A Romantic Interlude (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Crusty's Trombone Lessons ('Oy, Rodney') – Lee Duigon

Introducing Chapter CDXXXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular chides her readers for demanding more romance.

“You’d think they’d be satisfied,” she writes, “with a cyclops rampaging about the countryside while the town awaits the delivery of sea monkeys–but no, that’s not good enough! They want this to be a kissing book–ugh! Well, if it’s kissing they want, it’s kissing they’ll get!”

Patching up a lover’s quarrel caused by a difference of opinion between their respective invertebrate pets, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, embarks on a hot and heavy smooching session with Lady Margo Cargo, Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s financier. (Shouldn’t that be “fiancee”?) Now that she’s fitted herself with a new upholstered wooden leg, Lady Margo is hot to trot (“You have no idea how distasteful it is to me to have to write such tripe,” Violet interjects.) In the course of this athletic love-making, Lady Margo’s wig falls off, her glass eye pops out, and Twombley’s six-gun slips out of the holster and into Oswin the Crayfish’s aquarium.

“It’s not cheating,” explains Ms. Crepuscular, “because Lady Margo is convinced that Mr. Twombley and Lord Jeremy are the same person. All attempts to demonstrate otherwise have failed so far–but at least her conscience is clear.”

Here she terminates the chapter before things get out of hand.

As for the cyclops, “If nobody cares about him tossing people’s cottages around like basketballs,” Violet concludes, “well, isn’t that a sad commentary upon our time?”

She will spend the rest of the day consoling the neglected cyclops.


Sea Monkeys vs. Cyclops (‘Oy, Rodney’)

39 Romance novel cover parodies ideas | romance novel covers, romance, book  humor

(Hooray! We’ve got our book cover back! It seems they listened when Mr. Pitfall showed up with a shotgun.)

You may remember, from Chapter CDXXXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, that there’s a cyclops on the loose in Scurveyshire. It’s the result of another one of those pesky curses laid on Scurveyshire by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. This cyclops has already picked up a whole cottage and tossed it into a nearby pond.

Ah! But Johnno the Merry Minstrel has discovered that cyclopses (cyclopes? aw, who knows) are deathly afraid of sea monkeys. “All we have to do,” he explains in Chapter CDXXXIV, “is confront our cyclops with an army of sea monkeys.”

Amazing Sea Monkeys sea-monkey Mom, Dad,Sister, Brother Figures by : Doll  Hugs Shop | Ruby Lane

Ms. Crepuscular complains that the above picture is much too large for her book and wants it removed. Well, she brought up the whole subject of sea monkeys, didn’t she?

“I had sea monkeys when I was eight years old,” she says, “and they were just the cutest little brine shrimp! My favorite was a shrimp named Ernest Sturdivant–and he didn’t look anything like what they showed on the box.”

But there’s a problem in Scurveyshire–the pet shop’s out of sea monkeys. “We’ll have to send away for some,” exfoliates Johnno. “There’s a store in Paraguay that specializes in them. Allow 16 weeks for delivery!”

“That’s a lot of cottages uprooted and destroyed,” gripes Lord Jeremy Coldsore, justice of the peace.

The solution is to erect a gigantic billboard announcing the eventual arrival of more sea monkeys than you can shake a stick at. It is hoped the cyclops will read it and get out of Scurveyshire while the gettin’s good.

(“These fools are ruining my romance!” complains Ms. Crepuscular. But it’s all her fault.)

‘Oy, Rodney’ Readers Getting Restless

39 Romance novel cover parodies ideas | romance novel covers, romance, book  humor

Introducing Chapter CDXXX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares a letter she received from reader Cedric Durst of Ponco City, Bulgaria.

“Dear Mr. Crepuscular, so where’s this planet-threatening catastrophe you promised in your last chapter–that stupid business about the whelk and the crayfish not seeing eye to eye? You are playing games with us! Someone ought to censor you.”

“This is what you have to put up with, as an artist–arrant philistinism,” Ms. (not Mr.) Crepuscular replies. “You write about the obstacles to true love, and along comes some barbarian who wants to talk about aquariums! I am cut to the quick.”

