Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week

August 3, 1998 Picture: A Lead Encrusted Tongue? Readers, one has something quite serious to discuss.

We do have our little fun here, our weekly caravanserai of well-bred ladies and gentlemen in pith helmets and khaki, carrying field stools and elephant guns as we make our weekly forays into the breath-takingly vast wilderness of Bad Breeding, muck through the Swamps of Swinish Behaviour, and trudge across the endless Veldts of Vanity to conquer the Desert of Disregard. Oh yes. We stop along the way to gape at the Spice Girls, and to have a snigger or two at the Prince of Wales (known in the parlance of some as 'Old Jug-Ears') or the size of Fergie's knickers. But none of that this week. And it is not because Fergie's knickers have decreased in size, either. Quite the contrary. One hears that New York City is considering annexing them in order to alleviate their overflowing streets.

But readers, we shall have no fun and games today. No romps. No jests. None. One is here on this warm summer afternoon to espouse the virtues of a charitable organization. Last week they approached one with a desperate plea; they had exhausted their list of A-List celebrities, and their B-List of Miss Sally Struthers, Mr Gary Coleman, and someone named Charo had also refused to speak for their organisation (and small wonder, mis-alphabetised as they were).

But as a public figure, and a baronet at the top of the so-called 'C-List' of celebrities, one has a duty. And dash it all, when one sees a worthy charitable organisation in need of a high-profile celebrity spokesperson, one must do one's duty.

Thus it is that one devotes one's weekly preamble to the Kensington Society for Underprivileged Children.

Readers, with the possible exception of oneself, we were all children once, were we not? Childhood is meant to be the happiest time of one's life. A time of exploration and discovery. A time of puddings and toffee. And yet, even in this modern day and age, how many children out there are forced to live lives of degraded circumstances and daily face the horrors of an underprivileged existence?

The Kensington Society for Underprivileged Children knows. There are precisely seventeen. Yes, readers. Seventeen woebegone tykes who, because of their titled familys' insistence on 'modern' child-rearing techniques or misguided interior decorator advice, are not eating from fine China, but are forced to eat their meals from hand-thrown-up Spanish crockery or even--yes, it is a fact and one has seen the photographs--store-bought plateware.

The Kensington Society for Underprivileged Children is a charitable organisation with one aim in mind: To ensure that every child born to a titled family can eat his meals from dishes suitable to his station. Readers, why should a child suffer because his mother and father, peers of the realm though they be, decide that the family can 'make do' with mere Royal Doulton? Why should a child born of a duke and duchess go through life scorned and taunted by his friends because his parents think chopsticks and a wooden bowl are 'ever so divine and primitive'? With your contributions, the Kensington Society for Underprivileged Children hopes to provide every underprivileged child--all seventeen of them--will receive not only their own antique Spode place setting, but a seven-armed epergne to display proudly at their table.

Is it the child's fault that he eats from Chinette? Readers, join the Kensington Society for Underprivileged Children in boldly stamping out the abuses of these poor children's lives, and setting them on the path to a bright future. Your cheques and hefty contributions may be directed to the Kensington Society, in care of Sir Charles Grandiose, Blandsdown, -----shire. Please give generously, and give often.

Noting that Miss Struthers should find her just punishment in the infernal realms of eternity for ignoring such a worthy cause, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Puffing writes:

Picture: A Breath Of Fresh AirDear Sir Charles:

I took up smoking when it was a genteel and sophisticated thing for ladies to do. However, the art of smoking has fallen from favor, yet I remain addicted. Ashtrays, once so abundant, have all but disappeared. Pray tell, Sir Charles, what is a proper young lady to do with her butt?

Discreetly Puffing

Sir Charles replies:

My dear girl,

We should all emulate the example of one's ward, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe. Not content to sit and regard her importance as (and has one mentioned this salient fact before?) eighty-fifth in line for the throne, the girl is an avid crusader against the burning and inhalation of tobacco. And yet she recognizes that for some poor souls it seems to be a necessity, and provides them with an outlet for their nasty habit.

At a recent reception for the Fishampton Rugby League, for example, she strode into the room, gave the burly muscular tobacco-addicted fellows an appraising look, and remarked loudly, "All the gentlemen currently smoking should take their butts to my bed-chamber." My, didn't the room empty quickly.

Not remembering when one has since seen such a smile on the girl's face, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Pierre writes:

Mon amie Charles,

I was so upset to hear of your recent problems here in France. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am with my fellow countrymen, that they would treat a person as famous and well to do with so little respect. I can only assume that this was the result of a certain amount of sensitivity some of our people have developed over the actions of a few of your rambunctious football fans during the recent World Cup Matches. On behalf of the entire country of France I wish to extend the sincerest of apologies.

Please remit the past overdue amount for the two "Filthy Books of the Month Club" selections shipped to the Fishhampton mail drop: Queeny Bathes the Help and The Upstairs Maid's Latex Adventure.


Pierre DePew

Sir Charles replies:

My good little French fry,

Now, explain this little system to one once again. The card comes in the post, yes? And if one somehow fails to return it within the week, one automatically receives the selection of the month? It seems rather backwards, doesn't it?

And anyway, your books are substandard. Where is the leather binding? The fine hand-tooling on the cover? My edition of The Upstairs Maid is so shabbily constructed that pages 237 through the end are missing, and I shall never know what Roderick and Hannah said to each other on the Earl of Grosvenor's curious mechanical sofa.

Accepting all apologies, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Donald writes:

Picture: Bad Boy!Dear Sir Charles,

Much as I dislike to trouble you about so petty a matter, I would be grateful for your inimitable guidance with regard to a dispute that ruffles the calm of my household. My dear wife, who was brought up by "advanced" people down in the home counties, has what seems to me to be the absurd idea that the children should be allowed to leave the nursery and roam freely around the house. This liberty is even to extend to the period after the return home of their father from business!

I regard myself as a pretty "modern" sort of a cove, I let the girls go to school after all, and have not shot a Jehovah's witness in years. But involuntary exposure to one's own offspring seems to me to be taking the whole thing over the line into anarchy.

I remain,

Faithfully yours,
Donald of Clearwood

Sir Charles replies:


Though one thinks the correspondent is taking his modernity a bit too far in regards to door to door peddlars of religion (one's personal strategy is to keep the fowling rifle in the umbrella stand, for easy access), his inquiry is to be commended for its relevance.

Though many of one's personal acquaintance have remarked on many occasions how very fortunate it is for the world that the Lady Felicia and oneself have not brought forth offspring of our own--and might one just say that one is flattered by the observation?--one can firmly say that if one had been so afflicted, the little newts should not have been let out of the nursery until they'd reached the age of majority. After all, one's Mater was a permissive type, always encouraging one's brother and oneself to roam about the manor freely. And what did it get her? An electric toaster in Pater's bath water, that's what.

So beware, Mr Clearwood. One would sooner advise a correspondent to fill his home with dire succubi and malignant sprites, banshees, rabid dogs, and Spice Girls than ever suggest he have--and one here restrains a shiver bordering on petit mal--children roaming freely.

Still shuddering, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week