Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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November 22, 1996

(Paid Advertisement)

Picture: Sentimental TwaddleFellow youth! Are you lonely? Do you lack a feminine ideal? Are you looking for some guidance in your life? Look no further! I, Hilary Grubb (and for your information just because I am named Hilary does not mean I am a girl, because I am most definitely male according to the British public health service, and they should know), aged fifteen and a half, have founded a special club for us:

Fans of Penelope Windsor-Smythe (FOPWIS)!

Picture: More Sentimental TwaddleYou know you should join FOPWIS if:

  • You obsessively search the pages of RoyaltyWatch! magazine to see what the ninetieth in line for the throne is currently wearing these days (like me!)
  • You write the other eighty-nine in line for the throne anonymous notes to inform them that they're not as pretty as Penelope Windsor-Smythe (like me!).
  • You've always wondered what a 'hay hop' is (I know!).
  • You have a taste for fancy airs and talk (like me!).
  • Your mum and dad don't mind bailing you out of the gaol for occasional stalking charges (also like me!).
FOPWIS exists solely to talk about Penelope Windsor-Smythe, the smartest of the royal set. What she's wearing, what she's thinking, what she's eating, how dreamy her beau is, her favourite salad dressing, whether she'd ever eat Marmite, whether she'd notice us or snub us like those prigs in the upper forms, how lovely her hair is, and how we can beautificate the world just by admiring and acting like her!

For a mere five pounds, you too can join FOPWIS and get:

Access to the Penelope Artifacts!

Picture: Penelope's CherryIncluding, but not limited to:

A real genuine Penelope Windsor-Smythe discarded clock golf score card! (She got a 40!)

A copy of the 1995 RoyaltyWatch! '217 Most Eligible Royals' article signed by the sister-in-law of Penelope Windsor-Smythe's ex-governess the week that Penelope Windsor-Smythe was actually seventy-eighth in line for the throne!

Penelope's lost cherry! (Lovingly preserved in formaldehyde after it dropped out of her fruit basket!)

A multimedia CD-ROM of thirty full-colour only slightly out of focus fifteen-minute clips of Penelope in her bath! (Free sample below!)

This sizzling nude video cannot be viewed without the PenelopeTime Plug-In.

Picture: I Use Yeast Foam!

And most thrillingly of all . . . !

An actual authenticated letter from Penelope Windsor-Smythe to me, Hilary Grubb, in which she details her very personal and highly private tips for feminine hygiene. (I most clearly stated in my query to her although I am named Hilary I am most definitely a male aged fifteen and a half, so she must have misunderstood. She does have a very busy social schedule.) The postal stamp alone might have her very own spit on it!

(Access to the FOPWIS Archives is limited to every other Thursday, 3:30-4:30, when my mum is out at her canasta club.)

Act today! (I owe my mum forty quid for the last stalking incident.)

--Hilary Grubb, President and Publicity Director, FOPWIS

(Paid Advertisement)

Picture: The Gentleman Cowers

Margaret Whitaker writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Of late my beau has been rather free with his affections. The wandering hands I can manage, thanks to the miniature cattle prod mama purchased for me. (It runs on AA batteries. Isn't that clever?) But the lascivious endearments he thinks up for me! Last night he called me a rose with ripe hips reading for the plucking! Or something like that. I admit that my distress was such that I could not listen properly, after he informed me I was a bewitching vixen, a Cupid in furs, a very Hebe who should take his cup in my hands before it overflowed. (I will admit I did not understand the latter allusion, as we were not dining at the time.)

Sir Charles, I wish to preserve my maidenhood. How do I rebuff the fellow until I have the ring upon my finger?

Awaiting anxiously your reply,
Margaret Whitaker, Surrey

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Miss Whitaker,

One man's meat is another woman's. . . . Ah no, that's not the cliche one wants. A stitch in. . . . No, that's not it, either. Ah. One has it. What is good for the goose, is good for the blander.

In other words, my dear Miss Whitaker, is that a Lady of Quality need not remain silent when her suitor's tongue slips beyond what is proper, during courtship. A slight change of subject will suffice. During one's own courtship, for example, the soon-to-be Lady Felicia was an expert at the art of the oh-so-subtle redirection of conversation when one got--shall we say--a wee bit overfamiliar. Some of her standby favourites included (and oh, how well one can hear them ringing in one's ears, after she had boxed them):

  • "Did I ever tell you, my intended, of the sweet summer days I spent with my father watching him geld the horses with a pair of garden scissors, some leather laces, and an ice cream scoop?"
  • "Was it your uncle, my future husband, or your great-uncle, who was unable to father children because of that terrible accident with the flying cricket ball? But wait . . . think fast!"
  • "One is in possession of a garden hoe, and one assures you, Sir Charles, that one knows how to use it."

Ah, the Lady Felicia. Like a tub of ice water, she could be, upon one's self-planted garden of wild oats. What more could a man ask of a wife?

Sentimentally, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Jittery writes:

Dear Lady Felicia,

Please help me with a delicate situation. I have become betrothed to a man (after a lengthy engagement, as only befits a Lady of Quality) but am now wondering, as the Wedding Date approaches, if I have not, perhaps, entered into an arrangement where I will be marrying beneath myself.

Tell me please, dear Lady; is this merely normal premarital jitters, or are my concerns perhaps valid?

Jittery in Jersey

The Lady Felicia replies:

My dear girl,

Of course you are marrying beneath yourself. All women do.

Serenely, one remains
Lady Felicia Grandiose

Picture: A Lass And Her Manly Defender

Me writes:

Dear Lady Felicia,

I am engaged to a man I cannot see myself marrying. I am in love with a man who cares for me, but has not professed his love (yet). Shall I follow my heart, my head, both, or neither?

Love, Me.

P.S. Here is a rose for your pains:


The Lady Felicia replies:

My dear girl of Dubious Quality,

One does not understand all this modern 'follow my head or heart' malarkey. One hopes one's readers realize that making an appropriate match is not something that a Lady of Quality takes upon herself to do in the course of an afternoon. Hence the 'Protracted Courtship', which allows a Lady to scrutinize her potential suitors under a veritable rainbow of situations. It is only after such scrutiny and soul-searching that a Lady may finally make the decision that 'Here is a Suitable Mate with whom One can Foresee Cohabiting an Estate (of some considerable size, one hopes) for the Remainder of Our Natural Lifetimes.'

Once a True Lady of Quality has accepted a token of the gentleman's esteem and troth, (called 'becoming engaged' in the vernacular), she is not at liberty to nay-say her choice with thoughts of 'perhaps I cannot live grandly enough on the stipend he currently receives from his estate', or 'his humours flow too choleric for my tastes', or 'his breath is like unto the winds which blow over the poor-house ashcans'. No matter how true, especially the latter, these sentiments may be.

You have given your word, and a True Lady's word is never broken.

Serenely, one remains,
Lady Felicia Grandiose

Postscript: Thank you for the rose. Here is a lump of coal:


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