Lost–and Found (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CDLXVII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney–after publishing Chapter CDLXVIII last week–Violet Crepuscular offers this proskynesis to her readers:

“Dear readers, I offer you this proskynesis to make up for presenting my chapters out of order,” she writes. “I am told, by thimbleheads who’ve never written so much as a grocery list, let alone a novel, that it mars the continuity of the oeuf–as if I, of all people, needed instruction in heightening the story’s suspense! I, Violet Whatsername!” She is too upset just now to remember her surname.

Anyhow, in Chapter CDLXVII, which should’ve been run last week, Lady Margo Cargo, charred wig and all, and the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, hopelessly lost in Scurveyshire Forest after seeing the Wee Pool Lady, are miraculously rescued by Mr. Bigcheeks and his family, who are having a picnic just a few yards away. If you stand beside their picnic basket, you can see some of the stately hovels of Scurveyshire Village.

“Will you please stop discharging that firearm?” foliates Mr. Bigcheeks. “We’re havin’ a picnic here!”

“Ah, the thatched roofs of Scurveyshire!” sighs Lady Margo. “I feared I’d never see thee more!”

“Ah, shut up,” mutters Willis. His conviction that he is Sargon of Akkad has been perilously shaken by this experience. Sargon would never have gotten lost in Scurveyshire.

“How’s that for suspense!” Ms. Crepuscular winds up the chapter. She has remembered her surname. “Toothpaste dip to go with your potato chips, anyone?”

More Paranormal Unexplained Romance (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CDLXIV (pronounced “cuddle-xiv”) of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular soliloquizes, “There is no romance that does not contain a great big chunk of paranormal! I mean, look at me and Mr. Pitfall! It is the essence of romance to fluctuate, to burnish, to make impossible claims for Duracell batteries–”

Good grief, this goes on for 15 pages. I am the poorer for having read it.

Having discoursed on romance, Ms. Crepuscular transports us to the catuvellaunian depths of Scurvey Forest, where Willis Twombley and Lady Margo Cargo, having fled the nefandous specter of the Wee Plastic Pool Lady, now wander around, hopelessly lost.

“I think we’re hopelessly lost,” laments Lady Margo. She clings to the charred remains of her wig, not wanting to end her life bald.

“Guess there’s only one thing we can do,” says the American adventurer, who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad. Slowly he draws his pistol.

“Oh, Charlie!” The sudden introduction of this hitherto unmentioned name momentarily stuns Twombley. “We’ll die together, here in this unmapped forest! How romantic!”

“Shut up, ye durned fool!” That “Charlie” is going to rankle for a while. He points the gun straight up and shoots–six shots, bang-bang-bang (no, I won’t sit here and type it out six times: there is a limit).

Within seconds, a familiar face emerges from a nearby thicket. It belongs to Mr. Bigcheeks, a fat man who lives in Scurveyshire Village, in a cottage made famous by Shakespeare.

“Do you mind!” he snaps at Twombley. “We’re trying to have a picnic here!” He pulls a bush aside to reveal his whole fat family gobbling toothpaste-and-beef pies. This distracts the author into writing up the recipe.

 

Jackalope’s Rampage (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels – Lee Duigon

When we concluded Chapter CDLVI of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, monsters were ravaging Scurveyshire and Lady Margo Cargo’s wig was on fire. No wonder they call Violet the Queen of Suspense.

Then along comes Chapter CDLVII, which was all about some dopy cousin of hers who used to sit in mud puddles. Ah! But Chapter CDLVIII looks promising! It opens with the American adventurer, Willis Twombley, who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, strapping on his six-guns. I’m sorry, but I don’t think he looks like this:

Sargon of Akkad - World History Encyclopedia

Johnno the Merry Minstrel, who is horse de combat because of the hydra (bit one of his arms off, actually), waylays Willis in the hall. “Twombley!” he pristulates. “Where are you going, man?”

