Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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August 8, 1997

Picture: Our Heroes, Mr Gouphous and Sir GallantThe wonders of nature are myriad, particularly this golden season. From one's study alone one can see the trees of the orchards, their branches slightly bowed from the young fruit ripening amongst their fragrant leaves. One can see the deer in the park, playing beyond the ha-ha. And in the distance, the picturesque village of Fishampton sits quietly, glowing in the afternoon sunlight. On such a day as this, when the beauty of the outdoors burnishes nostalgia with smooth and shiny felicity, whyever would one wish to spend the day interred in a lightless room, inhaling the germ-laden air of others, clutching a box of sweets, and watching an oversized projection of Arnold Schwartzenoogy shooting countless foreigners with guns that carry more ammunition than he has vocabulary?

The very idea makes one's eyes twitch. However, one is not the common reader of this column--a distinction for which one thanks Our Mighty Lord every day, during his prayers--and therefore one cannot account for the popularity of the cinema, nor of current 'hot' cinematic stars such as Sandra Bollocks, Princess Ann-Margaret, or Mr. Charlie Chaplin.

There is, however, a certain way not to behave when one indulges in cinematic viewing, and therefore, one once again trots out our favorite object lessons and heroes,

Mr Gouphous and Sir Gallant

as they

Go to the Cinema

Picture: Cyrus and Jezebel Now, we all remember Mr Gouphous and his lovely wife, Jezebel. Yes, the large ones, who blunder into the cinema theatre five minutes after the film has started, and although there are five hundred empty seats within, only two of which are occupied, choose to sit immediately in front of the couple already present.

Mrs Gouphous: 'Ere, you've spilled popcorn all over that young man's lap!
Mr Gouphous: Oy, ain't my fault 'e's in the bleedin' way of my clumsy badly-bred self. Anyway, I can't 'elp it. My money's from trade, you know.
Young couple: Ssssh!
Mrs Gouphous: Shush! Your talkin' is coverin' up the noise I make when I unwrap my toffee for the next five to ten minutes.
Mr Gouphous: 'Ere, what're we seein' anyhows?
Mrs Gouphous: The Irish Patient. It's a sensitive li'l flicker about an Irishman during the war who can't do nothin' but lay in his bed all day while 'e. . . .
Mr Gouphous: Lor! I could've saved meself a few bob and watched me Uncle Seamus!
Young Couple: SSSSSSHHHH!
Mr Gouphous (winking at the young couple): One good toot, and I'll be settling down to an expensive two and one 'alf 'our nap, young things. (He leans to the left.)
Mrs Gouphous: Oh dear, the wrapper on this toffee's gone quiet on me, I'll have to start another.
Mr Gouphous: I'll get one for you, me dear.
Mrs Gouphous: Oh, now you've gone and dropped the Fizzy-Cola on the sticky floor! Me good plastic pumps will 'ave to be rinsed now!

Readers, one advises you to close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Cleanse yourselves of the impurities. Do you feel better? That mystical technique is known as 'yogurt,' by the way, and is one of the Mysteries of the East. Oh yes, you can open your eyes, now.

Picture: Our Heroes, The Kindness of Sir Gallant Our good Sir Gallant, in the meantime, has been spending his time observing the poor, overworked popcorn girl. Like any true gentleman of feeling, he believes that the cinema is a Sink of Sin and a Pit of Depravity. He cannot bring himself to watch The Irish Patient, or indeed, any Irishman at all. Let us observe his utter gentility, his exquisite manners, and above all, his good breeding.

Sir Gallant: My, how one would like you to give me a good pop. . . .
Popcorn Girl: Ex-cuse me?
Sir Gallant: . . . corn!
Popcorn Girl (blushing): Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I thought you were making a cheap carnal play for my attentions.
Sir Gallant: Oneself? Sir Gallant? Never. One supposes you must get that sort of thing all day, though, mustn't you, in this Sink of Sin and Pit of Depravity?
Popcorn Girl (with feeling): Oh, you don't know!
Sir Gallant: Lewd, foul men, aching to touch your delicate feminine skin, their fingers trembling unconsciously as they admire the gentle curves that make you woman, the female sex. Muttering obscene filth, calling you a voluptuous vixen, their Venus in tartalan. . . .
Popcorn Girl (nervously): Sir, your drool is mussing the jujubes. . . !
Sir Gallant: Imagining lewd, vile acts they would not wish upon their only sisters or daughters, but which they would thrust upon you given half a chance . . . carnal, base instincts, fired by a white-hot unholy passion and a yearning beyond all comprehension . . . dreams of flesh and limbs entwined, of dancing fingers and teasing tongues and extra butter. . . .(The Popcorn Girl runs to summon her manageress.)

Is not Sir Gallant a good, kind man, foregoing small entertainments to sympathize with this young woman, working class drudge though she may be? How vivid--almost Dickensian--is his empathetic vision of the distasteful experiences to which she is subject. Ah, Sir Gallant. If only more of us could be more like him.

