Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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30 August, 1996

It would seem, if one might quote an old adage, that the more things change, the more they change. Ah no. That is not quite right. The more things stay the same, the more they stay . . . Harumph. The more things change the same. . . .

At any rate, the point that one makes is simple. Since the embarkation of this H.M.S. Good Breeding upon the waters of the 'information superhooey,' one has left in one's wake a trail of pithy epigrams, helpful erudition, and learned insights into the human heart and mind. Yet one suspects that some passengers have been left, so to speak, at the dock. (And one must pause here and admire one's own deft hand with a metaphor.)

Picture: Our Hero And His Evil NemesisYes, week after week, for every reader who sips at the fountain of cool enlightenment that is one's wisdom, another dirty piece of flotsam is swept upon the beach of ignorance to await a sprinkling from one's . . . but one senses one should abandon the watery metaphors at this point. What one really means to say, in short, is the following: There certainly are quite a lot of silly, ignorant folk out there. Louts, they are, who all think that because one is capable of using multisyllabublic words and casually incorporating la bella lingua (that is, French) into one's prose, one must be too far above them. It is true, of course. But that does not excuse their rapidly leaving one's forum in search of nude photographs of 'Fergie.'

It is for these readers--those who count upon their fingers and have the dim conviction that the grease from a packet of pork scratchings will not stain their breeches, if they dilute it by licking their digits before wiping them--that one introduces a more direct implementation of one's educative impetus. That is, for you brain-wizened commoners, out there, A-N E-A-S-Y T-E-A-C-H-I-N-G T-O-O-L.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you Mr. Gerald ('Jerry to me friends') Gouphous, and his companion, Sir Gareth Gallant. In this week's romp, the pair shall illustrate the following object lesson:

How to Address A Servant Upon Paying A Call to The House of a New Acquaintance.

Picture: A Boor And A MaidObserve Mr. Gouphous. He is obviously of the nouveaux riche, for he seems to feel that a great quantity of money will buy him both esteem and position. He does not deserve our respect, and yet he demands it of us, little knowing we giggle behind his back. His clothing is 'off-the-rack', and his nails are dirty. Worse still, he hails from Shepherd's Bush. But let us see his conversation with the chambermaid at the door of his new acquaintance:

MR. GOUPHOUS: Oy there.
PRETTY MAID: Excuse me, sir. The tradesmen's entrance is around the back way.
MR. GOUPHOUS: None of your cheek, there's a gel. I'm 'ere to see your master, I am.
PRETTY MAID: And who might you be?
MR. GOUPHOUS: Gerald Gouphous. Jerry to me friends who is ill-bred as meself is.
PRETTY MAID (giving our foil a quick once-over): He's not at home.
MR. GOUPHOUS: 'ere, none of that. Fetch me to 'im, wench. I've vast amounts of ill-gotten money to make this morn.

Need we explore the denouement to follow? The summoning of the constables, the brawl upon the front step of a very smart semi-detached house in Eaton Place, the subsequent term in jail for disturbance of the peace. A sad sad end, but we could all see it coming, now, couldn't we?

Picture: A Model of ProprietyLet us contrast this rakish behavior with the utter propriety of Sir Gareth Gallant. Our hero is the son of a baronet, of a very old name, and engaged to a winsome young lass by the name of Felicity. His tailor-made clothing is neither too showy or too garish. His athletic frame betrays his fondness for a good round of cricket. He is obviously in town for the season from his magnificent country estate in the town of Fisham . . . ah, the town of Fishampshireton. Let us eavesdrop, for a moment (one says it is permissible, in this case), into his ever-courteous conversation with the pleasant chambermaid.

SIR GARETH: Good morning, miss. Is Mrs. Thatcher available?
PRETTY MAID (giggling): If you'll follow me, handsome sir, I'll just see.
SIR GARETH: What a pretty young maid you are!
PRETTY YOUNG MAID (blushing): Oh sir!
SIR GARETH: Very, very pretty indeed. Quite the devilish vixen!
DEVILISH VIXEN (blushing and giggling): Oh, sir!
SIR GARETH: I'd wager that a tempting young hussy like you could be no more than . . . what, twenty-three? Twenty-four?
TEMPTING YOUNG HUSSY (lowering her lashes): Nineteen, sir.
SIR GARETH (licking lips): Ah, a very mature nineteen, indeed.
MATURE YOUNG HUSSY (instinctively hitching up her apron): You shouldn't talk so, sir!
SIR GARETH (opening door): I'll just wait for Mrs. Thatcher in here, shan't I?
ANGELIC COMMONER WITH A FIRM YET PLIANT BUST: But sir, that's the third parlour. She won't find you for hours in there. . . !
SIR GARETH (closing door): Well then, you'll just have to keep me company, won't you, you saucy minx?

