September 10, 2001
Once again hopes that you all will discreetly print out (on an appropriately heavy linen card stock) these bon mots and tuck them away in your wallets, purses, or (heaven forfend) hatbands for those occasions in which your very sensibilities are outraged by horrid behavior, yet in which discretion requires closed lips, and a quick get-away from the parties in question.
For the inattentive staff in a restaurant:
For the gentleman who has been rude to a lady:
For the discourteous shop clerk:
Do you remember last Thursday afternoon when you were demonstrating for me the lovely yoga exercise from that Karma Suture book? The Black Bee? Do you remember pretending you were the proud warrior ready to vanquish me, but then you offered me your belly like a wolf just before you surrendered? Well, I found the two missing hooks from your stomach strengthening belt that popped off when I started revolving, so there's no need to send for replacements.
Until next week when I will be the Padma and you my supple Cobra,
Sir Charles replies:
Dear Utter Stranger To Me, Always and Henceforth,
No. One does not remember such a thing, doubtless for the very reason that it never happened. Not last Thursday, nor the Thursday before, and certainly not that Saturday the Lady Felicia journeyed overnight to Somerset for the Little Thugsbee Marmalade and Potted Meat Jams and Jellies Workshop, at which she co-officiated.
No, one cannot remember a happenstance that never took place. And if the correspondent would be so kind as to send via the Royal Mail those hooks, one would appreciate it greatly. One has been appearing rather a little fuller in the left hip than one cares, during the last week.
Buzz buzz, one remains,
Lady Sarah writes:
Dearest Sir Charles,
I have lately been perplexed by a strange and mysterious phenomenon. I thought there was no one in the world better to turn to than you. I have heard from an impeccable authority that the readers of your advice column are so vast in number that were they all to link hands together, they should wrap around the circumference of the earth 15 billion times over. I turn to you for assistance in this matter because you, Sir Charles, are so knowledgeable, so worldly, so wise, so omniscient. But above all, my dear Sir Charles, I turn to you because you are a man. Beneath all your wealth, fine taste and sheer ingenuity, you are a masculine creature, a son of Adam with testosterone coursing through your blue blood.
But I tarry.
I had allowed myself to be courted for some time by a certain young man of sufficient means. Certainly, he was not the Earl that Papa had always hoped I should marry, but he was a member of the peerage nonetheless. To come right to the point, he seemed to grow bored with me after a time! He paid me less and less homage, and devoted more effort and time into polishing his riding boots than to giving me any attention at all. I ask you! Of all the impudence! Of all the gall! I finally dismissed him and informed him that I desired not his company. It was only after my rebuff that he changed! He began to beg me for my attention, he attempted to please me as he once used to. Of course, I have not gone back on my word. But why is it, dear Sir Charles, that men only want you when they find they cannot have you?
Awaiting your reply with baited breath, one remains,
Sir Charles replies:
It is certainly the truth that many low men need a reminder, now and then of their duties to hearth and home. But one fears you malign the entire masculine s-x. Why, not all men are so inclined. Many men are courteous and kind and attentive to their wives, and would never neglect them in any way, whether through their attentions or in deed. Ask your female friends if this is not the case. Why, take my wife . . . please!
That was a little baronet humor, there. One hopes you did not wet yourself.
One would additionally take care to mention that one is not full of testosterone. One does not even like Italian food.
Always ready to flush the world with one's good advice, one remains,
Dear Sir Charles,
I had written a little fictional account of the break up of Fred and Gracie and would like to find someone with a very good legal department who is willing to publish it.
Although I wish to see it serialized or published, I am not interested in forfeiting all my worldly goods via a law suit. Money is no object, but would be a bonus. I would prefer to be anonymous. A Tabloid or a Trashy Book Publisher who hates Camilla is just what I am looking for. Can you help??
Margaret the Mean
Sir Charles replies:
If one knew of an easily duped publisher with a libel-proof legal department, do you really think one would still be writing for the World-Wide Wimp?
With seven years' worth of back material just waiting to be bound in leather, one remains,