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


JUNE 13, 2011 12:26PM

A Life in Pictures (pt 2)

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Pressed Roses from
the estate gardens at Libellules. c. 1901
Tedious excavations of the libraries at Libellules, my childhood home in Paris, continue. I have unsealed several locked, cobweb-laced rooms on the caverneux 10th floor. Here I find tall crates full of elaborately framed portraits, swiftly returned by the Musee d' Orsay when the Chariot family began to... come down in the world. Musty piles of dried flower-books, broken mementos, faded daguerrotypes, cartes de visite from God-knows-where, and mouldering piles of stained polaroids brought forth complex childhood memories, which I shared with readers in  A Life in Pictures, Part One.
In this latest installment — A Life in Pictures, Part Two — I present more blithesome reveries of the author's youth: student days, holiday adventures, romantic interludes... and first marriage.
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 Part Two: Youth


"A way with the ladies"
The author as student charmer. c. 1904
I was well-known thanks to lengthy self-introduction letters,
painstakingly written in longhand,
to aristocratic girls I wished to meet in person.
The prestigious École Garçons Dérangés,
in the hilly region on the outskirts of Paris, where
Father arranges to have me installed. Here, new, experimental
supplementations are rigorously enforced. c. 1905
"Young man about campus" c. 1907
I'm youth, I'm joy, I'm a little bird
that has broken out of the egg. ~ James M. Barrie
"A passion for sports"
The Badminton Club at
École Garçons Dérangés, Paris. c. 1915
A flair for badminton catapults me
into the social-popularity stratosphere,
until a tragic shuttlecock accident
cuts short my career in athletics.

Debut, La Danse Dément. 1923
Annual ball which brought together students
from École Garçons Dérangés and the
prestigious École Filles Névrotiques. I was unable
to attend, having been hospitalized,
on the occasion, for unusually sweaty hands.


Summer holiday at Maison du Rances. 1925
Home of Mother's friend the Marquess du Rances
and her three ravishing, blonde daughters:
Hélène, Sandrine and Marie-France.
.  .  .  .  .
 It is always incomprehensible to a man
that a woman should ever refuse
an offer of marriage. ~ Jane Austen 

Hélène du Rances. 1925
Creative and eccentric, Hélène had a passion for poetry,
cruciferous vegetables and uncontrolled weeping.
A compliment is like a kiss
through a veil. ~ Victor Hugo
Sandrine du Rances, provocateuse.  1927
"I adore fellatio, little man."
Enjoyed a stellar career in politics.
Marie-France du Rances. 1928
"A sense of wonder."
A formidable coloratura recruited by the Palais Garnier,
Marie-France threw herself, after one problematic performance,
into the Seine. Failing to drown, she suffered phobias around
running water fore'er after. I once had to drag her,
in a raving lunacy, from the ladies' toilet at the Palais, after
two innocent persons flushed simultaneously.
Mentally unstable. 
.  .  .  .  .

"Finding myself" c. 1932
Returned to École Garçons Dérangés after
that splendid summer, I self-administer
Warburg's Tincture mixed with Laudanum.
For one brief moment,
Life is a cock-a-hoop carousel!

Why not seize the pleasure at once?
How often is happiness destroyed by preparation,
foolish preparation! ~ Jane Austen 
 Computer Users Network Testing Society. 1947
Under pressure from Mother and Father, I join the Society,
where I undergo professional training formally
required for blogging internship at Open Salon.
Work spares us from three evils:
boredom, vice and need. ~ Voltaire
First marriage, Notre Dame. 1951
The reception is conducted at the
Prieuré de Saint-Cyr, a castle near Paris, and attended by
700 of Father's very most intimate friends and associates
(Mother fails to appear). There are seventeen orchestres de chambre,
elegant cocktail soirees in formal dress,
magnificent luncheons under fluttering emblems
and sumptuous dinner parties 'neath elaborate marquees.
My wife was the daughter of minor Italian nobility who held
most of their property in the hill town of
San Miniato near Florence. For the
life of me I cannot remember her name.
Life is the flower for which
love is the honey. ~ Victor Hugo
"Establishing a career" 1960
One of many important business colloquies at
Café de Flore, where I meet regularly with intellectuals,
financiers, artists and various gentleman friends.

