June 19, 2000
Picture the scenario, readers. You sit inside a dimly-lit Chinese restaurant, your wife across from you. Over the platefuls of Egg Foo Yong and Chop Suey you engage in romantic banter. Blushes abound. All progresses well over the final cups of tea. Surely you will proceed to your happy marital home for an evening of rekindled romance. Then the waiter arrives bearing a plate, upon which sit two innocent sweets. The fortune cookies! Ah, what will have fate have in store?
Your companion reaches for her cookie, and breaks it open. "You are personable and have many friends," it reads. She colours slightly. You open up your cookie. "A new love will come into your life today." You look up to find your wife's face a mask of white. There is cold silence. The interminable cab ride home. The lawyers. The divorce.
Well, not so with a new product from your favourite agony baronet:
(A wholly owned subsidiary of
Grandiose Enterprises, Ltd.)
Grandiose cookie fortunes are guaranteed to provide you with fortunes wholly suited for your station in life. Restaurateurs may choose from the "High-brow," "Middle-brow," and "Scrub" series, as they see fit. A few examples from the latter series:
in every social circle, save in America,
where they will think it posh.
washbasin this evening.
pork flavoured crisps in front
of the telly, doesn't it?
From our Middle-brow range:
without thanks until you
are made redundant.
trivial rises you receive in your pay
packet, it will never seem
And finally, for those truly Quality restaurants, the High-brow range:
tongue against you in front of
ever so hard to find.
away with your silver.
Always glad to provide quality services at quality prices
for yet another week, one remains,
I am researching a rather delicate matter-the origins of humor. I would be most interested in your opinions on this matter, and I hope that you will deem my request worthy of a response.
Unfortunately, time is an extremely sensative manner, as the article is due on Monday, the 19th of June. If you have any thing to contribute before that time, it would be greatly appreciated.
Your humble servant
Sir Charles replies:
It would be as impossible to pinpoint the origin of humor as it would be count Her Highness' hats. Even the lower primates appreciate physical comedy, and are quick to laugh at and applaud a good pratfall or a slip on a banana peel.
Ah, but the pun, the witty bon mot, the elegant play upon words--surely these are things that only the animal known as man can create, for only man has the facility of language. Even in the times of the cavemen (and one hastens to assure one's readers that one's own ancient ancestors always lived in a better class of cave), rest assured there was some wag who turned to his friend and said, "Ugh, Crog, did you hear the one about the shaman, the cavegirl, and the one-eyed cave snake?"
What is a life without a witty pun, a tasteful joke, or an outright gibe at a flatulent Frenchman? In short, what is a life without humor? Let's ask Camilla Parker-Bowles, shall we? She seems to be something of an expert.
Always glad to be of help, one remains,
i am unwed and pregnant and i don't know who the father is, what's more he's given me some kind of rash. i can't pay the rent either and it's do soon. my mother thinks i'm a disgrace and my father says he won't let me move home. i am desperate what can i do?
Sir Charles replies:
My dear, dear girl,
Many philosophers have reflected upon the nature of Life, and our purposes here on this planet. We all have so many opportunities to carve a life for ourselves and rise above the squalor of our animal inheritance. In short, I feel I must sympathize with the fellow who first noted that life is what each of us makes of it.
And you, my dear, have apparently labored long and hard at creating your souffle des merdes.
With a hearty bon appetit!, one remains,
Troubled Hubby writes:
Dear Sir Charles,
I've been married for three years now. At first everything was ducky. We'd have special dinners and chat the night away, and go to bed and talk for hours more. Then a year into the marriage we started eating dinner with the TV on. Now I come home and we barely speak to each other. We hardly have anything to talk about.
Is this normal for marriage? I don't want to worry unless I have to.
Sir Charles replies:
Hail and well met, good 'hubby,'
Such a state of decline is quiet natural over the course of a marriage. Why, one has been married for decades more than one cares to admit, and as of this writing, one has not spoken to the Lady Felicia for over nine months.
The reason? One hates to interrupt her.
With a wink and a nod, one remains,