Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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March 15, 1999 Picture: The Return of LoonaThe supple pinkie finger of Tragedy has touched the Family Grandiose. Even as one pens these words, one sits in hospital, for the Lady Felicia has met with a misfortune so grave and terrible that one can scarcely contemplate its immensity.

One's readers know (and one has it upon an unshakable authority that the number of these faithful is so immense that were each a single inch of gauze, the resulting quantity of bandages would prove enough to mummify the entire Royal Family for generations to come . . . as if we would notice a difference) that despite one's position, wealth, and obvious advantages, one is a down to earth sort of fellow. One is not given to fits of fancy at the slightest bad news. No, one is a practical man.

But oh, how one startled when one heard one's lady wife's cries of anguish from her bedchambers! Oh, the rending moans she uttered as the servants, fearful of threatening her very life, transported her gently to the Rolls. And what a tortuous journey we made across mile after mile of countryside, as every passing moment increased the danger that the Lady Felicia would . . . one can scarcely say the words . . . ne'er see this blessed earth again.

Along the way one lifted one's voice in prayer, giving full voice to one's God in earnest supplication. "Lord!" one cried, frightening the driver somewhat. (He is visiting the ear clinic now. National Health Service, of course. And the sheep with which we collided will never be quite the same.) "Have mercy upon my wife, who last year alone contributed a whopping ten pounds thirty to charitable concerns. Or else I'll see to it that Vicar Warrenton gets the sack, eh? Sincerely, Sir Charles Grandiose."

One has had a success rate with prayers of this type that is no less than astonishing.

What would one do without the Lady Felicia? It is a prospect the mind can scarcely contemplate. No longer would one arrive to the breakfast table to be greeted by her morning pleasantries. No longer would the Crystal Ballroom ring with the sweet sound of her soprano carolings. There would be no more of her sincere wishes for a good night's rest, before retiring. No more would she slam the door in one's face when one fumbled for a rare kiss from her frosty lips. No more frigid reproaches. No accusing glares. No sudden slaps from her frigid hands. No screeching. Actually, upon reflection, it rather sounds rather . . .

But hist. The physician approaches. Is she . . . is she . . . ?

It is done. Her agony is over, they tell one sympathetically. She is at peace at last. The doctors were able to spy the vicious ingrown toenail and trim it before it was too late. She lives, readers. She lives.

In a somewhat mixed mood, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Alex writes:

Picture: Modern ConveyanceDear Sir Charles,

I am upset you did not give me fifty pounds like I told you to in my last letter. I thought that you aristocratic types were supposed to be good people who spent all day giving money to the poor.


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Alex,

And one once thought Milli Vanilli was destined for an unending string of original chart successes.

Apparently we were both in grievous error.

With a hearty c'est la vie, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Needing a Referee writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

A question of etiquette. . . .

Recently at a cricket match the home team hit a stunner which surely would have won the match. Unfortunately, a neighbourhood urchin had inadvertently wandered onto the green, was beaned by the drive, and dropped like a stone.

Our dilemma: A number of the old boys had sums riding on the outcome, and a debate has ensued over whether the child, being common, should count as a mere part of the field, or whether it should be not considered, and the play should be taken as the long-hit winning shot that it most certainly would have been?

Needing a Referee at Rothingham

Sir Charles replies:


The problem of gaping commoners wandering upon sporting fields is an unfortunately common one. When one takes to the hunt, one is constantly having to shoo off farmers and housewives when one chases the quarry through their fields and clothing lines. Often they send one bills for damage to the crops and roof thatching, which one ignores. After all, if one cannot enjoy a bit of sport, what, one asks, is the point of one's wealth and title?

One advises one's correspondent to consider the child a part of the natural landscape, much like a hummock, or a mud pond. No more, no less. One hopes the glancing blow did not do damage to the cricket ball. They are blasted hard to season.

With an even heartier 'What ho!', one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: A Walesman in LondonThe Wild Colonial writes:

Dear Sir Charles,

Having been brought up in the colony of New South Wales, my dear father now believes it is time for me to visit mother England in order to find a young wife who will return with me to our sheep station. Having not had a great deal of experience in the ways of the world I do most humbly seek your advice in how to attract the right kind of woman.

The Wild Colonial

Sir Charles replies:


One surmises that the correspondent's father is a long-suffering man. A hard-working chap, perhaps, who has struggled life-long to keep his progeny fed and clothed, who has fought long and hard to maintain the quaint family business. A man who obviously is concerned for his son's future companionship, after watching the son speculatively eye his stock one too many times.

One was tempted, one admits, to discard this letter in favour of one of the many other pleas for help from one's many witless admirers. (One assures the individual reader, of course, that one does not refer specifically to him or her.) Yet one has a duty, one supposes, to all the ignorant sheep farmers of the world who will, at one time or another, make their first visit to town. And therefore one will state the cardinal rule for such fellows: Do not, one repeats, do not gaze lustily at the posteriors of gentlewomen clad in wool. Unlike the correspondent's sheep, they will complain when approached in That Way.

Believing one has said enough, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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