Setting up the end of the world is no easy task. Now she’s getting bombarded with complaints from the Philistine community, such as it is. This distraction has made her narrative disjointed. There’s nothing for it but to move on to Chapter CDXXXI.

Lady Margo Cargo is mad at everyone for paying insufficient heed to the feelings of her pet crayfish, Oswin, while her fiancee, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, is equally miffed that his pet whelk, Stuart, has been slighted. Constable Chumley arrests them both.

“I say!” says Jeremy. “You can’t arrest me–I’m the justice of the peace! I’m your boss.”

The constable shrugs. “Menner yon third grockies, m’lord,” he replies sententiously. Locking the cell, he makes a grand show of throwing away the key and then moves on to The Lying Tart for a quick pint.

“This is your fault, Jeremy!” growls Lady Margo.

And there we must leave them while Violet answers the rest of her mail.

Whelk & Crayfish: Incompatible?

Crusty's Trombone Lessons ('Oy, Rodney') – Lee Duigon

“The curse of true love never did run smooth,” philosophizes Violet Crepuscular, introducing Chapter CDXXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. “Here Cupid  must deal with a recalcitrant crayfish and a whelk with a chip on its shoulder!”

Resuming his courtship of Lady Margo Cargo, Lord Jeremy Coldsore is dismayed to find his pet Whelk, Stuart, and her pet crayfish, Oswin, just don’t get along. This could prove to be an obstacle to their marriage.

When Stuart and Oswin are put in the same aquarium, they sulk. “This is terrible!” expostulates Lady Margo. “How can you and I live together in wedded bliss, if our pets are going to detest each other?”

Her crusty old butler, Crusty, offers a novel solution. “Normal people,” he says, “would just leave the two bugs in separate aquariums.” Lady Margo removes her upholstered wooden leg and clouts him with it. “You have no romance in your soul, Crusty!” she aviates.

This is an astonishingly feeble chapter, even for Violet Crepuscular. Has her well of invention finally run dry?

“I am not the kind of writer whose well of invention runs dry!” she confides to the reader. “What I’m doing, actually, is setting the stage for a well-nigh indescribable catastrophe which puts the planet itself at risk!

“Remember what Constable Chumley always says: ‘Yair flivvick ma’ wye when yair groptie fain cry!’ It is the guiding principle that guides me from one chapter to the next.”

Who can argue with that?

Rescuing Lord Jeremy (‘Oy, Rodney’)

38 Romance novel cover parodies ideas | romance novel covers, romance, book  humor

Lord Jeremy Coldsore is infatuated with a ghost, The Woman in Moldy Knickers, who died 600 years ago but–so it seems–has been reactivated by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney. This puts at grave risk his marriage to Lady Margo Cargo.

Introducing Chapter CDXXVIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular, in a confidential aside to the reader, muses, “What have I gotten myself into? The ghost can only be laid by a man who looks like Lee J. Cobb, and there is no such man in Scurveyshire. Lord Jeremy’s friends are desperate to rescue him and save his impending marriage–but how do I write my way out of this?”

She unexpectedly finds a solution in a letter from an avid reader, Mrs. Phyllis Gillis, who has been prospecting for gravel in Turkmenistan.

“Once I adopted my pet whelk, Lawrence, I had no more time for hopeless love affairs with ghosts and could turn my attentions to more productive enterprises,” Mrs. Gillis writes. Ms. Crepuscular loses no time in sending Johnno the Merry Minstrel all the way to Baffin Island to obtain a pet whelk for Lord Jeremy. As a bonus, the whelk does bear a faint resemblance to Lee J. Cobb.

By this master stroke, Rodney’s evil spell is utterly defeated. Lord Jeremy now ignores The Woman in Moldy Knickers when she flits past his bedroom window.

“I don’t know what I ever saw in her!” he funambulates. “Those knickers–disgusting! Here, watch my whelk creep around the aquarium! I can hardly wait to show her off to Lady Margo!”

Molluscs have always been a big deal in Scurveyshire. Much more so than dogs or cats. Lord Jeremy has named his pet whelk Stuart.

Will the marriage now go forward?

“You’re asking me?” writes Ms. Crepuscular.

[Editor’s Note: Sorry, but all the available pictures of whelks just look like sea shells.]