"New directions" 1966
I leave behind Business Finance to dance
with Peru Negro in Zamba Malato,
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Unable to withstand the long separations required
by a touring company, my marriage collapses.
.  .  .  .  .
Take thy beak from out my heart,
and take thy form from off my door!
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." ~ Edgar A. Poe

Divorce. 1971
I get a nosejob.
"A Blaze Set by a Match Struck in Hell"
Le Monde reports that Father's foundation,
The Chariot Institute at Shush Castle
burns to the ground under
mysterious circumstances. Switzerland. 1985

.  .  .
© Monsieur Chariot  2011

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It's going to take me awhile to stop chuckling. I expected (pt 2) to be weird, wonderful and uniquely entertaining. I wasn't disappointed.

M. Chariot, I'm not sure what to call this thing you do, but I love it. Please let me know about (pt 3). Or anything else you write, for that matter.
Firsties! I'll be back.
Nothing but a masterpiece.
Rated with hugs
That Sandrine De Berry chic, I dated her back in the '70s. I recognize the top of her head anywhere. She was always trying to get a-"head" in life. Even if it meant she had to stoop to conquer. Btw, do you have any more "art" photos of your nanny? As a student of photography history, I insist you "reveal" more of "those" images. R
Cock-a-hoop carousel, Monsieur Chariot? I resemble that remark! Could you possibly be any more charming and wonderful? This is just...just...sublime...xox
Oooh-la-la! I sense a discreet veil over the escapades which occurred between the scene of your divorce and that of the investigations into the conflagration at L'Insitute Chariot. Far be it from me to peek.
My dear MC, this is simply smashing! No family is complete without an disturbed coloratura. The Gods don't give out those exquisite pipes without exacting a price. Your framing and color pallets are stunning as always. I'm so sorry about the shuttlecock incident. It's a shame to be cut down in your prime. Carry on dear sir. I hope to see more.
a truly stellar compilation, monsieur. i want to be sandrine in my next life or perhaps i was sandrine in the last or perhaps Hélène minus the crying. qui sait? i could mention many gems in this piece, but the shuttlecock accident does, hm, stand out. oh, and the blogging training. :)
Vous êtes très drôles, Monsieur.

Even more impressive than your creativity, aesthetic sensibility, impeccable breeding, and mastery of Photoshop, is that your dates indicate you are about 127 years old–un homme d'un certain âge! You French have such great skin.
I love the photographs and the continuation of your compelling life story. It's funny, I attended a sister school of the École Filles Névrotiques! My fine education there has stayed with me to this day!

Thank you once more for a delightful post, sir.
My Dear Monsieur Chariot, I'm just enchanted with the careful biographical compilation. So much so, that I don't fault you for refraining from giving details of the affair with Mlle. J. Walsh as that might result in too much information about her departure from her editorial duties. Such celestial passion burns bright and furious, but sadly doesn't often last. The poor thing still allows a few tears, I'm told. We have our memories however—they must suffice.
Dear Monsieur, what everyone said above, better than I can articulate today. I'm coming back this evening but before I do what is the password? Or is it not really that? You are a great artist and these are just de trop, in the sense of more than wonderful.
My dear M. Man Talk Now ~ The gentleman's life is a model of Decorum, Duty and Destiny! Weird is reserved for the evening's, shall we say, more Discreet Diversions.

My dear Mlle Seccaspina ~ Obviously, you have seen Mother's portrait at the Musee d' Orsay. Considered by many to be a masterpiece — before it was defaced by the mobs.

My dear M. Trudge ~ Your… endowment to the Arts is well known in Paris, and was the talk of the table among the sisters de Berry at Maison du Rance. I suspect you may have some scholarly interest in M. Chariot's upcoming submission regarding peccadilloes of the erotic natures? Replete with discreet imagery suitable to the subject. For gentlemen only.

My dear Mlle Sneed ~ I caught your interpretive artistic performance at the Moulin Rouge, Les Cock-a-Hoopettes! — the very toast of Paris in 1928!
This is a wonderful photo autobiography, but unfortunately it does not address what is perhaps the most important issue: at what point and how did you come into possession of your Limoges tea service? Entire books have been written on the topic, the most significant of which is "Jean Paul Sartre and Alien Abductions: The Mysterious History of the Chariot Tea Service." I found it more speculative than historical, and perhaps once and for all you can give us the true story.
I can't get past "shuttlecock accident." Mon dieu.
This is Fantabulicious!!! Your graphics are amazing.
"I once had to drag her, in a raving lunacy, from the ladies' toilet at the Palais, after two innocent persons flushed simultaneously."

