Monsieur Chariot

Monsieur Chariot
That Dazzling and Luminous California Metropolis known as The City Of The Angels, USA
June 08
Offering Discreet Tutelage in the Metropolitan Arts to Inquiring Gentlepersons of Variously Misguided Social Persuasions


Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 19, 2009 10:09AM

Love, Destiny and Other Appointments

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The California dawn's first blush razored through heavy velvet draperies into the cloistral bedchamber. Surgical light glinted across Victorian soda lime glass vases and walnut appointments, pricking my slumber like a physician's cannula. Where was I? Ah yes: in that very bower of romantic dissipitude, my tiny, state-of-the-art bachelor apartments in Old Hollywood!

Feeling about the bamboo night table for my tophat, wig and monocle, I immediately detected the scent of Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez, lingering throughout the rooms, in stark contrast to the lady's demure - even I daresay hurried - departure the night before. Collecting myself, rolling off the mattress wrapped in the trailing eyelet bedspread and peeking through curtains, I could see that her enormous pink Cadillac convertible, a sugar-plum pontoon of passion which had glittered on the street at midnight, was long vanished.

Slumbrous yet arisen, I busied with ablutions: the pluckings, the depilatories, the taping on of discreet accessories, and reviewed the previous evening. An encounter most gentlemen could only dream of! But perhaps it was too much to expect a lady of delicacy to display a return on my captivations? The assignation certainly went well enough - and yet the fair sex can be so skittish when it comes to Love's more brutish expressions. Humming a bittersweet melodia, I applied the palest, most masculine hint of rouge.

Earlier, at the nightclub and in a crush of glitterati, she'd been drinking a Pink Lady, egg-whites and cream mixed to a froth over Plymouth gin and grenadine. Through the lens of my tipsitude, her glossy pink lips, pink tongue, pink bubble gum and the pink potation tickled me, well... pink if you don't mind, inspiring a hoarse invitation to the lodgings.

Combing my hairpiece by the morning light streaming in through the picture window, I thought perhaps her devotion to chewing gum had been a bit much, recalling now the sound of popping and chewing during my floundering seductions on the settee. Hadn't I found a discreetly chewed fuschia wad this morning by the washbasin in the bath? To say nothing of the sticky bagatelle glued to the Louis-Philippe china cabinet in the salon. But who's counting?

Far be it from M. Chariot to let a little quibble over confections stand in the way of l'amour! Brushing my frock coat with perhaps a tad too much vigor, I stopped and sighed. Somehow one manages to keep the flames alive despite tiny romantic discouragements. Had loneliness left me too dazzled? A lady's maneuverings, so very difficult to interpret.

O Hollywood, silken city of the sequined sirens! I sent up a tiny invocation. Might you be delivering happiness to M. Chariot at last?

But now it was time to put aside amorous reveries and be off. A gentleman has his appointments after all I reminded myself, meticulously buttoning my fancy silk waistcoat, tailcoat, frock coat and striped trousers. As one knows - and if one doesn't, one should make a note of it - unbuttoned buttons are anathema to the ladies! Crawling hither and thither about the boudoir in search of my Prada Spectator boots, I was mystified to discover them precipitously lodged on the 10 opaline-crystal arm of the French Victorian chandelier which hangs o'er the bed!
I had no time for mysteries. With a rakish insouciance, I cocked the crowning jewel, my tophat, with special care so as not to skew the little fringe of bangs on the toupee. And lifting the Limoges tea set from a tiny table festooned with porcelain figurines, I made for the portal.


And then, Gentle Reader, is when I saw it. There, on the threadbare, yellow brocade wingback before my petite escritoire, was a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf, hanging motionless in the stale smoky air of the library. Had it simply been forgotten, in the frantic disarray of her puzzling departure? Or had she left it there knowingly, a diaphanous coquetry? I plucked the floaty fichu from the chaise, inhaled the rich scent of Bal à Versailles, nicotine and what was that? - a note of bubblegum - and stuffed it into my vest pocket, a Souvenir of Exaltation. With a lovelorn sigh, I lifted the Limoges and sailed forth on Cupid's wings!
As I waited patiently at the Metro stop, the denizens of Los Angeles swarmed by in long, long rows of gaseous, gleaming personal transportation appliances, racing, honking and cursing their way to destinations of greatness. Shortly, and to the clinking and clattering of my ceramic accoutrement, I loaded my velveteen person onto the #2, locating a seat near a sleeping thug. But wait! How to sit? In love's haste, I'd forgotten the tarpaulin I typically carry for protection of the habiliments from the city's grime. Might one be forced to remain standing for the entire trip, holding a tray of the finest porcelain aloft?


