Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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November 9, 1998

Picture: That Certain Tilt Of The Nose"Dear Sir Charles," began the innocent-looking message. "You are a snob."

Immediately one was taken aback. A snob? A snob? A snob? What would give one's readers (and one has it upon a sterling authority that were each of one's readers a single tablet of aspirin, Her Majesty The Queen would have a sufficient quantity to endure the prospect of a royal wedding between old 'Saucer Ears' and that gaseous diesel lorry known as the Parker Bowles) such an erroneous impression?

One thought back. Naturally, one is free with one's words in this column, but what could one have written that might have conveyed the impression that one was the sort of fellow who thought his tastes, thoughts, and deeds were inherently better than the vast majority of the world's flotsam and jetsam floating upon the currents of popular culture? Even though it is most certainly true that they are?

Could it have been the recent statement, "One feels quite strongly that were Dante alive today, the great architect of the afterlife himself would have reserved a special and torturous space in the lowest of the sub-basements of Hell for those who visit 'Taco Bell'"? Perhaps one should have not been quite so vehement. Level B14 should be sufficient for these cretins.

Could it have been the assertion, "There isn't a Frenchie alive who doesn't deserve to be dipped head first into a vat of particularly sticky melted toffee and then into another vat of shredded high-efficiency fiberglass insulation in order that delicate English ears need not hear again their lascivious 'Fa fa fa fa fwah fwah fwahs'"? If so, one overstated oneself. The French have their uses. It would not be half so amusing, for example, to denigrate the Belgians.

Perhaps, when one stated, "What a pity it is that entire species go extinct in Darwin's evolutionary theory, while in Social Darwinism we're still stuck with those blasted lower classes," some of those included in that sweeping averrance might have inferred that one wished them the same fate as befell the unfortunate brontosaurus, or our unfortunate cousins, the homo eruptus? Well, one did intend that sort of thing. But in the kindest way possible, of course.

Yet readers, these few statements and the three or four hundred similar others that one found in the last two months' worth of columns scarcely make one a snob, do they? Indeed not. One is a democratic sort of fellow who is content to mingle with all manner of folk, provided they appear in the Peerage. Why, one even now and again nods at Tiffany, Lady Frost, the Californian wife of Lord Frost of Lockesley-Charmes (who, as we all know, is tragically pernicious)! This alone should show errant readers that they are ever in the wrong, while one is continually in the right.

Which is as it should be, given one's title, wealth, and family name.

In a decidedly anti-snobbish way, yet still maintaining that tilt of the nose that marks the truly elite from the world's scum, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Pixi writes:

Picture: A Bastard Grandiose?Sir Charles,

It has recently come to my attention that my father's sister's husband's cousin's uncle's niece's best friend's nephew's daddy's grandmother was a Grandiose. 

Could there be a place in line to the throne for me?  And if so, where and how much do I stand to inherit upon your demise?  Trust, I do not wish any ill will towards you, I was just asking.  I feel that my chances are good, considering the close connection that I have described.  What so you think . . . may I call you Uncle Charles?

Signed your niece,
Lady Rose

Sir Charles replies:

Impetuous one,

One hates to dash the correspondent's hopes, but it is young Penelope Windsor-Smythe who is--and this is a fact not generally known--eighty-fifth in line for the throne. Though inarguably a full member of our family, she is only one's ward, and not related to oneself by blood.

Of course the correspondent may feel free to call oneself 'Uncle Charles'. So long, that is, as the correspondent does not mind one calling the men in white coats to come escort her to a lovely rubber room for the rest of her days.

Ever the most grandiose of the Grandiose family, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Co-Worker writes:

My co-worker's  breath smells sour--almost like vomit-- all the time. It is a very awkward situation to have to deal with on a daily basis.  We work together in a hospital and although she isn't in contact with recovering patients, in our office, she has to deal with new patients and existing patients coming in to make appointments.

I have been asking as many people as I know how to approach her or else let her know anonymously.  I even tried turning it around and asking myself how I would want someone to tell me . . . and I can't imagine what I would be comfortable with. Is there an appropriate way to let someone know this?

Her breath is also a topic of whispering conversations in neighboring areas and departments that we both occasionally deal with.  No one's said anything to her obviously because people are still talking about it.  I've sent this same issue to other etiquette advice pages, but in my search, your site came up and I figured I'd ask to remain in the realms of "business-like" etiquette, thinking there was an appropriate business-like way to mention this matter to her.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Please advise.
Co-worker in Columbia

Sir Charles replies:

My friend,

How kind it is of you to care for your co-worker. It is this kind of brotherly concern that is all too scarce in today's slapdash, pell-mell society. The kindest way to assist your co-worker, however, would be gently to slip her a patented Sir Charles Grandiose Manners Card. These gently worded remonstrances will subtly nudge your companion away towards a gentle conformity, for which she will thank you evermore.

In fact, one has made a Manners Card especially for your situation. If it is too, too subtle, be sure to inform one. But one flatters oneself that it gets the point firmly across, in a kind and gentle way.

Picture: A Very Special Manners Card

Always happy to be of assistance, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Fanny writes:

Picture: A Young Woman In Need Of TrainingYour Grace,

One asks your advice on a very important matter. One is being sent to Finishing School. Fortunately Mummsy and PaPa, are giving me a choice of several schools.

Miss Nancy Pritchard's Finishing School for Refined Young Ladies. Teaching: Husbandry, Home and Yard Maintanance;

Madam Farqhard's French School for Gentile Ladies. Teaching: Husbandry, Cooking, and Housekeeping, and Keeping Your House. The Art of Keeping Your Man Happy and Keeping Your Man;

Frau Helga's Alpine School for Finishing Girls.  Teaching: Skiing, The Art of German Conversation, and Husbandry; and

Senor and Senora Mendosa's Ranche de School de Senoritas Finishing. Teaching: Embroidery, Husbandry, Cooking, and the Art Of The Castanet.

Sir Charles, must a lady be finished? Which should I pick? I would be so grateful for your assistance in the choosing of such an important school. Could you recommend one? What Finishing School did young Penelope attend? Was she satisfied?

Your faithful servant
Lady Fanny Allheart

Sir Charles replies:

My dear young woman,

Although it sounds as if Madame Farqhard's establishment for Gentile young women would at least keep the Zoroastrian rabble at bay, one must protest strongly at the thought of a young British rose having her petals wither in the hothouses of a Continental setting. It will not do!

Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe attended finishing school at Miss Westriding's Finishing School For Those Who Are At Least Two-Hundred And Fiftieth In Line For The Throne. Obviously, quite an exclusive academy. Aside from the obvious niceties, young Penelope earned a first for her hands-on experimental laboratories in Pleasing A Potential Husband.

She was very satisfied indeed.

Ever the proud warden, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

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