Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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July 20, 1998

Picture: You Are Under Arrest!Sir Charles Grandiose presents:

All the French You Ever Need Know, Part Trois

Avant le magistrat: Before the Magistrate

Je suis monsieur Charles Grandiose, baronnet de sa Reine Elizabeth de majeste le deuxieme.: I am Sir Charles Grandiose, Baronet to Queen Elizabeth the Second.
Que voulez-vous dire, ce monsieur Charles Grandiose?: What do you mean, is one that Sir Charles Grandiose?
Bien, je pourrais avoir appele vos compatriotes 'ail de camarade des swillers charges de vin,' une fois ou deux fois. Pourquoi?: Well, one might have called in print your fellow countrymen 'garlic laden swillers of wine,' once or twice. Why?
Oui, les mots ' tous les Francais ont des levres oleagineuses et un regard perpetuel de la chaleur dans les bruits de leurs yeux vaguement familiers.: Yes, the words 'all Frenchmen have oleaginous lips and a perpetual look of heat in their eyes' sounds vaguely familiar.
Bien, je ne puis pas croire que j'ai appele le systeme juridique français ' que quelque chose de apparente a un kangourou a laisse lachement dans un brothel particulièrement parfum-charge'. Peut-etre quelque chose a ete detruite dans la traduction. . . ?: Well, one cannot quite believe that one called the French judicial system 'something akin to a kangaroo let loose in a particularly perfume-laden brothel'. Perhaps something was lost in the translation...?
Oh. Vous avez lu l'anglais couramment.: Oh. You read English fluently.
Que voulez-vous dire, deportation?: What in blazes do you mean by deportation?

Au telephone: On the Telephone

Je voudrais parler a l'ambassadeur britannique.: One should like to speak to the British Ambassador.
Que voulez-vous dire, il ne pouvez-vous pas etre deranges?: What do you mean, he can't be disturbed?
Ah, il est avec un 'hussy,' n'est-ce pas? Un de ces filles des joie? Quoi le strumpet ressemble-t-il? Ayez la pitie, homme. Je suis en prison.: Oh, he's with a hussy, is he? One of those Parisian girls? What does the strumpet look like? Have pity, man. I'm in prison.
Serpentez! Ce n'est aucune femme de reputation malade. C'est mon epouse!: You cad! That's no hussy! That's my wife!

Sur le bac de police vers Douvres:On the Police Ferry to Dover

La deportation me convient. Je ne souhaite pas retourner a votre evier puce-infeste de péche, quoi qu'il en soit.: Deportation suits me. I do not wish to return to your flea-infested sink of sin, anyway.
J'ai voulu dire cela de la voie la plus gentille possible, naturellement.: One means that in the nicest possible way, of course.
Ne servez-vous pas le petit dejeuner ici sur l'arche de Noah?: Don't you serve breakfast here on Noah's Ark?
Je prendrai un oeuf au-dessus de facile.: I will have an egg over easy.
Lady Felicia vous desire pour lui donner dur.: The Lady Felicia desires you to give her a hard one.
Partez de la salle? Pourquoi? Dans des ces manchettes de main?: Leave the room? Whatever for? In these handcuffs?

Glad to have returned to one's homelands, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Henri writes:

Picture: Help! I'm Drowning, And I Can't Get Up!Sir Charles,

It is with extreme sorrow that I notice your constant vilification of the French people (and so soon after our glorious footballing exploits).

Your criticism of our peasantry I can stomach (it is so hard to get clean-footed serfs for the family vineyards, non?) but sacre bleu! Our cooking? The pride of our fertile valleys and sun-kissed pastures? This is an outrage, and all the more so as I remember your fine presence at many of my family's banquets, where I often remember you asking for portion after portion from the young serving maids.

Am I right in thinking your fine tastes have reverted to your, how you say, toad in the hole and mashy bangers?

Yours, worried,
Marquis Henri Claude-Balls

Sir Charles replies:

Ah Henri,

Though it is true that in our youth, when we were both lads at Trumpington's Academy for Terminally Recalcitrant Youth, one had a taste for French food. But now, given a choice, though tempting as the hot Parisian tart might be, one would swallow the spotted dick every time.

It is an instinct that runs deep among the British aristocracy, and to it one must be true.

Blue-bloodedly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Eleanor writes:

okay, okay......have you ever seen an episode of baywatch or friends?  have you ever listened to the delicate harmonies of the spice girls?  i admit (as i hope you can) that i have not......

i am under the distinct impression that you judge americans by (what i can only assume are) these "lame" displays of artistic freedom.......

i have utmost respect for you, my darling.

my criticism comes from the pride and dignity i have in being american born, yet closer in line to the throne than young penelope windsor-smythe.....

please, do not judge those of us on this side of the atlantic by our "weak links"...if, in fact, that is what they are.....

Humbly one remains,
miss eleanor

Sir Charles replies:

Dear little Eleanor,

Happy as one would be to attribute, simpers and all, the 'Spice Girls' to that oxymoron known as American Culture, one must bring to your attention, my girl, that 'Ginger' doesn't wear the Union Jack merely because she likes the pwetty colours.

However, one must dispel your impression that one judges Americans by their displays of artistic freedom. One judges them by their capitalisation, punctuation, and spelling skills.

But surely, my girl, you must think a moment. What elements of British culture do you Yanks judge us by? Why, our classic literature. Our centuries of poetry. Our fine paintings. The ephemeral productions of the BBC. And what does your culture send us in return? Lifesaving girls falling out of their 'bikinis,' 'grunge,' MacDonald's, and Andy Warhol.

If you've no wish for us to observe your weak links, my girl, forge a stronger chain.

Chanting 'Rule Brittania,' one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Jenna writes:

Picture: Singing The Latest Hep SongsDear Penelope,

That's a very funny name:  Penny-lope? But you live in England, so I guess you all speak some modified version of the English language, huh?  My great aunt Felicia was from England, and I mean really, who names their kids FELICIA?!

Anywho, as you may know--being the 80th-something-or-other-in-line-for-the-throne--here in the U S of A we have this amazing music group called Hanson! They are so dreamy! I just wanted to pen you a letter in hopes that you might inspire me with your knowledge of Hanson and what you like so much about them! Also, do you have any Hanson memorabilia stamps in your collection? Could you forward a few to me? (if not, I will accept photos of Colin Bates) Thanks! Chow! OXOXO

D. Jenna Rashun, Taylor Hanson's Girl!!!!

Penelope Windsor-Smythe replies:

Dear Jenna,

What quaint names you Americans have! How envious I am, to think that if eighty-four of my nearest and dearest relations were to--and you have the sweetest little expression for it as well--'kick the bucket,' I think it is, that I would have to settle for being Queen Penelope, instead of something fanciful such as Queen Tiffany or Queen Latifah or Queen Jenna. Oh, the burden of my heritage!

I am frightfully sorry, dear, that I do not have any Hanson memorabilia, nor any of that dreamy Colin Bates. I can spare, however, from my Great British Rulers Lick 'n' Stick Stamp collection, an only slightly curled reproduction of Prince Andrew. I licked and licked, but he never stuck.

Sincerely, one remains,
The once and future Queen Penelope

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