November 22, 1999
1. At the opera, a person in your row begins to unwrap a boiled candy from its crinkly wrapper, creating a great deal of noise as the heroine sings the fourth aria of her death scene. You:
2. Walking down the street, you see the chappie who ruined your last dinner party with the bishop by telling that tasteless joke about the lecherous archbishop, the altar boy, and the Carmelized nun from France. You:
3. At your glittering Winter Ball you decorate your ballroom with __________ and serve ________ for dinner:
4. You have decided to name your child:
5. A typical evening at home consists of:
6. Your personal motto happens to be:
Add your score: Give yourselves 0 points for every answer of A, 2 points for every answer of B, 5 points for every answer of C., and 10 points for every answer of D.
0-10 points (The Commoner): You couldn't be more common had you been born on the steps of the church of St. Common's on Common Street in Commonstown, County Common, as the only offspring of an unwed mother named Commonina O'Common.
11-30 points (The Puritan): Although you do not flaunt your humble origins, harsh necessity has forced you to be of the working class. It is possible you may have more money than many of the peerage, but you lack that casual disregard of others and of circumstance that delineates the truly privileged from the lesser classes.
31-50 points (The Nouveaux Riches): Vulgar at every turn, those aspiring to the highest classes solely by virtue of their money, possessions, and worldliness sicken the true aristocrat. Why, you probably even vote Labour.
51-60 points (The Enlightened): Ah, gentle reader, you truly do have insight into the brain of the nobleman. However, given that a true peer would have thrown a rubbishy multiple-question questionnaire into the rubbish bin the moment he or she encountered it, it must be that at best, there was an illicit liaison between your randy chorus girl grandmother and a gentleman of distinction.
Proving that there is indeed such a thing as a trick question,
one remains for yet another week,
Dear Sir Charles,
It has been many years since I was in your service. Yes, I was one of your footmen. During that time I felt blessed to work for you, and I would pray for you nightly. Over that time, though, Sir Charles, I became concerned for your spiritual welfare. I still pray nightly that you will see the light and come to accept the Lord as your saviour.
The Lord is my personal saviour and performs miracles for me on a daily basis. Even now that I am retired and live in a small cottage in Fishampton I am astounded by his blessings of health and prosperity. There are even little miracles he continues to perform for me, such as providing a light for me whenever I must arise in the dead of night to void my bladder. You will recall, Sir Charles, that you never provided lights in the servant's loo, but the Lord, he provided a magical light for me every time I opened the loo door. Praise be to Jesus!
Please accept him as your maker.
Thank you for your time.
John Barkley, Footman, ret.
Sir Charles replies:
Ah, another mystery solved. The kitchen staff always wondered who had been spending a penny in the refrigerators.
Looking to the stock market for one's personal salvation,
Do you know anything about math? I am asking because I hate it. I hate fractions! I mean, who cares what fraction of tomatoes Johnny ate if he ate seven out of fourteen tomatoes? It's boring? And he's probably fat!
Sir Charles replies:
Worry not. The day will come when, after a bit of application, the mysteries of the mathematical sciences will become clear to you. They are a hurdle to be jumped, a rite of passage. They don't make a whit of difference when you're an adult, though . . . just as you suspect.
Besides, you are not alone. Five out of four people have extreme difficulties with fractions.
Having never bothered for a First in maths, one remains,
Dear Lady Felicia,
Thank you in advance for your response.
I am a young woman who is desperate to make an impression on a man I know. He is handsome, intelligent, and a beautiful speaker. I become tongue-tied whenever I am around him. I fear my first impression upon him was not the finest, for he asked me what sorts of books I enjoyed, and I stuttered and stammered and am afraid I looked a complete fool.
But the crux of the matter, Lady Felicia, is that the man is eight years younger than I. I feel that I could amply cope with the situation should he decide to return my affections, but what would others say?
The Lady Felicia replies:
In a case such as this, one feels that you should allow affection to win out, should the lad find you as attractive as you obviously find him. You might as well marry a younger man, anyway. Not a one of the bastards ever mature.
Having always preferred the cheque-book oneself, one serenely