Tag Archives: Lady Margo Cargo

Lady Margo Doesn’t Die (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Making fun of romance novels. Genius! | Book humor, Romance novels ...

Introducing Chapter CCCLXXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular takes aim at her printer, a man named Baskett.

“Everybody in the world thinks he or she can write an epic romance!” she declares. “That includes one Hieronymus Baskett of Popeye’s Print Shop.

“As I wrote the chapter, Lady Margo Cargo dies from a placebo overdose that dissolves her coccyx. This is the sort of thing that tinges a romance with bittersweet realism–kind of like one of those good old Hallmark TV specials in which a lovable, plucky celebrity dies of an incurable disease. You’d think this would have given me a crack at a Pulitzer, but no! Mr. I-Know-All-About-Literature Baskett refused to print the chapter unless I spared Lady Margo’s life. He actually accused me of murder!”

And so in Take Two of Chapter CCCLXXI, Lady Margo does not die, but enjoys a complete recovery from her psychosomatic, subcutaneous (Violet’s word, not mine) affliction and Dr. Fanabla receives a medal from the Queen. Lady Margo’s fiances, Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, are quite pleased. Now the wedding can go forward as planned.

“If that’s the kind of syrupy pap the readers want, so be it,” writes Ms. Crepuscular. “I had hopes of turning this into one of those dark and serious Russian novels, but couldn’t get past the obstacle of Popeye’s Print Shop. I even had a Count Kissoff ready to step into the plot as a man who wants to buy Coldsore Hall and turn it into an anarchists’ club. Alas! It seems everyone’s allowed to write Serious Mainstream Literature but me.”

We shall see if Oy, Rodney can continue in spite of this setback.

 


Lady Margo’s Affliction (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Making fun of romance novels. Genius! | Book humor, Romance novels ...

Now that our internet problems seem to have been fixed, Violet Crepuscular can introduce Chapter CCCLXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

“With all the excitement over the capture of Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief, dear reader,” she writes, “it would be easy to overlook another kind of excitement at Lady Margo Cargo’s luxurious country house. We join her and Dr. Fanabla as the doctor concludes his examination.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” says the doctor. The crusty old butler, Crusty, chimes in: “Nothing wrong with her that a new head couldn’t cure!”

“You’re testing for the wrong ailments,” declares Lady Margo. “I shouldn’t have to tell a doctor what’s wrong we me, but here it seems I do. I have a severe case of bryophobia!”

The doctor is nonplussed. “Fear of… moss?” he wonders.

“An inordinate, passionate, crippling fear of moss!” cries the patient. Behind her, Crusty makes a face indicative of mockery, and also a well-known gesture expressing doubt as to his employer’s sanity.

“Have you seen the north side of my house, doctor?” she exclaims. “It’s moss everywhere you look! And on the trees, and in the cracks along the sidewalk, too! Thick, green, awful moss! How am I supposed to even contemplate marriage, with moss just lurking everywhere?”

The doctor attempts to change the subject. “Have you decided which one you’re going to marry–Lord Jeremy or the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad?”

“They’re the same person, doctor!” Now it’s the doctor’s turn to make that well-known gesture.

“You might as well put her down, doctor,” says Crusty. “She’s as crazy as a bedbug.” “I think we have them, too!” Lady Margo mutters.

“How about I prescribe for you a nice placebo?” asks the doctor.

But Lady Margo is allergic to placebos.

Here the chapter ends, to heighten the already well-nigh unbearable suspense.


Lady Margo’s Grandmother’s Glass Eye (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Chapter CCCLXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, ended with Lady Margo Cargo averse to having her wedding without being able to wear her grandmother’s glass eye, which her crusty old butler, Crusty, has hidden in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, along with all the other glass eyes and Lady Margo’s jewels. Ms. Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCLXIV with a selection of fan mail.

“Reader Smokey Burgess, of Fishbowl, Alabama, writes: ‘What’s so special about Lady Margo Cargo’s grandmother’s glass eye? I always say if you’ve seen one glass eye, you’ve seen ’em all.’  And from Mrs. Ellen Melon of Sons of Hercules Township, Michigan, we have, ‘I wore the wrong glass eye for my wedding, and it was the ruin of everything!’

“Well, dear reader, now you can understand Lady Margo’s dilemma! Who wants to risk the ruin of everything?”

Ms. Crepuscular admits that she has been “inundated” with reader mail throughout the week, “not counting those nasty letters from people who tell me I should just stop writing and go soak my head,” she adds. “There are many schools of thought on choosing a glass eye for a wedding, each school bitterly opposed to all the others. I had no idea!”