“I’m a-goin’ to plug me that jackalope,” he explains. “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Can’t let the critter eat everybody’s vegetables.” He cannot be persuaded to tackle the hydra instead. He may be crazy, but he’s not stupid.

It has been discovered that the name of the jackalope is Jack. Twombley will bear that in mind as he moves toward the fateful confrontation. Ennio Moriconne music plays in the background. It’s almost impossible to dance to Ennio Moriconne music, as Lady Margo and Lord Jeremy soon discover. Lady Margo removes her wig, now a blacked handful of ash.

“Jack!” Twombley’s voice rings out. “I’m callin’ you out, Jack!”

And out from the vicar’s kitchen garden hops–oh, the suspense! How the dickens can she leave it hanging there? A reader’s gonna get you for that, one of these days…

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!”

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.

Willis Twombley in Love (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CDXIX of her epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “I am pleased to tell you that things in Scurveyshire are all back to normal!” With one exception.

Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, has fallen head-over-heels in love.

With Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria - Canada Postage Stamp

“Can’t you introduce me to her, Germy, ol’ hoss?” he pleads with his bosom friend, Lord Jeremy Coldsore. This is awkward for Lord Jeremy because his fiancee, Lady Margo Cargo, still thinks he and Twombley are the same person. Jeremy is trying to figure out whether this would be some form of bigamy.

“I just can’t do without her, Germy!” Twombley erupts. “She’s one hot filly! And I don’t think that German guy she’s teamed up with, Prince Alvin or whatever his name is, appreciates her. But if she hitches up with me, she’ll be gettin’ half of my Akkadian Empire, once I get it up and runnin’ again. Be a sport and send her this here love letter that I wrote.”

Jeremy reads the letter. It is unspeakably lurid.

“I say, old boy!” he fusticates. (What? Where did she get that word? Sounds great, though.) “I mean, really, truly, this just isn’t on! She is the Queen of England and Empress of India–and you just can’t talk to her that way! You make it sound like she’s some kind of tavern wench in one of your Wild West saloons.”

“Ooh, she would be good that that!” says Twombley. “Jist send her the letter, wouldja? And watch her and me gallop off into the sunset together!”

“Lady Margo isn’t going to like this,” mutters Jeremy. It’s a cinch the queen won’t like it, either.

At this point the chapter breaks, owing to a breakdown in Violet’s antique manual typewriter. It’s also her time for baking toothpaste sandwich cookies.

Willis Twombley and the Trojan War (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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To denote the passage of a week in her story, Violet Crepuscular has refrained for a week from writing the next chapter of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney. As a result, she has forgotten the number of the chapter. Her best guess is Chapter CCCLXXIV.

During the week, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad, has hardly spoken two words. His best friend, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, has begun to worry about him.

“Everything all right, old boy?” Jeremy asks. “You’ve been awfully quiet lately. You’re not worried about the chapter number being wrong, are you?”

“Nah, Germy ol’ hoss, it ain’t that,” drawls Twombley. “It’s this here Trojan War that’s shapin’ up on the horizon. Gonna be a bad one; and the Trojans are allies of mine, so I really ought to do something to help ’em. But I don’t know what. My intelligence has been kinda confused, this past week.” (You can say that again.)

“Uh… Twombley, old son…” Jeremy hems and haws, but finally gets it out, “I hate to be the one to break it to you, but that Trojan War–well, they’ve already had it, haven’t they? And Troy lost. The Greeks burned it to the ground.”

Twombley stares incredulously. “You don’t say!” he cries. “You’re just funnin’ with me, ain’t you?”

“Sorry, old stick, but the war’s over and you’ve missed it. In fact, it happened several thousand years ago.”

“But it waren’t in the newspapers! Holy mackerel! Troy is burned down?” A stream of lurid and objectionable language ensues. Twombley lets out a deep breath, draws his six-gun to make sure it’s loaded, and declares, “Well, it looks like it’s time I shipped the Akkadian army off to Greece and gave them Greeks what for! Damn! I knew that weasel Agamemnon shouldn’t of been trusted! Wait’ll I get my hands on him.”

