Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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September 5, 1997

A nation mourns. With it, the family Grandiose draws the shutters and drapes the mantel with black.

In the wake of any tragedy, how thoroughly we ache to punish those who have caused our grief. So now we jab our fingers in the direction of anyone who might bear a portion of the burden of blame. We decry the paparazzi. We shake our heads, outraged, upon hearing of the involvement of alcohol. We press our lips into prim moues at the seeming coldness of the Royal Family.

But Readers, do we learn from the experience? Do we think about it? Or like the ventriloquist's marionette, do we merely wag our jaws while we proclaim our righteous indignation?

If one had several wishes for the future, this week--for it is ever the future we must face, and not the fairy-tale past--one would wish for one's audience to take their grief and hold it close. One would wish for them not forget it, as the fickle spotlight of celebrity drifts upon newer, younger faces. Always learn from grief, Readers.

Perhaps think twice before purchasing a periodical spat from the grist-mill of public fame, the self-same Tatlers and Enquirers that give some a reason to pursue the young, famous, and beautiful. Perhaps give another thought to the safety of our fellow men and women, and refrain from operating one's motor while not thoroughly oneself. Or perhaps look to your own families, and mend the rifts or warm the chills within.

New resolutions, well-kept, are more fitting a memorial than flowers, once our tears have dried.

In sorrow, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Mary writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

This summer I let Jerry talk me into going on vacation in jolly Weston-super-Mare. Jolly? Ha! Anyway, he thought it would be cute.

Picture: The Lady Felicia's 'Mad' Purse Well, when we got back last week, I found this hat in Jerry's duffle bag. He said he found it under the rose bush in the back yard of the cottage we rented, the morning after the big cook-out.

I thought it looked kind of valuable, so maybe if you would mention to your readers (I hear there are a lot of them) that we have their hat and will be glad to send it if they'll tell us where?

I'm sending a picture of the hat, so you will be able to tell your readers what it looks like.

Thank you,
Mary Weston
Ottumwa, IA, USA

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Mrs. Weston,

So that is where the Lady Felicia's faux diadem reticule got to. By way of verification, of course, one must inquire: Did the 'hat' contain a plentiful supply of Peterson's Pain-Proof Prune Laxative?

Relievedly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Uncle Bert writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Gidday. I guess this'll come of something of a surprise, but I've been told that we are related, and I thought you'd want to know.

Our lad Dave, who's been down in Melbourne for some years in the computer business, told us about your column and suggested we get out the old Smith-Corona and write to you. He's going to send this on through the email (seems a funny thing to do with a washing machine, but he knows what he's doing, I suppose).

Anyway, about the family connection. Apparently my great grandfather, Tarquin Chumley Grandiose (I think that's his proper name - I'll check with the wife when she finishes the sheep crutching), was a relative of yours who came to Australia early on after an unfortunate incident in the old country.

I hear you were over visiting the Yanks recently, but could't make it to Australia. Pity that--the lads in the Upper Cumbucta West Station Hotel would have loved to have a drink with a Pom with a real title.

Have to go now - the wife's just come in with the spuds for dinner, but her gumboots lost their grip on the linoleum and the sack spilt all over the floor. So I'll get the family details when she recovers, and let you know later.

Uncle Bert

Sir Charles replies:


This 'Pom' is as likely to allow his toenails to be ripped one by one from his 'little piggies' by the venom-crusted teeth of Labour Party members wearing 'I (Heart) Jolly Weston Super-Mare' while singing excerpts from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals in the key of a flat major, as he is to have relatives from that didgeridoo-humming, kangaroo-hopping, boomerang-throwing, shrimpy-barbing, dingo took my baby-ites continent once known as the Penal Colony of Australia, particularly the town of Upper Cumbucta.

Unless, of course, you refer to Tarquin Cholmondeley Grandiose, who was driven out of town after it was discovered that his amorous proclivities ran more to sheep than to women. We have always wondered what happened to great-great-Uncle 'Baa Baa'.

Rummaging for the family Bible, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Michael writes:

Picture: The Author At Full SmugnessDear Sir Charles Grandiose,

I've been reading your column for some time now, and I have to tell you that you are a man who has never taken a breath of fresh air. You make other British conservatives look like rabid left-wing extremists. I doubt that a new idea coined since 1880 has ever permeated your skull.

I've never seen one as anti-progressive and rigid as you!


Sir Charles replies:

My boy,

Flattery, my lad, will get you everywhere.

Blushingly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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