say the name? Sparky: Shari Lewis. The June Taylor Dancers: The Elvira Pushcart Dancers.

Boy, oh, boy! I can’t wait to hunker down in front of my TV set with a handful of tasty leaves and bubble gum!

74 Quokka Eating A Leaf Images, Stock Photos & Vectors ...

This looks like a good one. See you next week!

Special Treat: Bob and Ray, ‘The Largest Living Lizard’

Hey, let’s have a laugh!

Bob and Ray performed “The Largest Living Lizard” back in 1984 and it’s still hilarious today.

Komodo dragons are awesome carnivores which are now kept in major zoos throughout the country… where they almost never attack anyone.

Ms. Crepuscular’s Revenge–and a Lesson in Evolution (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

Introducing Chapter DXVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “Well, we visited Johnno the Merry Minstrel in the hospital on Wednesday and I need hardly describe the occasion. Let us move on with the story!”

Lord Jeremy is still up a tree, menaced by a rhinoceros below. In yonder Coldsore Hall, they’re having a wild party and no one wants to go out and help the poor sod in the sauerbratten tree. But Jeremy has hit upon a novel solution to his predicament.

“I shall evolve!” he confides in the reader, bypassing the author altogether. “I am not going to do whatever Violet Crepuscular says I should do anymore! I shall evolve a pair of wings and merrily fly off to another tree–and so long, Mr. Rhino!” To get the evolutionary process started, he begins to flap his arms.


These exertions cause Jeremy to fall out of the tree. Instantly the rhino jumps on him, then thrusts him through with its horn, tosses him twenty feet into the air (a nasty fall, that!), sits on him, runs over him 15 or 20 times, and then wanders off to lay some more eggs.

Jeremy rises with a groan. It’s no use complaining to me, I didn’t write this schleck. I think Ms. Crepuscular’s intent was to teach her fictional characters a lesson.

Desperately wounded, Lord Jeremy crawls to the front door of Coldsore Hall and tries to whisper through the mail slot…

Trust the Queen of Suspense to leave you hanging there.


Treed by a Wild Rhinoceros (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

No publisher has ever asked Violet Crepuscular, “Write us a Thomas Harris! But you’ll still be paid like a Violet Crepuscular.” But what does she care? She has incriminating photos of the publisher.

Turn we unto Chapter DXVII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, and we find Lord Jeremy Coldsore still unable to get into Coldsore Hall. His servants all make like they don’t know who he is. They are having a wild party. And now the poor devil’s up a tree–

Literally: he has been chased up a tree by the same rhinoceros that’s been burrowing under the vicar’s backyard wading pool and laying eggs in his phlox bed. Ms. Crepuscular takes great pains to describe the tree and include botanical notes–but who are we to criticize the Queen of Suspense? I think it’s supposed to be something called a West Indian Sauerbratten Tree.

The rhinoceros overturns a tool shed and lays a clutch of 15 eggs where the edger used to be. Out of the main house charges Johnno the Merry Minstrel.

“Beast!” he jallops. “Knock over my patron’s tool shed, will you?” He has forgotten how large and dangerous a rhinoceros can be. We shall join him, in the next chapter, at the hospital.

[Postscript by Ms. Crepuscular: My use of the word “jallop” has been called into question. But I do not argue with ignormuses.]

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 12


G’day, everybody! I hope you’ve set aside enormous blocks of time for TV viewing, because we’ve outdone ourselves this week, bringing you the hit shows that never had an audience! Here’s a brief sample from our menu:

8:45 P.M.  Ch. 03  NEWS WITH LIVERWURST–News & commentary

Join Mr. Schlockengruber at the Garden State butcher’s counter, while he serves up the day’s news while serving his customers, too. Is it any wonder that he sometimes gets mixed up? But you’ve got to see him wield that cleaver whenever it’s Congress in the news. Weather: Carlos the Delivery Guy (he would know).

9 P.M.  Ch. 08  THE W TEAM–Action & Inaction

The A Team’s busy, the B Team’s all shot up, and eventually we work way down to the W Team (“When it really doesn’t matter, send for us!”). Pro wrestling legend Silvano Magucci (Dean Rusk) leads his team (Salvador Dali, Theda Bara, Elmer the Bull–he provides the glue–and Ernie Bushmiller) in one hazardous but completely unimportant assignment after another. Tonight: Find Ted Mack’s dentures.

Ch. 14  THE BARE FACTS–Lewd sitcom

What happens when a retired superhero (Bob Costas) opens a nudist colony in Alaska? WARNING: Much of this show had to be blacked out. Especially those parts with the June Taylor Dancers. And the mosquitoes and black flies. This week: Ozzie (Francisco Franco) loses his pants in a strip poker game. [We do not see the point of playing strip poker at a nudist colony, but apparently the focus group likes it.]

Ch. 33  TONS O’ TALK–Celebrity talk & variety

Jimmy Fraud interviews celebrities you never heard of! Icepick Sam, Dr. Foo the Mad Dentist, Susan Gesundheit… Hear him ask the questions you would ask if you had any idea why these people are famous! With the Karamazov Bros. and their orchestra.

9:08 P.M.  Ch. 56  MOVIE–Marital Arts

In Secret Techniques of the Drunken Water-Dowser (Chinese-Canadian, 1998), a disgraced Mountie (Groucho Marx, CG) enters Hung Lo Monastery, where Master Chee (Larry Storch) teaches him secret techniques. Meanwhile, Bigfoot (Linda Hunt) ravages the countryside–and the monks can’t seem to stop it. Can Sgt. Woo Wei Shu recover his honor by kung-fuing Bigfoot into oblivion? Song: “I’ve Got Spurs That Jingle-Jangle-Jingle.”

