Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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March 2, 1998 Picture: The Old Hose Ain't What It Used To Be"Age," wrote Lord Chesterfield . . . well, one forgets precisely what the old crinkly wrote. No doubt it was something succinct and pithy. Most likely it resounded with ripe experience and profundity of thought. No doubt nearly as much as do one's own pithy sayings.

At any rate, as many of one's readers well know (and one has it upon an incontrovertible authority that one's readers are so numerous that were each a white mouse, it would take Sarah Ferguson's pussy over a century of tireless work to deal with them all) that age affects even the best of us. Lately, however, one has been having a great deal of trouble with--and may we be frank? We are among friends after all. One has been having a great deal of trouble with one's spout.

One arises in the morning. One stretches. One reaches for one's spout. One gives it a twist and a shake. Two. Three. And what does one get? Sometimes no response, and more often than not, a brown trickle.

Readers, one can remember the days of one's youth when one would bound up of a morning and with only the slightest of motions be rewarded by a veritable geyser of fluid. One might even be tempted to use the adjective 'gushing' in connection with the phenomenon. Why, on one's wedding night--the one night one's wife has ever ventured into one's bedchamber--the Lady Felicia complained at how her dressing gown was splattered and mussed by the strong jets that spouted forth.

And now. . . .

Of course, one has called in a professional about the problem. One escorted him personally upstairs and in the privacy of one's chamber showed him the faulty spout. He inspected it closely, and prodded it. At last he inquired, "Has it always had this bend at the end?"

One drew oneself up dignifiedly. "One believes that every man's spout has such a bend," one replied quietly. "And if yours does not, it must be a most curious spout indeed." At last the fellow admitted that perhaps a good cleaning of the inside of one's spout with a heavy duty brush, and some lubrication, might revive the poor thing. So one nodded. The fellow drew out his instrument of torture, a thick-wired brush fully one inch in diameter, and proceeded to insert it in. . . .

Eh? What? Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe (and has one mentioned lately that she is eighty-seventh in line for the throne? One hasn't? Jolly good) has been reading over one's shoulder. She implores one to make clear that one is referring to the washbasin in one's bedchambers. Gracious, girl. You might be eighty-seventh in line for the throne (one did mention that to one's readers, did one not? Right-o, then). But what else could one be talking about?

Drippily, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Tom writes:

Picture: Mr Brown's NoseDear Sir Charles,

Me boss--a female, who's a real looker, if you get my drift--has invited the entire staff to a retreat at her dairy farm in the dales.

Me problem is that me wife is summat jealous and says I ought not go. She's been harpin' about me allergies, and how me nose'll run like the Thames if I get a whiff of me boss's dairy air. She's got sumthin' there, for me nose has a great propensity to run when I sniff cow pats--not that I do that as a habit, mind ye. 

How can I explain to the good woman--me wife, not me boss--that it's sometimes necessary in the course of business to stick me nose in the boss's dairy air if I want to get ahead and all?

What would you do if you was me?

Mr. Brown

Sir Charles replies:


It makes no difference to oneself whether you wish to sniff in your employer's dairy air, or whether you wish to sniff Uranus, so long as your sniffs are discreet and quiet and do not disturb your neighbours.

As for Mrs Brown, one should that the man of the family should wear the trousers, and let the Brown nose sniff whatever dairy air it craves.

Sincerely, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Judy writes:

My Dear Sir Charles,

I decided to tour your stately home because I was searching for some information on how to arrange my daughter's hair into the style of a French braid, and I seem to have gotten lost. Quite lost.

Deciding to disregard the Alice-in-Wonderland manner of my arrival, I thought I would use the time here well.  Therefore, I would like to ask if anyone here has any information on how to attempt a french braid.  Chauncey might have some knowledge of the subject.   (Much as a French fry, a French kiss, or a French letter, I'm quite sure the braid was not born within the borders of France.) 

Looking forward to your reply, I remain
Your delighted if accidental visitor,

Sir Charles replies:


One is puzzled as to how you might have confused one's stately family home in the picturesque town of Fishampton for a common tonsorial parlour. One overlooks it, however.

Neither the Lady Felicia nor young Penelope Windsor-Smythe arrange their own tresses (young Penelope Windsor-Smythe is, after all, eighty-seventh in line for the throne, and has more important things to do with her fingers). One's nephew and virile heir to the Grandiose estate, Chauncey, is taking time from his position of editor of Milady's Boudoir to tour with his very good female chum Anita Manceau-Baddeley in their touring production of the revue Ankles Away!

Young Penelope, however, has informed one that the 'French Kiss' is indeed an English phenomenon, and thus can be indulged in immoderately. One is not certain of the French letter, however. Would it not have a Parisian postal cancellation?

With an 'oh la la,' one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Patrick writes:

Picture: Duh....Dear Sir Charles,

Me created from body parts, like Frankenstein monster. Me just killed Creator, because he laugh at "Jim Carrey", when me no laugh.

Me fear police investigation. What me do with body?


Sir Charles replies:


One can only please one correspondent per column. This is not your lucky column. Next week's isn't looking all that promising, either.

Sincerely, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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