Tag Archives: Violet Crepuscular

The Whole Thing Freaks Out (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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This is not Coldsore Hall, but it will have to do.

You will have noticed that there is no picture here. Ms. Crepuscular’s computer doesn’t work either. It must be related to mine.

Anyhow, introducing Chapter CCCLXVII–no, I have no idea what happened to Chapter CCCLXVI–of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular seems to be as confused as I am.

“What a mess those literary critics made of my front yard!” she writes. “I was all day picking up the stones and brickbats. But if they think they can stop me from producing the rest of my epic romance–well, fap! to them. Literature marches on!”

The chapter opens with Sir Robin Banks, the aristocratic thief, back on his feet in the middle of his hideout in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall. How did he get out of the cedar chest, after he’d locked himself in? “I am not going to write Chapter CCCLXVI all over again,” Ms. Crepuscular declares. “Suffice it to say there was a side missing from the chest. The fifth Earl Coldsore, Lord Pratt, acquired this chest from a shady antiques dealer in Cyprus when he went on the Third Crusade and brought it back to Scurveyshire with him when Richard the Lionheart kicked him out of the army for persistent cowardice. Lord Pratt carried the massive chest all the way across medieval Europe–only to discover, upon his return after an incredibly hazardous Channel crossing, that he had somehow lost one of the chest’s four sides. As a consequence, his health deteriorated. His last act was to stow the chest away in that room that no one ever used.”

Reader Thelma Potstock of Double Trouble, New Jersey, wants to know what Sir Robin has been eating, all this time he’s been hiding out in Coldsore Hall. This is a detail which had never crossed Ms. Crepuscular’s mind.

“The room is stocked with provisions left over from the Third Crusade,” she explains.

That will have to do for now. There is some doubt as to whether this installment of the saga can be successfully posted.

Literary Critics Protest ‘Oy, Rodney’

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Introducing Chapter CCCLXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares a personal experience. Oh, boy.

“I had a most unpleasant time yesterday,” she writes. “A busload of literary critics pulled up in front of my house and at least two dozen of them poured out and started yelling and throwing things. I am not sure why. Some of them carried signs bearing lewd and unsavory messages regarding my epic romance, Oy, Rodney. A few of them demanded that I come outside so they could drown me. Several carried pitchforks.

“I called the police, but there was no one there to take my call. I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t started to rain. The critics in a mad panic swarmed back onto the bus and it pulled away. I’m afraid they stomped my crabgrass.”

Nothing daunted, she goes on to write the chapter.

Here we have the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, wondering whether he ought to explore the other rooms in search of something valuable to steal. He is interrupted in his meditations by a sound of footsteps in the hall. It’s only Johnno the Merry Minstrel, searching for cuss-bags planted by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney; but Sir Robin decides he’d better hide in case it’s the police.

The only hiding place in his room is a ratty-looking cedar chest just big enough to accommodate him. Deftly, he crawls inside and shuts the lid.

Unforeseen by him, the lid automatically locks when it is closed.

“Here I break the chapter,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “to heighten the suspense! Will Sir Robin get out of the cedar chest, or is he doomed to die in there? How awful it will be, years from now, when someone discovers the chest and goes to see what’s in it! I feel quite faint, just thinking about it!”

A snack of toothpaste sandwich cookies, washed down by a tall glass of absinthe, restores her equanimity.

Lady Margo’s Grandmother’s Glass Eye (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Chapter CCCLXIII of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, ended with Lady Margo Cargo averse to having her wedding without being able to wear her grandmother’s glass eye, which her crusty old butler, Crusty, has hidden in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, along with all the other glass eyes and Lady Margo’s jewels. Ms. Crepuscular introduces Chapter CCCLXIV with a selection of fan mail.

“Reader Smokey Burgess, of Fishbowl, Alabama, writes: ‘What’s so special about Lady Margo Cargo’s grandmother’s glass eye? I always say if you’ve seen one glass eye, you’ve seen ’em all.’  And from Mrs. Ellen Melon of Sons of Hercules Township, Michigan, we have, ‘I wore the wrong glass eye for my wedding, and it was the ruin of everything!’

“Well, dear reader, now you can understand Lady Margo’s dilemma! Who wants to risk the ruin of everything?”

Ms. Crepuscular admits that she has been “inundated” with reader mail throughout the week, “not counting those nasty letters from people who tell me I should just stop writing and go soak my head,” she adds. “There are many schools of thought on choosing a glass eye for a wedding, each school bitterly opposed to all the others. I had no idea!”

