Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives
The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week

June 11, 2001

Picture: A Bit Of The Airy FairyFairy tales. Grim things, really.

After all, consider them, readers. (Incidentally, one has it upon a convincing authority that one's readers are so many in number that were each a single grape, the resulting vintage of wine would be so plentiful and so fine as to send the entire vineyards of France into shrieking, garlicky insolvency. Oo la la!) Cross-dressing wolves. Houses made of pastry--terribly inconvenient during inclement weather, one would think. Glass footwear and castle estates so poorly managed that they become overgrown with thorns, to say nothing of the shoddy building practices of three little individuals who would be better serving their natural function in the world as a toothsome plate of sizzling bacon.

Do we really want to raise our children on these atrocious fancies? Think, readers, of the horrors buried within. In the story of Rumpelstiltskin, a short, swarthy little fellow kidnaps a gentlewoman and puts her to work for him until she guesses his name. A gentlewoman. Work?

And to think that she never guesses the name "Tony Blair."

Consider alone the class fallacies embedded in these tales. A girl of the ashes, no better than she ought to be, puts on a few fancy clothes and wins the heart of a prince at the ball--despite the fact that not even a fairy godmother can disguise the fact that at midnight the girl changes from designer gowns to pret a porter. In the tale of Snow White, a prince takes the hand of a woman he barely knows, despite the fact that she has been living unchaperoned in the company of not one, not two, but seven older gentlemen. Satan Scarlet, more like.

In the story of Rapunzel a girl of low birth gains the attention of her prince solely by the quality of her hair. In the sad story of the little mermaid, a girl from the wrong side of the brine snags herself another high-born gentleman, despite her perpetual smell of mackerel.

Is this what we want, to raise the expectations of impressionable young girls so that they expect to marry royalty, despite their low birth? Better to accustom them to their station in life, one thinks. Cinderella could marry a nice chap from East Croydon and settle down as the manager of the local Drug-Mart. Rapunzel could market her crash diet of lettuce greens and appear in Miss Clairol ads. Hansel and Gretel could open their own coffee shop, and the little mermaid . . . well, as one's nephew Chauncey Grandiose would say in those gay and carefree tones of his, who really cares about fish?

Once upon a time a girl might have kissed a frog and suddenly found herself royalty. But other than the late Princess Diana, who else might reasonably expect so do to?

Happily ever after, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Mrs. "Chunky" Campbell, And Her SoupMartha writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Whenever we have guests in the summer, my husband insists on doing all the cooking on the barbecue. He never shows any other interest in cooking.

How do I tell him that our guests aren't interested, every time, in steaks and hamburgers that taste of char?


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Martha,

Every man, no matter how far away he normally remains from the kitchen, has a culinary specialty. For many members of the male species, it is the outdoor barbecue. The rush of flames, the smell of meat on the fire, and the satisfaction of the sizzle of fat appeals to the primal instinct.

It might surprise one's readers to know that even oneself has a specialty. As one is not the primal sort, it is a more refined dish, the crepe.

Many are the evenings when, for a lark, one will ask one's man to guide one to the kitchens, where one will then prepare crepes for the entire family. So delicious are they that once the blackboot boy filched a crepe for himself. One had to have one's man beat the crepe out of him.

Still, Martha, repetition is tiresome. One is afraid that there are times when the Grandiose family cannot take any more of this light and tasty French dish. Often are the times that the Lady Felicia will suddenly cry out, "I cannot take your crepe any longer!" and flee from the room. Curiously, many of these times, we aren't even eating.

Ever the gourmand, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Cool writes:

Dear Sir,

You are too uptight! All you do is talk about your wealth and stuff and it's obvious what you REALLY need. You need to get something exciting that begins with F and ends with K and is hot and fast and good to GO! You know what I'm talking about, man?


Sir Charles replies:

My dear boy,

Perhaps. But whatever would one do with a firetruck in this part of the country?

Imagining oneself sliding down the pole, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Who Could Beat Such A Divine Man?Lord Oakley writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

A bit of a bother, I'm afraid. Bishop Fullerton was recently at the estate to christen one's granddaughter, Philomena. Had a bit of a gathering. Just the local gentry. At the reception afterwards, my wife's pet monkey, Beppo, got loose and threw a blancmange in the bishop's face. Laughed, rather, at that. But then the bishop started to chase Beppo about the drawing room and trampled blancmange into the ancestral Turkish carpet.

Wife is outraged at the bishop's cruelty to animals. Self is upset over outrageous cleaning bills that Fullerton refuses to pay. What should I do to relieve the frustration I feel, spank the monkey, or beat the Bishop?

Lord Oakley

Sir Charles replies:

Old bean,

One is afraid that beating the bishop is a bit of a religious error that will land you in the hot spot after you die, if you know what I mean. Spanking the monkey, however, will only give you a couple of hairy palms. Much easier to live with.

With a tally-ho, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week