Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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January 8, 2001

A famous man of the cloth (and one's readers will instantly recognize that one does not here imply that the fellow was a draper, but rather one of those religious type fellows with the collar and the funny hats) once said, "First they came for the spoons, but I did not speak out, because I was not a spoon. Then they came for the. . . ." No, that's not quite it. "First they came for my shoes, and I did not speak out. . . ." No. Not quite it either. Dash it all. One heard it somewhere or another and thought it quite appropriate, for a statement made by someone unlucky enough not to have a title.

At any rate, what one means to say is that there are times one must put one's foot down upon a firm foundation, beat one's chest with a manly roar, and make a stand against the social injustices that the world is cruel enough to tolerate. Who cares how unpopular the stance, if the cause is just?

Readers, far too many people in this world are fish in a vast ocean who merely follow the currents and are content to let others make decisions for them. They allow the tastes of poorly educated and dubiously talented "celebrities" to inform their opinions. They do not think for themselves. Like the pack of wild, hysterical creatures who followed the fabled Chicken Little to her intellectual and social doom, they devote themselves to decrying causes touted by the "rock stars" of the "music videos" on "Empty V."

And thus we have the so-called "popular causes". The red and pink ribbons affixed to the lapel. The furrowed brow at the mention of intoxicated operators of motors. The hue and cry against child labor and sweatshop operators in third world countries. Well, readers, one has visited such sweatshops and found them most hospitable. A treat, really, particularly if one has an interest in medieval leather weaponry. The foreman has quite a display. And besides, who but the small children can handle upwards of three hundred and fifty thousand miniscule seed beads a day? Without their dedication and efforts, hundreds of women world wide would have to do without their Lady Felicia Brand Beaded And Bangled Opera Glasses For The Truly Elite, a product of Grandiose Enterprises, Ltd.

No, one sneers at such popular causes. One pooh-poohs them. Where are the masses when there is a matter so heart-rending, so tear-jerking, and so tragic that one shudders to think what would happen were the forces of evil to prevail? Where are the benefit concerts and celebrity fundraisers for the cause one has in mind? Where are the mail campaigns and the Bob Geldof-penned ditties for one's current concern?

One speaks, of course, of the rabid contingent who desperately plot to rid the world of a most useful article, the antimacassar. These Anti-Antimacassarists are a blight upon decent, upstanding family households worldwide. But readers, one urges you all to join forces and join one's new society: The Anti-Anti-Antimacassar Association. United  we stand, readers! A mere contribution of forty-two pounds will not only buy each subscriber to the campaign a small, lacy lapel pin, but will ensure that orphans in the county of Kent will receive a pamphlet describing the horrors of macassar oil upon chintz, and the steps one must take to choose and fit the proper antimacassar, and ensure that it remain untorn during use.

The remaining forty one pounds thruppence goes to administrative costs, of course. These foundations don't run themselves, you know. But give, readers. Give until it stings a bit, apply a salve, wait five minutes, and then give some more!

Always the social crusader, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sharon writes:

I have a question that only you, with your piercing insights into human nature, can answer. Recently, at work, I have been saddled with the arduous task of scheduling our Programming Associates Network Task Sessions. (Sorry, these names get kind of lengthy.) These sessions are very sought-after in my company, because they are very impressive sounding, and it looks good on a resume, and also because the President often drops by and recognizes a worker later. Basically, I am besieged with requests from co-workers to get into these sessions.

Recently, a nice fellow at work, named John, has been dropping by my desk more and more. He'd asked me out for dinner a month ago, but I turned him down as I was unsure of dating a co-worker. Well, he very politely kept hanging around, and talking to me, and never pushed anything. After giving it some thought, I figured it would be okay to go out with him, and I really like him. My question, though, is this. . .  Does he in fact have feelings for me too, do you think, or is he just trying to get into my PANTS?

Sharon McKay,
Human Svcs. Dept.

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Ms. McKay,

Disgusting, the lengths that some men will seem to go to get into your P.A.N.T.S. Personally, I wouldn't let him into your Kinetic Network Interdepartmental Course Keenly Expressing Realistic Solutions, either.

Shaking his head sadly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Susan writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

One read your response to the lady whose daughter wished to wear bells upon her feet, and one was most disturbed. One is a young woman oneself, and one enjoys wearing bells upon one's calves as one performs that traditional English dance, the Morris. After reading your letter, one is concerned that it is perhaps uncouth, and if so, what should one do about this?

It would be difficult indeed to describe the pleasure of the sport itself; perhaps a good deal of it stems from the companions who dance with one. They are not all of the best breeding, but they mean well. Is this acceptable? They do not have to touch one to accomplish the dance, except sometimes upon one's hand, which is easily washed to rid it of the dirt of common toil.

One does not want to abandon this hobby, but one would like to hear your opinion of it. Is it truly unbecoming to a young lady?

Awaiting your reply breathlessly,
Susan Tinnabula

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Miss Tinnabula,

It is indeed true one feels that the one most suited to wear bells as part of her usual attire is the moo-cow.

The Morris Dance, however, is a fine old English tradition that dates back centuries. It is never inappropriate for, shall we say, a lady of good breeding to participate in such a tradition, even if it means she may have to mingle with a class of folk to whom her normal address would only be, "Yes, I'll have chips with that, please."

Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, for example, who is as fair and delicate a flower as e'er someone who is eighty-fifth in line for the throne could be, performed a bit of research in the old library and discovered a quaint custom known as "spiking." It used to be that the eldest Grandiose daughter, upon spying a strapping young man in the village, could demand he drop his trousers so that she could ascertain whether or not he had stolen silver from the house. Well, of course these days, thanks to the metal detector at the servants' entrance, the matter of disappearing silver has vanished, but young Penelope still keeps the custom alive by stopping her Rolls, de-pantsing the fellows who capture her fancy, and returning to her motor with a satisfied smile upon her face. It quite startles the tourists.

Happy to assist in keeping Olde England alive, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Jamail writes:

i would like to ask on something if you may allow me. my teacher has assigned me to study more on divorce will you enlighten me about divorce its pro's and con's. and could you run a survey for me on who agrees and do not agree divorce. you can publish my letter and please send your response to my email add.

you are such a big help thank you

Sir Charles replies:

My dear young Jamail,

Let us take a poll now, shall we? All in favor of divorce, raise your hands. All opposed? I'm terribly sorry, Jamail, but one's readers must have fallen asleep reading your little letter. Not that one can blame them. One's a bit yawny, oneself.

As for the pros of divorce, well, let's see. There's Henry VIII, Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor. . . .

Covering his mouth, as is polite, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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