Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week

July 6, 1998

Picture: May we, mon sewer! Sir Charles Grandiose presents:

All the French You Ever Need Know, Part Deux

En le Louvre: In that Sink of Sin known as 'The Louvre'

Que sourit-elle environ, quoi qu'il en soit?: What the devil is she smiling about, anyway?
Mona Lisa? Si j'avais un visage comme cela, je gemirait aussi.: Mona Lisa? If I had a face like that, I'd moan too.
Ou est la salle de toilette des hommes? Votre nourriture aillee m'a donne les passages.: Where is the men's room? Your garlickly French swill has given me the runs.
Est-il vrai que les femmes de la reputation l‰che rassemblent dans le vestiaire ici?: Is it true that women of a certain loose reptuation congregate in the cloak room here?
Vite, qui voie au vestiaire, vous petit crapaud?: Quick, which way to the cloakroom, you little toad?
Tres desole, madame. J'ai pense que j'etais saisir mon . . . beret.: Very sorry, madam. One thought one was grabbing one's . . . beret.

Sur les rues: On the Streets

Mon epouse et ma jeune salle, qui est quatre-vingts-cinquieme dans la ligne pour le trone, voyagent Versailles. Mon piece d'hotel est vide.: One's wife and young ward, who is eighty-fifth in line for the throne, are visiting Versailles. One's hotel room is empty.
Un bon dieu. Meme les hommes en cela foresaken par un dieu que le pays ont de longs cheveux. Desole, monsieur.: Good God. Even the men in this country have long hair. One is terribly sorry, sir.
Bonjour, ma chere fille. Quel wench de saucy vous . . . ouch!: Good day, my dear girl. My, what a saucy wench you . . . ouch!
Pardonnez-moi, officier. Pouvez-vous me dire ou un homme bien-habille et distingue des moyens tels que me trouvaille de force un peu de crumpet?: Pardon me, officer. Do you know where a well-dressed and distinguished man of means such as oneself might find a bit of crumpet?

En prison: In Jail

Je dis! Quand j'ai dit 'crumpet ', je me referais a mon petit dejeuner!: Oy! When one said 'crumpet', one was referring to one's breakfast!
Que voulez-vous dire, l'ambassade refuse-t-vous de prendre mon appel?: What do you mean, the embassy refuses to take one's calls?
Je n'ai pas besoin de prendre une douche. J'ai eu l'une semaine derniere.: One doesn't need to take a shower. One had one last week.
Que voulez-vous dire, votre 'chienne'?: What do you mean, your 'bitch'?
Je ne l'ai pas aime chez Eton. Je certainement ne l'aime pas maintenant.: I didn't like it at Eton. I certainly don't like it now.

Next week: One crosses the channel back to civilization

Mindful of dropping the soap, one remains for yet another week,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Miss Smythe-Randall writes:

Picture: Ain't You Fresh, Sir?Dear Sir Charles,

One is a young lady in desperate need of your sage advice.  Two months ago, one's parents forced one to move to a dreadful place in the States:  Idaho. 

No doubt you have never heard of it, so please allow one to describe it.  The people are brutish and completely uncivilized, the climate is terrible, and it is impossible to find a good chutney. 

One is stranded here; one's parents have embraced the "country and western" lifestyle wholeheartedly, and one's sister is too young to be an ally.  What, Sir Charles, should one do?

In gratitude,
Miss Smythe-Randall

Sir Charles replies:

My dear girl,

You are not alone. How many, many young women such as yourself, women of quality with the ability to recognize a chutney from a chunky marmalade, have been stranded in a foreign, hostile clime without benefit of good hot tea, fine improving literature, and a really good lady's finishing school.

What advice can one give the correspondent save the following? Persevere, my girl. When your peers in 'Idaho' congregate beneath your chamber window, imploring you to come to their Potato Parades and Spud Frolics and their Hash Brown Orgies, refuse with a smile and attend to your needlepoint. While your sister and her delinquent cohorts fill their gluttonous stomachs at the local 'Taco Bell', you must eat your mutton and think of England. It will be your consolation and guide.

Persevere, my girl. Persevere.

With best wishes, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Lady Blakeney writes:

My dear Sir Charles,

I am a fond reader of your words of elegance and wisdom!  I simply wished to applaud you on your recent article about "Viagra!"  Honestly, I do not understand what the fascination is with this drug!  I would have believed that most men who suffer from this malady would have kept it a terrific secret, as their egos would have been terribly scarred.  Why then are they swarming by the masses to attain the drug?  Mayhap I shall never truly understand this.

On a more personal matter, I have held correspondence with a young man for some months.  I intended to offer nothing more than my friendship and good counselling, but the gentleman decided he was quite fond of me.  I suppose that is all well and good, for so many men are fond of me, but the sodding dolt (pardon the strong language) waited until just recently to reveal to me that he was, in fact, married!  Were I his wife, I should slip some anthrax into his morning coffee!  If I had it my way, he would be penalized severely! You are so wise and worldly.  Can you give me any suggestions as to what I should do about him? 

Humbly one remains,
Lady Blakeney

Sir Charles replies:

Dear Lady Blakeney,

Blameless though you are, one must rescue the poor gentleman from the vile reaches of calumny. It is not a sin for a man to be fond of a woman, married though he be. Why, one is fond of many women, oneself, and yet one's marriage with the Lady Felicia is built like a fortress upon the most solid of solid rocks. One is not a geologist, but one would venture to suggest even a rugged stone such as 'talc.'

Why, when one tarries a moment with young Chatsy down at Rose Cottage, is one cuckolding one's wife? Nay! One is a married man! One can ignore Chatsy's full, supple lips, her rosy complexion, her glinting blue eyes, her stunning raven tresses, and the fall and rise of her delicate, tempting bosom as she leans forward over the stile, ravishingly disheveled in her saucy little unlaced girdle, her very posture an invitation for any red-blooded man to reach out and press his lips to hers in the universal language of love . . . ahem. One can ignore that sort of thing, and return to one's parlour, where one passes a courteous greeting with one's wife as she frostily peruses the Times and Beesock's Mail Order Catalogue of Deadly Bacterial Spores, Ancient & Modern, for Ladies.

But that hardly makes a chap an adulterer, does it?

Uprightly, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Sir Winstanley writes:

Picture: A Lady In MuftiDear Sir Charles,

Far be it from me to stand in the way of progress - after all, we've ever had a helicopter pad installed at the house. But women! In The members box! At Lords! What were they thinking of?

Knowing that your fine self has cut many a dashing innings in his time, what are your thoughts on this subject?

Yours, loudly rattling the Daily Mail,
Sir Winstanley Gin-Soaked

Sir Charles replies:

Old Bean,

There've been gels in the members' box at Lords for quite some time now, old chap. It's just that now we don't have to hide them in double-breasted suits and faux mustachios.

Don't you remember Lord Freightoleigh? Slight fellow, bristling mustachios, soprano voice? You had quite a conversation with him on petite point embroidery, cookery, and the Servant Problem. You spoke quite eloquently on the superiority of French silk threads over . . . hang on. Dash it all, man, are you a girl yourself?

Thoroughly disillusioned, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

The Library | Write to Sir Charles | Cast of Characters | Credits | This Week