|April 30, 2001||
One's faithful readers know (and considering how many readers one can call one's own, one may comment without fear of reproof that it is a considerable amount of knowledge; one has it upon an abundantly truthful source that one's readers are so many in number that were they to be calculated by the Chinese, the world would immediately and indefinitely suffer a long-term shortage of chow mein noodles and cheap glassware as that mighty national endeavoured to arrive at the figure upon their abacuses) how one loathes long, digressive sentences. No, one is not the sort of fellow to repeat something again and again, ad nauseum, over and over and over and over again. One is crisp and to the point. One does not repeat. One is crisp and to the point.
Brevity is, of course, the hallmark of one's style. It is the reason one can provide one's readers (who, one might say by way of reminder, are many) with the longest-running source of advice on this technological wonder known as the Internut.
Unfortunately, one's readers often desire anonymity when they write one with their questions, and while ordinarily one is all too willing to expose them in the name of jolly good fun, one occasionally has tender moments in which one relents. One turns over this forum to simple, straightforward answers to difficult and touchy problems. One trusts that the correspondents will feel one has preserved their anonymity. And if they don't, one hardly gives a flip.
To Mr. Osgood. in Atlanta: One very much doubts they would make good, as you say, "eatin'". One suspects your wife did not mean she had those sorts of crabs.
To Inquiring Minds Want To Know: Eight inches, give or take a little. Whyever do you ask? How big are your dinner plates?
To Buck from Chelsea: One doesn't believe that one's nephew even possesses a pair of, how do you say, 'loafers,' much less self-illuminating ones.
To Miss Bertram: The very idea. One is a married man. One learns not to think about it, after the blue bird of hope has flown out the window.
To Mr. Bonsoir: No, one would not like a paid subscription to Naughty Nursemaid Fortnightly. (A single sample issue will do.)
To C. P.-B.: For the love of Stilton, woman. No, one will not be your naughty little goatherd. Say hello to Jug-Ears and his mum for one.
With a shake of the head, one remains for yet another week,
Prince Albert writes:
Dear Sir Charles,
Do you or any of your staff know Craven Moorehead? Thank you.
Sir Charles replies:
One does not personally know the gentleman in question, but one sent one's ward, young Penelope Windsor-Smythe (who, some readers may recall, though one does not like to bandy about the fact, is eighty-fifth in line for the throne), to ask among the domestics, "Who is Craven Moorehead?"
Apparently the question caused quite a ruckus among the stable boys.
With high regards and a bow or two, one remains,
Would Be writes:
Dear Sir Charles,
You're a man of commerce and industry, and I'm sure you wouldn't mind sharing some of your experience and wisdom with those of us who are trying to make our way in the world.
I've inherited a little sum from a recently deceased relative and I can't decide. The stock market's not in great shape. I don't want to invest in gold. Amway seems so . . . Amway. I'm considering ecommerce investments now that the market's a little clearer, but then the blue chips seem so much more sturdy. Or should I play it on roulette?
So tell me, Sir Charles, what's the best strategy I can use to double my money?
Sir Charles replies:
My dear Would-Be,
If it's a risk-free strategy for money-doubling you're seeking, I highly recommend the following
1) Remove your wallet from your pocket.
2) Remove the paper bills from your wallet.
3) Fold them neatly in half.
4) Replace the bills in your wallet.
5) Replace the wallet in your pocket.
Word to the wise, eh?
Prudently, one remains,
Dear Penelope Windsor-Smythe,
I have delved into the recesses of the great Grandiose archives and I cannot seem to ascertain your age. Though I might add that I am well-endowed with the information of your nomenclature and, of course, your noble standing in line for the throne.
I will be commencing my collegiate studies in the illustrious city of New York this Fall. I'm sure you are familiar with it seeing as New York City is a virtual paragon of all that is posh, as they say in your country. While NYU is no doubt situated away from the greenery and domesticity of your home area, I will suppose it is not such a far cry from the reputable and highbrow institutions of study in England. But I tarry from my purpose.
I ask, Penelope, when is it you will dissuade your tutors and pursue a similar path as mine? Surely you do not mean to live a fruitless, idle existence under the scrutiny of that dusty old Sir Charles. (addendum: My father is named Charles as well, and boasts a descent from pure Sicilian bloodlines which only nearly complement his own authority and supreme power in societal rank and smaller, exclusive social circles which habitually garner the watchful eye of the FBI, if you comprehend my meaning.)
As a youth upon the edge of a new millennium, possessed of exemplary status and wealth, ought not your refinement continue to flourish with a liberal study of the Humanities? Or perhaps Molecular Biology and Rocket Science, in your case. Alas, I fear I am effected by the contagion of long-windedness, of which Sir Charles is a frequent victim according to the testament of his lovely wife and his more erudite bevy of readers. While I am usually immune to such infections, I will attribute my susceptibility to my interest concerning your future endeavors in the area of self-improvement and growth of character. (Please note that this interest does not apply to usage of Penelope-poo and nun-concocted shimmering pomade for gentleladies of noble tressage)
Oh, and I almost forgot. What do you think of that rather strapping young Prince William?
Your confidante should you will it,
Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe replies:
Dear silly Lisa,
A true Lady never discloses her age! I might go so far as to say that I am still in the blush of my youth. The bud is not yet off the flower, though many has been the suitor that's attempt to pluck me.
I fear I cannot join you in your studies at University, for between my social engagements and keeping a steady eye on the sun-kissed, grease-stained flesh of the strapping young buck who services my silver convertible Rolls, my diary is quite filled. Not to mention the amounts of time I must spend on my Lick And Stick Great English Statemen Stamp Collection.
I think though, dear, that we share the same views on Prince William. I have known him many times in a Biblical way, I must confess. Twice a month, and it never seemed enough! But then, Lisa, who can ever get enough Sunday School?
Wishing with a minimal amount of effort that I did will it, I remain,