Meanwhile the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in Coldsore Hall, has begun to wonder if there’s anything worth stealing in this ancient, opulent country house: maybe he ought to peek into some of the other rooms. Comments Ms. Crepuscular, “I think you will agree that this heightens the suspense to a nearly unbearable degree! I had to drink a whole bottle of rum before I could get to sleep last night. Yo-ho-ho indeed!”

Maybe that’s why she has not yet written Chapter CCCLXIV, except for the parts we have already considered here. It has not been much of a performance.


Let’s Have the Wedding Anyhow! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor, Romance novels,  Funny romance

Introducing Chapter CCCLXIII of her epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular praises her protagonist, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, for taking the bull by the horns. “It’s really the only thing you can do when you’re on the horns of a dilemma!” she confides in her readers. And P.S.–Mr. Pitfall is out of jail because no one remembered to lock the door.

In taking the bull by the horns, Lord Jeremy exhorts his fiancee, Lady Margo Cargo, “Let’s have our wedding anyhow! The vicar is free of conniptions, the roof of Coldsore Hall has been repaired, and why should we wait any longer?”

“But I had my heart set on wearing my grandmother’s glass eye and my mother’s pearls, and they’ve been stolen!” wails Lady Margo. She is not aware that her crusty old butler, Crusty, has hidden the jewels and the priceless collection of glass eyes in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall. He has forgotten why he did that. Nor is anyone aware that the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, is hiding out in the room across the hall from where the jewels are hidden.

“Oh, bother your grandma’s glass eye!” ejaculates Jeremy. “The eye you’re wearing now is perfectly suitable to the occasion. In fact, I rather like it!”

“Oh, Willis, you say the most romantic things!” Lady Margo cannot distinguish between Lord Jeremy and his close friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad.

The next two pages of the chapter are blank: Ms. Crepuscular has left them blank to reflect Lady Margo’s indecision. The third and last page features Violet’s own recipe for a six-tiered wedding cake with assorted toothpaste icings. As for Lady Margo, “You can’t rush these things,” writes Violet. “Many a wedding has been ruined by the bride wearing the wrong glass eye for the occasion and being consumed with self-doubt forever afterward.” Apparently this has happened in her family, but not in anyone else’s. Not that I know of, anyway.

 


Can They Get Rid of the Ghost? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Economic ruin threatens Scurveyshire! The Lying Tart is haunted!

Violet Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCXLIX (aren’t Roman numerals cool? We ought to have more of them) of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney: “Dear readers, allow me to introduce Chapter CCCXLIX of my epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

“It has been insinuated by certain lewd persons that I do not know what to do about the White Lady of The Lying Tart. Nothing could be farther from the truth! As a matter of fact, my old next-door neighbor, old Mrs. Pettifog, had a ghost in her house for years. It used to summon unwanted taxicabs to her house. But when she finally turned to me, I was able to send the ghost packing by offering it a dish of my famous toothpaste wontons, also known as Wanton Wontons. So let’s have no more of this loose talk! I am perfectly capable of dealing with a ghost.”

In making this defense, she has lost the thread of the chapter and is unable to get back on track until Chapter CCCLII.

It seems the Wise Woman of the Gaol, who used to be the Wise Woman of the Woods, has gotten rid of the ghost by offering it toothpaste wontons. Not only has the ghost flown the coop, but the landlord at The Lying Tart has now added a popular side dish to his menu.

But none of this seems to advance the efforts of Lord Jeremy Coldsore and Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire (for those reader who have forgotten who she is), to finalize their marriage with a wedding. Meanwhile, the Wise Woman of the Gaol has been released from gaol (they insist on spelling “jail” as “gaol”–Ms Crepuscular is an Oscar Wilde fan, it seems) and is now The Wise Woman of The Lying Tart, and in great demand as a fortune-teller and a source of marital counseling.

And here the chapter comes crashing to an end. No one knows why.


‘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.


Lady Margo’s Hand (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “Dear reader, I wish to introduce Chapter CCCXXIX by reminding you that years ago, in her youth, Lady Margo Cargo had her hand chewed off by a goat. Which hand, I don’t rightly remember. But do keep it in mind, for it’s bound to be important later.”

Frantic to raise money to put a new roof on Coldsore Hall and stave off his legion of creditors, thus saving his centuries-old family heritage, Lord Jeremy Coldsore grows increasingly desperate to conclude his marriage with Lady Margo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. His latest scheme is to have the marriage performed in secret. “We can elope,” he explains to her, “and get married in an abandoned warehouse in the quaint rural village of Mucklethorp. No one will interrupt us there.”

“Isn’t that the warehouse where they found all those skeletons, years ago?” she asks.

