‘Oy, Rodney’: Unbearable Suspense

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In Chapter XCVIII of Violet Crepuscular’s romance epic, Oy, Rodney, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s creditors are breathing down his neck–literally; and it’s very uncomfortable. One of them turned up under his bed, checking for woodworm. Unless Lord Jeremy’s plan to marry Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in all of Scurvyshire, succeeds, he will lose Coldsore Hall, right down to the concrete flamingos on the front lawn.

The wedding of Lady Margo to the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad, has been delayed, owing to Lady Margo’s cantankerous old butler, who has misplaced her false teeth. Jeremy and Willis have been taking turns courting her, pretending to be the same person. As predicted, Lady Margo has not noticed the difference–except to say, to Lord Jeremy, “I declare, Sargon, sometimes you seem like two different people.” The plan is to carry out the wedding with Jeremy in Twombley’s place.

Meanwhile, everyone has noticed a change in the vicar’s demeanor. He has taken to skipping ungracefully instead of walking. They attribute this to the bout of conniptions he suffered when he peeked under the wading pool in his back yard. Constable Chumly now stands guard by the pool. “T’other dee,” he says, “we lammicked a porty feen, reet o’er yonder skeel.” He looks worried when he says it.

“I’ve noticed a change in the vicar’s demeanor,” Lady Margo confides to Twombly.

“It’s because of his conniptions, l’il gal,” he answers.

As the chapter closes, Lord Jeremy catches another creditor trying to make off with the third baron’s armor that he wore during the Crusades. The baron is still in it, necessitating a change in the Coldsore family chronicles.

‘Oy, Rodney,’ Continued

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My heel spur was acting up today, and I turned my ankle yesterday on those confounded walnuts that are all over the yard, and a pipe broke in our basement so we can’t use the washing machine and I had to go to the laundromat instead–so it seemed an apt time to read Chapters XLV and XLVI of Oy, Rodney by Violet Crepuscular.

(I have been asked why I always show the cover of Lord of the Tube Socks instead of the one for Oy, Rodney. It’s really much nicer, that’s all.)

The mysterious stranger who looks like Ed Begley but isn’t, it turns out, has been in the book under false pretenses, having sneaked in from another book entirely. Ms. Crepuscular was rather put out when she discovered that, so that character has since been abruptly written out–leaving the way clear for our hero, young Lord Jeremy Coldsore, to propose marriage to Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. In a real stroke of luck, Jeremy finds the glass eye that fell out of Lady Margo’s head some months ago and is trying to get up the nerve to return it to her.

Meanwhile, the vicar, recovering from the conniptions he suffered when he peeked under the  backyard wading pool to see what was making that awful noise, has stopped speaking backwards and now speaks sideways, which makes him even more difficult to understand. It has not yet occurred to him that he could write down what he saw and then people would know.

Jeremy’s scheme to introduce wild koalas to Yorkshire has gone belly-up and he’s running out of time to recover his family’s lost fortune and save Coldsore Hall from another mysterious stranger who wants to tear it down and build a MacDonald’s in its place. Under pressure, Jeremy hints, “Maybe it’s time I went to see Rodney.” I still think Rodney will turn out to be a rabbit.

But that’s enough for now.