Ah, Sir Gareth Gallant. What can one say of his elegant gentility? Note his easy manner with the servant, born of years' experience in managing them. How he puts her at her ease, talking to her in a manner of which she is certain to be accustomed, instead of talking down to her, as the vulgar are wont to do. How he brings a smile to her face! A tender, sentimental chap, is Sir Gareth. A model to be emulated by all!

Trusting that the lesson to be learned here is simple enough, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: I See London, I See France

Di writes:

Dear, dear Chaz,

It's nearly done. The divorce, that is. As soon as I'm rid of old jug-ears I'll be yours, yours, yours!

The boys and I will be motoring down to that quaint little cottage of yours Saturday. I can't begin to tell you how I'll looking forward to escaping the other Chaz and his mum. She's never forgiven me for wearing those emeralds as a headband, you know.

Then Sunday it will be just like we've planned, darling. Off to Capri, just you and me! We'll leave the boys with that frozen fish finger you call a wife and that huzzy of a ward of yours (what is she now? One hundred and thirty-fourth in line for the throne? She won't attack the boys, will she?). Tickets enclosed. Don't you (or Mr. Blinkie!) let me down, sweetums.

Love and pash,

P.S. Why don't you ever answer my letters?

Sir Charles replies:


One is afraid that one is engaged for the week-end. One is not fond of impromptu 'sprees.' Especially to Capri. One hears that they sunbathe there. The thought of so much flesh, sizzling, exposed, in the sun, brings to mind a hind shank of bacon.

Furthermore, one suggests to the correspondent that if she wishes the recipients of her mash notes to take her seriously, she might consider a good stiff stationery of rag stock, rather than a pair of Make Mine Magenta silk pantaloons (size eight).

Indifferently, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Wurried writes:

dear sir charles:

i am wurried about my sister. she seems too fond of lesbeans. her house is full of them all the time. she drinks lots of erbal tea now and wears berkinstocks and went to a K.D. Lang concurt. if she sees your advise she will stop i am shure. please tell her.


Sir Charles replies:


By all means, you should be worried for your poor sister. This insidious influence will tear her from the bosom of your family! She will no longer be your sweet sister, but a despised outcast, should you allow her to continue on this certain path to depraved ruin!

Legumes, or as the French call them les beans, are notorious for the noxious vapours they can induce in the ingester. Why, after indulging in a three-bean salad, one's own third cousin four times removed, Eugenia Grandiose-Boosey, was disinherited for a particularly vile display of flatulence during a Guy Fawkes day celebration. (She quite drowned out the family's squibs and sparklers, and even the Catherine-wheel.)

Surely, madame, you would not wish your sister also to remain, for the rest of her life, known as 'Miss Fonda Frijoles and Her All-Gassy Revue.'

Poor cousin Eugenia!

Smelling only of a masculine toilet water, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

David writes:

Fair Penelope,

Alas, I fear that you have but a fleeting memory of me; I am used to my impressive knowledge being the only thing that my acquaintances recall, however. Since we met last, as I spent many hours studying diligently, alone, my education in cylinders was augmented by erudition in arcs. Arcs to the right, specifically. Of course, your vast expertise with curves far outstrips mine, as any schoolboy in our area can attest.

And how you learnt at such an early age! Certainly you were envied by your peers. It was exceedingly generous of you to share your adeptness with me, my friends, students with whom I was acquainted, and the football and rugby teams. But enough about you, I write this missive intending for you to remember me for me, not for my intellectual prowess.

It puzzles me that you do not have a clearer recollection, for I oft accompanied you in the back seat of your convertible on your many trips (as the fellows said, you certainly 'got around,' to use the vernacular of 'being well traveled'), and even on horseback on occasion (I certainly remember the masterful way that you demonstrated the proper use of riding crops, and later, horsebrushes).

In fact, you even swore to be my principal 'study buddy,' until you were sent to another boarding school. After that, I discovered that you had been tutoring many of my friends as intensely, but I am not wont to jealousy. Enclosed is a letter you wrote me, which will hopefully jog your memory further.

Eager to share calculus,
David at Dartmouth (A.K.A. Big Davey)

Sir Colin Bates replies:

Picture: A Lass And Her Manly DefenderInsolent pup! Mealy-mouthed whelp of a milkless she-bitch! Fair Penelope, sobbing, threw herself into my sinewy arms as she wept into my deep, masculine chest, and showed me the vile forgery you claimed as her youthful correspondence.

I have only this to say to you, despicable blackguard: Be so graceless as to bother my intended--damn your eyes, I say so before you and all the world, she is indeed my intended, and mine only!--lay one unholy paw upon her, and I shall strip myself to my narrow waist and give you a pistol-whipping that you shall never forget!

With unplummeted depths of loathing, one remains,
Colin Bates, Knight of the Realm

Postscript from young Penelope Windsor-Smythe: Isn't he lovely?

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