Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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February 1, 1999 Picture: The Foul Demogorgon HerselfOne knows one's gentle readers (who, one has it from an authority with an excruciating penchant for correctness, are so many in number that were each to toss a single 'toothpick' into a pile and the last were to ignite it, the blaze that burnt London to the ground in 1666 would be as a tiny bonfire in comparison) are fond of their practical jokes. But one is only a man. Good G-d, one's heart can only endure so much.

Which is why one is still given to palpitations after reading the following, sent one by a devoted follower.

Dear Sir Charles,

While I was reading Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior last night, my sweet adorable, but sometimes befuddled, spouse made the claim that Judith Martin committed suicide a couple of years ago.  I had not heard this, and am sure I would have at the time. Can you confirm or deny this allegation?

Did she do it tastefully?

Wondering in Westchester

One offers 'Wondering' the brief response: If only.

Given that one can not refer to certain personages mentioned above without violating one's 'restraining order,' one will henceforth only make mention of a certain personage known as 'Miss Born in a Barn,' eh? Well, Wondering.  Miss Born in a Barn is still unfortunately with us, daily larding the pages of periodicals world-wide with her middle-brow observations on wedding invitations, curled pinkies, and the art of gently telling one's co-worker that he or she could use a bath. Few, however, see her more Machiavellian side--how she coerces publishers to ignore the drafts of one's own magnum opus, Women Are from Venus, Sir Charles Is from Uranus. How she maligns one to television producers by informing them that one is allegedly 'duller than a dull knife that spent too much time in the knife dulling machine.'

Therefore upon receiving this letter, Wondering, one could only imagine the tasteful ways in which, repenting of her vicious blackguardly deeds, she spared the rest of the world from her own future misdeeds. Did she fashion a rope of silk and trim it with poppies, and hang herself after writing the appropriate notes of apology to her family, friends, and priest? Did she arrange herself upon her chaise lounge and order her servants to bring her phials full of gas from the oven one at a time until at last she perished, several months later, of asphyxiation? Did she stoop so low as to bite off a fingernail, then perish of the shock of it?

And then, of course, in the excitement of it all one placed a trans-Atlantic call to confirm the glad tidings. Unfortunately, not only was one's inquiry greeted with the frozen, harpy-like screech of 'No, I am NOT dead you two-timing walking limey carcass!', but one shortly received yet another 'restraining order' from the lady in question's lawyers.

So one has quite a lot to thank you for, Wondering.

Oh, and when you receive a package within the next few days, one sincerely hopes the spirit of curiosity will prompt you to open it without thinking too closely about the ticking noise that may or may not emanate from within.

Still grumpy, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Tiffany writes:

Picture: So I Sez....Dear Sir Charles!

Okay, so I'm like twenty-seven, right? And this apartment my mom and I are living in is too, too tiny. I mean, you try having a party for five hundred in only three floors of the Trump Tower, all right? I mean, jeez, you can only take economy so far!

So I told my mom that it was like, time for me to move out. She said that I'm like way too young to move and that if I stayed she'd see about hiring me a Chippendales dancer to chauffeur my Jag and to double as my 24-hour on-call masseuse.

So like, after the first day I looked closely and I noticed this big scratch. Now I'm going to have to get a newer model! I mean, jeez, he's only been working one day and there's already a huge scratch!

Oh, I just read that and it's like really confusing. The Jag's all right. It's Jacques with the big scratch on his back. Damn Elizabeth Arden and her manicurists!

Is it worth it?

Tiffany Amber Douglas-Morgan-Pond

Sir Charles replies:


One has always had a tendency to think of many of one's American corespondents as shallow. But one has been proven wrong. The shallow waters of seeming silliness apparently slope down with rapidness to a bottomless abyss of ignorance and vapidity.

Calling out the Royal Geographic Society to man the deep sea submarines, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sir Henvus writes:

deer sIr char les Granoise

i would like too knowe the best wAy too kill RUSHT MONSTEERES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sir henvus woojoob

Sir Charles replies:


First raise the 'rust monsters' to a gentle education. See to it that their minds are stimulated by the great authors of English literature. Make them conversant with the stirring epics of Milton. Have them learn the classic iambs of Shakespeare. Let the words of Keats and Wordsworth fall trippingly from their tongues.

Let the rust monsters learn of rhetoric and the gentle art of the riposte. Submerge them in the great ironists of the ages, and let them learn wisdom from the greatest libraries of the world.

Upon the day that they mature, present them with a complete edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Let them explore it at whim, reveling in the world of language and of the glory of the lexicon.

Then, my boy, send them a photocopy of your above letter. They'll keel over on the spot.

Always glad to be of help, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Rose writes:

Picture: The Terrible TwosDear Sir Charles,

I have been racking my brains trying to figure out how to solve my latest dilemma.   It just occurred to me that I should ask you, who so many others depend upon for advice.  I have heard that your readers are of such a great number that if each one were to blow a tiny puff of air, it would result in a mighty hurricane which would cause the two oceans to meet at the center of North America. 

Anyway, my problem is this:  My son, who is at the tender age of three, has lately taken to, how shall I put this, urinating in his bed at night and in his underwear during the day.  Once he even did #2 in his underwear, while standing next to the appropriate facility for such a thing.  What I need to know Sir Charles, is what do I do about such a matter? 

I do not know if you have children, but I feel certain that you can offer me some kind of advice because of your great wisdom in all areas.  Please help.  If I change one more set of sheets or clothing, I may have to administer a spanking.  Do you think this is a good idea? 

Eagerly awaiting your response,

Sir Charles replies:

My dear lady,

As disappointed as you may be to hear the news, one fears that at the age of two to three, young boys and girls revel in the power they wield upon discovering that they are not merely extensions of their parents, but are their own little persons with the ability to say 'no.'

Unfortunately, this new-found ability generally coincides with a time the long-suffering parents wish them to learn to evacuate into a more appropriate facility than a nappy. And there the child discovers that his parents are willing to perform all manner of bribes in order to tempt the child into obeying them. "If you sit on the pot you'll get a candy!" the anxious mother will cry, only to prompt the child to cackle, void onto the Persian carpet, and reduce the poor woman to tears.

However, one offers a glimmer of hope. Such a state of affairs is only temporary, madam. It is a 'stage' that the child will eventually grow out of. Why, one's own mother says one overcame it completely by the tender age of twenty-four.

Glad to have brought a beam of light into an overworked mother's otherwise black and grim world, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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