Knowing oneself to be a pinnacle of perfection, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: The King of Games with the Biggest Balls

Wailing writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! My husband and I just had our first argument. You see, he is an avid tennis player, and I, as his new bride, only sought to help him make a good impression at the club. The night before he had an important match, I noticed that his tennis balls were a bit dirty and, thinking the care of his equipment part of my wifely duty, popped them into the automatic washer his mother gave us as a wedding present and ran them through a cycle. Then I put them into the dryer, the better to fluff them up a bit just to make them look nice.

Well, you would not have believed the fit he pitched! He informed me in no uncertain terms that henceforth I was to leave his balls alone. Tell me, Sir Charles, are all men so touchy about having their balls washed? Or should I have perhaps used a gentler cycle?

Wailing in Wimbleton

Sir Charles replies:

Child bride,

In the early stages of marriage, a man and wife, just getting to know one another, and still giddy upon their wedding night from exchanging their first tremulous kisses . . . but no more, as any well-bred couple knows . . . often come to contretemps over teeny-tiny things like your husband's balls.

True, the correspondent's husband may not think, in the grand scheme of things, that his balls are so extremely small. In fact, he might think his balls are quite large indeed. But the correspondent, who has had the occasion to fluff them, knows better. Would that every husband could have such a devoted fluffer!

So, my dear, one must advise perseverance. Continue your dutiful attentions to your husband's balls, and perhaps he will begin to relax and understand that at the end of the day, you enjoy popping them in and giving them a good wash.

You might extend your treatment to his other equipment as well. Soon he will overcome his newlywed shyness, and the sweet light of gratitude will shine in his masculine eyes.

Wishing the young couple the best of luck, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Easton writes:

Dear Lady Felicia,

My girlfriend broke up with me after going out for 11 months. She said it was because she needed some time alone. And I believe her.

But I need to know if there is ANYTHING I can say or do that would make her need to be with me.


The Lady Felicia replies:

Young man,

Like the yearly rains falling upon the parched veldts, there are indeed words that refresh and revive a Lady's romantic interests. Although the comparisons to a Chinese takeaway menu are odious, and inevitable, one has found that a male suitor should construct a sentence with fragments from Column A, Column B, and Column C for the most effectatious wooing.

Column A (choose one): adore you everlastingly/cannot live without you/pine away to nothingness for want of you/am empty, empty, empty without your presence

Column B (choose one): be my wife/marry me/take my hand and name forevermore

Column C (choose several, attaching additional pages if necessary): diamond cluster brooch/exquisite ancestral china/title of Baronetess/spacious mansion/seventy-acre grounds/tiara/yearly holidays abroad/prenuptual contract in your favour

A scientific approach, truly. But such sweet science!

Serenely, one remains,
Lady Felicia Grandiose

Atlee writes:

Picture: One Bench Press Too Many My Dearest Lady Felicia,

I must communicate to you a matter with which I have struggled ever since I caught sight of your radiant person Thursday last. You were, as I fondly recall, embarking in your stately and ever-so-polished car after attending the Fishampton chapter of the Sentimental Ladies of Unreproachable Mien Ministering to the Indigent with Necessary Goods (SLUMMING). Ah, the flash of ankle untouched by that heavenly scourge of the ditch-digger. Joy! The tilt of that regal chin, the pale gleam of those piercing eyes!

I scarcely trust myself, dear Lady, to put into the language of the polo ground, the vernacular of feminine hygiene, in short the English of our dear articulate Prince of Wales, the euphoric flights of my heart and its baser urgings. Suffice it to say, until you may condescend to requite my affections, I must remain prisoner here in my gym, in a constant but futile attempt to assuage my passion by kicking off my tasteful size fourteen shoes, lifting incredibly heavy weights, and wiping the perspiration from my brow with my tongue.

Oh, certainly, there are others who call me night and day: that prissy Di and some commoner named Pamela Sue (I believe she is from The Colonies), in particular, have given me no peace. Alas, it is you who are the fulcrum of my teeter-totter, dare I say the keeper of my tower!

My Lady . . . Felicia . . . I will share you with that codger Sir Charles, even though I do not understand why a flower in the height of bloom should content herself with existing in the shade of an old bramble bush. I wish merely to be your slave, your toy, your wellspring of amour.

Quaking at the thought that your eyes now scan my humble name, I tremulously remain,
Atlee Steye-Foote

The Lady Felicia replies:


How satisfying it is to discover that all those rumours one heard as a girl, the whispers passed from feminine lips to pearl-garnished ears behind white-gloved hands, are true.

Though one prides oneself upon one's ability to rest one's mind on loftier things, there still remained the base nagging: Was Montclovia, Lady Glew, indeed 'in the know' when she spoke so didactically of the anatomical correlations bespoke by a man's large feet and long tongue?

And now your missive has arrived, and one has the proof one needs to put her mind at rest. It is indeed true that men like yourself--who exude salversful of briny sweat as they strain to rise above their station, who possess large feet and long tongues, who brag about their inability to squeeze their bulging, pulsing biceps and ham hocks into 'off the rack' suits--have been prevented by their creator from possessing the full complement of gray matter.

One pities you, indeed.

Serenely, one remains
Lady Felicia Grandiose

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