Well, that’s that! Someday the whole world will shut down just so people can tune in to Quokka University for thrills ‘n’ chills.

Meet the Quokka

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Oh, Those Dog Videos!

Scary dog Stock Photos, Royalty Free Scary dog Images | Depositphotos

Maybe it’s a good thing there are so few viewers here today. I wouldn’t want to touch off a global panic.

I just noticed a line in my “Tags” that reads destroying America dog videos. Yipes! I don’t remember posting any dog videos that could destroy America! I tend to post dog videos that are humorous or cozy, or both.

I, of course, know all about not taking Tags too seriously. But how many college students would feel Unsafe after viewing that line in the Tags?

Maybe I should just dismiss it from my mind and go on outside to write. There won’t be too many of these warm sunny days left on the calendar.

‘Oy, Rodney’ Wins Literary Prize!

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, has won the Pokeweed Township Prize for Literature. The township committee has thanked Ms. Crepuscular for putting up the prize money.

But to return to the exciting story itself, in Chapter DXVI, Lord Jeremy Coldsore finally plucks up the courage to re-enter his ancestral home, Coldsore Hall, from which he has been absent several days, detained in a dungeon by the Lithping Knight Thir Lanthelot, who is actually Constable Chumley’s mother in disguise. Lord Jeremy has forgotten where he hid the spare key.

Williams the third under-footman answers the door. He has forgotten what his master, Lord Jeremy, looks like. He thinks Lord Jeremy is selling salve. “There is no one home,” he says-shutting off the sounds of frantic revelry within by shutting the door in Lord Jeremy’s face.

At this point Ms. Crepuscular interrupts the story.

“I feel it incumbent upon me to remind readers that today is November 6,” she writes. “I need hardly explain its significance!” So she doesn’t.

Byron’s TV Listings, Nov. 5

TV Guide October 27-Nov 2 1984 (5) - Flashbak

G’day, shipmates! Byron the Quokka here–unlike that pantaloon Joe Collidge, I can find my tail with both hands–but even better, I’ve found your weekend TV menu! Here are a few samples to inflame your curiosity.

8:30 P.M.  Ch. 42  GRABBUM GENERAL HOSPITAL–Melodrama

Who said soap operas can only be shown in the daytime? What else would you call it when Dr. DiBono (Mendel Rivers) chases Nurse Knox (Joey Heatherton) all around the operating theater while the hapless patient (Sidney Greenstreet) tries to stitch himself closed after surgery? Guest star: Roderick Usher.

Ch. 44  RAWHIDE IN AFRICA–Western set in the East

What do the cowboys of Rawhide do in between cattle drives? They drink and gamble away their pay and have to take second jobs! And this job is a doozy–herding wild gnus across the Serengeti Plain, vexed by lions, leopards, and unfriendly local people. Eric Fleming and young Clint Eastwood star–with all footage shot in luxurious Scotland.

8:43 P.M.  Ch. 56  MR. FIX-IT NEWS–Yes, it’s news

Kill two birds with one stone! Bobby the Recluse shows you how to deal with clogged sinks and balky toilets while Carmen Miranda (computer-generated, but you’d never guess it) sings and dances the day’s top news stories. Weather: Johnny Cash.

9 P.M.  Ch. 06  MOVIE–Pastoral science fiction tragedy

In “Mistress Bumbles’ Labor Lost” (Pre-Columbian Studios, 2008), Director Pie Traynor improves on Shakespeare by ascribing his own script to The Bard. Mistress Bumble (Lucy Lawless) turns into Xena Warrior Princess whenever she emerges from her country cottage; and the man she loves, barefoot shepherd Jim Northrup (Omar Sharif), can’t make up his mind–about anything! Featured: the June Taylor Dancers as sheep.


Bucky (Max Von Sydow) wants to join the Spanish Foreign Legion, but Mom (Heather Locklear) and Uncle Fidget (Taras Bulba) try to stop him by walling him up in his room. Meanwhile, Poppa (Andy Devine) gets a job as a tightrope walker. Special guest star: a live Tyrannosaurus.

Well! You can’t miss these shows, can you? I guess you could, but you’d surely be the poorer for it.

Happy quokka says hi

Byron the Quokka, signing off.

Return to Coldsore Hall (‘Oy, Rodney’)

a gripping page-turner headed for the top of the NY Times bestseller list | Romance novels, Funny romance, Book parody

Suddenly we find ourselves at Chapter DXIV of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy Rodney… without a trace of Chapter DXIII. We wonder what was in it.

“I am not to blame for chapters missing from my book,” she confides in the reader. “All faxaltation aside, the important thing is that Lord Jeremy, having made his hairbreadth escape from Mom’s Dungeon, now finds himself back in the familiar embrace of Coldsore Hall.” She hastens to add, “‘Embrace’ is a figure of speech! Us authors use them all the time.”

It might be nice if she used a plot from time to time. I just work here, what do I know? Last we heard, a burrowing rhinoceros was making a shambles of the gardens in the vicar’s neighborhood. The latest development there…

“Well shut my mouth!” exclaims Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. He and Lady Margo Cargo are organizing a safari. He points to the earth, to three or four roundish white objects. “Y’know what those are?” Lady Margo does not know. Her upholstered wooden leg is giving her trouble.

“Those,” he proclaims, “are rhino eggs! We have found the rhino’s nest! I found one in Ohio once, but there was something wrong with it. Only chickens came out of the eggs.”

“This is a calamity which no mortal flesh should have to bear,” Lady Margo says.

The chapter ends before Lord Jeremy can actually re-enter his ancestral home. This is either a stroke of literary genius or merely running out of time.