Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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February 21, 1997

Readers, you witness a momentous occasion.

Picture: I See London, I See FranceYes, this day shall be forever remembered throughout all history as the day Sir Charles Grandiose completed his first one hundred columns. Yes, one hundred individual exercises in good manners and tasteful restraint. One hundred careful, considered, exquisite craftings destined to take their place among the greatest of the world's greatest British authors: Shakespeare (as written by Sir Francis Bacon), Mr. Wordsworth, Mr. Keats, Mr. Shelley, and Miss Jackie Collins. One hundred classic essays, suitable for framing. One hundred bottles of beer on the . . . no, that is something else entirely.

Another man--a lesser man--would allow this note-worthy celebration to get, as it were, 'out of hand.' He would indulge in the occasion. He would allow self-congratulations to bloat his unjustified pride in himself. He would exaggerate his importance, and brag of his influence. Well. Sir Charles Grandiose is not such a man, nor shall he ever be!

One has, however, received quite a few jolly letters one thought one would share with one's readers (so many in number, one hears from an authoritative source, that were they each to write one hundred columns and send them to one's estate of Blandsdown, the kitchen servants would have enough fire kindling to last for the next forty years), who, no doubt, are glowing with pride for their favourite man of belles lettres.

Dear Charles,

We are most pleased that a subject of our kingdom should represent our Empire with such flair, wit, and intelligence. Do give Felicia and young cousin Penelope our regards.

Elizabeth W-----r, always your 'Queenie'.

P.S. Could we have fewer of the jokes about the Prince of Wales' ears, please?

Simply a charming woman, dear Elizabeth. While one has one's secretary scribing, let one share another of these missives:

Oh, my dear Charles,

I keep thinking you'll realize your mistake and come for me, just as I realized mine when I left you-know-who with the kiddies. Mum-in-law has been simply snotty to me lately and I can't bear it, and I don't think I'm up to doing a talk show, like Fergie. I suppose I shall just have to lie in the sun and work on my tan, in that bikini you always liked. You know, the daring bikini with the unsnappable. . . . yes, that one.

Anyway, I see you're keeping busy, with one hundred columns and all. I suppose I should congratulate you, although I know that the time you spend with your scads of readers is time spent away from me.

Pouting but sending all my XOXOXOs,

P.S. Keep up the ear jokes!

Now, if one had been the sort of fellow tempted to flaunt one's Jubilee, one would have chosen this sort of thing to print:

Dear Sir Charles!

Good god, dude, you are the coolest. When I read you, I cream, my man. It's like this big cosmic thing you're doing, and I'm diggin' every minute of it! Keep it up! Keep it up for another hundred collums, guy, and I'll be there for every supercalifragifreakin' minute of it!

Your fan,
William F. Buckley, Jr.
Editor-at-large, National Review

But one is not that sort of fellow. Why, to prove it, one will conclude this sampling of congratulatory good wishes with a letter from one of one's common foreign fans. Judging by the words one can pick out--and as one's readers know, one is a master of languages--one has concluded this particular penning hails from a garlicky Hungarian.

Grandiose Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis. Grandiose Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: dona nobis etiquettem.

Cum sincero,
Pope John Paul II

Well, isn't that nice, although one finds 'II' to be a rather heathenish surname. One will have to have Lord Frost of Locksley-Charmes translate the letter, one of these days. One hears he is fond of a goulash.

Proud to have avoided potholes in the Road to Self Congratulation for yet another week, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: I See London, I See France

Bubba and Flo Boudrier write:

Dear Sir Charles,

We have been admirers of your column for some time now, and feel that you, and you alone have the good taste and wisdom to decide an issue that has nearly torn apart our marriage.

My lovely wife and I have nearly come to blows over the issue of home decorating. While neither of us comes from ancient, titled stock such as your own, and while our humble abode is but a mere shadow of the splendor of Blandsdown, Dame Etiquette and the proverbial Goddess of Good Taste reign supreme in our lives. Unfortunately, due to our humble backgrounds, we must both (and I realize this may cause you to shudder) work for a living.

