Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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12 May, 1995

The Lady Felicia and I, fond as we are of the commoners of the neighboring town of Fishampton, will attend this week a 'frolic' hosted by the Misses Picklefaughdon Academy for Young Ladies. One looks forward immensely to the evening, which appears will be devotional in tone, though one hopes not too 'Popish.' One was assured by the young Venus who invited one that the evening is devoted to the Madonna, and that the hymns will include Like a Virgin (surely an aspiration for any Young Lady of Quality, though one admits one cannot find the hymn in one's book of prayer). The Lady Felicia will, in honor of the sacred occasion, wear the Grandiose emeralds, which once were admired by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

One thus remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Tested writes:

Sir Charles,

Hey there! My friend Lucky told me about your advice column and I just had to drop you a line, 'cus I have a problem and I need your advice (that's what you're there for, right?) Anyway, I have these two men. One is rich and the other isn't so rich (and he lives with his mother). Both of these guys can really make me sing (if you know what I mean!), but I don't know which one to choose! I guess I kind of committed myself to the not so rich guy, because I sang out 'yes' alot to him last night (if you know what I mean!), but I didn't know at the time that he was asking me The Question. Anyway, the rich one invited me to go to the Tahiti Boat Race on Sunday and I really am confused as to what I should do, being practically engaged and all.

Tested in Tahiti

Sir Charles replies:


One does not quite grasp the vernacular in which you write, quaint (one is being polite) as it is. Let one attempt to summarize the problem as one sees it.

Your fortunate friend referred you to one to solve a dilemma. You currently have engaged two singing instructors. One is well-paid and the other is not. Your favor the musical tutor who requires fewer wages because of his strenuous warm-up exercises, though you dislike his surprise quizzes in musical theory.

One cannot advise too strongly against consorting with mere servants. Furthermore, overpaying a servant only invites the cheeky devil to overstep his boundaries and invite his mistress to vulgar sporting events when she is previously engaged for the afternoon. One consistently underpays his own servants so that they may remain all the more loyal and work diligently for one. One suggests that you dismiss the saucy, overpaid instructor and retain the faithful, cheap tutor. A strong background in musical theory is an accomplishment that makes a young woman such as yourself all the more marriageable.

As a final note, one cannot approve the repeated use of the word 'yes' in vocal warm-up exercises, as it is notably hard on the throat. One suggests you follow Lady Felicia's example of singing a scale and, upon reaching the top note, allowing the voice to blossom forth with the words 'Love's Lilies Lonely'.

Hoping one day to hear his correspondent perform at Albert Hall, should one ever happen to venture to that cesspool of a city, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Bewildered writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

I have no one else to turn to in my hour of despair, only you, Sir Charles, whose gentle insight and wit have often been a solace to me. I write to you, Sir, to lament my wretched tale which began during an event which should have been one of joy and delight, my wedding!

Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong, the dressmaker misplaced the order and produced the most hideous purple gowns with lime sherbet green bows and lace dyed to match for the bridesmaids, the salmon canapes were crusty, an elderly gentleman fainted in the heat, my future mother-in-law and I had a tiff over the wall-paper, and my fiance was caught al fresco in the gazebo with my best-friend!

I called off the wedding on the spot, as any good Taliaferro would do, however my fiance is now suing me for wrongful dismissal or some such incomprehensible excuse.

What shall I do?

Bewildered in Boston

Sir Charles replies:


Really! Salmon canapes in May! The smart set knows that such things are simply not done. One shudders at his correspondent's loathsome tastes. Yet, one expects it of the Boston Taliaferros--a particularly underdistinguished and branch of the family--and one supposes one must especially expect it of one with the mangled name of Stefany.

J'accuse, Miss Stefany Taliaferro! One knows your true identity. One can gather two truffles from one wicker basket, gather two truffles from a burlap sack, and discern that together they total four smoky, delectable truffles snatched just in time from an inquisitive pig's rootings. Exposed you were by one of your chatty and verbally impaired acquaintances in one's advice for last week.

One begs you not to waste his time by attempting to clear your name in one's advice column. Spare the world your excuses and obtain employ in the 'roller derby,' where one is certain you would be surrounded by others of your regrettably common level.


One remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose


One does not buy your excuse for the eye-deadening bridesmaid costumes. One knew your grand-dame, and it was just the sort of vulgar thing she would do. Blood will tell, says one.

Personal to Peeking in Poughkeepsie:


One is not familiar with this, how do you say, latex. If she wears no foundation garments, however, one must assume she is not a Lady, or even a Woman of Quality.

One hears that lazy eye can be corrected through exclusive use of the weaker ocular organ, though one is not entirely certain that the use of a periscope will do.

One wishes you good hunting.
Sir Charles Grandiose

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