Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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February 8, 1999 Picture: The Art of Gracious LivingLittle did one suspect, when last week one innocently indulged in a bit of speculation as to the tasteful demise of one whose solicitors have advised one to refer to only using the sobriquets of 'Miss M______' or one's preferred choice, 'Miss Born in a Barn,' that one would arouse such ire in a small percentage of one's readers. (And one has it upon a firm authority that one's readers are so many in number that were each a grain of salt tossed into a capacious vat of water, the resulting amount of brine would keep the Young Royals in cocktail olives for years to come.)

For example, this letter from Jastity Throatwarbler, Miss:

My dear Sir Charles,

In a recent column you referred to Miss Born-in-a-barn reclining on her chaise lounge. As a gentleman of your refinement would of course know, the item is properly a chaise longue. Frankly, the alternative spelling you mention reeks of the lower middle classes. Presumably that secretary of yours has been sampling from your drinks tray again?

Yours, etc.

My dear Miss Throatwarbler, it would take the French to invent a piece of furniture that rhymes with the word tongue, would it not? Given the mental images produced at the thought of sitting upon such a lewd contraption, one has forthwith banned them from the estate.

The assumption about one's secretary, however, goes without saying.

And from James in Jamestown:

Dear Sir Charles

You're a big meanie. Miss M______ is wonderful. I bought all her books, bought tickets for her lecture tours, even got her Deluxe t-shirt. You said the same thing about Martha Stewart and I have all her stuff too. Where do you get off?

Well, James. The day one loses one's interest in preserving the niceties of civilisation for future generations in favour of the profits that can be made from books, lecture tours, magazines, sheet sets at 'K-Mart,' and appearances on morning television programmes, that is the day that one's readers may look to the heavens and decry an angry God with the words, "My God, my God, why hast thou allowed Sir Charles Grandiose to 'sell out'?"

One hastily notes, however, that the above does not apply to the upcoming line of Advice from Sir Charles Grandiose Action Figurines available soon at a discount toy store near you. (Hair products and Tiara Suitable For One Who Is Eighty-Fifth In Line For The Throne sold separately for the young Penelope Windsor-Smythe action figurine.)

And finally from Miss Born in a Barn herself:

Dear Chuck,

As you can see, ducky, I'm still quite alive and well and counting the moolah that rolls in while you languish in the nether regions of cyberspace. Just live with it, you bitter old troll. I've got more fans, more dough, and more of everything.

Miss M________

Everything, my dear Miss M______? More social diseases is scarcely something to brag about in polite company.

Resigning oneself to one's rival's resurrection, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Bill writes:

Picture: The Toff They Want To OffDear Kindly Gentleman with the Grandiose Wisdom:

Humbly begging your indulgence, sir, but I have a bit of a worry, and since I'm only a lowly working bloke, I don't feel I have it in me to come to the solution without your expert advice.

The problem is this: some of the fellows are planning a little on-the-job action at the factory, you know, string up a few of the bosses and foremen and suchlike, gut the owner, and start running the place by a worker's council. Me, I've been put in charge of morale. Well that's all fine now, everyone's spirits are up waiting for the great day and the bloodshed, it's jolly exciting. But the problem is, that I'm sure some of the boys will regret what they done in the first weeks afterwards, when the thing's in all the papers and so on.

Well, I thought if there was anyone who knows how to get around the burden of a conscience and the ugly demon Remorse, it would be you yourself, Sir Charles. So please tell me: how can I keep the men from feeling bad about gutting their bosses, even when they know it was for all the right reasons?

Anxious for Your Reply,
Bill Mudd

Sir Charles replies:


Had you, during a church service performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, bowed down before Her Majesty the Queen dressed in a jester's hat and a 'thong,' and inquired in a squeaky voice, "Oy, might I 'ave a peek at your naughty knickers, Queenie, there's a love?", the request would still be more appropriate than seeking one's advice on such a matter.

However, given one's love of the abstract question, one notes that a bit of whiskey and a drop or two or Rohypnol do the trick when one needs a willing bullyboy with no memory, afterwards.

Notifying Scotland Yard, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Marcia writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

So okay. The way I understand it is that baronets are the lowest rung of inherited titles. I mean, they don't serve in Parliament. They don't even get much of a ceremony, unlike Knights (who are even lower in the scheme of things). And they certainly don't get a lot of respect from the other orders of the Peerage.

So what makes you think you're so hot?


Sir Charles replies:

Marcia, my girl,

Technically, you may assume that your reasoning is sound. However, consider the manner this way.

One has all the benefits of aristocracy--the ability to 'cut the queue' at Harrod's, the prestige, the photographs in RoyaltyWatch! magazine--with none of the actual responsibilities, save for the occasional pub opening in Fishampton.

Combined with one's personal fortune and predilection for leisure, it certainly sounds better than a life slaving for a living wage as a 'personal assistant' whose primary responsibility is to lick the boots of her employer, doesn't it?

Laughing in a carefree way, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sir William writes:

Picture: Mother! Make It Stop!Dear Sir Charles:

I am an avid ornithologist who is most interested in titmice. My wife flies into a snit whenever I tell her I'm going to do a bit of tit-watching. But I don't ruffle her feathers about her truffle-hunting hobby.

Tell me, Sir Charles, is it fit for a Brit to give up tits to prevent snit-fits when he wouldn't dare trifle with his wife's truffles?

Sir William Knotworth-Muche

Sir Charles replies:

Sir William,

The kerfuffle over truffles is a trifle of a scuffle.

Now, this fit over tits is a bit more legit. When a Brit does commit a nit of a snit, he should admit of his snit that it came of a dimwit. The split will be knit, for your wife will acquit you of it. Unless, I admit, you wife's too overwrit.

Er, overwrought.

Crying 'Quit!' to this bit with a sneer and a spit, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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