I am employed as the Assistant Manager of the local Bowling Center (Please! It is much more than a "Bowling Alley", as some would call it), and my wife is a customer service representative at "Crazy Eddie's Drive-Through Liquor Mart," a purveyor of fine distilled spirits, brewed beverages and wines. As such, we are unfortunately rather limited in our income.

Allow me to be succinct and get to the point, as I know how you abhor diversions. We are in the process of decorating the parlor in our trailer home. We have enough money for only one set of paintings. I am adamant that we obtain the prints entitled "Dogs Playing Poker" (you may have seen this collection advertised in the finer magazines). My wife insists on a collection of black velvet portraits of a weeping Elvis Presley (in the more mature, "Vegas" stage of his career). We have agreed to abide by your advice, whichever of the two choices you recommend. Eagerly awaiting your sage advice, we remain,

Bubba and Flo Boudrier, Opelousas, Louisiana

Sir Charles replies:

My dear friend 'Bubba.' And my dear friend 'Flo':

This is your lucky day. Indeed! One is in such a generous mood . . . has one mentioned that this is one's one hundredth column, today? . . . and one is sending via third-class mail a cheque for ten pounds! Why, one's accountant informs one that, once cashed, this cheque will supply you sixteen whole American dollars! Only think of the possibilities!

Naturally, one expects you both to run right out to that local Wal-Nutt (as one thinks the franchise is called) and buy both the prints of those lovable canines engaging in everyone's favourite game of chance and wits, and the framed portraits of 'The King'! (One suspects he will always be your teddybear, won't he, Mrs. B?)

But why stop there? Spend away! You have sixteen American dollars for your spree! Of course, when one receives such a windfall, it is customary to purchase a small bauble to place on the mantel to remind the happy family of the generous benefactor's kindness. What will it be, 'Flo' and 'Bubba'? The commemorative 'Friends' plate of a limited edition of seven thousand? A 'lava lamp'? A Magic 8-Ball? A Precious Moments figurine?

And please, if there is any change left over, walk down to that corner Eleven-Seven and treat yourselves! Share some beef jerky and a packet of Hostess Snoballs as you warm yourself before that blazing fire of burning tires at the landfill site. Why, you deserve it!

Definitely feeling the love tonight, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Bones writes:

I just wanted to comment that I didn't give site much of a chance at first, because I stumbled upon it by accident, but after reading some of the letters and responses, I am happy to say that I found it quite interesting.


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Skeletal One,

Well! That's a relief. Now that we've received your approbation, one's readers can stop holding their breaths. One was worried about more than a few of them. The purple colouring takes on a dreadful sheen in the light of their computer monitors.

With infinite relief, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: A Lass And Her Manly Defender

Help Me! writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

It has been along time since I have had intercourse. Can you help?

Help Me!

Sir Charles replies:

My lad,

It can indeed be painful, after having gone without for a lengthy period of time, to rejoin the whirligig world of polite social intercourse.

However, you have approached the right person. For it is known far and wide that Sir Charles Grandiose is a master of intercourse. Not only has one experienced such intercourse with all levels of society, but in a number of places, from the glittering ballrooms of the best houses, to the tabletops of the local teahouse. One is adept at intercourse with Princesses and duchesses, with admirals and common sailors, with coat check girls and kitchen drabs. One has had slow, leisurely intercourse, in which one has had the ability to take one's sweet time and enjoy every aspect of it. And one has had one's share of the hasty episodes as well, when one fumbled for the right thing to say before one's partner had to dash off.

And one might modestly add that when it comes to the Lady Felicia and young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, one has never seen a pair more skilled at the art of intercourse. To watch them work a party is a sight indeed. But then, one expects it of such finely-bred ladies. Especially young Penelope. One believes the talent lies in her royal blood (for she is ninetieth in line for the throne, you know).

A few hints from a chap who's seen it all, though, as you reaccustom yourself.

1) In any sort of decent intercourse, a gentlemen always wears gloves. They should be clean and fit snugly.

2) Always allow the partner to guide you gently into the situation at hand.

3) Finally, lose your anxiety. It may have been many months since your last good intercourse, but one hears that one never really forgets how, much like riding a bicycle.

Wishing the correspondent luck in his entry into the circle of polite society, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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