Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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April 12, 1999

More Official Sir Charles Grandiose Manners Cards

Gentle readers,

One hopes that you all will discreetly tuck a few of these cards away in your wallets, purses, or (heaven forfend) hatbands for those occasions in which your very sensibilities are outraged by horrid behavior, yet in which discretion requires closed lips, and a quick get-away from the parties in question.

For the lady or gentleman who is accustomed to make his or her opinions loudly known in public:

Picture: Manners Cards

For the chronic nail-biter:

Picture: Manners Cards

And finally, for the individual who insists upon breaking the queue to step in front of you:

Picture: Manners Cards

Bride to Be writes:

Picture: The Lady Felicia As A Bride To BeDear Sir Charles,

I have a problem. I am getting married and for the reception my parents, who are teetotalers have made it clear that they do not wish that alcohol be served at the wedding.

My fiance's family, however, does drink and wants alcohol at the wedding.

My parents have gone so far as to threaten that they will hold the reception in the church gym (which has a no alcohol policy) to prevent people from drinking. Besides the fact that the church gym looks rather like a box built out of cinder blocks that has been painted powder blue with a wide, pink stripe two thirds of the way up the wall, I would like to find a solution that will make everyone reasonably happy.

Do you have any suggestions?

Bride-to-be in Burlington

Sir Charles replies:

My poor young blushing bride,

A pity it is when such issues make unbearable an event that is supposed to be all perfection, sunshine, and white lace. Unfortunately, Dame Etiquette's dictate is that the family of the bride--who presumably is footing the bill for the affair--to make these decisions.

Still, compromise is not out of the question. One puts forth the observation that if you and your fiance feel strongly about imbibing alcoholic beverages at the reception, you might gently suggest that unless your parents comply with the request, they shouldn't expect any grandchildren from your union. Be sure to mention that the trauma might so warp your nuptial vows that you will be forced to expose on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show with the title, "My In Laws Think They're Phat . . . But They Ain't All That."

As for the church gymnasium, there's nothing that a bucket of liquid paraffin and a butane torch won't solve.

Always proud to give advice to young people in love, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Gnome writes:

Dear Sir,

I'm the laughing gnome,
You can't catch me!

The Laughing Gnome

Sir Charles replies:

My dear gnome,

One can't catch you? One has it upon a firm authority that a syphilis germ said the very same thing to the correspondent, years ago. And yet look what happened, eh?

Wishing to the heavens for a more literate reader base, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: In A Murderous MoodLady Virginia writes:

Sir Charles,

Upon taking my morning stroll in the rose garden I chanced upon a group of persons of the most unsavoury kind. Their demeanour was quite off-putting and frankly, nauseating. Each was more obese than the next and all were clad in loose-fitting checked trousers and were wearing tennis shoes, despite no evidence of their intention to indulge in sport of any kind.

To make matters worse, they were eating a curious foodstuff apparently consisting of a sausage encased in a small loaf.

My question, Sir, is simple. Despite the distressed nature of our circumstances (my husband never returning from a visit to Mykonos some years ago), must one tolerate the proliferation of ex-colonial riff-raff in the grounds simply to "make ends meet" as common parlance has it? How might I eject them without leaving a stain on my reputation?

Yours in desperation,
Lady Virginia Blyster-Hurtier

Sir Charles replies:

My dear Lady Virginia,

How distressing it is that so many of our nation's noblefolk, impoverished by taxes and the Labour Party's insistence for honest wages for honest work, have been forced to cede their homes so that unwashed Americans might tramp all over them, peering through disposable cameras so that through the miracles of modern photographic sciences, Cousin Billy Bob and Aunt Martha back home might see murky prints of little Tiffany and Brandon scowling in front of a treasured family estate's historic portcullis.

Thank the heavens that due to a little bit of creative investment and some remarkably lax child labour laws in certain third world countries, the Grandiose estate of Blandsdown has escaped this ravishment.

However, one is struck by a detail in your description of the intruders. While American tourists do tend to disgust, they rarely nauseate. It seems to one that you may have signed a contract some months back with a Hollywood production company. Doubtless they are there to film a production of a classic English novel, by Miss Austen or Mr Thackeray or Miss Burney, in which the heroine has been rewritten from a drab spinster to become a spunky modern heroine in touch with her sexuality, most likely portrayed by 'Demi Moore' or 'Wynona Ryder.' And the dashing hero is no doubt a bit of a muff played by the inevitable Hugh Grant.

At least, the thought is enough to make oneself sick.

Feeling a touch of dyspepsia, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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