Tag Archives: Oy Rodney

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.

 


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.

 


What? **Ten** Views?

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Holy moly, where is everybody? Did the world end while I slept? AOC & Co. turned out to be right? Oh, no! Was it SUVs, toilet paper, or air conditioning that finally did us in?

Oy, Rodney… it was you, wasn’t it? You hid a cuss bag somewhere!

Well, let’s see what happens if I put up a few posts.


Portrait of a Sorcerer (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In a digression leading, somehow, into Chapter CCCXXVI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular describes her Halloween. “Let me first digress on the subject of Halloween night in my neighborhood, dear readers,” she writes. “The children in this part of town all have bad teeth. This is why I hand out toothpaste sandwiches to all the trick-or-treaters. I think this is also why they festooned my trees and shrubbery with toilet paper. It seems no one here is devoted to good dental health.”

But to return to the story–

As slovenly Scurveyshire workmen haphazardly labor to replace the roof of Coldsore Hall, two of them tear away the wallpaper in the attic, revealing, to their terrified amazement, a portrait of Black Rodney, the medieval sorcerer whose curse haunts the hall today. “We are able to reproduce this picture, which was painted during the lifetime of its subject,” Ms Crepuscular writes, “and here it is.” See the source image

Summoned to the attic to see it, Lord Jeremy Coldsore is taken aback by the portrait’s astonishing resemblance to the legendary cricketeer, Sir Dorphin Magma, whose bat is enshrined in the Scurveyshire Museum of Cricket Bats. “It was always easy to pick him out of a crowd,” Jeremy confides in the workmen. “And to think he was my boyhood hero!” He turns to his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley. “Send for the constable!” he says. “I want Sir Dorphin arrested immediately!” Only then does he discover that the immortal batsman emigrated to Central Asia some twenty years ago and hasn’t been heard from since.

Constable Chumley elucidates, if that’s the word for it: “Yen sorthy mannikin mote a sweeth back when, I’ll frithit.” Jeremy sighs. “That does leave us in a bind,” he admits.

“I think he must of come back, ol’ hoss, in secret-like, and is hidin’ out somewheres in this here vicinity,” says Twombley. “All we gotta do is find him and shoot him. How’s about I round up a posse?”

“With that sallow complexion of his, he shouldn’t be hard to find,” says Jeremy. “We’ll get to the bottom of this mystery yet!”

Here the chapter ends with a police officer knocking on Ms. Crepuscular’s door, accompanied by an angry parent.

 

 

 

 


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.

 


In Search of an Oracle (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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With the Wise Woman of the Woods locked up in jail–er, gaol–and refusing to come out, and Johnno the Merry Minstrel having unexpectedly failed as a source of supernatural advice (swallowing your harmonica will do that to you), Violet Crepuscular has her work cut out for her in Chapter CCCXXIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney.

She has tried to tackle it head-on.

“Dear readers,” she writes, “I have decided to tackle this problem head-on, although the last time I tried that was in a football game in our neighbor’s back yard, and I missed the tackle and rammed head-first into her oil tank behind the house.”

Be that as it may, something must be done to break the hold of Black Rodney, the medieval sorcerer, on poor afflicted Scurveyshire. Only then can Lady Margo Cargo, the richest widow in the shire, marry Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, whom she thinks are the same person.

“I’ll give you one more chance to come through with an answer to our problem,” says Lord Jeremy, “and if you fail us this time, I’ll have you hanged for practicing witchcraft without a license.”

“Fair enough,” agrees the Wise Woman of the Gaol. It bothers me to write “gaol” instead of “jail,” but it seems Ms. Crepuscular is used to it. “The first thing you have to do is find the tomb of a tomboy and make a counter-clockwise circuit of it, turning cartwheels while reciting I’ve Got Rhythm in classical Greek.” Jeremy thinks this is apt to be difficult, but he needs the marriage so he can save Coldsore Hall from its multitude of creditors.

“Then what?” he asks.

“Report back to me for further instructions.”

First he has to learn classical Greek. Twombley is unable to help him there. “When I was king of Akkad,” he said, “nobody spoke classical Greek. But I think Constable Chumley does.”

The constable replies with enthusiasm: “Aye, fairthy yon scopper, m’lord!”

“When can you start teaching me?”

“I’ the reekle o’ the gorn, m’lord!” He takes a bow and walks off to the pub, leaving Jeremy not much wiser than he was at the start of the chapter.

Ms. Crepuscular concludes with a poem, not to be repeated here, that casts some doubt on her sanity.


Problems, Problems! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular cautions her readers, “Please exercise caution in reading this chapter, as it contains graphic descriptions of a no-longer approved medical procedure.” In actuality, she seems to have forgotten to write those graphic descriptions, so there’s really no need for any kind of caution here.