Suddenly I remembered the pink leopard-print chiffon scarf. Certainly my ladylove wouldn't be offended by safeguards required for the spotless silhouette? Gently waking my dozing seatmate and fastidiously passing the tray to his care, I whisked the scarf from my vest pocket with a flourish, spread it on the seat, plonked down and retrieved the salver from the thoughtfully accommodating assassin.

There now! The city spun by as the bus snaked and shuddered its way through snarls of traffic to my first stop, that unique and most cosmopolitan of coffee emporiums, that rarest of venues - Starbuckle Café, where fashionable society gathers in the Arts District on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

And there I debarked with the Limoges coffee service, gingerly making my way to the storefront at Starbuckle's, where I peered crossly into the window. Seeing me, the barista finally registered that for some patrons - the crème de la crème - a doorperson is essential. And yet, making my entrance, I was greeted not by the usual smattering of applause from the beau monde, but... giggles. Dare I say it? Sniggers.

Was rapture too visible on my visage? Was 'Love's Fool' written on my countenance? Briskly excusez-moi'ing my way to the front of the line, I ordered - in the crispest French - my libation plus an almond-paste croissant. A gentleman needs to replenish spent vigors! My tiny pot filled and my tray arranged just so, I waited at the rear of the establishment for the pro tempore doorperson. Then wending my way to my little umbrella table on the back patio, I took my refreshments in solitude, the café looming precipitously between my tiny form and the bustling megalopolis.

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Time waits not for the caffeinating gentleman, thoughtful reader! So very many pressing appointments to attend! Again I boarded the double-long Metro Rapid, criss-crossing the city like a suture. There was the meeting with my attorney about the restraining order. From there I was expected at the tailor and the vintner, where the little matter of unpaid bills had to be settled. Legal action indeed! But everywhere I went I was met with whispers, sidelong glances, titters. I checked my wig: all seemed secure. Certainly I was sufficiently groomed for polite society? One always wonders needlessly.

A stop at Cafe Côte D'or for a moment's respite from the sun's glare and the merest sip of a martini, followed by a quick look-in with my charmless parole officer (the sad result of a ridiculous misunderstanding 8 years ago; I am loath to say more).

"You have a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf sticking out of your ass." This, as I was leaving, from Officer Martinez in her usual tone.

"I beg your pardon, Mademoiselle...?"

"There is a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf sticking out of your ass," she repeated drily.

Nonplussed by this vulgarity, my tea set rattling with displeasure, I exited onto the street once more. What had become of genteel discourse, I wondered, making my way home on the #704? But once submerged by the shadowy interiors of my accommodations, I peered, turning this way and that, into the ornate Victorian looking-glass in the entryway. There, stuck with a wad of bubblegum to the seat of my pristenely pressed striped trousers, I encountered the pink leopard-print chiffon scarf, hanging forlornly, a limp flag of erotic surrender. Let this be a lesson in Love to gentlepersons of distinction!


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Oh, darling. I do so love you.
"What had become of genteel discourse, I wondered" - I wonder the same thing, Monsieur. Your post - c'est tres charmante. (Oh, and how I want that sugarplum pontoon of passion.)
You have brought back the scent of "Bal a Versailles". My mother wore that for years and the memory of it and who she once was is now lingering in my brain. Now, if I could just get the image of you combing your hairpiece out of my head, the rest of my day would be as magical as your writing....
"Suddenly I remembered the pink leopard-print chiffon scarf."

Of course you did! I forget mine all too often.

Loved this.
I adore this bit of writing, harkening me back to days I may or may yet know.

Lovely imagery to be left with on this warm, summer day...
Can't tell you how enjoyable this was.
One time I walked out into a birthday party with terlet paper on my shoe. It was in Hoobahank, Misippi. Let me tell you about it in all the glerious detail you used:

One time I walked out in a birthday party with terlet paper on my shoe. It was in Hoobahank, Misippi.

