Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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

5 January, 1996

The snow still rests upon the ruby-red berries of the holly tree, and the sweet songs of distant carolers still echo upon the gentle frosty breezes of the valley surrounding Blandsdown. Yet another Christmas has passed, and another pair of spittoons, tenderly exchanged between husband and wife, sit upon their display case shelves. One hears one's readers (the concerned and vocal lot they are) cry out, 'But Sir Charles! Surely spittoons are too vulgar and common a gift for a husband and wife to exchange on such a holy and sentimental day!' Fear not, readers. A finely crafted spittoon is a thing of joy forever, an heirloom to be passed down through countless generations. Besides, one does not use them--and one resorts to the French, here--for Le Grande Hocque.

And after Christmas, the New Year arrives. One's readers (numerous as the stars in the heavens, yet not quite so serene) will perhaps be surprised to learn that one indulges in a custom usually reserved for the most common of commoners--yes, the traditional list of New Year's Resolutions. Yes, 'tis a tradition we Grandiose started years ago when we were mocking the servants. Yet we are not self-centered, we Grandioses. Oh no! Our lists are not concerned with self-improvement projects such as weight loss and the cessation of tobacco smoking. Such lists are only for the conceited and snobbish. And if there is one thing that one cannot abide, it is a snob.

As one sits here, warm and snug in one's library, wrapped in the smoking jacket given one by young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, one feels it appropriate to share one's list, as an example of a truly benevolent mind, concerned only for others. And thus one presents it, unedited, in its entirety.

Item one: Think of the Elderly, i.e. Drum Old Winthrop from the Club. The man is past it. Besides, he is a dreadful old bore, and that business with the Charity Drive for the Homeless drained the club resources so that Bolly was forced to purchase an inferior vintage of wine for the Guy Fawkes Day luncheon.

Item two: Spend More Time with the Unfortunate ladies of St. Jennifer's Half-Way House for Strumpets Who Really Wish to Mend Their Ways. These poor lasses, outcast from polite society, respond so vigorously to a kind word, a gentle smile, and an odd pound note here and there. (Possible obstacle: Does the Lady F's moratorium still apply for 1996? Check.)

Item three: Donate Clothing to the servants. Great-Great-Grandmamma's bustles will do. The whalebones may be used as possible dinner gong replacements.

Item four: Be Kind to Animals. There are so many foxes about this year. And the hounds do so enjoy mauling them. Schedule four/five additional hunts?

Item the final: Maintain the Status Quo. Do not give the servants rises in wage. Do not replace the thatches in the tenant's quaint and picturesque homes. Do not purchase that modern technological agricultural rubbish. After all, if everything has worked smoothly for generations, why risk change and possible expense?

And as for the Lady Felicia? She, too, composes her own private list of resolutions. One would never be so callous as so share it with one's readers without her permission, of course. That would be most vulgar. However, one admits to having managed to peek at her pennings. One knows not what a 'g-spot' might be, but whatever it is, one is certain that the Lady Felicia will be the one to find it.

For yet another week one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Personal to Charlene: It is not that I mind the idea of the Sir Charles Grandiose! Fan Club! (although one objects to the extraneous exclamation points). One is merely not fond of the 'Tea Shirt' to which one's photograph is adhered. One could not abide the thought of one's visage resting so near to a woman's attributes.

Picture: A Walesman in LondonThe Wild Colonial writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Having been brought up in the colony of New South Wales, my dear father now believes it is time for me to visit mother England in order to find a young wife who will return with me to our sheep station. Having not had a great deal of experience in the ways of the world I do most humbly seek your advice in how to attract the right kind of woman.

The Wild Colonial

Sir Charles replies:


One surmises that the correspondent's father is a long-suffering man. A hard-working chap, perhaps, who has struggled life-long to keep his progeny fed and clothed, who has fought long and hard to maintain the quaint family business. A man who obviously is concerned for his son's future companionship, after watching the son speculatively eye his stock one too many times.

