Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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March 8, 1999 Picture: We Don't Exactly Know What This IsIt is a truth, is it not, that those who can, do? And those who cannot, write letters to Sir Charles Grandiose.

Every week from one's readers (and one has it upon a firm authority that one's readers are so many in number that were each as bovine as their crayon-scrawled missives seem to indicate, the resulting supply of inexpensive beef would keep even Sarah Ferguson and her Weight Watcher chums amply fed with hamburgers until a time when the sun dimmed and the universe itself guttered into oblivion) one receives a variety of letters from those who feel they could improve upon one's weekly efforts upon their behalf. Oh, it's not enough that one labours night and day, reading their petty little problems and thinking up solutions to enrich their drab little lives. It's not enough that one spends every waking hour worrying about one's readers spending a penny in the gene pool. Apparently one must heed every dictate one's readers dream up, as well.

For example, from XXX one receives the instructions:

Dear Sir Charles:

More nude pics of Panoply Windsor-Smythe!!!!!!!!

My dear Mr XXX, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe, who happens to be eighty-fifth in line for the throne, would scarcely stoop to such obscenities. And if she did, rest assured that the weekly membership fee one would impose upon the password-restricted area in which they would reside would be well out of the range of your pocketbook.

From Ally Friedman-Spinks, one received a more noxious missive:

Dear Sir Charles,

As a feminist and avid supporter for the rights of men and womyn and animals worldwide, I find your column offensive and disgusting, and I have petitioned the InterNIC to remove your domain name from registration and your service provider to remove your site immediately. You, sir, disgust me.  In an age in which barriers against women are being broken down daily, your attitude toward women is patronizing and dangerous.

Such a falsehood one has never heard! One has always been most progressive when it comes to the so-called 'modern' woman. So listen, dearie: It's lovely of you to take a break from Coronation Street to write a letter to oneself, but isn't it time you picked up the Hoover, and pushed it about your flat a bit so that when your husband gets home expecting dinner on the table, you can pretend you've done a bit of  housework? It's the least you can do for the one person in your family capable of paying the bills.

One must admit, though, that one receives the occasional bit of encouragement as well. For example, this little note from Tony B.:

Sir Charles,

Your column is the apotheosis of the solipsistic conservative mind, that which never takes into consideration the broader world view, is hasty to judge those you feel are lesser than yourself, and which gladly is becoming a rare commodity in this world.

Now, now, Mr B. Let's not go overboard with the praise, eh?

Smugly, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Lady Rebecca writes:

Picture: Modern ConveyanceDear Sir Charles, from whose lips drip such pearls of wisdom that were each pearl a truffle-hunting swine, every tree on the Continent should be quite up-rooted well into the 22nd century:

Perhaps you can enlighten one as to the placard one saw in an automobile window when last one traipsed through the colonies. "Baby on board," the placard read. Now one is somewhat aware that certain aboriginal tribes of that region (one believes they are called "naive Americans") were of the custom of strapping their infants onto cradle boards, the better to transport them as well as encourage erect posture, but one had no idea the custom still persisted. Please enlighten one as to why the need to advertise that one's infant is attached to a piece of lumber. Why not just hand over the mewling, puking little tyke to a nanny as any person of proper upbringing would do?

Lady Rebecca Martingale-Bridoon

Postscript: You and the Lady Felicia and your ward, the charming Penelope (still eighty-fifth in line for the throne, is she not?), must pop down to Tung-in-Cheeke and pay us a visit. The picturesque village of Cheeke has been nearly restored to its previous picturesqueness following the unfortunate conflagration that quite coincidentally occurred upon your last visit. And do thank Lady Felicia for the lovely case of kumquat-calves' foot-chili chutney that she so graciously sent. One did not actually partake of it oneself but generously donated it to a local charity that used to hound one for donations but has been strangely silent since the donation.

Sir Charles replies:

Lady Rebecca,

What a sheer joy to correspond with you once more.

One's staff has done a bit of research into the matter and discovered that the curious sign declaring 'Baby on Board' is not, in fact, an approbation of  strapping one's papoose to a slab and carting it about like a pack animal. It is instead a quaint warning affixed to the windows of a vehicle to inform other motorists that an infant lies within.

Of course, this declaration gives rise to all manner of questions. Are the owners of the motorcar boasting of their fertility? Are they inviting baby lovers to peek within? Or are they merely asking other motorists to exercise caution around their vehicle?

One finds the latter notion too nonsensical to contemplate. After all, we speak of a nation in which mothers and fathers strap their children into 'strollers' that they push in front of them without regard to consequence. At intersections they push these conveyances into the street as if testing the waters with their tots for dangerous traffic, the way that people dip unimportant bits of their bodies into a chilly lake before determining if they want to risk the rest of themselves in too-cold waters.

Noting that it must be acceptable in America to ram an automobile that is not transporting a baby, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Melanie  writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Here in the States, it seems we're hardly through with the excesses of Mardi Gras before it is once again that occasion for youthful debauchery known as Spring Break.  

Do you have any advice to offer America's youth?  How may a young lady or gentleman have a morally uplifting Spring Break?

Melanie Jacoby
From Kunkletown PA

Sir Charles replies:

My dear young miss,

In one's time, the gentle amusements of the parlour were sufficient enough to entertain one's (admittedly elite) social set. Oh, what larks we enjoyed, in those golden days. First we would engage in a smashing game of Hunt-The-Thimble, followed by a bit of relaxation and a round or three of My Lady's Slipper. Towards the end of the evening, after an engrossing Halma tournament, one of the young ladies could always be counted upon to sit at the pianoforte and accompany a rendition of 'My Little Needlebox.'

A ripping time was had by all.

Compared to these joys, how could anyone wish to travel for their spring holidays to a semi-tropical clime in which all the nubile young women feel compelled to dress in revealing bikinis as they slather their sun-kissed skin with sweet-scented coconut oils and gyrate to the lewd beats of their modern music, displaying their attributes for all and sundry to see? Er . . . wait just a moment. . . .

Booking seats to Sarasota, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Theresa writes:

Picture: The Tintinnabulation Of The Bells!Dear Sir Charles,

I am involved in a political discussion group, which has thus far provided me with hours of entertainment. 

Unfortunately, there is one gentleman in the group who refuses to believe anything anybody says.  He makes his points by swearing at and ridiculing other people! Whatever is one to do? 


Sir Charles replies:


Are you certain that's what this fellow does? One can't quite believe it.

Perhaps, you bloody whiner, he's just a chap who enjoys discussing the issues of the day with like-minded folk. And perhaps if you weren't such a buggery nuisance, the group could get some real work done, eh? Such a pity you make Mr P. Brained from Doltsville, North Dullshampton look like an intellectual giant, eh?

See if one returns to your little group again, that's all one can say.

Resentfully, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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