Will you marry me now?
So glad to see you back, M. Chariot. Ass-scarfed or not, you add welcome sophistication and whimsical delights to this humble site.
You are a rare and graceful talent........
Cheers and claps of delight are streaming out of my office this morning. A post from Ms. Chariot, a rare and tasty treat. You are brilliant, your post reeking of humor most refined. I loved so many lines, but this one "crossing the city like a suture"...that was particular delightful. Poor Ms. Chariot, so misunderstood by so many and ridiculed by a pink scarf and matching bubblegum!
You are quite "le tisserand," Monsieur Chariot. You still manage to add grace to these pages.
No one can brandish a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf from the derrierre with the rakish insouciance of our Dear Monsieur Chariot!

May Hollywood continue delivering Happiness your way, mon frère...
Je suis content que tu sois retour, Monsieur!
Oh, how I've missed your visage! (I knew Starbuckle's was coming!) One small request: Please warn us before quoting streetpeople. Not everyone has smelling salts and a loving spouse to administer them.

It is with sincere gratitude that I read this admonitory tail, ahem, tale that you have so generously shared with us, your devoted readers. You fear no shame, it is obvious, and are dedicated solely to the tutelage of lesser-experienced aspirants. We are honored, as always, by your presence among us.
I read your words and hearken back to memories of Leather, Parchment and Vellum... rAted!
I feel inadequate to the task of commenting on such a fine piece of reportage, yet feel compelled to express my admiration for the lifestyle standard which you uphold, and your willingness to share same with us, the huddled masses. Most impressive in this post is your willingness to use yourself as a cautionary tale. Thank you, sir.
Monsieur Chariot,
To say you and your writings are missed is an understatement at best. But you have my personal correspondence detailing that.

Thank you for this ingenious piece which weaves so many of the wonderful musings and thoughtful discourses you have offered to us previously into a single day in the life of Monsieur Chariot.

You are a shining gem of wit, talent and civility.

Rated and greatly appreciated as always.
It is only a matter of time before there are chiffon scarves affixed with bubblegum to the derrieres of the most fashionable in LA. Always a trend-setter, M Chariot! Good to see you back in such fine form.
Ah, Monsieur Chariot....so glad you have returned! I have missed your bon mots! After reading about this latest adventure, this leads me to wonder.....what would happen if you and the great Ignatius J. Reilly were to meet? Imagine the possibilities...What an occasion that would be!
That's what happens when you go out cavorting.
How romantic you are.
Chewing gum on the settee,and,blowing bubbles,must have endeared her to yourself,instantly.
And why,only one martini,I would have thought it would be at least a
two,or maybe three,martini celebration.
Thank you for an uttrely hilarious read.
Pardon the "deuxième commentaire" mon ami, but tonight "Cinemax at Night" is broadcasting Al Pacino's classic "Scarfass (director's cut)." I think one and all will find it resonant. (Check local listings.)
Dear Monsieur, it is all too clear that your charmless parole officer was jealous and wanted one of those scarves to spruce up her colorless uniform and life.
Dear Sir,
You ask for love's advice, however, it is against good judgement to give it, as I surmise that you are a felon with stacks of bills and an order of restraint which means you are a voyeur with stalkeristic tendencies.
There, my illustrious run-on sentence for this dank and blessed evening.
Good-night to you,
Perfection, as always! And so good to see you back.
Once again you have made me weep.
Dearest GL ~ You may be interested in my etchings, my dear!

Dearest TT ~ The Roxboro QM is listed on The International Gentleman's Guide to L'amour!

Dearest DBD ~ I found out later that the Sugarplum Pontoon of Passion had been impounded at 2:45am.

Dearest CT ~ A gentleman's toupee is only necessary as a frame for the personality!

Dearest WUS ~ I have it! But your attorneys won't let me get close enough to return it to you.

Dearest BW ~ If you cut back a bit on the absinthe my dear, you may or may not remember.

Dearest CAF ~ That is only because the restraining order keeps me outside a 500 yard radius of your person.
Dearest DB ~ The last time I proposed to a girl your age I was living in a religious compound in Utah.

Dearest LL ~ Thank you, but sophistication and whimsy appear to be somewhat out of style these days!

Dearest GJ ~ You have seen me dance the minuet!

Dearest MTK ~ Your kind comment has done so much to enliven the solitude of my reclusive sister, Ms. Chariot.

Dearest SY ~ I prefer to call it a toupee - not a "weave".

Dearest LL ~ And then there are those derrieres which require no ornamentation whatsoever.

Dearest BB ~ Je suis toujours là pour toi.

Dearest SB ~ A gentleman must keep his smelling salts handy, especially when using the houkah.
Dearest SM ~ Thank you my dear, but tongue-in-cheek flattery is small comfort after my chiffonesque humiliations.

