Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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April 27, 1998 Picture: A Nun And A HussyOne wishes to ask one's readers a simple question. Have they bayed at the full moon, recently?

Of course not. Nor have they made sacrifices to solar eclipses, clothed themselves in hair shirts, or indulged in self-flagellation. And one dares to say that it most likely has been some time since they participated in the burning of a witch. In fact, one rather suspects that very few of one's readers (and one has it upon the most stellar of authorities that this noble body grows weekly in proportions that would astonish even that famed 'supermodel,' Miss Cindy Crawfish) indulge in the types of superstitious, pagan practises that distinguished our savage forefathers from our civilized proceedings.

Yet one notes with alarm the increase of a certain sort of blind fanaticism as the century draws to an end. A credulity, if you wish. A willingness to believe in all manner of odd, eccentric, and silly things in the name of higher spiritualism. If the end of the world is not nigh, then the approach of the year 2000 is certain attracting the attention of a good many dubious spiritual entities. Readers, it simply must stop.

Let us take a recent example. The leader of a cult located in--and this will come as no shock to anyone, will it?--the United States of America recently announced to his followers that God would speak to them on a certain channel on their television receivers. Thousands of faithful tuned in to watch the phenomenon. Television 'news' cameras flocked the cult compound. Did God appear? Certainly not. Nor did He appear during the scheduled repeat performance a week later.

Another example. What the devil are all these angels doing about these days? Angels on books. Angels on wall calendars. Angels on biscuit tins. Angels on the television, and in the cinema. And then there are demons. Young girls who in another era might have been busily pointing Puritan fingers at the good women of Salem to accuse them of witchcraft, or rapping their toe joints against tables during the Victorian spiritualist movement, are now claiming to be possessed by Satan or his minions. Taking their cues from much-popularised cinematic excesses, they lie on their beds and moan and shake and twist their arms and mouth obscenities, and then undergo exorcisms by prim priests. Oh, their pain. Oh, their agony. Oh, their book contracts.

Do these things represent a spiritual awakening? Readers, one thinks not. Rather, such absurdities reveal a distressing tendency of the human race to trivialize things greater than themselves. Thus angels are no longer majestic beings who soar upon the music of the spheres, carrying on a work that has always existed and always will. No indeed. We reduce them to fuzzy-haired cherubim upon our lunch pails. We make them into creatures whose heavenly intervention will prevent us from forgetting our key rings and who help us choose our colour palette for the day. These are not angels. These are daily planners.

And demons. What do they do when they inhabit a human host? They drool. They laugh mechanically. They show off their double-jointedness. Readers, one does not know about you, but if one was a demon, one thinks one could find a few better things to do with one's time, such as assassinating world leaders, installing chaos, giving the Spice Girls yet another hit album, and then trotting off to Harvey Nichols for a bit of shopping and some lunch.

As for Our Lord, are not his powers great enough that he could find a means of manifesting himself through some other medium than Channel 18? Even Moses had the spectacle of a burning bush. Vastly more entertaining than transmission static.

We are not savages. We do not bay at the moon. And we ought to have more imagination than to have a Lord who appears on command via the same airwaves as Mrs Kathie Lee Gifford. Courage, readers, remember to stand erect and always follow the example of

Your weekly correspondent for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Medea writes:

Picture: A Portrait Of The Author As A Young BoyMy Dear Sir,

I belong to CSI (Children, Schmildren! International), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the image of the childfree-by-choice adult.  Here at CSI, we believe that, with global population rising and natural resources diminishing, it is no longer healthy to view the voluntarily childless as selfish, hedonistic, child-haters who can sleep as late as they like on Saturday mornings. Our goal of bringing population growth to a screeching halt would be far better served by promoting the childfree lifestyle as one of noble self-sacrifice for the good of all humanity.  (Far more so than it would be by pointing out that the childfree get to keep all the good toys for themselves, as one former member suggested.) 

Our group's vision statement is, "If we just appeal to people's better natures, our cause will surely gain in popularity!"  To that end we are soliciting celebrity spokespersons to appear in a series of internationally televised commercials, in addition to making a few appearances on some of the more tasteful talk shows and allowing one's photograph to be used in a series of promotional pamphlets. 

You have probably already guessed what I am driving at--yes, the family Grandiose are among our first choices for spokespersons!  As dedicated readers of your column, we know that you and the Lady Felicia have chosen not to reproduce--and we are most grateful for that decision--and we feel that having such distinguished personages as yourselves will lend dignity and--dare I say it?--class to our cause.  We can afford no monetary reimbursement, of course, but we know that the warm glow in the cockles of your hearts will more than repay your efforts.  My group is eagerly awaiting your answer.