One was tempted, one admits, to discard this letter in favour of one of the many other pleas for help from one's many witless admirers. (One assures the individual reader, of course, that one does not refer specifically to him or her.) Yet one has a duty, one supposes, to all the ignorant sheep farmers of the world who will, at one time or another, make their first visit to town. And therefore one will state the cardinal rule for such fellows: Do not, one repeats, do not gaze lustily at the posteriors of gentlewomen clad in wool. Unlike the correspondent's sheep, they will complain when approached in That Way.

Believing one has said enough, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Lady Jacqueline writes:

Dear Sir Charles Grandiose,

First and foremost, I have sought your words of wisdom after having admired your ability to handle the most scandalous of situations with a manner of dignity and sincerity I find most appealing.

I am currently being called upon by three gentlemen. I call them gentleman although they do still hold positions, but have the manners and means to garner my attentions. One wonders when placed in such an advantageous state, upon what merits shall I choose one suitor from the three? I assure you that I have accepted no advances of a physical nature, only their most generous affections.

Lady Jacqueline Carlyle

Sir Charles replies:


One is most flattered. Most flattered indeed. Lady Jacqueline knows how to make an impression, oh yes indeed she does. One is not, of course, saying that the lady is a coquette. Oh no! Her natural modesty and diplomacy astounds, and her own dignity and sincerity is nearly as immense as one's own.

And beauty. . . . O Venus! Goddess of love itself! Surely she ne'er entertained three suitors at once! (Well, upon reconsideration, she mostly like did, being Italian.) Surely the Lady Jacqueline must be a fair flower of these isles, a blossoming, bosomy beauty, bounding from beau to beau as her bountiful b. . . . er, but one recollects oneself.

The process of choosing a suitor is by no means simple. It involves a great deal of what the great detectives call 'footwork'. To wit: One must first ascertain the family connections of the three suitors. Have they a peer skulking in the bushes about the family tree (as peers are wont to do)? If not, is there a wealthy maiden aunt about to pass away who might be persuaded to leave all her fortune to her devoted nephew instead of to Mrs. Mimsy's Home for Discarded Felines?

If these suitors (unworthy lads they must be, of such a one as the Lady Jacqueline) fail the family test, one must look at their future prospects. Is one certain to be a famous barrister? Is one of the lads a grasping, determined businessman? Is one of the lads a thoughtful, talented poet? (If the last, discard him immediately.)

Finally, if the Lady Jacqueline has still not managed to narrow her choices, one suggests a last, desperate test. Which of the lucky chaps seems least likely to lose his natural hair? One has seen many a middle-aged marriage go bad when the wife finds the second-best periwig carelessly left upon her dressing table.

Admiringly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

One passes the quill to the inestimably gifted Lady Felicia.

Picture: The Gisettes of Paris Greet You

Languishing writes:

Dear Lady Felicia,

We are having a dreadful time as our daughter goes through a rebellious phase. No amount of threats or coercion seem to have affected her desire to 'flaunt' her womanly attributes (she is but a child of 19), and her father and I are finding any public time with her to be painfully embarrassing. Whatever shall we do?

Crushed in Coventry

The Lady Felicia replies:

My dear,

It is indeed a shame when children turn so, and one places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the community. Surely, as loving mothers, there is only so much nurturing that we can do (with the assistance of the finest finishing schools) before we must hand over our daughters to the cruel world, and hope for the best.

One is fortunate that one's own daughter had the fortune of spending her formative years in the environs of Fishampton, and Blandsdown. Your own plight is less ideal. For we all know that the most famous and degraded of strumpets--'Lady' Godiva--made her lewd and unseemly ride through your very streets! One asks one's readers, how can one strive to raise demure daughters, when that flaxen tressed hussy is held up as a role model?

One shares a little known fact. The wicked jade had thought she could ride through the streets of Fishampton, yet she was turned away at the edge of town by the concerned town fathers--as indeed they shall do again, should your own spawn attempt something similar. One holds forth our Fishampton forebearers for their forthrightness and concern for following generations.

Smoothing one's ruffled feathers, one becomes, once again,

Lady Felicia Grandiose

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