Ms Crepuscular Declares War (‘Oy, Rodney’)

20 Terrible Romance Covers ideas | romance covers, romance, romance novels

Introducing Chapter CDXXVII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular deviates from her narrative to declare war on Barney Rubble, host of the incredibly popular TV talk show, Great Book by Idiots.

“If it’s the last thing I do,” she crepusculates, “I’ll fix that Barney Rubble! Imagine putting me on a show called Great Books by Idiots, to talk about some silly book called The Great Ghatsby or some such thing! I thought we were there to talk about my training regime for my pet click beetle, Mandrake. Instead, some comic book I never heard of!

“Well, he won’t get away with it! My neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, is going to visit him some night with a horsewhip. But more impotently, he has already lined up for me another television appearance, this time with Mervyn Puncho–a fantastic celebrity who needs no introduction! And then we’ll see who’s the idiot!”

Ronaldo statue: Sculptor Emanuel Santos takes another shot at bust - BBC  News

Mervyn Puncho, a celebrity who needs no introduction

Meanwhile, Chapter CDXXVII has gotten rather short shrift. Seeking a way to nullify Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s unexplained paranormal infatuation with The Woman in Moldy Knickers, who died 600 years ago, Jeremy’s friends continue to discuss a possible solution to the problem. It must be remembered that this ghost, moldy knickers and all, was once laid to rest by a man who looks like Lee J. Cobb.

“What we want,” says Johnno the Merry Minstrel, “is another man who looks like Lee J. Cobb.”

“Who the dickens is Lee J. Cobb?” wonders Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. He has a stake in Lady Margo Cargo’s now-threatened marriage to Lord Jeremy: she is convinced that Willis and Jeremy are the same person.

“Yeen the riffit corblinkin’ shirtlift!” exclaims Constable Chumley. The other two cannot but agree.

That Woman in Moldy Knickers (‘Oy, Rodney’)

20 Terrible Romance Covers ideas | romance covers, romance, romance novels

We join Chapter CDXXVI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, in progress. That means she hasn’t finish writing it. And she has left Chapter CDXXV blank to denote that nothing in particular happened. I hope she’s all right.

As the new chapter opens, we have Constable Chumley, Johnno the Merry Minstrel, and the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, holding a secret meeting to decide what to do about Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s sudden infatuation with the ghostly Woman in Moldy Knickers. They have been arguing for two solid hours over what to use as a password to open the secret meeting. Nobody wants to fall back on “Our Secret Password”–much too easy for any villain to figure out and use against them.

Finally Johnno comes up with “Mghawlwhg.” “It’s perfect!” he crepusculates. “No one will know how to pronounce it.” But this hope is dashed when the constable pronounces it easily. It turns out he says that all the time.

“Boys, we ain’t getting nowhere without a password,” Twombley says. “If we don’t come up with somethin’, Ol’ Germy’s marriage to Lady Margo will jist go belly-up! And I’ve got a stake in that, bein’ as she still thinks Germy and me are the same buckaroo.”

Eventually they discover that Chumley can’t say “catsup bottle,” so that’s the word they’ll use. The constable accepts it philosophically: “Aye, thurrup’s a frizzin baggy,” he declares. One cannot but agree.

That brings them to wondering if it will do any good to point out to Lord Jeremy that the Woman in Moldy Knickers has been dead for going on 600 years.

“To heighten suspense,” Ms. Crepuscular confides in her readers, “we will take that up in the next exiting chapter!” When she gets around to writing it, of course.

Scurveyshire’s Unexplained Paranormal Romance (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Sargon of Akkad – Lee Duigon

(Editor’s Note: We couldn’t use this cover last week because people wrote in to say they thought the man in the tube socks was Sargon of Akkad. The management regrets the confusion.)

Introducing Chapter CDXXIV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares a letter from a reader: “Phoebe, writing from a place in  Ohio that I have promised not to mention, wishes my book would feature a paranormal romance. What a coincidence! I was only just saying, to myself and to my neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, that this book needs a paranormal romance almost as much as I do!”

To this end, she introduces the mysterious and vaguely threatening Woman in Moldy Knickers, who haunts the tool shed on the grounds of Coldsore Hall. Her ghost was supposed to have been laid to rest 500 years ago by a man who looked like Lee J. Cobb. But now the sorcery of Black Rodney has brought her back. You could look it up.

