February 5, 2001
Musicalisation of the Life of our Favorite Baronet,
Sir Charles Grandiose
Dear Sir Charles!
Oh, what a blissful day it was when I, Clive D'Arcy, received your letter! You have no idea how much I hoped you would write, one day. Why, it was just a fortnight ago when I was talking to myself, as I often do, because you know my motto: Why talk to some dullard when you can always talk to someone FABulous like yourself? Anyway, I was saying, "Clive, it's been such a long time since we've heard from that devilishly handsome Sir Charles Grandiose!" "Has it, Clive, you beautiful darling?" I replied. "Yes, it's been several years since he turned down my idea of The Gospel According to Clive and my all-singing, all-dancing version of The English Patient!"
And then I got your wonderful, wonderful letter asking me if I had any ideas about a musical version of your life story. Hel-LO, Chuck! This is CLIVE you're talking to! Of course I have ideas! I've got nothing but ideas! I could be sitting in a beige room with beige furniture and nothing on the television but beige, thinking of going into a beige daze, and not a single floral accent in sight, and I would think to myself, "Clive! This would be a divine setting for a Khaki!, a musicalised history of everyone's favorite wonder fabric!"
But Sir Charles, and I mean this sincerely, when there is such a wealth of good material as your life, all that I, Clive, have to do it just throw it up on the stage with a few stunning boys in sequined dance belts and a few musical numbers and a helluva first act closer, and baby, we're golden.
So! Here's my vision!
The curtain rises on Blandsdown. Beautiful, golden Blandsdown at sunrise, as the woods come alive. Then, dressed in top hats and red huntsman coats and nothing but sparking black leather bikinis, out come the chorus boys! They sing the first number of Grandiose! The Musical!--"The Baronet's Rap". Don't worry, baby. It's all good. It's like buttah. It's all good!
Then the entrance of Mater and Pater, your parents. They pull the young Sir Charles onto his knee and sing to him "The Duties of a Baronet," which concludes with the library wall opening revealing a staircase to heaven opening, which is lined with some simply hunky men who put the 'rub' in 'cherubim'! At the top of the stairs sits the Queen! She descends, and sings "The Duties of a Baronet (Reprise)".
Now Chuckles, I'm sure you won't flinch at the next bit. It's a song called "Pasty Pasty Rich Boy" sung by your archnemesis, Millicent Simpley and the other children of the local school. Sadly, they all die at the end of the song, leaving Young Sir Charles alone and bereft to sing, "If Only I Had A Friend."
The chorus boys return (I know, I know, you're thinking to yourself, "Thank god! Hel-LO, Clive, where are the chorus boys!") as Sir Charles is sent off to the Buckingham School for Wealthy Effeminate Boys. On his first night, Sir Charles is shown the ropes of the boys' dormitories in the romping extravaganza, in the style of Oliver!, "Pat-a-Paddle-Pie!"
Now, I'm sure at this point you're asking, "Hel-lo! Clive! I've seen the Queen (and she was fabulous) and I've seen enough wealthy effeminate boy bum to put The Full Monty to shame, but where's the excitement? Where's the pizzazz? Where's the beef? Well, you'll just adore the final song of the first act, "Hello Mater, Good-bye, Pater." In it, Young Sir Charles arrives home on holidays and kisses him mum and goes to kiss his father in his tub, but upon meeting with a rebuff, is astounded when his father is electrocuted before his very eyes in the bathwater! Now, court records show that it was an accident with an electric toaster, but Sir Charles, that's not very dramatic, is it? It's just not got that certain oomph. So I, Clive D'Arcy, have taken what must have been an absolutely traumatic experience for which I have many many sympathies and upon which I would never dare to capitalize, and given it some panache by having your father die in his bath while surrounded by a several 'butlers' from the chorus boys who sing Carmina Burana while a chandelier swoops down from the ceiling of the theatre and sizzles your dad to a glittering and electrifying death. That's a pun. Electrifying! I just slay myself sometimes.
So what do you think so far, Chuck? I'm just utterly excited by the idea and as you know, I rarely get so excited by anything that's not got boas in it. Entre nous, I think we could get by on a budget of a hundred million pounds. Don't worry . . . the world sequin markets have been caving lately and I think we can get them on the cheap!
Your dear friend and co-collaborator,
Dear Sir Charles,
I am most upset at your treatment of women in your letters. You are terribly condescending to every woman you answer. This is the modern age. Women are equals, not things.
Sir Charles replies:
My dear, sweet little fluffy kitten,
Of course women are not things. The very idea is preposterous. They are dear, pretty people with teeny-tiny brains and thoughts of their own, God bless their little lace-covered hearts.
Thoroughly on your side, my cute little girl, one remains,
I am in need of some advice if you please. I am sixteen years of age, and it has be my life to act.
Unfortunately, I don't know where to start on my rode to fame. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Sir Charles replies:
My dear Amber,
Congratulations! It appears as if the correspondent is already on the 'rode' to acting!
Acting like a complete buffoon with an utter disregard for language, spelling, and syntax, destined to live her life in squalor, unhappiness, and a monthly check from the public dole, that is.
Being careful of the cobblestones, one remains,
I wonder if you can answer a serious question for me. I really don't understand why it is that people enjoy getting drunk. I mean, all they do is poison their bodies with liquor and then throw it up the next morning, when they've got hangovers. Ick. So why do people drink?
Sir Charles replies:
The reason that people drink is so that they do not have to contemplate the sort of parents a child must have had, to name him 'Nesselrode.'
Reaching for the whiskey, one remains,