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Greetings once again, O warm and welcoming Denizens of the Twenty-first Century! It is I, Bertram St. James…as you can tell by my (exquisite) portrait which accompanies this epistle.

I thought I would share with you my Impressions and Ruminations on my first months in your time period. (For those of you who may be new to this Risky Regency salon, please know that I was a happy and handsome inhabitant of the year 1812 until just a few months ago…when somehow, I came here….no, I mean, came now. No, that doesn’t sound quite right either, does it? Oh, bother it all. You know what I mean.)


1. I simply adore Showers. In fact, I adore all of the Plumbing I have so far encountered in the Twenty-first Century.
2. The astoundingly low price of Books. I now own a Complete Shakespeare.
3. The fact that when one sees Shakespeare performed, no one cuts out the indelicate bits. In fact, as far as I can tell, new indelicate bits are added in.
4. Twix, Snickers, Hershey, Ms&Ms, Godiva (thank you for suggesting the last, Madame McCabe.) Chocolate Candy. What an invention.
5. Messrs. Johnson and Johnson’s Dental Floss.
6. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. What beautiful people. I could stare at them all day (and sometimes do.) Jennifer Lopez is also an aesthetic pleasure.
7. Public Libraries.
8. Electricity-powered Clothes Irons. Now one’s man is much less likely to singe one’s Clothes. (Not that mine ever did. Except that one time.)
9. Electricity-powered Lights. They are ever so much brighter than even the best beeswax candles, or any oil lamp I have ever encountered. Moreover, they do not smoke, they do not need tending, and they do not set one’s house on fire when one’s man is careless. (Not that mine ever did. Except — oh, never mind.)


1. I feel quite sad whenever I notice Tea adulterated with such things as maple and mango (whatever they are). Why are 2005 people not happy with simple Tea? Do you modern folk find the flavour of Tea so repulsive that you must needs cover it up with such things? If you must drink Vanilla Mango Maple Chai Licorice concoctions, why put Tea in them at all??? And do not try to tell me it is for Tea’s Stimulative Properties. It did not take me long to learn what “De-Caffeinated” means. Why not drink “De-Alconated” Wine, for heaven’s sake?
2. While I’m on the subject, let me add that I don’t understand why modern folk do not drink more. And by “drink more,” I mean wine, beer, ale, brandy, sherry, port…even gin. Not water. Not milk. Not “Energy Drinks.” Wine strengthens the blood and knits the bones! Please, do try to drink your bottle a day. It does a body good.
3. Safety Razors. Shave with a proper razor, for Heaven’s sake. How otherwise can you have a truly smooth chin?
4. Men’s Clothing. (Shudder.) Why are men so ashamed of their legs? Are they all turned Puritan?
5. Freeways are ugly things. Do away with them all, and I assure you, you will all be much happier.

Let me take this Opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year! And may you all have the good fortune to grow half as elegant as I am in 2006.

Bertram St. James, Exquisite

Good day! Bertram St James, at your service. As I might have mentioned before, I’m not from your time. Not by quite a bit, actually. 1812 was my year…that is, until a few days ago. (And a fine year it was, too. Excellent vintage. Turned out the best-dressed men ever seen, if I do say so myself. And I do.)

This is a drawing of me. You see how forward-thinking my fashion sense is. Always ahead of my time.

Until now. Now I fear I’m behind the times. I have just a few friendly questions, as I get my bearing in the year 2005:

1. Why do men wear so few garments? And why are they so large and shapeless? Have the Puritans taken control of government again?

2. If the Puritans are in power, why do the women wear so little? Can it be that I find myself in a land populated entirely by Puritan men, and courtesans? Or are all the women freethinkers instead?

3. How can breakfasts be so affordable, and yet duels so few? I have long thought that only the exorbitant cost of buying breakfast for oneself, one’s seconds, one’s opponent’s seconds, the doctor, and one’s heartily apologetic opponent, kept the number of duels so low. And yet this morning I discovered a public house called “Denny’s” with prices so low I feared for my life every time I inadvertantly stared aghast at yet another man wearing a badly mended tent.

4. What in heaven’s name is wrong with the tea in this century????

As ever, your faithful servant,
Bertram St James, Exquisite

Good day! Or should I say, good century? I seem to have lost mine. Went to bed in the year 1812, and woke up here. Must say, I don’t care for what the gentlemen are wearing nowadays. Why are they all so ashamed of their legs? Must be a prudish century.

I do like this computer thing, though. Amazing. Is it powered by animal magnetism? Whatever makes it work, I love it. I now have an e-male account (I am male, so this makes sense–though I’m not sure what the “e” stands for. Earl? I’m not, but it doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps it means Exquisitely Dressed–which I am. As always.)

And I think “Risky Regencies” sounds like my sort of gentleman’s club. Greetings, all!

Bertram St James, Exquisite…at your service

I received an email today from Bertram St James, the exceedingly elegant gentleman who mysteriously traveled from Regency England to our modern world a few years ago, and ever since has been watching way too much television and charging pizza and designer clothes to my credit card.

