Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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June 8, 1998 Picture: Hose Me Down, Boys!Although we are but halfway through the annual cycle, one is emboldened enough to make a prediction. One hereby proclaims it the Year Of The. . . that is, one proclaims this very year to be the Year Of The. . . .

But one cannot say it in polite society. Ladies, avert your eyes. One should detest offending one's readers (who, one has it upon a sterling authority, are so numerous that were they to all be subpoenaed by Kenneth Starr, by the time they all testified, the Clintons would be long dead of old age, Monica would be drawing social security and still the defense would not have had time to cross-examine). Yet this is an age of frankness, is it not? An age in which modern men do not beat around the bush? Well, one will come out and say it. Without further delay. One hereby proclaims it The Year Of The . . . well. You know. Young Wee Willy Winkie. Colonel Johnson and his Privates. Need one really say more?

Bad enough, the revelation that an American President has 'distinguishing marks' in a certain area of his b-dy that no doubt would make his sainted mother blush. Worse, that one must hear about it, edition after edition of the Times and the august Daily Spectator and Tom's Tidbits.

And what is all this nonsense about 'Viagra'? Is the development of a drug that sends a bit more blood to the vicinity of the waistline really so newsworthy that we must all be subjected to each excruciating minutiae of its development, marketing, and application? Are there really editors in our newspapers and television broadcasting studios who flip boredly through the press reports, mumbling, "India . . . Pakistan . . . nuclear winter . . . famine . . . plague . . . war . . . ah! Masculine tumescence always draws the crowds. Stop the presses! Hold the cameras! We'll put it on the front page, lads!"

Are there really so many gentlemen out there in the world who find it necessary to flaunt their patent lack of virility by purchasing this new 'wonder drug'? One recently heard that an international cartel of thieves and thugs hijacked an aeroplane full of Viagra in order to keep it for their own diabolical purposes. What hardened criminals they must be, indeed. One certain ly trusts they will receive a stiff penalty from the penal system!

But enough of this talk. If one wishes to hear about stiff members, one wishes it to refer to those in Parliament who fall asleep when the Prince of Wales speaks.

Manly as any fellow who happens to be a baronet, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Heathcliffe writes:

Picture: A Man Could Go Quite MadDear Sir Charles,

Me wife is one of your big fans who are, she vows, so numerous that were each to flush the loo at exactly the same time, the Thames and a goodly bit of the North Sea would be drained dry. Anyhow she wrote to you back in October about me 'abit of pinchin' 'er buns, and how she was cuttin' back on me pleasures. Of eatin', that is. D'ye recollect 'ow yer took my side in the matter?

Anyhow, I need yer help agin. The doc put me on a special diet, the mainstay of which is roasted chestnuts. Now those nuts aren't too bad when they come fresh outta the oven, but when they sit a bit and cool off, they're more than a man can take. Roasted chestnuts is naturally supposed to be hot. Me wife is so busy tendin' 'er buns and all that she neglects to warm me nuts. What can I do to get my nuts warmed proper?

Heathcliffe in Basingstoke  

Sir Charles replies:

My dear sir,

One has judged--and take no offense, for it is merely a surmise based upon the correspondent's execrable spelling, utter disregard of syntax, and insolent tone--that you are either of the lower classes, or that you are the Prince of Wales.

If the former, one suggests that the correspondent take the nuts firmly in hand, and then to slam them upon the table in order to crack their casings. Do not flinch. This step is essential. Then a short sojourn in a sizzling hot pan or, if you are a more 'modern' type, a minute or two in the 'microwave oven', and they will be piping hot.

If the latter, one suggests letting Camilla perform the slamming.

Ever so glad to share one's expertise in cookery, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Viscount Worthington-Quim writes:

My warmest salutations to you, Sir Charles.

May I say what a pleasure it is to converse with a man of such wisdom and elegance? One has written to you upon this occasion to ask your advice on certain personal matters.

As a recipient of teachings at one of the country's finest establishments of learning, I have found myself struck with two dilemmas. The first of these is that I have the most overwhelming crush on Matron. Is this normal? Figgis, who is experienced in such affairs, tells me that it is wrong to harbour such feelings for one's Matron. However, Figgis was responsible for getting one of his Fathers servant girls in the family way last autumn, so I am indecisive as to whether I should heed his advice or not. Also, Matron has a rather prominent moustache for a woman, not unlike that of Lord Kitchener's, but one seems to find this as part of Matron's forbidden allure.

My second concern has to do with my scholar of Latin. He asked me to meet him after class had been dismissed to give to me what he referred to as "extra curricular tuition". He said that I was to tell no-one of this great service he is to provide me. However, I am wary, as a malicious rumour circulated at one time when he offered a similar course of learning to Wibbleton-Smythe III. This course of learning seemed to involve the Latin master plying Wibbleton-Smythe III with strong port. What is one to do?

As a young man of great prospects, I would be of the upmost gratitude if you would impart your wisdom to me and advise me on what to do.

Yours sincerely,
Viscount Giles Worthington-Quim

Sir Charles replies:

Dear lad,

Ah, happy school days. Swotting it out over exams. Pinching a pigeon pie from the buttery. Tying together the Master's laces. Stripping sleeping young Buffington-Trotter down to his kit, posing him with a sheep, taking photographs, and then publishing them in the Horticulturalist's Monthly. Ah, happy, jolly school days.

My lad, all the women of noble stock in this green and blessed land have a bit of hair on their upper lip. Why, look at the Lady Felicia. Small birds could make their nest in that thicket. Don't let a bit of fluff stand between you and a really ripping schoolboy mash. Besides, the moustaches smell all the better after the lady has just bleached them.

As for your Latin scholar: why not? If I'd known a bit of port made the old hinc henc hunc go down a bit easier, one would have been in the master's office daily, begging for it.

Ever mindful that one can lead a horticulture, but you cannot make her . . . ah, but that is neither here nor there, is it? One remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Quentin Faushqua Smythe (Lord) writes:

Picture: Jolly Old Queen BessGood day, Sir Charles,

Your name is verily sending the ripples through society this week. I was reading one of those magazines the common folk seem so fond of (that was on my first class seat on the train carriage) when I happened to glance upon an article about your very self. With glee I read until I finished. At last a person with a noble cause!

It was then I realised that you may be able to help me with a problem of mine. A devious puzzling problem that, I must confess, has me flummoxed.

My Father's son in law's sister twice removed on her step mother's (rather large) side has apparently consented to marry a lowly Maths professor. While I know little of this man, nor of his chosen subject, I have nevertheless decided that this unholy mess of a marriage to be must be stopped immediately. What next? The Queen to marry a Greek?

I appreciate that I cannot convey the smallest details of this predicament to you but would appreciate any guidance that you can offer me in these terrible times.

Yours faithfully
Quentin Faushqua Smythe (Lord) (But you may call me Quentin)

Sir Charles replies:

Smythe (Lord),

We all know what happens when we allow commoners to dig their grubby little toes under even the more remote roots of the family tree, don't we? Metaphorical Dutch Elm blight, that's what.

First they ease their way into the family with their glib tongues and New Money, if they have any at all. Then they breed with us, affecting the bloodlines so that such traits hitherto restricted only to the nobility--and of course one speaks of the famous slack-jawed expression of culture, hemophilia, crossed eyes, feminine moustaches, and a tendency to drool--are replaced with the athletic genes of the common folk. In a few generations, we shall all resemble the vulgar, simian physiques of the cast of Baywatch.

It must be stopped, sirrah. It must be stopped at all costs.

Disavowing ever having watched Baywatch, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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