Meanwhile the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in Coldsore Hall, has begun to wonder if there’s anything worth stealing in this ancient, opulent country house: maybe he ought to peek into some of the other rooms. Comments Ms. Crepuscular, “I think you will agree that this heightens the suspense to a nearly unbearable degree! I had to drink a whole bottle of rum before I could get to sleep last night. Yo-ho-ho indeed!”

Maybe that’s why she has not yet written Chapter CCCLXIV, except for the parts we have already considered here. It has not been much of a performance.

Rodney Repeals the Law of Gravity (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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I could hardly wait to read this chapter; but as usual, Violet Crepuscular’s literary genius has thrown us a curve ball.

“Dear Reader,” she introduces Chapter CCCLXIII of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, “I simply must share with you my romantic evening with my neighbor, Mr. Pitfall, who has quite forgiven me that episode of inadvertent but well-nigh fatal poisoning. In short, we had a date!”

I don’t see how it could have been much of a date. Mr. Pitfall insisted on dinner at their local Alternative Foods restaurant–“Their termite puffs are out of this world!” exults Ms. Crepuscular–but when he discovered they had only curbside takeout service, she writes, “That lovable Pitfall temper flared up again and he began pounding on the door, demanding to be let in for a proper sit-down dinner. One thing led to another, until finally the romantic silly man was dragged off by police. I might have been arrested, too, had not my lively writer’s imagination inspired me to pretend I was the mayor.” Way to go–why didn’t I think of that?

And so, with the chapter already more than halfway over, we come to the wicked medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, cursing all of Scurveyshire by repealing the law of gravity.

You might have expected that all the shire’s people, animals, and buildings would float straight up until they left the earth behind and were lost in outer space. That is what usually happens when you repeal the law of gravity. “Imagine the sorcerer’s surprise and disappointment,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “when nothing happened! It seems this is one of those spells that must be regularly practiced in order to get it right. So this time its only effect was to grow rather unsightly beards on The Lying Tart’s bar maids–and one of them already had a beard, so so what? A most discouraging failure for Black Rodney!”

So what about the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in an uninhabited wing of Coldsore Hall, just across the hall from the room where Crusty the crusty butler has hidden Lady Margo Cargo’s priceless glass eyes and family jewels?

“I will take up those matters,” Ms. Crepuscular promises, “after I find some way to raise bail for Mr. Pitfall. He gets so downhearted when he’s in that holding cell!”


Where Are Lady Margo’s Jewels? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

All of Scurveyshire is still trying to hunt down the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks–who’s very similar to the famous Raffles the Gentleman Thief, only ignorant, slovenly, boorish, and dull–who is suspected of having stolen Lady Margo Cargo’s family jewels and priceless collection of glass eyes.

In Chapter CCCLXI of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crespuscular has Lady Margo post a reward for the capture of Sir Robin. And what a reward it is! “Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, “it is no wonder that every single person in the shire has dropped whatever he or she was doing and plunged into the hunt for the aristocratic thief. And what reward is that, I hear you ask! Well, actually I don’t hear you, we are probably separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles. I have to use my lively writer’s imagination to imagine you asking that question.” This soliloquy goes on for another five or six pages. I have heard rumors that a number of prominent people are banding together to try to stop Ms. Crepuscular from writing anything more.

What we really want to know is what Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows about the fate of those jewels!

Meanwhile, Ms. Crepuscular seems to have forgotten to tell us what this irresistible reward is. Instead, we get this background information about the suspected thief.

Sir Robin Banks is the younger son of the Earl of Fapley, disinherited by his father and cast out of the family because of certain small but profoundly annoying personal habits. Since then he has also become an obnoxious drunkard, a compulsive liar, and a heretic. He attended Oxford University for a time, until they discovered he was there and chased him out of town with torches and borrowed farm implements.

Yeah, yeah, already! What does Crusty know?

“In the next installment, dear reader, I promise to reveal what Crusty the butler knows,” Violet writes. “Really, for a fictional character, it’s devilish hard to pry any information out of him.”

I do not hold with blaming things on people who do not, in fact, exist.

What Does Crusty Know? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

In Chapter CCCXLIX of Violet Crepuscular’s epic romance, Oy, Rodney, we were told that only Lady Margo Cargo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows what really happened to Lady Margo’s collection of glass eyes, priceless jewels, and Royal Doulton china–and meanwhile, the entire population of Scurveyshire has been deputized to hunt down the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks. We could hardly wait to find out what Crusty knows!

