A Readers’ Revolt (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Violet Crepuscular unleashed a storm of controversy with Chapter CDLXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, in which she asserted that a supernatural being in the form of Mickey Mouse dwelt in the cellar of the hovel inhabited by Mr. Bigcheeks, lineal descendant of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney.

“I have unleashed a storm of controversy with Chapter CDLXX of my epic romance, Oy, Rodney,” she writes. “The proles out there think Mr. Bigcheeks’ paranormal unexplained familiar is Mickey Mouse.

“Morons! Heretics! Do they think that I, the Queen of Suspense, do not know that Mickey Mouse did not exist in the Victorian Era? Do they think that I think some guy from Disney World was fomping around Mr. Bigcheeks’ cellar in a Mickey Mouse costume?”

She confesses that she has been snowed under with mail from readers objecting to her use of such a glaring anachronism–angry letters and emails from as far away as Solitude Island in the Russian Arctic, and the desolation that is Kerguelen Island in the South Atlantic. Or wherever it is.

“My sainted monkey!” she continues. “Haven’t these widget-cobblers figured out that if things can be sucked under the vicar’s backyard wading pool… things can also come out from under it? Do they presume to know exactly what kind of things–and beings!–can be spewed into our world from underneath the pool?

“And would they trust me, the Queen of Suspense, to provide a totally rational explanation for the apparent appearance [she’s on a roll] of Mickey Mouse in Victorian England? Heck, no! They just want to complain!”

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“I’ll get them for this,” Ms. Crepuscular adds. How she proposes to do that is a secret. “They’ll wish they were walled up in the Great Pyramid with Old King Cole, by the time I’m done with ’em.” We spare the reader any further fulminations. If you really want to read the whole thing, she’s scrawled it on the rest room wall at Jolly Cholly’s Ham House.

The Sorcerer’s Descendant (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CDLXX (“cud licks,” for those who just don’t get Roman numerals) of her epic romance, Oy Rodney,  Violet Crepuscular writes, “Introducing Chapter CDLXX of my epic romance, Oy Rodney, I pose a tantalizing question to you, dear reader!” Then she goes on for several pages, having forgotten to pose her question.

We have left Willis Twombley, who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, fulminating over some mystery man named “Charlie” in Lady Margo Cargo’s life. (“It is too complicated to explain!” Ms. Crepuscular insists.) But turn we now unto Mr. Bigcheeks, lineal descendant of the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney.

One of the ways you used to be able to tell a witch or sorcerer was, they had these unearthly beings hanging out with them. These were called “familiars,” and if you were caught with one, your goose was cooked–and so were you.

Mr. Bigcheeks does not know he is directly descended from Black Rodney. He does not know that the strange creature dwelling in the basement of his hovel is his familiar. He thinks it’s Mickey Mouse.

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It is not a profitable use of one’s time to argue with Ms. Crepuscular about Mickey Mouse not existing in the Victorian Era. She calls that argument “a hypofloxin that would hardly do credit to a sleep-deprived mameluke.”

Anyway, Mickey has promised to make Mr. Bigcheeks king of England if he can find and resuscitate the mummy of Black Rodney himself. Mr. Bigcheeks thinks it might be under the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard.

But that way lies madness. And that’s if you’re lucky.

Memory Lane: ‘The Mickey Mouse Club’

Walt Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on TV in 1955 and was a mega-hit by 1956, airing on weekday afternoons. Remember?

I was only six or seven years old when I started watching this, and now I don’t know how I ever managed to sit through it. Really, all I wanted was the cartoons! Especially Donald Duck, or Goofy. If they played them at all, they played them near the end of the show so you had to watch all the singing and dancing. Those sequences seem just as long to me today as they seemed back then.

I wanted one of those Mouseketeer hats, but never got one–just a set of plastic slip-on Mickey Mouse ears. Why in the world did I watch this show? Beats me! Was it because mine was the first TV generation, and we all watched TV because that’s what you did? And whatever they put on the screen, you watched? Say it ain’t so, Joe.

I’ll never get back the time I spent watching this festival of nothing.


History Channel? What History?

Image result for images of battle of gettysburg

Today is the anniversary of the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg–Pickett’s Charge. Having been unsuccessful in trying to break the Union Army on its flanks, Robert E. Lee attacked the middle of the line: and lost a whole infantry division, and the battle.

Well, the History Channel–partially owned by Disney Inc., of Mickey Mouse fame–came up with some Mickey Mouse history today when they illustrated a tweet about Gettysburg with a picture of George Washington (https://www.infowars.com/history-channel-tweets-george-washington-fighting-at-gettysburg/).  You know–the guy who was long dead by the time the Civil War started.


Well, hey, they all went to public school, too! Who said you had to know any real history to operate a history channel on TV?

At least they didn’t show Obama delivering the Gettysburg Address.

Memory Lane: Mickey Mouse vs. The Blot

Image result for phantom blot

Remember this sinister figure? It’s The Blot, as in Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot.

Originally published in 1939, the comic-strip serial has been reissued a number of times.

Before I was old enough to read a real novel, there was Mickey Mouse and The Blot, in one of those big, thick comic books that used to sell for 25 cents instead of 10. Oh, did that story rev up my imagination! I only got to read it once, because the comic book belonged to someone else in my family–it was so long ago, and I was so young, I don’t remember who–and I couldn’t take it home with me. But I never, never forgot that big black Blot stalking around, and brave Mickey going undercover for the police. I haven’t seen it since, but those images have stayed with me.

I dunno… We didn’t have computers, or smart phones, or video games. But some of the children’s entertainment, from my childhood–man, it was vivid! It probably had a lot to do with turning me into a writer: that, and God’s providence.

It was low-tech, sold for pennies–and it was great.