Tag Archives: seventh son of a seventh son

The Arrival of a Rival (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular exults:

“I have introduced a new stylistic flourish to English prose, dear readers! I shall call it the Crepuscularity. ‘The Arrival of a Rival’ is a shining example of the technique! Allow me to provide two more. ‘A Man’s Laughter at Manslaughter,’ and ‘Where Is a Wombat’s Womb At?'” Here she inserts several kissing emojis, which I am unable to reproduce here. For that matter, I am also unable to define “crepuscularity.” What the dickens is she getting at?

We were all waiting to see what would happen when the three seventh sons of seventh sons, expert morris dancers and all named Squeeb MacTavish, attempted to lift the curse on the vicar’s backyard wading pool, following the instructions of the Wise Woman of the Woods. But do we get that?

“Bear with me, dear readers,” Ms. Crepuscular confides in her readers, “as I heighten the suspense by introducing a necessary complication into the plot.”

The complication takes the form of a well-dressed but also very rugged-looking man who shows up at the door of Lady Margo Cargo’s luxurious country house.

“Who the devil are you?” demands her crusty butler, Crusty.

“I was Lady Margo’s girlhood boyfriend, pledged to become her husband after I made good in the world. I then went off to seek my fortune. Now I have returned.” The man pauses to scratch at a livid scar in the shape of an exclamation point. “Please tell her that Mr. Agamemnon Frizzle is here to claim his bride.”

Crusty, whose own marital ambitions have been thwarted by Lord Jeremy Coldsore, is in no mood for the arrival of a rival. (“There! I did it again!”)

“I don’t see no fortune,” he drools. (I cannot explain why Ms. Crepuscular chose this verb.)

Mr. Frizzle grins, a horrifying sight. “And no one saw the lost city of Shopworth, either,” he declares–“until I found it!”

Crusty is perplexed. The city of Shopworth, Saskatchewan, has never been lost, to his knowledge.

Here the chapter breaks–again “to heighten the suspense,” explains Ms. Crepuscular. Or maybe she just doesn’t know what to write next.


The Expert Morris Dancers (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Chapter CCCX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, is almost too exciting to read. Almost, but not quite.

To exorcise the curse placed by Black Rodney on the vicar’s backyard wading pool, the Wise Woman of the Woods has declared that it is necessary for the seventh son of a seventh son, who is also an expert morris dancer, to stand with his back to the pool and throw an orange beach ball over it while reciting something or other, it doesn’t really matter what. The detective hired by Lady Margo Cargo has found three men in Scotland, who are all each other’s uncles, who meet those qualifications. They have just arrived by train.

The Scurveyshire Brass Band welcomes them with a lusty rendition of “Great Balls O’ Fire.” Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who thinks he is Sargon of Akkad, chases the band away by shooting up their tuba. “I hate the smell of classical music,” he explains.

As the three seventh sons of seventh sons step off the train, Lord Jeremy Coldsore greets them and introduces himself and Lady Margo. The tallest of the trio introduces himself: “Squeeb MacTavish, y’r honor, and pleased to meet yer.” The other two are also named Squeeb MacTavish.

Meanwhile, Lady Margo’s crusty butler, Crusty, frantically warns Constable Chumley to stop the ritual before it can begin. “Our so-called Wise Woman of the Woods is an idiot!” he cries. “Thanks to her advice, I invested my life savings in Fli-Bi-Nite Hair Growth Creme For Men–and look at me!” Only disaster can ensue, he says, if the ritual is allowed to proceed. The constable races to the railway station in time to deliver an urgent warning to Lord Jeremy.

“Thar be shinnims all bymie, M’Lord, whiff dastle cremakins–avant weer doggles!”

“He seems upset,” says Twombley.

“It’s all right, constable,” Lord Jeremy replies soothingly. “We’ll get started as soon as we can get these gentlemen to the vicar’s pool.”

The chapter breaks off with a malediction against archaeologists. Ms. Crepuscular has very strong feelings against their profession.


How to Exorcise the Vicar’s Backyard Wading Pool (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Violet Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, with remarks that have nothing to do with it.

“I am thrilled by the Bell Mountain Trivia Contest posted on this blog yesterday by Byron the Quokka. But that first question is an easy one! Where does the best wine in Obann come from? Connecticut, of course! I do hope Byron comes up with some harder questions soon.”

As to the chapter, we find all of Scurveyshire on the verge of total panic. Who will be the next to be sucked under the vicar’s backyard wading pool? Many of the townspeople have already packed their things to leave. Averse to seeing his entire shire depopulated, Lord Jeremy Coldsore resorts again to the wise counsel of the Wise Woman of the Woods.

“There is only one way to break the spell on the wading pool,” she tells him. “If a man who is the seventh son of a seventh son, and adept at morris dancing [Editor’s Note: You’re asking me why they need an expert morris dancer?], stands with his back to the pool and, without looking, throws an orange beach-ball over his head so as to land in the midst of the pool, Black Rodney’s curse shall be no more.”

“Where am I supposed to find a man like that?” Lord Jeremy cries.

“Seek him on an island off the coast of Scotland,” intones the Wise Woman of the Woods.

“There are hundreds of islands off the coast of Scotland!” protests Jeremy.

“This island is shown only on a map hidden in a church that is no church.”

Jeremy finds this somewhat disheartening. His friend, the American adventurer Willis Twombley, who believes himself to be Sargon of Akkad, attempts to comfort him.

“Germy, ol’ hoss, you don’t want to take oracles too serious,” Twombley matriculates. [Editor’s Note: What???] “Back in Akkad we had dozens of oracles, and all they ever did was try to outdo each other, confusing people. But things always turn out easier than they let on.”

“But how am I to go about this business?” Jeremy wails.

“Search me, ol’ hoss!”

Here the chapter ends with another knock on the door from Ms. Crepuscular’s hometown police.


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