But we are dealing with a literary genius. In Chapter CCCL, Ms. Crepuscular treats us to a kind of soliloquy.

“Dear reader,” she writes, “I cannot but wonder whether it’s time to select a new cover for my epic romance, Oy, Rodney. Lately the Lord of the Tube Socks cover seems inadequate. A letter from former American League batting champion Pete Runnels says it so well: ‘The Lord of the Tube Socks cover seems inadequate.’ I didn’t get where I am today by ignoring Pete Runnels.”

The fiend! See how she tightens the screw of suspense! It is as if Alfred Hitchcock were to appear on the screen in the middle of Psycho and ask the viewers if he ought to change the title. “Perhaps The Birds would be better,” he might say. And you know that he knows we’re squirming in our seats!

Breathlessly we rush on to Chapter CCCLI. Upon my word! Still no Crusty! Where are Lady Margo’s jewels? Her glass eyes? Her Royal Doulton china? Is Crusty in cahoots with Robin Banks? And how are the deputies supposed to hunt him down, when nobody knows what he looks like? They very nearly lynch a traveling professor of phrenology from Oxford, having jumped to the conclusion that he was the aristocratic thief. Only a timely sonnet by Johnno the Merry Minstrel saves him.

We turn to Chapter CCCLII, onto to find, to our dismay, that it hasn’t been written yet.

Is there no limit to the tortures that the mind of a romance novelist can conceive?

Can we even be sure the chapters are numbered properly?

Will They Tear Down Coldsore Hall? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

Introducing Chapter CCCLIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular reminds her readers, “According to local legend, the lost city of Driphdrash contains a treasure chamber which, if discovered, would make everyone in Scurveyshire rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” We are not told the details of such dreams.

By now the whole shire knows that the only place they haven’t searched for Driphdrash is the site of Lord Jeremy’s ancestral country house, Coldsore Hall; and the population has voted unanimously to tear the house down to get at the lost city. Lord Jeremy himself voted for it–well, almost. He caught himself just in time.

He is saved at the last minute by the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, who, in a daring midnight raid, invaded Lady Margo’s lavish home and stole her priceless collection of glass eyes, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, and Royal Doulton china.

Lord Jeremy has outmaneuvered the people of Scurveyshire by deputizing every man, woman, and child in the district and ordering them to hunt down the aristocratic thief. Willis Twombley, the American adventurer who think he’s Sargon of Akkad, cannot restrain his admiration.

“That was good thinkin’, Germy, old hoss! Look at ’em go!” Totally distracted from their hunt for Driphdrash, the people are now rushing in and out of their houses, barns, and tool-sheds looking for Sir Robin Banks. “His nefandous crime,” proclaims Lord Jeremy, “has shamed and disgraced every man, woman, and child in Scurveyshire. We must erase this blot on our reputation!”

But Lady Margo’s crusty old butler, Crusty, knows what really happened to Lady Margo’s family jewels!

Here she concludes the chapter without telling anyone what really happened. Instead, we get a recipe for Mongolian toothpaste balls with pickled cabbage and tadpoles. You’d think she’d been deputized, too.

Where’s the Lost City? (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

By now most people in Scurveyshire realize that the only place they haven’t looked for the Lost City of Driphdrash is under Coldsore Hall–a serious problem which very nearly caused author Violet Crepuscular to throw in the towel on her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, somewhere back around Chapter CCCLV. Now we’re on Chapter CCCLVIII, which she introduces thus:

“Welcome, dear reader, to Chapter CCCLVIII of my epic romance novel, Oy, Rodney.” She’s off to a good start, don’t you think? “With the entire shire afire with Driphdrash fever, it looks like Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s ancestral home is about to be torn up by the roots. How can he possibly save it?”

A mob of peasants has camped out on the grounds of the hall, clamoring for it to be pulled down so they can get at the lost city.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone but the author herself–this is entirely her fault–Britain’s most wanted aristocratic criminal, Sir Robin Banks, has gone into hiding somewhere in Scurveyshire. He is markedly similar to another aristocratic criminal, Raffles the Gentleman Thief, only ignorant, functionally illiterate, slovenly, and really quite ugly by anybody’s standards. Why Scotland Yard can’t catch him is one for Mensa to chew over some dark night when they have nothing else to do.

