Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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September 21, 1998 Picture: Dig In, Lads!"I did not have snacks with that woman!"

Thus rang the words of Sir Wilburton Cholmondely, Bart., throughout the deathly still House of Lords. And oh, how we wished to believe him.

One's readers abroad (and one has it from an impeccable source that the number of these good folk is so overwhelming that were each to break one of the primary rules of etiquette and indulge in a surreptitious scratch, the resulting pile of skin flakes would provide enough biodegradable compost to bring the Kensington Gardens back to their full glory) may not have been following the electrifying headlines that have shocked the United Kingdom by their sheer salaciousness. Daily have we been subjected to the tawdry details of the case. Sir Wilburton, an upstanding baronet of moderate fortune and public acclaim, was suddenly brought down when his wife accused him of cheating on the couple's reducing diet with one of the chambermaids.

Oh, how we all wanted to believe his assertions. A baronet, lying before the House of Lords? Impossible. And yet, there were the secret testimonies that whispered of lurid feasts below stairs. The published report that asserted that Sir Wilburton had not only shared Choco-Gators with Miss Melinda Lewis, but that they had secretly conspired to conceal their sugar-laden gorgings from Sir Wilburton's wife, Lady Cholmondely.

One's American readers should be especially grateful for their even-handed media. How refreshing it would be to live in a country such as the United States of America in which the integrity of news reporting has not been forgotten, for it is sadly true that like flies for excrement, our British tabloids hover incessantly about whatever stinks. Thus the increasingly scandalous details emerge. How Sir Wilburton shared his Ripply-Whipplies with the chambermaid late one evening. How he gave into temptation and fed her Mr. Piggy's Pork Scratchings. How the pair of them shared Shrimparama Snack Crisps while Sir Wilburton chatted on the telephone to the Prince of Wales. How the gluttonous Miss Melinda begged Sir Wilburton to let her taste his Cheese-In-A-Can after she had ingested a peppermint pastille. How Sir Wilburton carelessly spurted the creamy filling from his Fudgeriffic onto Miss Melinda's dress, and how the dress was confiscated and analysed by Scotland Yard. Day after day of escalating detail to which we have been subject!

Naturally, one finds oneself defensive that the honour of a fellow baronet has been impugned. Thoroughly reprehensible, what chaps will do when they're out to malign a fellow. But does it really merit the incessant attention? Must our newspapers, periodicals, and television broadcast speak of nothing but this alleged scandal? Gracious, if we were all judged by what we nibbled upon, who among us could escape blame-free?

Fed up with the lot of it, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose?

Lady Sarah writes:

Picture: A Tasty TartDear Sir Charles,

I am having the most dreadful trouble with a pesky young girl.  You see, my brother, Spencer P. Halifax, Esq., has become quite enamoured of this young . . . school girl, shall we say.  But now my brother has left the manor to attend Trumpington's Academy for Terminally Recalcitrant Youth, just as our father before him.  (And one does believe that you, Sir, yourself has graced that institution with your influential presence.) 

My problem is, this young (dare I say) strumpet, continuously invades my private and personal space!  When one is sitting in the rose garden for afternoon tea, the last thing one wishes to encounter is some floozy whining incessantly!  I have tried to get rid of her.  I have tried to make her understand.  But the young dolt will not be bribed, threatened, pleaded with, or even poisoned. 

As a very experienced man of the world, could you please provide me with a tasteful means by which I might make the little tart "bugger off" as it were?  Honestly!  I believe she is no more than a petty thief, hoping to extract some valuable trinkets or jewels from one of the many family estates!  The impertinence!  Perhaps I should lure her to the house on some congenial pretext and then release the hounds.  One is so confused.  Please respond with your advice at your earliest convenience!

Most respectfully one remains,
Lady Sarah

Sir Charles replies:

Lady Sarah,

Three ingredients will suffice to bring the scenario to a hasty close. One, the promise of a shopping trip at Harrod's. Two, a credit card with a canceled credit line. And finally, an open door in the Rolls and a firm foot on the arse at a service station along the M-1.

Speaking with experience, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Jasmine writes:

Dear Sir Charles

There is this knight who I loved. He was a very bad boy and made me cry many lonely nights high in my tower when he was out on missions with his fellow knights (and ladies). I overcame this loneliness by associating myself with other knights. He then became angry and we decided to stop seeing other knights and ladies. I stopped but he didn't. I have since found out that one lady was very special to him and I cut off his neck for it. How do I now make her suffer unbearably for messing with my knight?

P.S. I need something brutal

Lady Jasmine

Sir Charles replies:

'Lady' Jasmine,

Why not write the lady in question a letter or two? One cannot imagine a more tortuous suffering than what one just endured, reading yours.

Remarking that the correspondent's lack of vocabulary or imagination is brutal enough, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Emma writes:

Picture: Sit Sir, Sit!Dear Sir Charles,

Perhaps you--whose readers are so numerous that if all our tea kettles were to whistle at once, the resulting noise would be heard even over the sound of rap music issuing from open car windows at public intersections--can help me. 

As I walk to my car in weather of 101 degrees, inhale air that is little better than steam, and look at the patchy brown grass that passes for lawns here, I am driven to fantasize about moving to Great Britain.  Is there a place for a poor, untitled American immigrant in your land of lovely, cool summers?  Is the grass really greener there?

Wistfully yours,
Emma the Would-be Immigrant

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Emma,

One does indeed live in a most green and pleasant land. Around oneself the larks cluck contentedly, animals frolic in the hedgerows, and insects buzz among the fields. An unspoiled countryside, indeed.

However, Parliament has established an immigration quota for Americans. Apparently each of you requires a 'strip-mall' apiece to be thoroughly content, and we simply don't have the room. So sorry.

Nothing that if it isn't a law yet, it ought to be, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

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