Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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June 12, 2000

Picture: The Lady Felicia's Acquaintance, 'Chunky' CampbellAmong the most numerous questions one receives from one's readers (and one's faithful followers know well that one has it upon a sterling authority that this august and irreproachable collection of people is so many in number that were they all laid end to end . . .oh, what a century that would be) have to do with personal conduct during the hours spent dining. In other words, table manners.

It is a treacherous path to tread, that which leads through the dining room. One misstep, one false move, and the most careful of diners can be exposed as an ignorant boob. We all know the usual avenues down which the uncareful adventurer can stray: Misuse Of the Serviette Lane. Ignorance Of The Fingerbowl Road. Finger Licking Place. Flatulence Close.

But today Sir Charles Grandiose will provide in an easy to understand format a means by which the intrepid may forge through their dinner fearlessly, for they will know the proper way in which to eat certain foods. There are many that prompt questions from those who encounter them rarely. Even those who eat such dishes regularly may find that they have, in the name of politeness, consumed these particular foods in an over-delicate manner.

Type of food Manner of consumption The rationale
Fried chicken pieces The individual pieces may be conveyed to the mouth by means of the fingers. Although many feel it is more delicate in appearance to use the knife and fork, it is unnecessary. Even the nicest company will employ its fingers in eating the bird. However, this does not apply to. . . .
Whole cooked miniature birds (squab, game hens, and the like) Knife and fork The bird should not be ripped to shreds and consumed with the fingers. No matter what happened in the filmed version of Tom Jones.
Asparagus Fingers Although some use a special device for asparagus, it is always proper to convey one stalk at a time to the mouth with the fingers. It is after such foods that the finger bowl is employed.
Peas The fork Although the rarity of forks made it once necessary to mash peas against one's knife in order that they achieve the digestive tract, nearly everyone save for those raised by wolves uses forks in this day and age.
Corn on the cob The fingers (Optional: The knife and fork) There is no shame in conveying the cob to the mouth with one's fingers. Holders are unnecessary. Those who find the process too messy, however, may shave the corn from its source and eat the kernels with their forks.
Chocolatey Coco-Poofies With a spoon, wearing a clown suit. To discourage others from following your example.
Curry The knife and fork The traditional manner of consuming this spicy dish.
Curry-flavoured crisps Straight from the trough. If you're going to eat like a pig, you might as well follow through.
Taco Bell With your fingers, holding a gun to the head. Advisable only under coercion or threat of suicide.

Helpful for yet another week, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Loona of the MoorsJudy writes:

Sir Charles,

My child is driving me crazy.  Please answer this riddle she's asked me so I might sleep: There are 3 common words in the English language that end with the letters GRY.   There are ANGRY . . . HUNGRY . . . and the third the rat will not will not tell me.  

Please do you know it????????????  May I feed her to the dogs if she does not let me know?


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Judi,

Another curious fact about the English language: Did you know the word 'gullible' is not in the dictionary? It's quite true. Run and take a look.

Back already? Did you learn a lesson there, Judi? The simple reason your demon spawn refuses to tell you the third word is that she also doesn't know it. It doesn't exist.

One gives one's hearty permission to throw her to the hounds. Better luck next child.

Always glad to be of help, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Crispin writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

You are so stupid. I don't know why you're stupid but you are. I hate you whiny Englishmen and your whiny funny accents. You always seem to get all the girls because of those funny accents. It sucks. I think any of the guys here in El Paso are classier than you.

P.S. I don't even read your column because I can tell it would just reek.


Sir Charles replies:

Dear lad,

One thanks you for the informative letter you sent. If El Paso ever needs an enema, one now knows where to plug it in.

Cheerily, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Yoicks! And Away!Charles writes:

Lady Felicia,

I find myself in a quandary, and since your husband's previous advice to my unworthy self was so well thought out and relevant, I shall query again, if I may be so bold. One such as yourself (not that there were or ever could be, anyone as wise and sage as yourself) whose readers are, (and I have this on the highest authority) as numberless as the scales on the midguard serpent, should be fully able to assist me in the paltry matters of amore, should you deign to lower yourself in answering this pathetic missive.

I find my poor self smitten by a fair and toothsome maiden, who seems to enjoy my company, and yet will not "commit to a relationship" as they say here in west-coast America. We have "gone out" as we colonials say, several times and had a smashing good time. I feel very strongly attached to her, yet she continues to prevaricate, we have known each other for almost a year now! My feelings continue to grow, yet I cannot get closer to her...

What shall I do?

Your groveling colonial,
Charles (formerly known as Ghnash)

The Lady Felicia replies:

Dear Charles,

No woman likes a groveler, although ladies of a practical turn of mind will occasionally use such a man to while away a lonely Saturday evening or, as a stepping stone, to cross a nasty wet bit on the garden path. One hates to muddy one's boots. But a man, once accustomed to this fawning position, will find it difficult to resume the dashing upright carriage and the arrogant lift of dimpled chin that women so love. I suspect this may be your problem. Have you been following Sir Charles' advice very faithfully? Have you been also grunting and groaning (as Sir Charles recommended) at your Lady Love? Tisk! Foolish hobbledehoy! This maiden is lost to you and I suggest you move on.

As compensation for the troubles visited upon you by my husband's advice, I am sending along a pot of my prize-winning chutney. It has remarkable strengthening properties. One spoonful a day is guaranteed to stiffen your spine and give a contemptuous curl to your lip. It is my modest hope that thus you will be rendered, not perhaps irresistible to all, but at least acceptable to one woman somewhere out there in the wilds of America.

Serenely, one remains,
Lady Felicia Grandiose

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