Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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3 November, 1995

One's readers (so numerous that if they were laid from end to end--and let us have none of the rude letters one received after the last time one used that innocent phrase--they would reach from here to John o' Groats) will forgive, one thinks, a fit of frankness.

If there is one thing that one cannot abide--moreso than even the grubby 'intellectuals' who believe they can voice their opinions on a sundry of topics merely because they have been to university (although their fathers may be little more than chip shop owners), moreso than even those (usually of questionable backgrounds themselves) who loudly claim the monarchy is but a desiccated institution, moreso than even the dull-witted nobodies who question the very class system that put the 'Great' in 'Great Britain'--if there is one thing one cannot abide than all these things, it is a Snob.

Oh yes, one detests Snobbery with a passion. Although one occasionally encounters it in the gentry, one suspects it is most widely practised by those of the detestable nouveaux riche and the middle classes who were raised without the gracious advantages one had for oneself. One has instructed one's ward, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, to follow one's own example in the presence of such a Snob, and to lift one's nose and pass by without greeting or comment, giving them the Cut Direct, and then later to opine their many personal faults amongst their betters.'Tis the only way to cope with the phenomenon.

However, one cannot take this route with one's mother-in-law. Adolpha Windover-Midden, matriarch and demagogue of the Lady Felicia's clan, is one of the most stand-offish, self-righteous personalities one has ever encountered (even among one's own relations). One can scarcely tolerate the old crone. [A note from Sir Charles, upon reading the final draft: Surely one never wrote those words. One's secretary, shabby and envious fellow that he is, must have erred in his transcription. He often does. Still, the sentiment is cannily true.]

At any rate, one cannot bar the woman from one's hospitality, as she is accustomed to spend the holiday season with our family and away from the inclimate winter vapours of Swillington-on-Bog. One will merely brace oneself and refrain from chucking the old biddy from her Bath chair down the ha-ha during the family's afternoon perambulations.

The week has indeed been stressful for one. One's heir, nephew Chauncey, paid an overnight call to Blandsdown. One thought it was from affection for his uncle. One was mistaken. The lad wishes to leave 'show biz'--one's many readers will recall that Chauncey has had a successful run as 'Nancy Buoy' in the just-closed (by the police, one understands) Revue des Filles Hot! Hot! Hot!--to begin his own monthly magazine. While one applauds the literary instinct, one could not accede to the request for several hundred thousand pounds, as Chauncey says, 'to get the girl up and running'. Nor would one agree to sell one's second-best Constable to finance the concern. Chauncey left a disappointed lad, but one believes that a few rough knocks will settle the chap.

Additionally, Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe has been unusually hysterical, even for a lass who is eighty-fifth in line for the throne, since penning her contribution to this forum last week. In a near-fit of weeping she has repeatedly begged to stay for a week in Bath with her cousin, Lady Weeble-Able-Smythe, so that she might take her prize horse, Jezebel of Lourdes, to be shoed by the blacksmith there. Why, Blandsdown has its own smith! Sometimes one does not understand the lass, but one makes allowances, given the high-strung nature of the Royal Family.

Perhaps it is the week of the full moon? One dreads what portent these myriad of demands have upon the immediate future. But one will be steadfast and sturdy, and continue to remain,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: One's Pater, Dressed for the HuntPraying for Packers! writes:

Yo Charlie Baby!

So ah, Whadaya think: Will da Packers make it to da Superbowl dis Year? And, ah, da ya think dat we'll have any competition from da Bears? After all, we kicked dere butts on Monday Night in front ah Al, Frank and Dan and da rest a da country.

Tanks fer any thoughts on da matter.

Praying for Packers!

PS. If da Packers make it to da playoff's, I'll save ya a seat and a Miller.

Sir Charles replies:

'Yo', Sirrah, whatever that quaint salutation might imply:

When one was but a wee lad, still in short pants, one developed a most engrossing fascination with newts. Yes, newts. Daily one would toddle down to the duck pond and gape at the creatures, perfectly entranced by their slimy antics. Ah! The things one learned! The puerile insights one gained from gazing into the moist eyes of the little creatures!

And daily, upon returning from one's adventures, one would sit at the dining table and babble contentedly about one's friends, the newts (each named after great British naval captains), while one's parents stared at one in stunned silence. One's Mater was too involved with her 'causes' much to care about Our Salamandric Friends, and one's Pater cared only for the hunt, of course. It was thus with only the kindest of intentions that at last Pater trained one in the niceties of conversation with the following words (words, one believes, which apply equally to the correspondent's letter): "Shut the flap, kid, you bore the breeches off me."

Pater was always succinct.

Firmly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Postscript: One already has a miller, who runs the model farm windwill. What would one do with another?

Bobby writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

My girlfriend is a bad kisser, what do I do?

Bobby in Benton Harbour

Sir Charles replies:


Fortunate man! To have discovered that one's intended is as inexperienced and innocent as Our Lord G-d himself made her. One would be quite, quite suspicious of a young lady who proved too avid or skillful with her lips, for it would prove that she was (at best) used goods, or (at worst) a confirmed sensualist. The correspondent may now press home his suit with a cheerful heart.

Though one is usually loathe to use examples from one's personal life to illustrate his points, one will note that when one first kissed the Lady Felicia (a most proper kiss, taken while the bishop pronounced our happy union before our respected and respectful families), the sensation was not unlike pressing one's lips against an old India-rubber ball left out overnight in the rain. Or a newt. Decidedly unpleasant, in any case. And how one's heart leapt at the discovery!

Warmed by memories, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: In the Embraces of a Passionate Yet Undoubtably Unprincipled ForeignerConcerned writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

A friend of mine has a thing for guys with accents. Especially British accents. She's an incredibly gorgeous woman with a degree in English lit and more sense than you can shake a stick at in most situations, but just leave her in a room with an Aussie or French-speaker or some other Euro-trash poseur and ten minutes later you come back and she's a quivering puddle on the floor. It doesn't even have to be a good accent either--she gets all tingly watching EastEnders and reruns of Dallas.

I'm worried that one of these days some sleazoid is going to catch on, give himself a name like Francesco or Georg or Ivan, and put on the ol' brogue to make a complete idiot out of the woman. Is there anything I can do? I figured you probably have an accent yourself and might be able to help.

Concerned in Charlotte

Sir Charles replies:

Concerned One:

To begin, one does not have anything so vulgar as an accent. One speaks correctly. Those who do not--they are the unfortunates with accents.

One is afraid that your friend, having had just enough education to recognize the paucity of True Culture in the colonies, has learned to associate the elite tones of those who speak correctly with the rich tradition of fine arts and the historical tapestry of the British Isles. Unfortunately, if she is slavering over Australians, Texans, and the French (rogues and thieves, the lot of them), she has obviously carried the association Too Far.

One has heard of a gentleman, a Doctor Pavlov, one believes, who has achieved great success with his experiments upon dumb animals. (One would thus think an American would also be a fine candidate for his trials.) One half-hour of continuous electric shock while the correspondent's friend watches a single showing of the odious television programme Are You Being Served? should return the girl to that questionable state the correspondent might term 'normal'.

Wishing the correspondent luck (and suspecting she will need it), one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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