Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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May 18-25, 1998 One's secretary (and one has it on an irrefutable authority that the lad is so dense, astrologers have studied him extensively in order to establish that he is some sort of intellectual black hole, into which sentences, paragraphs, and whole tomes of knowledge vanish and nary a twinkle of them is seen again) informs one that he is moving. Well, one thought. He has brought one to tears many a time, but moving is scarcely the word that one would employ to describe him.

But no, he corrected one. He is changing domicile. And he has requested the week off. Now, one can hardly imagine it taking more than an hour to carry a small satchel of ABBA 'Eight-Track' tapes, a small wart remover, and several packages of pork scratchings from one flea-infested den of ill-repute to another, but when one has been tossed out on one's ear as often as has he, perhaps finding new lodgings can be something of a challenge.

In the meantime, one presents here several classic letters which, despite their age, have lost none of their sparkle.

And one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: I Loathe Little Pussy, Her Tongue Is So WarmFlummoxed writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

Whether one is a "cat person" or not, it seems any reasonable soul would be mortified when the cat washes its butt in front of company, as ours does without fail.

What can be done? The wife's rather attached to it. (The cat, that is.)


Sir Charles replies:


One has experienced the self-same mortification with one's domestic dependents. One thinks of particular of Mimsy, who also had the propensity to walk into the drawing room, sit herself down upon the Persian carpet, and lick her nether regions in the presence of distinguished and often titled guests, hair flying every which way as her tongue created a moist cacophony that inevitably reduced all conversation to stunned silence. Mimsy also had the charming habit--and one is indeed facetious, here--of leaping onto the dining table and growling at guests, refusing to be removed until each had given her a morsel from his plate and a rub behind the ears.

Affairs came to a head during a dinner party several years ago honoring the Founding Day of Fishampton, when Mimsy swaggered into the larger dining hall as if it belonged to her, and proceeded to cough up a kipper head into the Mayor's vichyssoise. It was obvious to all that poor old Mimsy had to go. Yet one knew the affection that the Lady Felicia felt for the creature, and thus one allowed her to make the final decision to send Mimsy away for good. She was, after all, the Lady Felicia's great-aunt, and not one's own.

With sympathy, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Two of the So-Called 'Lipstick Lebanese'.

Unmanned writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

A question of a delicate nature, one which your well-travelled and world-wise family may have an answer for.

We live in a very fine neighbourhood, and we find that our new neighbours are causing a small buzz in the community. They are two ladies, in their early middle years. One is a botanical librarian at the Kew Gardens, and the other a physical education instructor at one of our finest Ladies' Colleges. They keep mostly to themselves, and we have yet to see any gentlemen call on their home. When they go out, it is always together.

Could they be Lebanese?

Unmanned in Manswell Gardens

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Mental Defective,

Ah, one knows exactly of the sort of woman you speak. One's dear maiden aunt was also of the type. Fond of horses and Radclyffe Hall. Yet blatant ignorance disgusts one infinitely more than these lady neighbours could ever disturb one's correspondent. They are not 'Lebanese.' Gracious, no! 'Lebanese' is a descriptive term reserved for dark-skinned, spice-imbued foreigners who indulge in the vicious and wicked practice of sun-bathing. The correspondent's neighbours are thespians. Make not this mistake again!

Shortly, one remains,
Sir Charles

Bewildered Beauty writes:

Dear Lady Felicia,

What do you think of these new alpha hydroxide creams? I am toying with the idea of buying a jar or two (one for day and one for nighttime), but there are so many different types out there! For example, there are chemical creams and natural creams which are made out of the same acids as those found in fruit and milk. What do you think? Are there any you endorse? And what about those eye gels with lipsomes in them? Do you think I could use those on my lips like that beauty article suggested or should I just use them on my eyes?

Bewildered Beauty

The Lady Felicia replies:

Gentle Reader,

While this author finds no need for chemical enhancements to her own beauty regimen, she recognizes that not all people were born with the gentried skin. To that end she would suggest the following: If one must augment one's visage, one should do so only at the hands of the most highly skilled facial experts, who are to be found at Spa La Visage in the Alps (this author knows for a fact that certain members of the upper crust, namely Princess S--- and Ladies A---, R---, and P---, swear by this treatment). Under no circumstances should one try either self-application, OR any product or service rendered in the colonies, as one knows that Americans are single-minded when it comes to the possibility of making a profit at the expense of good taste.

This author highly recommends that one think first of attempting to remedy any of the tiniest signs of the approach of Dame Age by her tried and true method: rinsing with Evian water, and applying either moss green shadow (for every day), or peacock blue shadow (for evening).

Also remember that the eyes of others will be drawn away from any tiny lines by a multi-stranded pearl choker with 3 carat sapphire drops, OR by any tiara of more than 10 carats.

Serenely yours,
Lady Felicia Grandiose

Picture: The Seam Hardly Shows

Charles-ite writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Count me as one of your most faithful readers. I've been delighted with your column for months, and am just now summoning up the courage to write.

I think you're the only one cultured and worldly enough to answer my question. However, this problem is not my own, but a friend's. (Really!) He is a master chef, and thinking of opening a number of brasseries in some of the most fashionable sections of London. He's not sure whether to open them one at a time, and slowly build his reputation, or whether to open them all at once and hope for the best.

Since you seem to be the sort of chap to know his tomatoes from his prunes, what do you suggest?

Charles-ite in Charleston

Sir Charles replies:


Really! One cannot recommend more strongly that the correspondent immediately obtain a better class of friends!

A brasserie is a lady's most private and personal treasure! A brasserie is not meant to be fumbled open on a public street, whether sequentially or simultaneously! (How the erstwhile 'friend' proposed to do that magnificent feat, one is most interested in knowing. For purely theoretical reasons, of course.)

Goodness gracious! The minds of some people are perpetually in the gutter. One cuttingly suggests that this master chef turn his brutal, sensual energies to some more worthy enterprise. Opening restaurants, perhaps!

Feeling the need to wash oneself after that too-close brush with vile carnality, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Disgruntled writes:

Dear Sir Charles.

I just can't believe that you peers get so many privileges, and the rest of us hard working chaps have to slog it out for a pittance.


Sir Charles replies:

Oh lowly one,

It does seem a bit hard to believe, doesn't it? But do try.

Merrily, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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