Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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December 7, 1998

Advice from Sir Charles Grandiose presents

The Sir Charles Grandiose Holiday Preparation Checklist

Picture: An Unexpected Visitor December 1, 1998:
Decide what presents would be most appropriate for the servants to present to oneself. Make individualized lists; distribute.

December 2, 1998:
Repeat for family. Remind nephew Chauncey that one did not find last year's gift of a feather boa very funny.

December 3, 1998:
Christmas is a season for carolers. Have the servants lay out bear traps and poison the figgy pudding.

December 4, 1998:
Bid on that special item from Sotheby's for oneself, as a present.

December 5, 1998:
Engage P.R. firm to convince Santa that while one's may have appeared to have indulged in a great many bad deeds, they were really for the common good, in the long run.

December 6, 1998:
Telephone Guam. Convince one's factory supervisors to warn child labourers that they'll end up on Santa's 'Naughty' list if they don't up their shifts from twelve to fourteen hours daily.

December 7, 1998:
Have idiot secretary post column for week. Disinfect after he leaves.

December 8, 1998:
Have cook deliver practice plum puddings to one's study, for a careful consideration.

December 9, 1998:
Visit doctor. Ask about indigestion.

December 10, 1998:
Search for tree suitable for Blandsdown foyer.

December 11, 1998:
Engage P.R. firm to explain to courts that one did not deface Kensington Gardens by removing the landmark Queen Victoria Spruce. One merely gave the gardeners one less tree to care for.

December 12, 1998:
Pay fine. Flog P.R. firm.

December 13, 1998:
Church services. (Note to oneself: Feign illness so that one might stay home and test out new binoculars, now that Tiffany, wife to Lord Frost of Lockesley-Charmes, has taken to morning dips in her estate's outdoor 'hot tub'. Avoid Lord Frost. He's tragically pernicious.)

December 14, 1998:
Deliver column to one's secretary. Disinfect afterwards. Check for stains in the chair the cretin sits in.

December 15, 1998:
Post letters to Santa. Include fifty pound note for hefty 'attitude adjustment' towards oneself.

December 16, 1998:
Telephone mercenaries for stand-by raid on North Pole, just in case.

December 17, 1998:
Assure National Mental Health Bureau that one is perfectly sane. Where do they get these reports?

December 18, 1998:
Flog mercenaries.

December 19, 1998:
Check with solicitor as to merit of case that claims damage against confectioner's. The so called 'candy cane' cannot, after all, be used as an assistive device for a baronet with gout.

December 20, 1998:
Flog solicitor.

December 21, 1998:
Purchase special gift for Mr. Lucifer K. Satan, Toy Development Investments, Ltd. That 'Furby' really did turn out to be something. (Note to solicitors: Investigate 'soul' clause. Will it stand up in court?)

December 22, 1998:
The Annual Blandsdown Holly Jolly Christmas Sit Down Dinner A La Russe Holiday Affair. Purchase pins to use in Eunice, Duchess of Crabbe's rubber doughnut.

December 23, 1998:
Coach servants in the twelve-hour bell ringing sequence that will enliven Christmas Eve. Aspirin for the vicar.

December 24, 1998 (Christmas Eve):
Time to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the month and to reflect upon the true meaning of the season: That is, admire the abundance of presents to oneself under the tree.

December 25, 1998 (Christmas Day):
Morning church services (Note to oneself: Feign illness so one might stay home and thoroughly appreciate the new addition to one's collection of Ancient Indian Brass Spittoons in the shapes of the Kama Sutra that one bid upon from Sotheby's in the Lady Felicia's name.)

December 26, 1998 (Boxing Day):
Obtain shiny fivepence pieces for the servants' Christmas boxes. One apiece, to show one's appreciation.

December 27, 1998:
Warn servants to inform one immediately if the Lady Felicia throws one's new spittoon upon the rubbish heap.

December 28, 1998:
Have servants inspect roofs of Blandsdown for reindeer droppings.

December 29, 1998:
A moment of relaxation. Perhaps skeet shooting? Parlourmaids as targets?

December 30, 1998:
Consult 'Naughty' and 'Nice' lists to see which of the servants is entitled to semi-annual half day off.

December 31, 1998:
Write New Year's resolutions for staff, family, and treasured friends. Distribute. Reflect upon one's good deeds for the month. Feel smugly self-satisfied.

Frankie writes:

Picture: Mankind's Progenitors, TrussedDear Sir Charles,

My girlfriend has gotten me bad Christmas gifts before. I'm talking about sea monkeys, and the amazing restaurant onion slicer, and even a Chia pet last year. (The cat. I hate cats.)

But this year she's given me 'the clap.' How low can you go? What do you say to that?


Sir Charles replies:

Your lady friend has given you 'The Clap'? Why not simply say, 'Thank you'?

One gave The Clap to several of one's servants last Christmas season, and they enjoyed it immensely. They genuinely seem to enjoy walking into a dark room, striking their hands together percussively, and having the lamp turn on. Quite convenient for them, after a hard day of dragging the moat.

But then, one was always a generous sort.

Benevolently, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sam Young writes:

What should I do? I'm having trouble getting girlfriends. Every time I think a girl likes me she ends up saying that we should just be frinds. Help me please!!!!

Sam Young
John Brown University

Sir Charles replies:

Brain-spavined boy,

One thinks you should consider yourself lucky that the girls offer you 'frindship.' One rather suspects that the moment these young women of obvious discernment discover that your mother happens to be your father's other wife's sister's son's granddaughter, a life spent in a cold-water one-room flat wearing a gravy-stained 't-shirt' and desperately clutching a discarded copy of Cosmo will seem rather appealing in comparison.

Your fiend,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Chipper writes:

Picture: Not Quite A FillesDear Sir Charles,

It is with a great deal of remorse and a heavy heart that I write, belatedly, to inquire about the proper form of a certain delicate communique. Shortly after I stepped in to replace your nephew's seminal role in Revue des Filles Hot! Hot! Hot!, I was mortified to learn that I had contracted one of the afflictions generally known in more intimate detail to the lower classes. Lo, these many months, I have dreaded to inform you that, indeed, the tights I stepped into were medically determined to be the vector of transmission of a rather nasty manifestation of Phthirus pubis: Crabs.

I certainly hope that your nephew has, as have I, long since taken care of the "situation."  I do wonder, however, what would have been an appropriate method of communicating such a delicate bit of information to your nephew at the time of the incident, wishing, as I did, to protect both my own and his senses of privacy, decency and discretion.

Currently Chipper in Chelsea Heights

Sir Charles replies:

My dear boy,

A most excellent question, indeed. It may seem to some that the proper manner of informing another of a social disease is to telephone them late at night, shout the news, and hang up accusingly. Others may find the venue of the 'Talk Show' more to their liking.

However, neither of these approaches hint at that discreet gentility the correspondent appears to prefer (and quite rightly). One decrees that the warning might best be transmitted using black-edged stationery and a fine Indian ink.

A warning: Using one's little sister's Astrological notepaper emblazoned with the sign of Cancer might be considered vulgar.

Sending this little missive on to one's heir, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

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