|March 5, 2001
This week's amusement, provided to one's readers without sparing expense or, indeed, asking reimbursement, comes in the form of a centuries-old pastime of the Grandiose family, which originated the exercise. We call them 'GrandLibs,' both after the family member who invented them (Lady Elizabeth 'Libby' Grandiose) and the indisputable fact that the results are perfectly grand.
And thus, without further fuss, one presents. . . .
GrandLibs: A Page from the Poetry
Notebooks of Sir Charles Grandiose
Dear Sir Charles,
It's been all over the news about the state of agriculture in the U.K. lately. Hoof and mouth disease! Mad Cow disease! It sounds awful. And now France and all of Europe rejecting your exports. Your own financial concerns seem to tied up in third-world manufactories, which is probably a good thing, but what's your opinion on this whole new mess? Will it ruin England?
A sympathetic Yank
Sir Charles replies:
One doesn't know what the French have to fear from Mad Cow disease. Those little garlicky frogs will never be affected.
After all, it only attacks the brain.
Clearing a bit more rainforest for his South American beef ranches, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose
hoe does on tie a cravat ?
Sir Charles replies:
My dear wit-deprived correspondent,
One does not. One knows that the current trend of 'whimsical decorating' extends to dressing concrete ducks in raincoats, salvaging rusty old pails for decorative planting, and putting into their front gardens wooden cut-outs of obese commoners bending over. However, affixing a perfectly good silk cravat to a garden implement is, sirrah, going too far.
That bloody Martha Stewart. Damn her eyes!
Growling at the woman, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose
Squire Whattahunk writes:
Greetings and salutations! Your wisdom and social graces have stolen my breath away. An odd occurrence recently happened to me in which I need some Guidance.
How does one suggest that the price quoted by a certain type of lady is too questionable as to the value of her favors?
I await with bated breath.
The Lady Felicia replies:
Dear Young Sir,
The sweet naivete of your question betrays your age, but do not blush. I feel honored that you have come to me with this delicate and difficult question. As it happens, this is a pet subject of mine.
Too often in certain social situations, young people are left to muddle along on their own. Such a mistake, causing needless confusion and fretting! Put your business into the hands of a professional, my boy. Your valet or one of your footmen will be happy to arrange your little affairs. Or better yet, marry at your earliest convenience. Your wife will manage all details of domestic employment, seeking high-quality services at a good price, and then you shan't have to worry your head over pennies. She and her staff will take care of all the tiresome paperwork required by the government and will handle those tricky negotiations with the various labour unions.
Now as to price, this is of course set by the unions, so although you (or your wife) may grumble, you have no choice but to abide by the pay scale set by the particular union with which you are dealing. Unions?, you ask. Yes, unions. The day the wretched Labour Government approved the organization of the pleasure trades was a dark day for the aristocracy.
In days gone by, of course, price was not a concern. When Sir Cholmondeley Murgatroyd Peregrine Grandiose, the first Baronet of Blandsdown, fancied a wench from the village, he would send his men, accompanied by his pack of ferocious wolfhounds, to fetch her. There would have been no dickering over price. And when a young lady was desirous of a new croquet tutor, she had only to snap her fingers. Why, I remember one time when I . . . but I digress.
In these modern times, however, the labour unions have the upper hand. Pay scales, pensions, sick leave, retirement villas in Torquay. And contracts! They demand contracts! You may perhaps be too young to remember the social unrest caused by the NIPL strike of '89. Yes, the National Illicit Paramours League was quite powerful in its era, but nothing compared to the United International Brotherhood of Gigolos or to the Grand Lodge of Amorous Nubile Servant-girls of today. If we did not have such a prodigious need for servant-girls at Blandsdown, I would never have dealings with GLANS again - such a demanding and unbending organization. But what can one do? One must have good help.
I wish you all the best, dear boy, in your pursuit of pleasure.
Serenely, one remains,
Lady Felicia Grandiose