Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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16 June, 1995

The Lady Felicia, she who exhibits all the dignity and restraint that one would ask in a wife, again showed her resourcefulness at a local gathering this past week. The event in question, hosted by an American of uncertain background but ostentatious wealth, happened to be a champagne 'brunch' (a vulgar meal--one recognizes only the proper meals of breakfast, luncheon, tea, and dinner). During a toast, the chap managed to crush his champagne glass in his ruddy fingers, cutting himself badly.

But ah! The Lady Felicia! What a paragon of level-headedness she! As others fainted about us and the Yankee lumbered towards us, the Lady Felicia leapt to her feet and shoved him away, so that he fell upon the floor and hit his head upon a spitoon and remained quite nicely unconscious until help arrived after the second course. Her detractors claim that the Lady Felicia was merely concerned about blood stains upon her morning gown, yet one recognizes her true concern for the wounded and ill.

One maintains that the Yankee deserved the subsequent amputation. He served an inferior vintage of champagne.

One remains, everlastingly,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Classless writes:

Dear 'Sir' Charles,

Everyone knows that titles are just the rich man's way of covering up a lack of accomplishment or facility in other fields, so you see I am using the term loosely. What gives people the right to think that they are better than someone else because of an accident of their birth?

To hear my parents talk, you'd think that it was God Himself who kissed their feet for their bloodlines. 'Eugenie', they say, 'Remember your blood!' How can someone get the monied and decaying upper crust to realize that if wealth isn't shared, it is just a bunch of filthy lucre, and that a society built on class is bound to self-destruct? I have no class, SIR Charlie, nor do any of my friends!

Classless and Proud (!) in Cambridge

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Miss:

One applauds the correspondent's acknowledgement of a complete lack of class. And for the record, God Himself did not kiss one's feet for one's bloodlines. He kissed the feet of one's ancestors.

Wishing you luck with your new 'friends', who will undoubtably abandon you after your parents cut off your allowance for being both ungrateful and ungrammatical, one remains
'Charlie' Grandiose (Sir, and proud to be so designated)

Needing Visine writes:

Sir Charles:

Recently I became wired and have spent the last three days drinking warm Moxie, eating Ho-Ho's and planted in front of my computer. By luck, 'Mad Eddies Wacko Random WEB Page Finder' deposited me to your column, and I have never been more thankful. Is Mad Eddie a friend of yours? Sir Charles, I must ask you, what is the purpose of all these personal homepages? Why do people want others to visit theirs and learn how their pet turtle died or have a button to direct me to Yahoo? Should I search out Princess@My Little Pony MUSH's http as listed in her doing? Help me Sir Charles! Shall I cruise the Web for ever? Is there meaning in it?

Needing Visine in Vacouver

Sir Charles replies:


One is not acquainted with 'Mad' Eddie, unless one is referring to King Edward VIII, who gave up the throne for what I believe is referred to vulgarly as 'a bit of crumpet'.

Moxie is not, and shall not ever be an appropriate beverage for this so called 'web' perusal, and one does not care to inquire what a 'Ho-Ho' may be. When one looks at the web oneself, one is often in the mood for a 'snack', so one sends the servants for a tray of stilton and port.

As for your question: One finds great amusement in the personal homepages of other. They afford one a rich laugh, and a sense of superiority, which is all one really needs in life, when one is as outrageously gifted, educated, and wealthy as one is.

Wishing one's correspondent luck with the Princess, though one suspects she might probably be more of a toad,
Sir Charles.

Venetian writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

I write to you, Sir Charles, to appeal to your good sense and wisdom, for I am almost certain that I was switched at birth. Yes, it is my fervent belief that my true parents are from that most blessed of cities, Venice, and not the fourth generation Hungarians they claim to be. My very bosom heaves and cries out for my suppressed birthright, yet the sordid truth is as plain and unappealing as the architecture of our insipid town-hall.

I shudder as I write this, but, to the world at large, I am not ... a European. I reside in a city which is far from the shores of Venice, far from the shores of culture, art and history, far from everything my poor soul desires!

Oh, cruel, cruel misnaming! Why name this miserable city after such a beacon of historical delight? The walls of our buildings are unreasonably strong--certainly they won't so much as crumble for centuries! The streets and lanes which parallel our absurdly clean canals are poor substitutes indeed for the mossed cobbled lanes which lead from St Marco's Square down to the beautifully nurtured smells and debris of the Venetian waterfront.

Perhaps in a few centuries, our floating orange rinds will rival those of our more fortunate Italian cousins. One can always dream.

A Venetian in Venice (Utah)

Sir Charles replies:

Distressed one:

Although one was tempted to toss your letter into the grate at the brazen admission that you were not European, one cannot resist the sympathy that a heaving bosom inspires. Underneath one's gruff, manly exterior beats a sentimental heart; although one appears to be a bastion of British strength, a scion of Brittania herself, one is a Man of Feeling, especially for a fair damsel such as one's correspondent must be.

If one's correspondent is certain that she is denied her birthright, why then, she should take action! Renounce those foul charlatans who have made away with your youth and heritage, those who claim to be your parents! (However, carefully transfer their financial holdings into your own accounts. Fear not, gentle reader, you shall be doing them a favor, for they will not have the wherewithall to pursue their dastardly course with another young child, and it will be all thanks to you.)

As these monies will be thus cleansed of their association with the vipers who nursed you for their own, you may safely abandon Venice, (Utah), and reclaim your birthright, whereupon you may, one day, find happiness. Perhaps you will espy a gentleman of learning in a piazza, leaning upon his cane. He is a handsome man, a British gentleman--titled, certainly--perhaps entrapped in a loveless marriage with no respite, his wife a cold, cold woman who grants him none of the softer, gentler caresses--a gentleman who, on the exterior, presents a polished appearance, a man of knowledge and respect, yet who is within a feeling, yearning. . . .

One's correspondent must excuse one, but one cannot go on. One is slightly overcome at the tender emotions this prospective scene arouses.

Blowing one's nose delicately,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Chocolatey writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

Is it inappropriate to order Ovaltine in a cappucino bar?

Chocolatey-Rich in Charleston

Sir Charles replies:


One would be tempted actually to answer the question, yet one more enjoys the prospect of its writer walking into a cappucino bar and actually requesting the beverage, and being hooted with laughter into the city streets. Dame Experience is a fine teacher, one finds.

One remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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