“His wife and her lover murdered him, old chap,” says Jeremy. Twombley needs some time to take this in.

“Dadburn it,” he said, “it’s this life of exile that I’m livin’, it makes me miss important things. If I was back on my throne in Akkad, this never would of happened! This adventurin’ life, it ain’t proper for a king. But I can’t give it up! I wouldn’t be on that throne for five minutes before one o’ them Babylonian hit squads found me. Look what they did to Julius Caesar! And I told him to watch out for it, too. If he’d listened to me, he’d still be in the saddle.”

Here the chapter ends. It had to end somewhere.

Twiddles, the Mud Puppy (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCLXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular deplores the actions of a Scurveyshire mob bursting into Coldsore Hall in pursuit of Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief. “I deplore the actions of the mob,” she confides in the reader, “but I have no choice but to tell the story as it unfolds.”

Lord Jeremy Coldsore and his boon companion, Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, can only stand helplessly by as the mob rampages throughout luxurious, ancient, legendary Coldsore Hall. By and by they grow weary of standing helplessly by, and begin to visit some of the rooms through which the mob has passed. In doing this, they discover Wet Willy, an aged footman who has been secretly living in the hall for decades.

“Didn’t my father dismiss you some thirty years ago?” demands Jeremy.

“He did,” says Willy, “but I could hardly leave poor Twiddles to fend for himself, could I?”

Jeremy recoils in horror from the sight of Twiddles, a large Canadian mud puppy. WordPress recoils in horror from showing a picture of it. Suffice it to say it’s a very large salamander with external gills, red and bushy, and a ferocious temper which moves it to snap viciously at the nearest hand.

“Ain’t he cute?” says Willis.

“You’ve been here–with this… creature–all this time?” marvels Lord Jeremy. “What have you been eating?”

“Mostly Wheaties,” confesses the aged footman. “I sneak into the kitchen in the dead of night and steal them.”

Just then they are interrupted by a lusty roar from the mob: they have captured the aristocratic thief.

Here the chapter breaks, owing to computer problems.

The misunderstood mudpuppy - MSU Extension

(Got it in after all–I think.)

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

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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.

 

A Terrifying Incident! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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(The reader is advised to read the following chapter in a very dark room, to cultivate a sense of danger. Or something.)

In Chapter CCCXLIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Lord Jeremy Coldsore, the American adventurer Willis Twombley (who thinks he’s Sargon of Akkad), and the vicar are making their way home from an abandoned warehouse in Plaguesby, where Lord Jeremy was to meet and marry Lady Margo Cargo, who, alas, has gone to the wrong warehouse in the wrong town.

“Sure is dark out here tonight!” mutters Twombley.

“You could take the paper bag off your head, old boy,” says Lord Jeremy. Twombley hadn’t thought of that. The reader may now turn on a lamp. “That’s better,” Twombley says.

“Halt!”

The unsuccessful elopement party find themselves surrounded by six sinister young men armed with knives and truncheons.

“We’ve got you now, tyrant!” exclaims the leader, a singularly unprepossessing fellow with bulging eyes.

“That’s what you think, buster!” Twombley draws his six-gun and presses it to the vicar’s head. “You all better mosey on out of here, pronto. One more step toward us, and I shoot the vicar.”

“I say!” ejaculates Lord Jeremy. “I say, that’s not quite fair, don’t you know.” The vicar giggles nervously.

“He has us over a barrel, lads,” admits the leader. The ambushers withdraw into the darkness of the surrounding woodland.

“Who the devil were they?” demands Jeremy.

“Babylonian secret agents,” said Twombley. “They’ve been after me for years. That’s Mesopotamian politics for you. Don’t worry, they won’t be back for a while. They haven’t cottoned on to guns yet.”

“The reader may now turn on all the lights and relax,” adds Ms. Crepuscular. “We will attempt the marriage again in a future chapter.”