Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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June 5, 2000

Sir Edmund writes:

Picture: Le Cushion WhoopeeSir:

I hold for you the deepest respect. Therefore, it is to you that I turn in this, my time of greatest need, for there seems no other voice which, dare I hope it, might deliver me, righteously, from this Hell my life is slowly becoming. I feel certain that your column, above all others, will treat this matter with the delicacy that it deserves, nay, demands.

My wife, sir, has a nasty case of the winds.

This is not simply to say that she's a bit on the breezy side. No, I tell you, such a stench has never before breeched the walls of my nose. My eyes water. The dog yelps and skulks away. I have lost all appetite and, consequentially, now possess a frightfully protrusive set of ribs. The good lady, she seems quite oblivious to her . . . Condition. And blithely proceeds to wind it up, even in pleasant company!

How, sir, may I handle this situation? It is so delicate a subject that I fear to broach it--I am a gentleman, sir, and one should never call attention to a lady's flaws. Yet, I fear, something will come of it--Lord Barton will put on a dinner party in a fortnight, and I fear for her delicate spirit should it rear its head in such a place, as it surely could not be ignored, even by the most courteous of hosts.

I pray this letter reaches you in time.

Sir Edmund Fitzhugh

Sir Charles replies:

Sir Edmund,

The mark of a true gentleman, sir, is an ability to conceal disgust in polite social situations. And the mark of a good husband is an ability to conceal disgust at one's spouse, in any situation. When your wife leans slightly to the left in the presence of company, it is your duty, as a man and a gentleman to laugh lightly, pat your own stomach, and make a small jest about geese flying overhead.

But confidentially, one has never experienced wind until one has dined with Eunice, Duchess of Crabbe. Good god, the woman sits on a typhoon. One found it easy enough to ignore until the evening in which her poor lapdog came too close to her chair, and was blown across the dining room against the wall. It was like watching the human cannonball display at a church fete, only accompanied by the aromas of the Jojo the Human Dung Boy.

Having been put off coq au vin forever by the experience, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Heathcliffe writes:

Picture: A Man Could Go Quite MadDear Sir Charles,

Me wife is one of your big fans who are, she vows, so numerous that were each to flush the loo at exactly the same time, the Thames and a goodly bit of the North Sea would be drained dry. Anyhow she wrote to you back in October about me 'abit of pinchin' 'er buns, and how she was cuttin' back on me pleasures. Of eatin', that is. D'ye recollect 'ow yer took my side in the matter?

Anyhow, I need yer help agin. The doc put me on a special diet, the mainstay of which is roasted chestnuts. Now those nuts aren't too bad when they come fresh outta the oven, but when they sit a bit and cool off, they're more than a man can take. Roasted chestnuts is naturally supposed to be hot. Me wife is so busy tendin' 'er buns and all that she neglects to warm me nuts. What can I do to get my nuts warmed proper?

Heathcliffe in Basingstoke  

Sir Charles replies:

My dear sir,

One has judged--and take no offense, for it is merely a surmise based upon the correspondent's execrable spelling, utter disregard of syntax, and insolent tone--that you are either of the lower classes, or that you are the Prince of Wales.

If the former, one suggests that the correspondent take the nuts firmly in hand, and then to slam them upon the table in order to crack their casings. Do not flinch. This step is essential. Then a short sojourn in a sizzling hot pan or, if you are a more 'modern' type, a minute or two in the 'microwave oven', and they will be piping hot.

If the latter, one suggests letting Camilla perform the slamming.

Ever so glad to share one's expertise in cookery, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Puffing writes:

Picture: A Breath Of Fresh AirDear Sir Charles:

I took up smoking when it was a genteel and sophisticated thing for ladies to do. However, the art of smoking has fallen from favor, yet I remain addicted. Ashtrays, once so abundant, have all but disappeared. Pray tell, Sir Charles, what is a proper young lady to do with her butt?

Discreetly Puffing

Sir Charles replies:

My dear girl,

We should all emulate the example of one's ward, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe. Not content to sit and regard her importance as (and has one mentioned this salient fact before?) eighty-fifth in line for the throne, the girl is an avid crusader against the burning and inhalation of tobacco. And yet she recognizes that for some poor souls it seems to be a necessity, and provides them with an outlet for their nasty habit.

At a recent reception for the Fishampton Rugby League, for example, she strode into the room, gave the burly muscular tobacco-addicted fellows an appraising look, and remarked loudly, "All the gentlemen currently smoking should take their butts to my bed-chamber." My, didn't the room empty quickly.

Not remembering when one has since seen such a smile on the girl's face, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Worried writes:

my guy has been missing in action since new years eve, my concern he has to turn himself into jail on jan-12 so I dont have much time to find him. even his computer pals cant find him, not at his usual bars or the library. do you think he,s hiding until time to go to jail or is just not caring about me or his pals?

worried in seattle.

Sir Charles replies:

Consider the icy tundra of Antarctica. Vast. Cold. Blear.

Consider the expanse of Siberia. Icy, grim, and malignant.

Consider the deserts of the Sahara. Dry, featureless--an endless vista of despair and death.

Yet they all seem like toffee apples and candy floss at the Folkstone Fun Fair compared to the wasteland that must be your own life, eh?

Always fond of the Whirl-a-Tilt, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Jimmy writes:

Picture: Swine TimeDear Sir Charles,

I'm a chap who's just wed a pip of a girl, and for our honeymoon we took a cruise to the Virgin Islands. Of course there were a number of other newlyweds on board, and for meals we were seated at a table with two other couples.

At one of these meals one of the husband was stirring his tea, when he said, "Pass the honey, honey." His wife giggled and blushed. The other bloke, not to be outdone, sipped his coffee and says in a smarmy voice, "Pass the sugar, sugar." Of course his bride lapped it up.

Now, I have to admit that Chlotilde (such is the name of my beloved) has a bit of a weight problem. She's rather Rubenesque. And although she sat their gawping at me with a drumstick in her hand, I wasn't about to remind her that there were fattening sugar products on the table. Still, she maintains I ought to have said something in a similar vein. Can you think of anything I might have said?

Jimmy the New Husband

Sir Charles replies:

My dear lad,

Considering the evidence at hand, one posits the the best of all possible responses: "Pass the pork, pig."

Always happy to help a new couple with their domestic disputes, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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