Johnno the Merry Minstrel is not so merry lately, as he suffers complications from the gizzardectomy performed on him by Dr. Fanabla. The doctor suspects the gizzard is trying to grow back. This can be a problem when you remove a chap’s gizzard. “The only solution is a transfusion!” declares the doctor. He then proceeds to transfuse blood from Johnno’s left arm into Johnno’s right arm. This seems to do the trick. “They’re going to wind up having to name the Royal Society of Surgeons after me!” the doctor exults.

Meanwhile no charges against the Wise Woman of the Woods can be made to stick, as there is no law in this part of England against buying up all the axolotls in a curiosity shop. As Scurveyshire’s justice of the peace, Lord Jeremy Coldsore has no alternative but to release her.

There is, however, a hitch. “She don’t wanna leave the hoosegow, ol’ hoss,” reports Willis Twombley, the American adventurer. Lord Jeremy has to rush over to the jailhouse to evict her.

“You can’t sell me on leaving this cell,” she replies, with a feeble attempt at a crepuscularity. (Really, Violet, it’s not up to your standard.) “I’d forgotten what a bonny thing it is to have a roof over one’s head and three meals a day prepared by someone else. From now on, you may address me as the Wise Woman of the Gaol.” “Gaol,” Ms. Crepuscular informs us, is how people in Britain misspell the word “jail.” “Even Oscar Wilde never learned how to spell it right,” she adds.

Here the chapter breaks for want of anything more to say.


A Triumph for Medical Science (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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In Chapter CCCXXI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Dr. Fanabla is elected to the Royal Society for his successful surgical removal of Johnno the Merry Minstrel’s gizzard. “Most human bodies do not even have a gizzard,” says the society’s president, Sir Gilbert Fumble, Ph. D., M.D., F.R.S. Unfortunately Johnno’s harmonica was not lodged in his gizzard, after all. In fact, it was found shortly afterward lodged in Johnno’s trousers. He declines Dr. Fanabla’s offer to put the gizzard back. It has since been donated to the Royal Museum of Weird Body Parts. “I’ll just have to learn to get along without it,” Johnno says.

Meanwhile, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, accompanied by Constable Chumley, visits the Wise Women of the Woods to demand the half-dozen axolotls she bought from Ye Olde Shoppe of Curious Curios. They will be needed to nullify the curse placed on the vicar’s backyard wading pool by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney.

“I don’t have them anymore,” says the Wise Woman of the Woods. “I used them in a pudding.” The constable knowingly nods his head. “‘Tis farthy more ye grassome hoicks,” he says, quoting a quaint rural adage of great antiquity. It is not helpful.

“Arrest this woman, constable!” cries Jeremy. “As justice of the peace, I charge you with impeding a necessary public purchase. You’ll pay dearly for this–whatever your name is! What is it, anyway?” But it has been so long since she’s used her name that she’s forgotten it. “I think it might have been Elizabeth Tudor,” she says. Lord Jeremy is sure he’s heard that name before, but can’t think of where.

Here Ms. Crepuscular finds it necessary to discuss her recipe for axolotl pudding. “I have never actually had any axolotls to put in it,” she confides in her readers, “but those rubber worms you can buy at Walmart work just as well.”

 

 

 

 


The Author Seems Confused (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Violet Crepuscular makes an impassioned statement to her readers.

“I deplore, I execrate, I denounce that critic who has called my work ‘Tristram Shandy for Dummies’!” she writes. “Well, I call his work Dumb and Stupid Stuff for Real Dummies! Hah!”

With this out of her system, she launches into Chapter CCCXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney–which, she hastens to add, is not for dummies at all.

“We have reached that point in the story wherein all of Scurveyshire is about to be sucked down into the nameless abyss under the wading pool in the vicar’s back yard–”

Oops. “Dear reader, excuse me!” she writes. “I’m so upset and confused, I hardly know what I’m doing. We have not reached that point in the story! Far from it. Oh, those critics! Let me see if a few glasses of whiskey can help me get my thoughts in order.”

Eventually she gets around to telling us that Johnno the Merry Minstrel, who has swallowed his harmonica, is being examined by Dr. Fanabla. The examination is difficult because anything Johnno tries to say just comes out as random musical notes.

“I’m afraid there’s nothing for it but radical exploratory surgery,” says the doctor. “Somewhere inside him there’s a harmonica that has to be removed. I fear it’s lodged in his gizzard.” Johnno rolls his eyes and tries to protest, but all that comes out sounds vaguely like “Yankee Doodle.” Lord Jeremy chides him for being unpatriotic. The doctor shakes his head. “Tricky business, taking out the gizzard,” he says. Johnno has to be restrained.

Meanwhile Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad, suspects the Wise Woman of the Woods of being in league with the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. “Why else would she have bought up all the axolotls that they had in stock?” he said. “Germy, ol’ hoss, you better let me shoot her.”

“That won’t get us any axolotls,” Lord Jeremy replies. “Have to be more subtle than that, old boy! Someone summon Constable Chumley! I want him to arrest her.”

But a note from the constable says “Frithee more, yair manitoes be sacklin’.”

The rest of the chapter is illegible.

 


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