And, because I have nothing clever to say today, I figured I’d just share part of Bertie’s email…

(I know he won’t mind. He loves attention.)

I have a new question, writes the illustrious beau.

I have been attending more Moving Theatres, you see, as well as looking at the TeleVision Device for many hours every day, trying to decipher the ways of your society.

By the way, one of my favourite programmes was that Election series! How very dramatic!

(Though I fear I missed the finale…did Tiny Frey become Prime Minister?)

Oh, yes, my question.

Why are vampires all so comely?

Why do they dress so well?

Why are they neat and clean and elegant?

And why do they pay attention to their hair?

Or perhaps my true question is: why are all the non-vampires on TeleVision and Movie Pictures so unattractive, so poorly groomed, so slovenly?

I feel that if I can ever solve this conundrum, I will be much closer to actually understanding your Modern world…

In the meantime, I will continue to search for answers…

Answers as to why Dr. House never shaves! (And why, if he never shaves, he never grows a proper beard.)

Answers as to why Peter Petrelli cut off his lovely hair!

And answers as to whether or not that Bond fellow is ugly or handsome. I cannot make up my mind!

What do you think?

There you have it…Bertie the Beau’s latest musings….

And I second his last question: what do you think?

Cara King, who has more questions than answers herself…

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As many of you know, Bertram St James (one of the most noted Tulips of Regency society) mysteriously traveled in time, arriving a few years ago in our world of McDonalds and baggy jeans. He likes to turn up here at Risky Regencies on occasion to share his observations of modern life…but he has not been around recently.

In fact, I have not seen him in ages — although he promised he would share his thoughts on Valentine’s Day. But as far as I can tell, he, his valet, and his massive wardrobe have gone off somewhere…but where?

Breaking news: I still do not know precisely where Bertie the Beau is, but I did receive a telephone call from him. The transcript, which interrupts your regularly schedule Valentine’s Week Post, is as follows:

Cara: Hello?

Bertie: Why do they say “dial nine for an outside line,” when one only needs to dial “nine” when one is inside? Or does “inside” pertain to the telephonic callee? But how am I to know whether the individual for whom I am calling is out of doors or in?

Cara: Bertie, is that you?

Bertie: Who else possesses such mellifluous tones?

Cara: Um, yes, of course. How are you, Bertie? I haven’t seen you in ages.

Bertie: I am beautiful as always — need you ask? Oh, and is a “pants press” a new model of weight training machine?

Cara: Bertie, are you in a hotel?

Bertie: I cannot tell you where I am — who can say whether an insect is eavesdropping on the wire?

Cara: Wait — how are you paying for all this?

Bertie: Oh, never worry about money. Dreadful thing. Have you been watching the Lost Show on your TeleVision Box? Did you know they have the Lost Show at the Beverly Hilton?

Cara: Bertie! You didn’t — you aren’t — my visa — the Beverly — aarghh! [unintelligible sputterings follow]

Bertie: Oh, dash! I mentioned the name of the place, didn’t I? Now I’ll have to move again. Do you know if the Bel Age has huge-screen TeleVision Devices?

Cara: Why are you in hiding anyway???

Bertie: Why else, but relations? You recall that my great-aunt Lavinia Sophia Eugenia Kumquat sent notice to the periodical known as In Touch, reporting my nonexistent engagement to Miss Keira Knightley?

Cara: Yes…but wasn’t that a while ago?

Bertie: Aunts have very long memories. Quite like elephants. Come to think of it, my aunts resemble elephants in more ways than just that. If you could see–

Cara: Elephants don’t matter! Are you hiding from your Aunt Lavinia Soph–er, whatever her name is?

Bertie: Oh, she was bad enough. I still deny ever meeting the fair Miss Knightley! (I can deny it if there are not photographical pictures of us on the spiderweb, can I not?) And I certainly never became engaged to anyone. Though I admit that, in her green dress, she is the loveliest “Valentine” any gentleman could want! (Not that I do.)

Cara: So you’re not hiding from your aunt?

Bertie: No indeed — one aunt was not enough to cow me. But two are.

Cara: You now have two aunts in this century?

Bertie: Isn’t it dreadful? My Aunt Gorgon — that is, Aunt Gordon — has somehow joined my Aunt Lavinia Stuffy Aged Kumquat. Aunt Gorgon always pokes me when I do not sit up straight — but how can one be truly elegant without a subtle languor? And she’s not the worst of it! No, she brought along my Uncle Bucephalas Augustus Hund, who always wants me to tramp through nature — nature! the very idea! — and shoot at deer or birds or some other dirty creature with one of those shooting things. And as he’s quite a bit stronger than I am, I think it best just to go to ground and hope he cannot smoke me out.

Cara: I see.

Oh, dear, that sounds like his knock now! Oh, good, my man has indicated I can escape via the balcony. Adieu! Happy Valentine’s Day!

[End transcript.]

So, there you have it. Poor Bertie! (And I do hope he isn’t charging it all to my credit card…)

who wonders if Bertie has yet discovered Godiva chocolates

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 16 Replies
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