Medea Kindernaughten    

Sir Charles replies:


One's cockles are not already so much glowing, as scorching with a furious fire at such praise. The Lady Felicia and oneself are, of course, delighted to lend what cachet we can to your cause. A note, though. We do not do 'The Talk Show.'

Of course, one is already brimming with suggestions. For example, one envisions a campaign highlighting famous personalities whose lives would have been better off had they not procreated. Or famous personalities who ought not to procreate. Mr Bill Gates comes immediately to mind. And poor Mr Rex. Who knew that his little Oeddie would turn against him?

So grateful to have all the best toys, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Phil writes:

Sir Charles, I'm writting you to find out if I'll have an affair with another woman. Currently, I've been married for 18 years. Whats going to happen to me I'm 45 years old. Things have been changing for me. My date of birth is 12/17/52 if that helps you. Please e-mail me as soon as possible.Thank for your time. Phil@aol.com

Sir Charles replies:

Phil, old bean,

Tempted as one is to publicly mock the correspondent in this public forum, expose his principal faults--both real and imagined--and in a metaphorical way to leave his carcass in the Fields of Exposure so bloody and bare that even the Hungry Vultures of Reproach might turn up their noses at him, one is a man of feeling. One is a man of compassion.

Therefore, one will only say that the correspondent's lucky Sagittarius lottery numbers are 3, 12, 14, and 17. In a strange twist of coincidence, the sum of these very numbers correspond to the correspondent's intelligence quotient! And here is your specially tailored horoscope for the day: Be wary of a titled gentleman with your e-mail address who, merely for his own amusement, is in just the mood to notify your poor unsuspecting wife of your ludicrous intents and to provide her with an expert tax lawyers so that your fanny ends up in the pokey.

And next time, sirrah, sharpen the crayon before you write.

Hoping you are having a nice day, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Clarence writes:

Picture: Ah, The Sports of the Gay CommunityDear Sir Charles:

I am one of your faithful readers, who are so numerous that if (God forbid) you were to die suddenly in a car accident, the resulting Elton John "tribute CD" would stay atop the charts until the sun's death.

My question is this: my wife and I, being fond of the theatre, were planning to see one of the new plays that just opened downtown. However, upon informing the chauffeur of our plans, he took me aside and whispered that this particular theatre (which we have never attended before) is in the heart of the so-called "gay community".

What might this "gay community" be, Sir Charles? I am not all that familiar with the commoners' slang, and I am too embarrassed to ask the chauffeur. Naturally, we all feel somewhat happy, joyous, and gay from time to time -- but to stay in a constant state of gaiety seems a little undignified; unmanly, even. Is it some sort of St. Vitus' Dance that makes grown men prance about like fairies? Please tell us, Sir Charles; our chauffeur's warning sounded quite ominous, and I do hope it hasn't become unsafe for the gentry just to take in a bit of theatre.

J. Clarence Berkeley

Sir Charles replies:

Mr Berkeley,

Fear not. One's own nephew, Chauncey, has been a self-proclaimed member of the 'gay community' for years. And he is indeed quite a cheerful fellow, particularly during his amusing imitations of Miss Liza Milenni. Oh, the sparkle in his eyes as he sings her version of 'Cabaret'. One expects he will be every bit of the lively lad even after he settles down and marries a nice girl, to carry on the family name, eh?

Obviously, Mr Berkeley, you may be a bit unused to the dour tendencies of the servants to quash the gentry's impulse to have a bit of fun. Why, when one wishes a bit more of brandy, of an evening, what do they bring? Coffee. When one is looking for a bit of a pinch--you know what one means, one is sure--does one get it? No. One receives a slap. When one orders the car to go round to one's friend Chatsy's flat, where does the chauffeur take one? Straight home. It's a frustrating life, ofttimes, old chap.

So when your chauffeur expresses a bit of distress that you might have a gay old time in the heart of the city, cuff his ears and damn the consequences. Drive straight to the heart of that gay community, enjoy your theatre, and do be sure to stop by the Manhole Lounge to see a friend of the family, Miss Anita Manceau-Baddeley, who is currently performing in the show, "Guess What's Between My Legs?"

(One has already guessed. It is a pair of shapely ankles.)

Feeling somewhat gay himself, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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