Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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April 26, 1999

The J. Patermen Catalogue is proud to present

Items from the Sir Charles Grandiose Collection

Picture: Swine TimeWas it in Katmandu, or Kamchatka, I wondered, that I had before encountered foliage this dense and green? Surely Kamchatka, where the natives had taught me ways of lashing seal skins to the toughened fronds of the Hachsho plant  to replace my late, lamented ping-pong paddle. Musing on my time among these brave, forgotten people, I found myself brought up short by the barrel of a rifle. Not just any rifle. The rifle. The rifle I had been seeking. A rich mahogany barrel. Mother of pearl inlay. The heady smell of gunpowder filled my nostrils as the gamekeeper gave me orders, in his delightful accent, to rise and account for myself. Why, I assured him, I'd come at the Baronet's invitation. "Well, don't be a-creepin' through the compost 'eap next time. Use th' bleedin' road like everyone else. What be ye, one o' those catalogue chappies?" he growled, brushing the buckshot stains from my Brazilian trousers. Catalogue #P345T2: The Sir Charles Grandiose Fowling Rifle. $3499.95

Picture: A Certain Urning"Where did you find it?"
"India, old bean. Quite a search we made for it, too."
"Ah . . . you searched through the street bazaars, wearing thin the leather of your soles as you wandered through the brightly-coloured stalls, your eyes dazzled by the vivid colours and your every sense tantalized by the exotic smells of incense mingled with the heady spices of a pot-cooked chicken, moist and succulent?"
"Er. . . ."
"Until at last, your minions tired and dusty behind your indefatigable figure, you stumbled into a booth hidden in the shadows of a street, where a knowing figure summoned you with a single finger into the dusky recesses where lay hidden this treasure, burnished and beckoning, seducing you with its sinewy form and delicate curves?"
"Er. . . ."
"And you knew you must have it? That you must take it for your own, no matter the cost? And as the cost he named was, of course, a bargain, you counted out the rupees impatiently into his hot hand, longing for the moment you could snatch it up and return it to your suite at Shepard's, where you could admire its beauty in the fullness of time?"
"Well, we had the servants for that, naturally."
"Oh, of course. And how do you care for it?"
"I just give it a rub now and again."
"Smashing." Catalogue #P722A5: Reproduction Of An Ancient Indian Brass Spittoon In The Fifteenth Position Of The Kama Sutra. $255,399.95

Picture: Pet Poor PussWorshipped by the Ancient Egyptians, it was. Of a morning, in the poorest of the shacks living in the shadow of the Great Pyramids, it would waken and stretch in the sun, and find itself adored and pampered.
A spin of the globe. A flip of the calendar.
There it is, its fur glistening, aching to be stroked. What man would not want to touch it? What man would resist running his hands across its arch, only to be rewarded by her little purr of pleasure? Who could resist the temptation to take it for his very own, especially molded from an authentic cast in that Queen of Metals, pewter? Catalogue #P019G3: Pewter Reproduction of Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe Grandiose's Pussy. $33,499.95

Jimmy writes:

Picture: Swine TimeDear Sir Charles,

I'm a chap who's just wed a pip of a girl, and for our honeymoon we took a cruise to the Virgin Islands. Of course there were a number of other newlyweds on board, and for meals we were seated at a table with two other couples.

At one of these meals one of the husband was stirring his tea, when he said, "Pass the honey, honey." His wife giggled and blushed. The other bloke, not to be outdone, sipped his coffee and says in a smarmy voice, "Pass the sugar, sugar." Of course his bride lapped it up.

Now, I have to admit that Chlotilde (such is the name of my beloved) has a bit of a weight problem. She's rather Rubenesque. And although she sat their gawping at me with a drumstick in her hand, I wasn't about to remind her that there were fattening sugar products on the table. Still, she maintains I ought to have said something in a similar vein. Can you think of anything I might have said?

Jimmy the New Husband

Sir Charles replies:

My dear lad,

Considering the evidence at hand, one posits the the best of all possible responses: "Pass the pork, pig."

Always happy to help a new couple with their domestic disputes, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Concerned Mother  writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

I wrote to you last fall regarding a career choice, and your sagacious advice led to my landing a job that is not only to my liking but pays me handsomely.  Since you did such a fine job with out previous advice, I thought I might write to you again concerning my son.

My son is 21 years of age, but has been "on his own" for the last three years.  He lives 2,000 miles from his stepfather and me.  My husband and I are comfortable financially (not nearly as comfortable as the Grandiose family, to be sure, but we are reasonably so).  My son was engaged (to a girl I cannot abide, incidentally), but has broken his engagement to her.  He was terribly distraught over the broken engagement (while I danced merrily in the streets), and I arranged for him to visit us here in Phoenix, Arizona, the Valley of the Sun.

My son had declined going to college when he graduated high school.  I thought that it would now be a good time to offer for him to stay with us so that he might go to college with none of the problems facing many young people today of working full-time while attending college.  He declined the offer and returned to the bitter cold and ice of the Midwest.

Do you feel that I should have insisted that he stay with us to continue his education?   The boy is 21 and is an adult.  However, a Mother sometimes has a difficult time letting go, as I am sure the Lady Felicia would attest.  If Penelope Windsor-Smythe were in his place, what would you do?

Concerned Mother in Phoenix

Sir Charles replies:

My lady,

The bond between mother and son is so strong that it is often difficult for either to let go. How well one recalls the bond between one's nephew, Chauncey Grandiose, and his dear mother. One's sister-in-law used to dress the lad in the cunning little frills and furbelows that she fancied upon her own frocks, so that when the pair of them would venture out together, they would be met with cries of  'Oh! Are the pair of you twins?' and 'How darling!'

Eventually, however, as a boy must as he begins to realise that his peers are in trousers and boots when his mother has dressed him in Lord Fauntleroy collars and ballet slippers, he took a stand. His poor mother was in tears for some months, and for weeks all she could sob is 'Mother's little baby is only twenty-four!'

A difficult time for them both, Concerned Mother, but beneficial for them both. Not only did Chauncey go on to become costumer and eventually star of a number of glittering lights in the firmament of the musical theatre such as Revue des Filles Hot! Hot! Hot! and of course the nautical-themed  Ankles Away!, but he redeemed himself in his mother's eyes by becoming editor of that periodical perused by every fashionable clotheshorse, Milady's Boudoir.

So while your intentions might be the best and most heartfelt, Concerned Mother, one hopes you learn the lesson of this little morality tale. Even the Extra-Hefty Big Boy sized Little Lord Fauntleroy collars won't fit a strapping young lad who's taken a whiff of Life and wants to breathe it deeply. Eh?

Taking a Mixmaster to his metaphors, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Butterfly writes:

Picture: Just Because Juliet Did It....Dear Sir Charles,

I wish I was pregnant and I am only 14! I have a steady boyfriend and he is ready.

What should I do?


Sir Charles replies:

Dear Future Tax Burden,

What you can do, as a favour for us all, would be to take your overstimulated little derriere to the local Chastity Belt Emporium and buy yourself a model with a timed locked. Timed, say, to open when you are forty-seven.

One suspects you lack the emotional and physical stamina to heed to the needs of a Tamagotchi, much less a living infant.

Feeling thoroughly ill, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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