Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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July 19, 1999

Picture: A Stern TutorA reader writes:

Sir Charles,

You are so stupid man. I don't know where you get off saying that 'the Backstreet Boys are to a rich Western musical heritage what Ann Boleyn was to Roman Catholicism.' I don't even know what that means. But it sure doesn't sound good.

Who are you to criticize anyway? When you've made lots of hit records then you can come back to give us your views, but until then, keep your big old mouth shut. You're a snob anyway.

Lydia Funk
President, Backstreet Boys Fan Club #10003
Eastern Boise, Idaho

Could one have chosen a more succinct example of the fallacious thinking of the masses when confronted with an opinion with which they do not agree? "Sir Charles!" they cry, upset and feeling confrontational. "You can't say that about the Backstreet Boys/Spice Girls/Taco Bell/'Fergie'! You go and start your own band/concoct your own lard-filled comestibles/snag your own obviously short-sighted prince and then come back and then we'll listen to you!"

Well, readers (and one has it upon a sterling authority that the number of these creatures is so many that were each a single pence in one's treasury, one's fortune would make 'Microsoft' founder Bill Gates look like a pauper in comparison), to that argument one has only this reply: You'll listen to one whether you like it or not.

Following the logical extremes of such an argument, even one's detractors would be forced to concede the following:

- That in order to be able to appreciate the sublime operas of Mozart, one would have to be a rather plump, bewigged Viennese singer.
- Those who would best understand the works of the abstract painter Jackson Pollock are only those who have had unfortunate accidents in the paint aisle of the do-it-yourself hardware store.
- So that one might truly be able to understand the exquisite children's tale, Charlotte's Web, one had better have spent a bit of time polishing the toenails on each of one's eight legs after a hearty dinner of bloodsucking.

Readers, when our artists and celebrities perform, they invite public comment. Are not their novels and music and their dramatic productions intended to represent the more universal aspects of the human condition and experience? Do they not wish us to embrace their visions wholeheartedly enough to pull out our chequebooks and purchase their latest product? Well, in a like manner, they must also expect us on occasion to reject their offerings and turn to someone else whose vision seems more valid.

Therefore, Miss Funk, much as one would like to disprove your foul calumnies by recording a 'rap' phonograph record that would no doubt sell in the millions, if not in a far more exponential range, one will merely observe that in the future, a less solipsistic argument would better serve your purpose.

Besides. One is not a 'snob.' None of the truly best people are.

For yet another week, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: The Divine ChatsyChatsy writes:

My "dearest" Sir Charles,

I write "dearest" in the most sarcastic of manners, reserved normally for those who are beneath contempt.  To think, my lord, that you  should join the ranks of those lowly cretins--a man whom I believed to be the epitome of  generosity and nobleness.  Instead I find  that you are as low as the lowliest of men, nothing better than refuse, deserving to be trod upon!

I have, these several years, kept my charming Dove Cottage graciously open to you as a   second home, a haven to escape the harpy tones of that harridan whom you are forced to call Lady Wife.  Ah--all the years during which I shed tears of pity and shared my tender affections in hopes of assuaging your burden.

My innocence has ended my Lord.  I now  understand how this should be--for you are no doubt deserving of her.  Indeed, you are no  more than a black hearted rogue, deserving the fires of hell (or an eternal life with Lady Felicia, as it were!).

To think that I could be so easily discarded--and for a "mere" shop girl!   I, who was trained in the gentle arts by none other than the infamous and highly esteemed Mistress Mabel. And to be discarded for such a bovine wench--perchance you were persuaded she was your Lady Wife? (After all, there could not *possibly* be two women so afflicted!)

And then this decree that I must leave my darling Dove Cottage!  Have you forgotten the joys of our trysts my lord?  The wondrous pleasures that were found in our "pied de coeur"?

Forgive me my love-- I am distressed.  I can not explain my despondency to think that you would send me a way.  I have but always loved and adored you my lord.   My life has been  devoted to pleasing you (can you remember those *pleasures* my lord?  I am faint with those memories-- I tremble from dreams of  them. . . .)

Please my lord, my dearest love, I implore you--do not send me from you!  Rescind your decree. . . I beg this of you.

As always,
Your adoring,

Sir Charles replies:

Young lady,:

As usual, one must disavow knowing the correspondent altogether. Never a riper 'set-up' has one seen. Obviously the correspondent wishes one to divulge some detail that only she and oneself would know--as if such a thing could happen--in order that she might entrap one with lawsuits and barristers and possibly even blackmail.