“I am sure they have removed the skeletons by now, my sweet!”

“I don’t know about this,” Lady Margo muses. “I have heard the place is haunted. Who would perform the ceremony?”

“Geoffrey the Unemployed Shepherd has been ordained a minister of a mail-order church somewhere in India. Treat him to a bottle of Col. Gamba’s Special Blend, and he’ll marry anyone.”

Lady Margo is shocked. “Why, it was one of Geoffrey’s goats that chewed my hand off!” she cries. “I find it very hard to trust him!”

The chapter breaks here with a telephone call: the local cable TV station has offered Ms. Crepuscular a position as host of a new cooking show. She is too excited to continue writing.

“Just in time for me to share with the world my Toothpaste Yule Log recipe!” she exults. “With leftover crab meat, no less! I must hasten to the studio and see to setting up a kitchen!”

There is no truth to the rumor that the show will be called The Suicidal Gourmet.

 


Constable Chumley Speaks English (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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We’ve been trying to discover why a policeman with an angry parent in tow knocked on Ms. Violet Crepuscular’s door last week–something to do with handing out toothpaste cookies for Trick or Treat, we suspect. But she has been uncharacteristically mum about it, saying only that “No sacrifice is too great, or too small, to make for good dental hygiene.”

In Chapter CCCXXVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we learn that Constable Chumley has been busy rounding up everyone in Scurveyshire who looks like an emoji, in case one of them turns out to be Sir Dorphin Magma, the ace cricketeer who disappeared 20 years ago and may be descended from the evil medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. Here are some of the suspects.  Image result for images of emojis The jail–er, gaol–is getting a bit crowded.

“Can’t you find a roomier gaol in which to put them?” demands Lord Jeremy Coldsore. “They have a nice one in Plaguesby, maybe they’ll let us use it.”

The constable looks him in the eye and replies, as clear as a bell, “To climb the tree is enough, though the bough makes me cough.”

Lord Jeremy is astonished. “You finally speak a sentence in some comprehensible form of English,” he cries, “and this is it?”

“Feraeth, m’lord, whae bonnith yar grith,” the constable replies, reverting to his quaint rural dialect. It appears his supply of plain English has been exhausted.

Lord Jeremy is growing more and more desperate to marry Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire, to confound his creditors and save Coldsore Hall, which still needs a new roof. Lady Margo is currently in bed with a bad cold, contracted by wandering around in the rain all night clad only in her undies–a sight which, regrettably, has caused a relapse of the vicar’s conniptions. Worse, a violent sneeze has sent her glass eye flying off to some unexplored region of her bedroom. “I can’t marry anyone until I get my eye back,” she declares. Lord Jeremy has searched all around the room for it but hasn’t found it yet.

“And here,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “I will break off the chapter in order to heighten the suspense. Really, one can hardly expect Lady Margo to appear for her wedding with an eye missing and the vicar spouting panicked gibberish.”

 


Lady Margo Feels Woozy (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares an insight with her readers.

“Allow me to share this insight with you, dear readers,” she writes. “Medieval sorcerers, like Black Rodney, have a way of turning out to be real if you write about them often enough. Yesterday morning I simply couldn’t find my Acme False Facts catalogue, although I looked everywhere for it. Finally it turned up in my refrigerator, behind the toothpaste, and I know I didn’t put it there! I suspect black magic.”

We pick up the chapter with Lord Jeremy Coldsore trying to learn to sing I’ve Got Rhythm in classical Greek, for reasons which were made abundantly clear in Chapter CCCXXIII.

Meanwhile his bride-to-be, Lady Margo Cargo, has taken to her bed.

“I feel woozy,” she confides to her crusty old butler, Crusty. “I have to be careful, you know–my father died of hypochondria.”

“If you die of hypochondria,” snaps Crusty, “then it wasn’t really hypochondria, was it? Stupid old bat!”

Summoned to her bedside, Dr. Fanabla is able to find no symptoms at all. “It’s hypochondria, all right,” he declares, “and the only sure-fire cure for hypochondria is to get really sick. I recommend you stand around outside in your undies until you catch a proper cold. And you’re in luck–it’s going to rain all night.”

Faithfully following the doctor’s advice, Lady Margo, clad only in her unmentionables, spends the entire night wandering around her property in the rain; and the vicar, chancing to look out the window at just the right moment, sees a pale white figure slowly parading back and forth in the rain. This causes him to suffer a relapse into his conniptions. The only sense anyone can get out of him is “I saw the White Witch! And she was sneezing! Eeeyaaagh!”

Lady Margo takes the sneezes as a hopeful sign and goes back to bed.

 


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