Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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January 14, 2002

William writes:

Picture: The American AristocracySir Charles:

While I respect the fact that you are a baronet of the British peerage, I must protest at your repeated insistence that your small and privileged portion of the British population is the only true elite.

I come from quite a distinguished American family; my ancestors came over on the Mayflower, and have included some truly notable figures. My bloodlines can be traced back for centuries. My father and mother were both in Who's Who, as were their parents before them.

In fact, Sir Charles, I am a perfect representation of what is called 'American Aristocracy,' a truly elite sect that, if I might venture to say so, is even more distinguished in lineage than even the British peerage. I wish that you would remember that your own aristocracy is not the only true one.

William Paternoster III

Sir Charles replies:

Dear 'Billy',

'American Aristocracy,' eh? My boy, you can scoop up a dog dropping while it is still steaming fresh, bronze it, wrap it in a piece of silk, take it to the local church, pound it on the organ with it and pretend it's the Archbishop of Canterbury performing a Bach Toccata, but when you unwrap it, it's still a stinking turd playing the 'Beer Barrel Polka.'

On that high note, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Bride-to-Be writes:

Picture: The Lady Felicia As A Bride To BeDear Sir Charles,

I have a problem. I am getting married and for the reception my parents, who are teetotalers have made it clear that they do not wish that alcohol be served at the wedding.

My fiance's family, however, does drink and wants alcohol at the wedding.

My parents have gone so far as to threaten that they will hold the reception in the church gym (which has a no alcohol policy) to prevent people from drinking. Besides the fact that the church gym looks rather like a box built out of cinder blocks that has been painted powder blue with a wide, pink stripe two thirds of the way up the wall, I would like to find a solution that will make everyone reasonably happy.

Do you have any suggestions?

Bride-to-be in Burlington

Sir Charles replies:

My poor young blushing bride,

A pity it is when such issues make unbearable an event that is supposed to be all perfection, sunshine, and white lace. Unfortunately, Dame Etiquette's dictate is that the family of the bride--who presumably is footing the bill for the affair--to make these decisions.

Still, compromise is not out of the question. One puts forth the observation that if you and your fiance feel strongly about imbibing alcoholic beverages at the reception, you might gently suggest that unless your parents comply with the request, they shouldn't expect any grandchildren from your union. Be sure to mention that the trauma might so warp your nuptial vows that you will be forced to expose on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show with the title, "My In Laws Think They're Phat . . . But They Ain't All That."

As for the church gymnasium, there's nothing that a bucket of liquid paraffin and a butane torch won't solve.

Always proud to give advice to young people in love, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Rudolph writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Among your sterling staff I'm sure you employ at least one master chef. A gentleman like you, after all should eat the finest of foods. Anything less would be an affront to your noble palate.

So you may understand my dilemma. Though merely a chef, I am dedicated to the art of making every dish the finest possible. And it was because of this that I was asked to compete in the National Prix de Culinary Arts, held in Hackensack, New Jersey.

To make a long story short, my sauces were divine. My mousses fluffy. My ratatouille made several women faint. I advanced to the final round, with only one opponent, my arch rival Fifi Lejeune. Our task: To prepare a cod supper.

Halfway through the preparation I was struck by an idea that would propel me to the highest honor in Hackensack. I would glaze the fish with a light lemon pepper sauce, so that when it emerged from the ovens, piping hot, it would have a succulent golden appearance and an irresistible aroma. Only when I wasn't looking, that bitch Fifi slipped half a bottle of tabasco sauce into my mixing bowl.

Sir Charles, I was robbed blind! And I had to pay the hospital bills of two of the judges. Should I complain to the committee (though I have no proof of her perfidy) or just be quiet and try to salvage what's left of my career?

Rudolph Da Vinci,
Master Chef (though cheated of that award)

Sir Charles replies:

Mr Da Vinci,

Without proof, you would only appear foolish were you to complain to the judges, at this point. Perhaps it would be best to sigh, wait until the next competition, and say to yourself, "There but for the glaze of cod go I."

Helpfully, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Ali writes:

Picture: Our Usual CorrespondentDear sir charles,

I wonder will I have a relationship with the woman of my dreams.

singed, worried Ali

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Worried,

Oh, one doesn't see why you shouldn't have a relationship with the woman of your dreams.

Provided, of course, that the woman of your dreams resembled both in appearance and bodily odour one of the Squishies from that cinematic masterpiece, Attack of the Killer Squishes from Pluto, Part II: The Squishies Strike Back. And that the 'relationship' you seek consists of her holding you off at arm's length and informing you that she'd rather spawn with the red-headed 'comic,' Carrot-Top.

Ever the optimist, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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