Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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January 3, 2000

Apparently one's blithering idiot of a secretary was found to be not 'Why to Kay' compliant. At least, that is what one is gathering. One emptied the boy's pockets and found the following collection of advice from oneself--most likely he keeps it as a talisman, not that it seems to be doing him the least bit of good, mind you.

Wishing one's readers a most happy new year, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Deep Goat writes:

Picture: Is It Live, Or Is It Memorex?Dear Sir Charles Grandiose,

I am writing to you as I am privy to a great deal of confidential information dealing with the British monarchy. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I am sad to report to you that the queen mum is, indeed, a robot constructed of advanced technology stolen by us from the aliens at Roswell. The real mum died sometime in the early nineteen-seventies from a prune pit lodged in her windpipe and was quietly buried in Westminster Abbey.

Sir Charles, the second rumour surrounds our next king. As many suspect, he was replaced by a doppleganger whilst he was away at boarding school in the Scottish Highlands. (During the 1950's, people had far more important things to pay attention to, such as the Cadbury Flake bar scandal.) I am here to report that the current 'prince' is really one Dudley Alphonse Nickleberry and is an undercover spy for either the IRA or the syndicates controlling the fashion houses of Hugo Boss and Donna Karan.

Sir Charles, you must do something. It is unconscionable that the British people give their love and flowers to an animatronic Queen Mum constructed solely of space-age materials designed to withstand re-entry into the earth's atmosphere so that she can retrieve Soviet satellites from orbit on weekends after her public appearances at the local bridge clubs. I am writing to you, Sir Charles, as you are the only man who can bring these horrid truths to light. Please do something.

Deep Goat


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Mr. Goat,

One cannot speak to the rumour regarding the Queen Mum--although it certainly would explain many things, wouldn't it?

However, the allegations regarding Prince Charles must certainly be addressed, as they are blatantly false. One finds it difficult even to believe that the word 'fashion' could appear in the same sentence with his name.

But the Queen Mum . . . one has indeed heard rumours that the reception of BBC2 improves dramatically when she enters a room. Interesting, very interesting. . . !

Intrigued, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sister Chastity writes:

Picture: Last Rites Dear Sir Charles,

Please reprint this poem, because your readers are so numerous (and such habitual drunkards) that if they were all to heed its advice, the lack of deaths due to drunk driving (and to the resultant dearth of executions of drunk drivers in certain Central American countries) would surely double the world's population in a matter of a few decades.

A Drunk Driver Killed My Mommy, Daddy, and Three Younger Brothers
by Lucy Chambers, age 9

I'm a little girl, cute as can be,
but behind my curls is a dark mystery.
I never met my mom and dad--
this makes me very sad.

When I was in my mommy's tummy,
my daddy was no dummy:
he knew I was coming pronto,
so they got into the family Bronco.

When they sped down the road,
they met a man who was like a toad.
He was at a party, and was really drunk:
if you ask me, he was a punk.

I know it happened really fast,
although mommy's coma did really last.
When I was born she wasn't awake,
so I write this for my family's sake.

When you're at a party, drinking beer,
that's okay, and we won't fear
if a teetotaler drives the car,
so another's life you won't mar.

Please tell everyone of the horrible things that can happen if we get behind the wheel after a smooth, dry Martini, Sir Charles. Or even a deliciously sour margarita, an excellently aged brandy, or some classic vintage wine. We don't want any more Lucys to be without their parents or siblings.

Sister Agatha Chastity
St. Sarah's Home for the Piteous, Adorable, and Orphaned.


Sir Charles replies:

Gentle Readers,

One must forego comment on the submitted poem, while one ponders upon whether to submit to the urge to weep, or to the overwhelming feelings of nausea that have overcome one's senses.

On the whole, one is tending to the latter.

Tiptoeing away from the scene of the literary crime, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Loves Martha writes:

Listen, you,

That's TWO WEEKS in a ROW that you've slammed Martha Stewart and her defenders. Let me say it once and for all: MARTHA IS A GODDESS! No one can bake a ham in grass like her!!!