Dearest CAS ~ It takes a gentleman to understand a gentleman!

Dearest OSW ~ I have nothing but the greatest respect for the huddled masses, who always manage to somehow make room for me and my tea set on the #2 heading east on Sunset!

Dearest DK ~ M. Chariot cherishes the kind personal notes he has received from you. And a few others. Which were significantly less kind and rather impersonal.

Dearest DS ~ I got elegance. And if one ain't got elegance, one can never, ever carry it off.

Dearest NT ~ And where might I find the confederacy of dunces? Hmmm?

Dearest S ~ Now you tell me.
Dearest PH ~ My romantic delusions become even more perverse after more than one.

Dearest SY ~ Did you actually post that or is that the Absinthe talking?

Dearest L ~ I was surprised she even noticed. Despite strenuous efforts to engage her attention with polite witticisms, Officer Martinez can't even be bothered to look up from her paperwork during my visits.

Dearest D4 ~ Lies I tell you! All lies! I am innocent!

Dearest SS ~ Things would be completely perfect if someone would recommend a good gum remover!

Dearest MTP ~ I am sorry you had to learn about my new lover in this manner. It simply couldn't be helped.
I loved this. What is a physicians cannula? This reminds me of a friend of mine who calls crabs "papillons de l'amour."
Monsieur Chariot....so glad you have returned! How I have missed you so! I bow as a humble writer to your witty repartee' and pink leopard print chiffon laden arse'.
O wonderful M. Chariot! I imagine you wore the scarf with the panache and style with which you always do. I imagine, as others have said, that Scarves flitting about the ass with become de rigueur for the Season soon enough.
Dearest TT ~ I'll be the one in the top hat.

Dearest C ~ A physician's cannula is commonly used in Los Angeles for liposuction de l'amour.

Dearest SA ~ I bow deeply in the Lady's presence!

Dearest OR ~ The gentleman's panache may be strained by a pink leopard-print chiffon scarf - but ne'er broken!
M. Chariot, a terrible social faux pas on my part. My deepest regrets!
Hermione will be so very disappointed, my dear!
M. Chariot, these sad grounds are so bereft when you leave us (as you do!) for too, too long. I beseech you, remain with us this time. Take off your top hat. Put it over there, on the bureau. Stay a while longer...

That is to say, I so hope you'll refresh your spent vigors here.
You are so elegantly nuts.
M., please tell Ms. Chariot, the beautiful and shy Hermione, I will make it up to her. Or should I just send her a well crafted note?
Perfection, cover boy! Salut! xox
The hero of all gentlepersons, armed with his Limoges tea service, returns to the cover of Open Salon with yet another masterpiece!
I hope the rapture is not to visible on my visage. I have a pink bus to catch.
This made me snort pop out my nose.
Happy to see this delightful post finally get the attention it deserves. Bravo, MC.
This is lovely, decadent, delectable.
There are so many gems to choose from but I think I like this one best: "a sugar-plum pontoon of passion." I still can't stop laughing at the image of the hideous pink animal print scarf wafting out of your elegant behind.
Oh yes, and I still have a relic of Bal à Versailles bath oil in my bathroom somewhere. What does it all mean?
Your writing is actually tasty. How is that possible? Your writing tastes good. Like orange marmalade.
Monsieur, to answer your question, "Where would we find the Confederacy of Dunces?" I do believe great Ignatius J. Reilly would agree that we are now all living in a Confederacy of Dunces! Congratulations on a well deserved EP!
The Jonas Brothers said the same thing in this months Teen Beat.
je t'aime monsieur, je t'aime
What joy to find your post this evening! A champagne toast in your direction!
I completely enjoyed this--very interesting.
misfortune, like love, must stick!
Ma cher Chariot, if your Pink Lady was who she appears to be, I marvel that she adorned your chamber en seule, as the Divine Marlene was rumored to be quite addicted to the Ménage à trois.
My heart swelled to see your name again. It swells more to read your lovely prose.
Stay here and write and keep my heart alive as it skips a beat.
I'm so glad to see this. I was wondering where you've been and then suddenly I find this gem of a piece. Your writing takes me on the most delicious journey to the most unexpected places. Thanks for this lovely treat. P. S. Keep waving that chiffon flag o'love!
Dearest VR ~ Tendres baisers, dearest Lady!

Dearest LSW ~ M. Chariot recommends keeping one's nuts in a small crystal bowl on the etagere, a perfectly accessible location for the nibbling Lady.

