Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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March 16, 1998 Picture: Gentle Reader What a busy, busy world we live in. Daily one sits in one's smoking room or library, smoking, or doing whatever it is that one is supposed to be doing in a library, when one's man brings one the papers. Dozens of them. The Times. The Mirror. The News. The Tatler. One's copy of Squidge's Squawk, and the Page Six Girls Gazette.

It takes one a magnifying glass and several hours of concentrated study to make heads or tails of these myriad news stories. And the decisions that one is forced to make! Does one concentrate on the financial news? Does one turn to the tales of international woes? Or does one go straight for the crossword puzzle?

In order to make sense of the world to one's readers (and one has it upon an unshakable authority that one's readers are so numerous, that were each a single 'chop stick,' the entire population of China would be kept in table settings from now until the dawn of the next millenium), who admittedly lack the good sense and penetrating insight that have made one the premier man of letters on the Internot, one has volunteered to explain it in simple, certain terms. One has taken a variety of news items and reduced them to their vital essences so that one's readers might comprehend them and their impact. Is it not so much simpler, this way?

El Nino: A terrible Pacific wind that has altered weather patterns across the world. One has never seen so many meteorologists in a tizzy over the prospect of a big blow.

The Sexual Scandals of the U.S. President: The Presidential probe continues to grow and grow, soon to reach the bursting point any day now. Will it be egg that Mr Clinton wipes from his face, or something else entirely?

Iraq and U.N. Arms Inspectors: Gracious, if these foreign chappies washed their hands occasionally, we wouldn't have to inspect their arms, would we?

Boris Yeltsin's Cold: Just because a man blows his nose more often than usual and retires from the public eye does not mean he must be on his deathbed. Why, if you don't believe one, just ask the Pope.

Britain's Ban on Fox-Hunting: They say it's destructive, unnecessary, and an antique relic of a bygone era. But what do they expect young nobles to do with their time? Charity work?

The First Female Space Shuttle Commander: One's readers no doubt expect a stodgy reaction to the prospect of a take-charge woman and a few men caught in tight, cramped quarters during their space mission. Utter nonsense. One is a progressive sort of man with progressive sorts of views. And one firmly believes that the best place for a woman is upon a cockpit.

Anthrax: The ancients used it to protect their tombs. A single teaspoon could decimate a city. Sounds rather like 'Taco Bell,' does it not?

Oprah Winfrey versus the Cattlemen: Let one see. The last time one spoke in an ever so slightly disparaging way about the inestimable Miss Winfrey's chosen venue of the 'Talk Show,' one received over three thousand angry letters from readers that began, 'Listen here, you.' One supposes that one should here avoid the joke that begins, "Did you hear what one mad cow said to the other?"

Informatively, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Alice writes:

Picture: Ain't You Fresh, Sir?Dear Sir Charles,

My mother says that string instruments are the proper thing for a girl to play. I've had cello lessons since the age of six and frankly, I hate the thing. For my twentieth birthday I had a recital for her society friends and scratched out "Lady of Spain" and "To a Wild Rose" and thought that would show her that enough is enough. Our family friend Mrs Runkle said that she hadn't heard such sawing outside a logging camp.

Mummy thought it was divine, however. I'm thinking she needs a hearing aid. Can you help me?

Alice Van Gilder

Sir Charles replies:


Shame! Shame! You, at the tender age of twenty, have between your legs an instrument capable of bringing many a man to a near-frenzy of ecstatic, rapturous bliss. And yet all you can do is scratch at it?

Bemused, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Lady Ophelia writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

My husband is neglecting his, um, "domestic duties." I've tried to drop hints to him that I have certain needs, but he remains clueless. Any ideas?

Lady Ophelia Tingleigh-Quim

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Lady Ophelia,

Many men who are otherwise resistant to subtle entreaties by their spouses, may best be aroused by more innovative approaches.

I suggest that you attire yourself in your best riding boots, strap on your spurs, and--with riding crop in hand--wait until he has retired for the evening and then pounch upon him. If he does not then realise what you seek, you may prod him by insisting, "How dare you not make arrangements for the annual hunt club breakfast! Did you think I would take over your duties as hunt club secretary and do everything myself?"

That ought to bring him around.

Unable to comprehend any other domestic duty a member of the leisure class should have (that cannot be done more efficiently and/or economically by servants), one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Ainty writes:

Picture: Spare the Child and Spoil the RodDear esteemed Sir Charles,

I have recently received the exciting news that Cambridge University has accepted me into a post-graduate degree specialising in ancient Indian erotic arts.

This has brought up two questions which I feel only a man of your obviously refined and educated background and breeding could possibly answer.

Firstly, which college did your esteemed self attend at Cambridge (or were you one of those pasty lolly-gagging lower-class
Oxford boys)?

And secondly, is there any chance that, in order to carry out research, I may visit your extensive and world-famous collection of spitoons depicting the Kama Sutra?

I would like to add in passing that, as one of your innumerable fans (and unnamed leaks suggest that were they each a White House intern, a President of the United States would need a near infinite number of terms of office to molest each one), I am delighted to see your return to "sooperspace" (or whatever it's called).

Your servant,

Ainty D'Leight-Folle

Sir Charles replies:

Mr. D'Leight-Folle,

One's approach to education was eclectic. Rather than take the standard approach of remaining in a single school for more than, say, six weeks, one travelled the country from one school to another. Whether it was Eton or Sniveler's School for Recalcitrant Privileged Youth, one absorbed what one could, and moved on, usually before the authorities and one's creditors could 'catch up' with one.

Indeed King's College, Cambridge, was one of those many institutions at which one knelt and drank from the fountain of knowledge. One learned quite a jolly way to nick the hats of a passing copper from the first floor windows of the Club, and how to use bedsheets to simulate mountain climbing on church steeples, and exactly the best method of slipping a goldfish into a don's water jug without him noticing. Got out of many an essay that way.

Those were quite the happiest three weeks of one's life, old bean.

Remarking that the Grandiose Collection of Ancient Indian Brass Spittoons in the Shapes of the Kama Sutra are open to the public only when the Lady Felicia is abroad, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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