What puzzles ME is why SOME PEOPLE get columns where they can show what IDIOTS they are and how STUPID they are and how IGNORANT they are of THIS CENTURY and what's going on in it! What puzzles ME is why SOME PEOPLE get columns where they can just blather on and on even though everyone KNOWS how STUPID and DUMB in the HEAD they REALLY are.

Martha-Lover in Boston


Sir Charles replies:

My dear friend,

So you got your own column, did you? Many congratulations.

With warm fuzzies, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Dominique, a-nique-a-nique Dear Sir Charles,

My daughter has always been of a religious bent. If we were Popish, she might have been a nun, but thank goodness I talked her into going into secretarial college instead. Now she is talking of taking the Word of God to the poor savages in Burma or Indonesia or Soho. Should I worry?

Worried Mother


Sir Charles replies:


Fear not. Every mother should be happy to see her daughter assume the missionary position.

With a smile, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Nell writes:

Dear Sir:

In one of your columns you mentioned The Rules Of Dinnertime Chat.

Pray, what are those rules?

Your humble and obedient servant,
Nell Fenwick
Cloddish American


Sir Charles replies:

Little Nell,

One is so glad you asked.

The dinner table is an oasis in the desert of life. When one is a common, labouring sort of chap, one thinks of it all the afternoon, anticipating the delights of the stomach. Even when one is a baronet, one will pause in one's polishing of one's antique brass spittoons in the shapes of the Kama Sutra, to think of the evening's tuck-in.

Unfortunately, for many people, the dinner table is the only spot in time or place every day that the family meets. This mere matter of proximity should not, however, interfere with the placid atmosphere that must accompany the meal.

Every family negotiates its own Rules of Dinnertime Chat. Some families forbid the discussion of cuts, abrasions, bruises, bodily fluids, or decapitations during meals, finding such talk fails to aid digestion. Some families likewise have placed a moratorium on arguments during dinner. If a child feels the necessity to poke his or her sister, or a spouse to announce a desire for divorce, it should probably be withheld until the after-dinner coffee.

The Family Grandiose has a few miscellaneous rules to which it adheres.

1) The discussion must be of a general nature. None of us wish to hear about young Penelope Windsor-Smythe's Great British Rulers Lick And Stick Stamp Collection, however large it may be, despite the fact that she is eighty-fourth in line for the throne. And heavens forbid, none of us wish to hear the process by which the Lady Felicia concocts her Lavender Blood Orange and Pig's Foot Compote.

2) The discussion must be of a sort that can be carried on before the servants.

3) There must be no discussion of one's dreams the night before. One admits to a certain disappointment with this rule, as it came during a period when one was having a recurring nightmare involving one's inability to escape a large, glistening one-eyed snake that was chasing one through a moving train as it rushed in and out of a series of tunnels. But at the request of the Lady Felicia (who really looks quite fierce when she is holding her hands to her temples with the head-ache), one now desists.

Of course, light unoffensive wit is always welcome at the dinner table. For example, at the meal last night one declaimed, "Knock, knock!" Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, always fond of a jest, replied, "Who beckons?" "Orange!" one said, already beginning to guffaw. "Orange who?" replied young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, her eighty-fourth in line for the throne eyes a-sparkling.

"Orange you glad the Lady Felicia's not your real mother, so that your skin won't be so leathery when you get to her age?" My, how we all laughed.

And above all, there must be gentility and calm at all times. If after one's little jest above the Lady Felicia missteps and accidentally refers to one's visage as an unsightly blot on the lowest of God's creations, does one fly into a rage? Of course not. There is Dame Digestion to think of. One merely smiles, smooths it over, and winks as one informs her that the Titanic was sunk by an iceberg smaller than her. And of course, settling into the light-hearted spirit of the dinner conversation, she smiles and laughs and remarks that the pole one must have sat upon in one's youth must be quite cemented in one's fundament by now. Such sparkling wit! If only all dinners across the world were so free of acrimony.

Still thinking of a comeback, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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