Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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August 2, 1999

Picture: The Tutor TutesSir Charles Grandiose presents

The Grandiose Rules of Life

Rule One: There are two broad classes in life: the privileged, and the un-. All the money in the the world won't transform a member of the latter into anything more than a ill mannered maven of bad taste driving a used BMW sporting a bobbing-head plastic Scottie in the back window.

Rule Two: Proper etiquette is the life preserver to which you may wish to cling as the Titanic that is modern society swerves into the Iceberg of Popular Culture. Claiming that 'manners are old-fashioned' might make you feel better, but the rest of us realise full well that you are a slobbering, scratching, nose-picking boor.

Rule Three: Follow the golden rule, and be charitable unto others. If you have a hereditary British title, charity may begin at home.

Rule Four: There is a nobility in common work. A day's labour, the sweat of honest toil--the glow they create within cannot be purchased at any price. Even mucking out the stables is not an employment beneath you. It is, however, beneath me. One is noble enough as it is. (See Rule One.)

Rule Five: The number of self-help books one reads is inversely proportional to one's total overall sanity. Exception: Anyone reading either one's own column or one's upcoming volume of advice, entitled Men Are From Mars, Sir Charles Is From Uranus, shows eminent good taste.

Rule Six: A metallic gold 'baseball cap' will not fool anyone into thinking you come from a wealthy background.

Rule Seven: Chances are that your life will not resemble Baywatch, Friends, or Noel's House Party. It may, however, bear more than a passing resemblance to a three hundred thousand episode edition of Charles Dickens' Bleak House, minus the spontaneous combustion (unless, of course, you happen to be one's unfortunate Great-Aunt Dimity).

Rule Eight: Money cannot buy happiness. A great deal of it, however, can certainly stave off discontent for an indefinite period.

Rule Nine: If you want to dye your hair odd iridescent sheens, have spikes surgically implanted into your skull, pierce appendages both visible and unseen, and tattoo pseudo-Satanic messages upon your skin, that is fine. But it is rather ungracious of you to complain how no one understands you, afterwards.

Rule Ten: It really does matter who is eighty-fifth in line for the throne. (And has one mentioned that it is one's ward, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe?)

Picture: Studying SinLady Rebecca writes:

My Dear Sir Charles:

As you no doubt remember, the town of Cheeke reluctantly abandoned the Lady Godiva Re-Enactment Ride following the conflagration that ensued at the last one, and--what with the lack of gullible tourists pouring into town and lavishly spending money for locally made gee-gaws--the town has been suffering from what one believes the colonists call a "distressed economy." Consequently the vicar of the Cheeke Chapel of Indignant Self-Righteousness, having been inspired by television shows he observed while on sabbatical to the colonies (very reluctantly, he points out, but he did not wish to offend his hosts by not watching) has proposed having a "Confess and Repent" night with prizes for most original sin, most fervent repentance, most sins committed in a fortnight,etc. We have, at present, formed a committee for the purpose of studying and examining various sins, and that is why one has contacted you.

Might you be persuaded, given your unique position, to provide us some insight into the "sins peculiar to the nobility" category (Perhaps that was "sins of the peculiar nobility" or perhaps even "peculiar sins of the nobility"--one had drifted off and wasn't paying proper attention when one was assigned this duty), the better for us to judge them by? And perhaps you could assign these sins a numerical score, the better for us to award the "Sin is In" challenge trophy (actually a handsome brass cuspidor from a series purchased quite reasonably at a church jumble sale, though one cannot quite determine the nature of the engraving).

Please note that one is not suggesting that you have actually committed such sins, for one has heard that Sir Charles is as pure as driven snow on a convent roof, the shingles of which have been disinfected by a coterie of virgins wearing sterile gloves knitted of virgin wool by ninety-year-old nuns . One merely seeks your insight.

Eagerly awaiting your esteemed input, I remain,
The Lady Rebecca Martingale-Bridoon of the manor at Tung-in-Cheeke

Sir Charles replies:

Lady Rebecca,

Though it is a pity that your young Cheeke-y ladies will no longer have an opportunity to strip down and ride their mounts bareback, one is heartened by the innocent diversions your quaint hamlet has devised to pass the warm summer days.

As it happens, one has a list of such sins that, with minimal adaptation, you may employ in your judging. One used it one day when the ______shire Association of the Idle Rich had its annual 'Confessional Priest for a Day' outing. One is quite proud to say one's rigorous penitences captured one the prestigious title of 'Most Likely to Have Been A Spanish Inquisitor In A Past Life.'

Sin Penance
Buggery during schoolboy days at Eton One Hail Mary
Carnal knowledge of a sheep One Hail Mary
Deflowering of a virgin (Upper Class Division) One Hail Mary, Gentle Slap On Hand
Deflowering of a virgin (Common Division) Ten Rosaries, Hair Shirt, Ritual Self-flagellation
Infidelity (Male) Two Hail Marys
Infidelity (Female) A Life of Chastity with the Sisters of Virtue (Being walled up alive optional)
Confession of impure thoughts (Male Division) A Rolling of the Eyes
Confession of impure thoughts (Young Female Division) Long Serious Lingering Conversation Over the Communion Wine Back at the Vicarage
Gluttony, Pride, Envy, Lust, Murder, Etc. One rosary
Misrepresentation of bloodlines in Debretts Crucifixion

Sincerely hoping that one has been of help, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

The L.O.T.S. Kid writes:

hey charles,

i asked for the real Sir Charles W. Barkley and i got you ,what a rip off. you are some imposter. You should change your name to Sir Charley so no one will get mixed up

the L.O.T.S kid

Sir Charles replies:

'Hey' kid,

One asked for intelligent readers who could challenge one with their mordant wit and incisive, thought-provoking questions--readers whose very thirst for guidance and assistance would provoke one into assuaging their parched lips with the Cup of Erudition, and one got you.

You should wear a small but elegantly-penned sign around your neck bearing the words 'An Unfortunate Example Of The Dangers Of Unregulated Breeding By The Common People' so that no one will garner the mistaken impression that you are worth conversing with.

Having rather enjoyed that, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Picture: Just The Thing For The Sore BumMrs Thigget  writes:

Dear Sir,

Is it true they always takes the toilet paper rolls in the Royal Palace of Britain, them what changes it out, and tear 'em up square by square, to then go about makin' large stacks of all the little separate squares for the Queen Mum's wipes?

And why in heaven's name do they do this? Don't they know it's much more satisfying to wipe one's arse with a large handful that y'just roll off the ring-dingy y'self?

Somebody please explain it.

Mrs. Thigget

Sir Charles replies:

Gentle Mrs T.,

Consider the following: Posh Spice as Dean of Magdalen College. A well-spoken Frenchman. Sweden as a major world power. A second Traci Lords 'techno' album.

One's mother and father in the act of procreation. A romantic luncheon at 'Taco Bell'. A reunion of 'Wham!'. Prince Charles, naked.

There are just some things that even the imagination dares not contemplate, eh?

Drawn and defeated, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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