There is no bank in Scurveyshire, so what can he be plotting to steal? “I know you will be upset to hear this,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, laboring under the delusion that most people like to read Oy, Rodney aloud to their families (“Because I have written it chock-full of otherwise unnoticed moral lessons!”), “but Sir Robin’s target is none other than Lady Margo Cargo–that is, her priceless collection of glass eyes and other family jewels. It gives me the vapors just to think of it.”

It ought to be rather easy to commit a crime in Scurveyshire just now, with practically the entire population demonstrating in front of Coldsore Hall and no one but Constable Chumley to maintain law and order. Wrapping up the chapter, Ms. Crepuscular lets the constable have the last word:

“Rill thee mear no brocken bree! I kinna theer yon yerkin tree!”

Driphdrash Fever! (‘Oy, Rodney’)

Big Brother and also Big Sister and Big Father | Book humor ...

It isn’t every day you learn there’s a lost city hidden somewhere in your county. But according to Violet Crepuscular, the lost city of Driphdrash, ages old, is hidden in the heart of Scurveyshire. Or is it the liver?

“Legend has it,” she confides in the readers of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, “that in addition to whole rooms filled with gold and jewels and collectible figurines, the ruins of Driphdrash contain fantastic secrets the possession of which will give their discoverer the power to rule the world. And everyone in Scurveyshire wants to rule the world.”

Virtually the entire community has dropped whatever they were doing and gone on the hunt for Driphdrash. No one talks about anything but what they’ll do, once they rule the world. “I’ll make everyone do calisthenics!” “I’ll ban ginger beer! I never liked it, anyway.” “I’ll order everyone to get married to everyone else!” And so on.

Rumor of the frenzied search for the lost city has reached the Queen’s ears. She sends the Earl of Peedlebury to investigate. He promptly disappears under the vicar’s backyard wading pool. But the Queen has already forgotten that she sent him. Reminded by her Equerry, Lord Dromedary, Her Majesty denies ever having known the Earl of Peedlebury. This is generally the wisest course to follow.

After two full days of frantic labor, every square foot of Scurveyshire has been thoroughly searched, to no avail.

“It ain’t that big a shire, that’s the problem with it,” opines the American adventurer, Willis Twombley. He has vowed to re-establish the Akkadian Empire if he’s the one to find Driphdrash. “Half the square feet I’ve search have already by searched by someone else. I reckon the only place we haven’t looked is… right under Coldsore Hall!”

That thump you just heard was Lord Jeremy Coldsore’s jaw hitting the floor.

“Dear reader,” Ms. Crepuscular writes, “I have to conclude this chapter because, for the life of me, I can’t imagine what happens next. I think I’ll refresh my mind by watching that movie about the giant tarantula.”

We await further developments. I was going to say “breathlessly,” but that would be pushing it too far.

Ms. Crepuscular Re-Calibrates (‘Oy, Rodney’)

silly romance novels | Lee Duigon

Holy cow! Could this be the end of Oy, Rodney–the world’s most epic romance novel?

Introducing what ought to be Chapter CCCLVI–we don’t know what happened to Chapter CCCLV–Ms. Violet Crepuscular confides in her readers, “Dear readers, I confide in you my well-nigh overwhelming misgivings for the continuation of this tale. This latest development, I fear, exhausts my creative capacity. I hate it when that happens.”

Reader Suzanne Pokemon, of New Gambia, Wyoming, has amazed us by accurately predicting this latest development–wait for it!–

That the lost city of Driphdrash, lost for millenia… is somewhere in Scurveyshire. And that’s where the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney, makes his headquarters.

No wonder she feels overwhelmed.

“I grew up on the legend of Driphdrash,” she confides in her readers (does she really have to keep doing that?), “and I always felt there must be more to it that the tiny snippets of lore we find printed in out-of-the-way places on assorted cereal boxes. Driphdrash the Mighty! Driphdrash the Doomed! The birthplace of gorgonzola. And to discover, this late in my life, that it’s hidden somewhere in the county of Scurveyshire, and that I, of all people, have been called upon to reveal its mysteries–I could just plotz!”

No wonder Violet feels overwhelmed. It’d knock me flat, and I know judo.

This is like watching a big motorboat zoom into a small marina with its 250-horsepower motor roaring on full throttle.

“This could affect Lord Jeremy Coldsore and Lady Margo Cargo’s wedding plans,” Ms. Crepuscular (No! I won’t say it! A simple “writes” will have to do).

Here she takes time out for a Marshmallow Peeps-with-ketchup sandwich. Driphdrash will stay lost, if they know what’s good for them.


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