Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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

October 5, 1998 Picture: Chauncey GrandioseFrom the mail tray of Sir Charles Grandiose:

Dear Uncle,

Of course you can use the flat this week-end. I'll be in America having a fabulous luncheon with Tina Brown, discussing the new layout ideas for Milady's Boudoir. Isn't Colonel Jambly's Memoirs of the Raj Chutney parade usually about this time of year, though? I thought you and Auntie Felicia never missed it.

By the way, if you would water my aphidistra and give Miss Liza a bit of tuna for me, I'd appreciate it. Miss Liza gets a bit off-balance if she's not fed regularly, and we don't want her to end up in the Kitty Ford Clinic. Hah! Hah! Hah!

Your nephew,

Dear Sir Charles Grandiose,

We at Celebrity Lookey-Likeys Ltd., are always perfectly happy to provide our Lookey-Likey services to the Modern Celebrity. After all, a famous celebrity can never be too careful with all the dangerous criminals out there these days. For nights at the opera, school openings, and even Chutney parades (that is what you wrote, isn't it?), Celebrity Lookey-Likey Ltd., is always happy to provide you with a Celebrity Lookey-Likey!

Fortunately, you have no idea how many fat old men who do nothing but sit around on their arses living on the public's tax monies we have on our Lookey-Likey books. Fear not, Sir Charles. Your Lookey-Likey will be able to bring the necessary background to portray you in a realistic and lifelike manner. Though judging from your photographs and 32-page letter, 'lifelike' is not what we're going for here.

Meaning that in the best possible way,
Chester Likey
Celebrity Lookey-Likeys Ltd.


No, I cannot meet you at Chauncey's apartment this weekend. Oh, how tempting it is! How I long to let myself succumb to your manly embrace! But I've a bikini-wax this weekend, and Miss Tootie has promised to do something about these sideburns.

Besides, Miss Liza stares. It's very unnerving.

Always yours,
Anita Manceau-Baddeley

Dear Sir Charles Grandiose,

Chester didn't tell me I'd have to taste the bloody jams. It was the jellied quince blood pudding aspic what did me in. Chester says I can collect extra for the stomach pumping. Please send it me in ten pound notes.

Baz Binks,
Your Celebrity Lookey-Likey

P.S. That Lady Felicia is a bit of a romp, what?

Sir William writes:

Picture: Our Boys In BlueDear Sir Charles,

I write hastily, as a gentleman will in times of distress. You must forgive the lack of ornamental stationery, as my circumstances did not allow it.

Today, as I strode down the street to visit my distributor of Professor Hawthorne's Nerve Tonic I was accosted by a pair of ragamuffins.  Before I
could reach for my cane, the urchins had made off with my hat!  Now, seeing
that this is no ordinary hat, but a Brimstone and Fitch ("Hats That Last Longer Than The Gentleman", I am sure you've seen their broadsides) I knew I must write to you on the instant to resolve my dilemma. 

I hope that you and your readers (whose names, I am assured by the lads in the Records Office, Whitechapel, would have to be inscribed with a pen the size of a human hair to record them all in one ledger) can aid me.  Should I set off after the pair, whose filthy forms are even now disappearing down the street?  Or should I content myself with the gentleman's standby, shaking a firm fist in their direction and consigning them to the nether regions?  I will anxiously await your enlightened response.

Sir William Blather-Pheasant
currently standing between an ethnic restaurant of some sort and a stand selling cut-rate produce, Ealing, London

Sir Charles replies:

Sir William,

Ah, the utility of servants. One makes it a custom never to step outside of one's home without a manservant by one's side. Not only are they able to push through crowds upon command, and not only are their overcoats dashedly useful when spread over a puddle, but you might have made use of yours in this very situation.

The youth of today, after all, are not the same innocent cherubs as we were, Sir William, during those old days at school. Instead of such gay, innocent pranks such as swaddling the frosh in petrol-soaked rags on Guy Fawke's Day right before the bonfire, today's delinquents are roaming the streets, looking for wealthy prey. Unlike those of us with a firm faith in God and Country, Sir William, they are creatures of impulse with no respect for the workings of Authority. Morality is of no consideration to them. Fair play is an alien concept.

But if you had ordered your servant to run and fetch the lads, he could have taken then into a dark alley where you might have pistol-whipped the young boys both to within an inch of their lives.

Always on the side of the Just, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Mrs Grundy writes:

Sir Charles:

I am writing to say that I am shocked and dismayed at a recent column in which you referred to your lower limbs with the vulgar term "l**s". 

Please remember that there are children and ladies reading your column; this kind of crudity simply will not do.

Mrs Grundy

Sir Charles replies:

Mrs Grundy,

Although it offended the delicate sensitivities of Queen Victoria to hear the word 'legs' spoken in her presence, even to the degree that she covered up the pillars supporting her pianos with especially tatted coverings, one must point out that this, madame, is the twentieth century.

The words 'legs' is no longer considered offensive, in this day and age. Let one say it again. Legs. How trippingly it comes from the tongue, the word 'legs'. Legs. Piano legs. Table legs. Chair legs. Chicken legs. Legs, madame. Legs legs legs legs legs.

After all, it is not as if one had spelled out in its entirety the word 'ank-es'.

Always on one side of propriety or the other, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

George writes:

Picture: A Man AstrideMight I enquire as to what, exactly, you think your role on the internet is? Certainly, you aren't a member of any Aristocracy I've ever heard of. You do not exist amongst the ranks of Her Majesty's knights (if I am mistaken, I would like to know your order), and via your surname, it seems that your assumed persona is merely that.

Your writing style is indicative of a mere commoner who does not know the true "facon d'etre" of the British or American aristocracies. The grandest indicator of your falsehood is your statement that a Miss Penelope Windsor-Smythe is nintieth in line for the British throne. Such is quite incorrect, and demeans the standing of Her Royal Highness Princess Cornelie-Cecile of Prussia, the true holder of the nintieth position.

As a born member of the American aristocracy, and (in theory--my great-great-great-great grandfather, second Haverstrom in America, discontinued this title) 10th Viscount Haverstrom of Wiltshire, I can verily state that you know nothing of correct propriety, and a complete fraud. What then, sir, is your true identity?

George Pericval-Symington Haverstrom, III New York, New York The United States of America

Sir Charles replies:


As an American (and one is frightfully sorry about that), the correspondent is in obvious ignorance of the Secret Mountbatten pact of 1831 that sets forth the official orders of precession among the peerage.

Of course, as only those on a 'need to know' basis may see this highly secret document, one fears you must for the rest of your days remain in bovine ignorance.

One suspects it will not be a new sensation for you.

Ever the baronet, one remains
Sir Charles Grandiose

Postscript: Young Penelope Windsor-Smythe is currently eighty-fifth in line for the throne. Tough toffees for old Corny-Cecile, eh?

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