As they say in America, young woman, 'Obese chance.'

At any rate, one doesn't know what you're going on about. The note one left you on your pillow last Saturday morning said 'Thanks for everything. I'm leaving you to shop,my girl,' not 'I'm leaving you for a shop girl.' I know you're a bit vain about your appearance, but for heaven's sake, put on your spectacles!

Disposing of the diamond tennis bracelet, if you're going to be that way about it, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

La Marquise de Porkay writes:

Cher the Meester Monsieur Charles,

Plese parden me ez my englis is nat zo gut, but do yu no ennywun name On-ree? A pom reedair zed he vas going change my life!

I am jus french gull, nut vewwy olt und liffing in Jairmanny for lo dese manny yeerz, mebbe 15. Dieser Henri ist ja sehr franzosisch, ein musiker auch, und tres grand vewwy vewwy tall weeth frendli fess. I cannot eemajeen une type comme ca pour me changer.

Si vous voulez, vous pouvez me donner tout le conseil necessaire. J'adore vos lettres. Si vous avez quelque chose plus utile que cette sorciere, donc, j'espere que vous l'envoyeriez immediatement. Je vous remercie en avance. Bonjour.

Elsabeth, La Marquise de Porkay

Sir Charles replies:


Now that one has ruined ones yeux over your utterly incomprehensible melange of butchered English, German, and oh-la-la, one feels that only a good old-fashioned enema (one suspects the word is international in flavour) could purge one of the garlicky, Maurice Chevalier feeling that covers one like a mauvais bit of escargot after one deals with a person of the Francaisish persuasion.

All one really has to say in this particular case, mademoiselle, is that any little Louvre-visiting, Beaujolais-chugging, Tour Eiffel-climbing, Folies Bergere-attending, Marseilles-traipsing bit of stuff who visits a charlatan gypsy to have her 'pom' read deserves to believe whatever nonsense she is told.

With as unfrendly a fess as possible, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: This Picture Has No Double Meaning. Really.Bea  writes:

Dear Sir Charles:

Recently I wrote you about the disturbing lack of cucumbers hereabouts.  Though you probably do not recall my insignificant note, I am certain you discreetly mentioned the matter to the Lady Felicia, for which I am in your debt.  I feel compelled to bring you up to date on the cucumber status as it pertains to your humble neighbor:

I believe, yes, in consulting my diary, I am sure that it was the day following the unexpected publishing of my inquiry in your column (I blush, Sir, to think it worthy of public scrutiny!) that a panel truck of considerable vintage arrived at my little cottage, and several swarthy lads began piling soggy cardboard crates upon my step, quite obstructing my only means of access and egress.  Affixed to one of these brutish boxes was a brief message on the most delicate linen:

"Dear Miss de Lyte: 

One has no further use for these items, and seeing as charitable deeds are the duty of one's station, one is pleased to let you have them.

With a satisfied smile at having done one's good deed for the day, one serenely remains,
Lady Felicia Grandiose"

With great trepidation I peered into one of the cartons, and found, to my great astonishment, a vast number of cucumbers. Wilted, battered cucumbers.  I dare not, nor do I wish to imagine , to what the poor things had been subjected; suffice it to say that I do not desire them.  And although I do not wish to seem ungrateful, I also do not have any use for any of the  deliveries of pummeled cukes which continue to arrive daily. 

I have retained a swineherd to haul the offending vegetables away, but I do not appreciate his frequenting my apartments, as his hygienic habits leave much to be desired.   Might you put a further word or two in the Lady Felicia's ear about the matter? She need not be concerned further about any lack of groceries on my part; I have discovered a lovely little market in the neighboring town of Great-Chuffing-on-the-Swote.

Wishing for a quick response and/or better ventilation, I remain,
Bea Reftov de Lyte

Sir Charles replies:

Miss de Lyte,

Though one is loath to involve oneself in domestic culinary matters, in the interests of preserving the sanity of one's loyal readers, one did drop a word in the ear of the Lady Felicia. Admitting that she had somewhat of a corner in British Cucumber holdings, she has agreed to divest her interests in the market.

Thankfully, she has invested heavily in polymers, a sound fiduciary choice. Specifically, the owners of Venus Adult Plastic Novelties are very pleased to be able to expand their manufacturing facilities.

Hoping for a 'whoopie cushion' to show for the deal, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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