Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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August 28, 2000

Sir Charles Grandiose Manners Cards

Gentle readers,

One hopes that you all will discreetly tuck a few of these cards away in your wallets, purses, or (heaven forfend) hatbands for those occasions in which your very sensibilities are outraged by horrid behavior, yet in which discretion requires closed lips, and a quick get-away from the parties in question.

For the persistent chatterer:

For the clerk who appears to have trouble counting out change:

And finally, two all-purpose cards for the random idiot in your life:

The Vicar of Whitefield writes:

PictureDear Sir Charles,

One is the vicar of a small wayside chapel in the countryside, and one's parishioners are grappling with whether or not to sponsor missionaries to undeveloped and/or unenlightened countries.

This has caused a rift among parishioners, some of whom are pro-missionary and some of whom believe that a small w.c. such as ours should tend to business at home. Thus, we require your input.

One has it on reasonably good authority your fans are so numerous that, were they sparrows, the entire empire would be quite white with droppings. Therefore, Sir Charles, how do you feel about the missionary position in the w.c.?

The Vicar of Whitefield

Sir Charles replies:


Some topics are so controversial, so contentious, and so unsuitable for a family column such as Advice from Sir Charles Grandiose that one must refuse to take a stand for fear of alienating large sections of one's audience. Were one to espouse the missionary position, one knows that many readers (who according to an infallible source are indeed so numerous that were each a grain of sand, we would finally have a cat-box large enough to accommodate Camilla Parker-Bowles . . . meow!) would put pen to paper to complain: "But Sir Charles! You have not considered other, much more desirable positions!"

One is afraid one disappoints your w.c., but there it is.

One is gladdened to hear that your church addresses such old-fashioned and appropriate issues, however. The local vicar has lately been much taken with the issue of recycling and reducing landfill. One will simply go doolallytap if one is forced to hear one more time his monologues on immense, monster dumps.

With a sigh for innocent romance, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Nancy writes:

Dear Sir Charles Grandiose,

As a most prominent alumnus of the Buckingham School for Wealthy Effeminate Boys, and as our most generous donor, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your noble service to your alma mater. When our establishment burned down in that mysterious fire during your last visit, we were convinced that our venerable school had met its end at last.

We are delighted to accept your kind offer build a new school near the Blandsdown estate. Were it not for your generosity, these astoundingly wealthy, tender, and effeminate young boys would be bereft of a school.

In honor of your commitment to education, I am proud to offer you the position of Honorary Headmaster. It is my dearest hope that you spend time with the boys, sharing your extensive wisdom and teaching them your manly ways. With your help, we may yet cure them of their effeminate natures.

Miss Nancy Boyd-Pansy
Buckingham School for Wealthy Effeminate Boys

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Nancy Boyd-Pansy,

After that queer fire at your august establishment, one felt blue. So many memories one has of those happy nights at the Buckingham School. But then one morning one awoke with a realization that due to one's generosity, Wealthy and Effeminate boys of this great land need not lack an institution that caters to their individual Wealthy and Effeminate needs. Thus, the new Fishampton Campus of the Buckingham School for Wealthy Effeminate Boys.

And yet, Miss Boyd-Pansy, one does not wish, with one's honorary title, to impede upon your own authority at the school. If there is a young lad who seems recalcitrant and unwilling to join in with the other young lads, do give one a tingle-ling and let one know. One will be over in a trice to show the boy all the tricks of the Public School Way.

With a sigh for those lost, gay days of one's youth, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sebastian writes:

Dear Sir,

I have come to know you as a gentleman who is ever careful about guarding his personal life (as you yourself so delicately emphasised recently) - never have I seen a word on your political position, heard comments on your love-life, nor have you belaboured affairs of business -- ever the soul of discretion. Except whenever, of course, it is in good taste, appropriate and to enlighten us - your readers - on other matters.

Nevertheless; I have recently come upon a phenomenon - or a mere fad, time will tell - where people - generally of youthful appearance - expound daily on every little detail of their sad little lives in their so-called "web-logs". "Today I saw a movie - it was crap" or "today I felt like a miserable git while idling away my life in front of my computer", or in that vein.

Considering the daily pearls of wisdom that could be gleaned from your no doubt far more inspiring everyday, and in lieu of you already on a weekly basis offering gentle advise and gems of wisdom, would you consider joining their ranks, giving your readers daily infusions of inspiration?

Just surfing by,

Sir Charles replies:

Sebastian, my boy,

You will no doubt be overjoyed to learn that one keeps a daily log of one's activities, so that Dame Posterity might one day be invited to feast at the rich banquet of humanity that was Sir Charles Grandiose. Yes, one's fascinating daily doings one dictates at the end of one's day to one's secretary, who jots them down in the crayon to which he accustomed, later to be inscribed in a finer hand in one's leather-bound journals especially purchased for this purpose.

One has filled no fewer than seventy-five of these volumes so far. For the purposes of exciting one's future biographers, one hereby reproduced a five-day's worth of these sparkling entries.

Monday, 21 August
Piles: Itchy. Had servants apply lotions. Attempted Tale of Two Cities. Too fanciful. Cigar after dinner.

Tuesday, 22 August
Fascinating chat with new chambermaid in the morning. Finally emerged for dinner at eight. Lady F. commented dryly on lovely new shade of lipstick on oneself. Query: Does she need new glasses? One doesn't apply lipstick.

Wednesday, 23 August
Found chambermaid sacked. Pity. Piles: Itchy. Had servants apply the ointments again.

Thursday, 24 August
Can barely sit. Lotions not working. Servants complaining of smell.

Friday, 25 August
Weekly bath. Only two servants fainted. Up from three last week. Watched Titanic. Too fanciful. As if any well-bred girl would expectorate. Piles: itchy. Must have servants scratch.

Happy to have provided that glimpse into the whirlwind of activities that is a baronet's lot, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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