Her purpose seems to be to seduce Lord Jeremy Coldsore into a relationship that is something other than wholesome. He first sees her floating past his bedroom window, softly tapping on a set of bongo drums and grinning like a queen of Elfland.

“Forsooth!” he circumvallates. “Margo, Schmargo, I’m in love! Who is this glorious creature that floateth past my bedroom window?” He goes into a regular theme song which I will not attempt to reproduce.

“Will this destroy his chances of wedding Lady Margo Cargo?” Violet challenges her readers. I thought she was supposed to write the book. Is it fair to lay this burden on the reader? “Be sure the next chapter will include the most dramatic expostulations I can find!”

Will the Queen Elope with Willis Twombley? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

The terrible tale of the Kentucky Fried romance novel | The Delve

[Editor’s Note: Ms. Violet Crepuscular is mad at me for switching over to this book cover to illustrate the latest installment of Oy, Rodney. Well, confound it, I can’t find the regular cover anymore! This one will have to do. It’s very much in the spirit of the thing.]

Introducing Chapter CDXXII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular reminds the reader that Queen Victoria is about to elope to Abilene, Kansas, with Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. Word of this has reached Lady Margo Cargo and threatened her impeding nuptials with Lord Jeremy Coldsore–she thinks he and Twombley are the same person and resents her fiancee cheating on her with the Queen of England.

In desperation–and you have to be really desperate to do this–Lord Jeremy turns to Constable Chumley. “Please see what you can do to salvage this mess!” vocalizes Lord Jeremy. The constable replies, “Aye, thar forthin yon cusster, M’lord!”

Making an appointment to confer privately with Lady Margo, Chumley explains to her: “Favvin’ yoster me kippens, Lady me Lad, ye netter by swelvin’ a quarn?” She gives her enthusiastic consent to this proposal. With this to sustain him, the constable arrests Twombley and forces him to bathe in the ice-cold duck pond in Scurveyshire Common. Passersby are appalled.

But just as the constable hoped, this does the trick! Twombley is practically killed with cold by the time Chumley allows him to come out of the water. Passersby turn away, unable to bear the sight.

“Well, that’s froze the romance right out of me!” truncates the American. “Now I wonder what I ever saw in that there queen of yours! But you’re lucky I didn’t shoot you, ol’ hoss.”

“Mizzen yair frocken, sir!” says Chumley. Willis sighs deeply. “One cannot but agree!” he concedes.

Willis Twombley’s Romance (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Livin' the Dream with Green Stamps: A 1975 Catalog - Flashbak

Editor’s Note: We are again unable to find an illustration for the Oy, Rodney cover. It was actually easier to find a Green Stamps saver book from 1960. This bodes ill for Violet Crepuscular’s book sales.

Introducing Chapter CDXXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular cites a letter received from reader Jennifer Solstice in Bad Axe, Michigan.

“This clod of a reader,” she begins–she must be really mad–“has accused me, Violet Crepuscular, a college graduate, mind you, of ‘turning this wonderful story into a mushy kissing book–yew! Who wants to read that? And Willis Twombley, of all people! Unless you put the kibosh on him romancing Queen Victoria, I won’t read you anymore!'”

“And thus,” declares Violet, “I am corruscated to write a romance that has no romance in it! Well, Jennifer Solstice, write your own shimshing romance novel! I have real readers to attend to!”

That being said, she has barely enough space to mention that Willis Twombley and Queen Victoria are feverishly planning to elope to Abilene, Kansas–the queen doesn’t know anybody there–and open up a Greek restaurant without any Greeks. It will be an excellent opportunity for Victoria to learn to cook. And to throw Scotland Yard off the scent, they plan to call themselves Mr. and Mrs. Orestes Papadapoulos.

“I warn you, Lord Jeremey,” exclaims Johnno the Merry Minstrel, who has made a study of these matters, “this is the work of Black Rodney the medieval sorcerer. He’ll by the ruin of the entire British Empire if we don’t stop him!”

Lord Jeremy Coldsore can only sigh. He’s had a lot of practice sighing, lately.

Did we mention Willis Twombley is an American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad? We do not know whether Queen Victoria believes him.