Dearest MTK ~ I certainly do, my good woman! Writ in longhand with quill pen; and scented!

Dearest RS ~ A toast to l'Amour! Down the hatch, dear Lady!

Dearest M666 ~ I take a sip of tea and think fondly of my Bohemian, artistic Gentlemen friend. Mercí my good man!

Dearest JW ~ M. Chariot is pleased to receive the fleeting gift of the Lady's delicate smile - from the bus!
Dearest HB ~ M. Chariot is delighted by giggling Ladies!

Dearest PR ~ If your attorneys keep returning my lettres d'amour, I shall hang myself with said scarf!

Dearest KR ~ Indulgence from the fine Lady leaves the gentleman resplendent with pleasure!

Dearest CH ~ Enchanting, ma cherie! Enchanting!

Dearest EP ~ Thoughts of the giggling Lady in her bath shall animate the gentleman's dreams!

Dearest BM ~ Perhaps a spot of tea and some little cakes ordered to my rooms, will further stimulate the Lady's appetite?
Dearest NT ~ M. Chariot is so pleased that Le Salon's finest Ladies and Gentlemen offer a tiny sanctuary to my velveteen person!

Dearest DL ~ They must be French!

Dearest DDB ~ Astonished to encounter Salon's premier photographer gracing my tiny rooms! Many congratulations on your fine new book my good man!

Dearest KHL ~ A most delicate gesture from a long-ago Love!

Dearest CH ~ A click of the heel and a tender kiss on the hand of the Lady!

Dearest CM ~ A gentleman's misfortunes flee at the appearance of the Lady with the Cigar!

Dearest WG ~ My good man, you are more the bon vivant than I ever realized!
Indeed. What has become of genteel discourse? So many quotables in this particular post. I believe "Love's Fool" is written on your countenance, and when you're taking public transit no less. Poor you.
Dearest AIM ~ The gentleman is reeling with pleasure from your poetic kindnesses!

Dearest LK ~ The gentleman surrenders! The gentleman surrenders all!
Dearest LT ~ Exquisite grooming is M. Chariot's greatest asset indeed! But the finest potions cannot wipe away the ardor evoked by your sympathetic appearance at my cloistral apartments!
Dearest SK ~ The Lady's delicate smile not only reinvigorates, but quickens, vivifies and exhilarates!
Ah, Monsieur:
You were the first post I read on OS...and still the best!!!
I love the pink! So, I assume the chiffon scarf was stuck to your derriere with pink bubblegum. A bit of pony play for the Starbuckle crowd. Welcome back!!!

Dearest RT ~ A bit of pony play for the Starbuckle crowd? The gentlemen of Los Angeles could apparently learn a thing or two about élan from the gentlemen of Anchorage!
Je t'aime M. Chariot - avec tout mon cour and l'ame. Il n ya quelque un qui peut ecrire comme toi. Tu es une vrai originale.
Dearest MC ~ L'originalité crée la solitude, dearest Mlle !
"You have a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf sticking out of your ass."

Words I hope sincerely to never hear uttered in my direction.

Don't know how I missed this, but for the first time in a long time I was actually thrilled to see the cover this morning. Otherwise, this prodigious post might have passed unperused.

Rated most highly, and it is good to see you posting again, Monsieur.
"You have a pink, leopard-print chiffon scarf sticking out of your ass."

Dearest BS ~ you, my good man, are clearly unaware of the very latest trends in gentlemanly fashion!
Ah beautifully written. Loved it. Still snickering. The same thing happens repeatedly in the NYC subways - one can stand up with all manner of items attached to one's person: on one's foot, elbow, and yes, ass. Most of the time, the objects are inert, but occasionally one has an actual person glued on.
Dearest PC ~ I am so very pleased by your visitation to my humble accommodations. As per your recommendation, I sought out M. Peterphoie - but someone appears to have removed all trace of him on this site!

Dearest DCVD ~ I daresay your discreet reminiscences of New York paint a disquieting picture!
I haven't been around much on OS lately, but oh how I've missed your wonderful writing!!

I've forgotten how I am transported every time I read your work...
Dearest LG ~ your devoted Monsieur finds the bus to be the perfect means of transportation - for gentlepersons of distinction!
I was laugh out loud happy. Your droll musings are an absolute treasure to the cognescenti ... Monsieur, you are my new favorite!
Ahhhh. Exactly the tony tonic to invigorate a gentlewoman of baroque sensibilities as this dim decade disappears. Bravo.