Dear M. Chariot, in short (or in tights -- lovely!), a wonderful peek into a life lived with gusto. So sorry about the shuttlecock, but it doesn't appear to caused any permanent damage from the looks of the dance poster.

Part III soon?

What a lovely thing it is to be so unique.

Fascinating life in photos, images and tellings. So good to see you here!
Just Cathy. I forgot the secret password.
I liked the class photograph of a chariot.
Gramps and his peers in red lipstick.

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
Then maybe that Sweet Chariot will haul off.
How you do that? You sipping a screwdriver?
I hope your not a underage drinker on olives.
I read 2-olives with black pits gives great gifts.
Button stuck. Call Kathlean Battle asap. okay
My dear Mlle Dianaani ~ Investigations into the conflagration at The Chariot Institute at Shush Castle proved entirely inconclusive! My lawyers made it quite clear at the trial that I was not the only person who just-so-happened to be in Switzerland at the time for obscure business purposes!

My dearest Mlle B.S. Babe ~ As you well know, a talent for the singing can bring unexpected tragedy. Marie-France made something of a fashion in the 30's of 10 tightly-wound scarves Hermés — and lozenges, lozenges, lozenges! Make a note of it!

My dear Mlle Mann ~ Few persons understand the lethal nature of the shuttlecock.
Just Cathy. I forgot the secret password.
I liked the class photograph of a chariot.
Gramps and his peers in red lipstick.

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.
Then maybe that Sweet Chariot will haul off.
How you do that? You sipping a screwdriver?
I hope your not a underage drinker on olives.
I read 2-olives with black pits gives great gifts.
Interesting obviously you like Victor Hugo, me to, can’t much say the same for Poe, Lovecraft was much better. Seems mother was always problematic did she ever say why she failed to attend the reception for your first marriage? Maybe she knew you were not serious, a part of your charm which a mother would be less than enchanted with.
Always a pleasure, sir. Thank you for the tantalizing trip down your esteemed memory lane. Can't help but notice upon your return to the École Garçons Dérangés that you seem to have taken on quite a resemblance to Monsieur Marilyn Manson. Seems to have not kept neither lords nor ladies away from your company. Cheerio.
"It is always incomprehensible to a man
that a woman should ever refuse
an offer of marriage. ~ Jane Austen "

Why is that Monsieur Chariot? Based on your vast and varied experiences, I'm sure you have some deep insight into such a weighty thing...
Time seems to run at a different pace for the Chariot family than for the rest of us. That seems somehow appropriate.

I must say that Mlle. Marie-France de Berry looks frighteningly familiar. I don't suppose she crossed the pond to become a gentlemen's entertainer in Covington, Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati?
My dear Mlle Greenhorn ~ I appear to have inherited my vernal complexion from Mother, who considered the care of the skin not just a luxury but a spiritual vocation. One rejuvenative specialism was a bath concoction comprised of a mixture of milk, honey and particular goat excretions best left undetailed.

My dear M. Rw005g ~ I vaguely recall certain persons asking certain questions about certain situations and events, appearing intermittently at Libellules. All that poking around in the cellars! Imprudent, considering how derelict antique staircases can be. Even the children knew better than to go down there! At Libellules, people came and went away and one never saw any of them ever again.

My dear Mlle Salzberg ~ Might it have been École Filles Psychotiques? I ask because I was once engaged to an enchanting graduate cum laude.
Mon Cher Monsieur, how privileged we humble denizens of Open Salon are to have you share with us your exotic life, times, and point of you (A slip of the fingers - I meant to write "view" not "you," but perhaps my subconscious knows best.). The laudanum in the tincture is your revelation that a possible inspiration for Anthony Weiner's Twitter self-portraits may be your Zamba Maloto poster.
Mon chèr Monsieur Chariot,

I had been looking forward to your Life in Pictures – Part 2, ever since your kind note in my mailbox. It is every bit, if not more creative than the preceding one. My eyes lingered over each picture – a work of artistic composition in itself – as I delighted in the accompanying vignettes. My heart sank reading that you had to go back to École Garçons Dérangés, divorce your Italian wife of minor nobility whose name you cannot remember for the life of you, (which inevitably leads one to get a nose job) and then lived to see the The Chariot Institute at Shush Castle burn to the ground.

However, you did have some good times too. I envy your professional training, formally required for blogging internship at Open Salon. The fruits of such hard work and devotion shine in each of your coveted posts.

Je vous remercie infiniment, Monsieur, pour votre création délicieuse.

Mlle Füsun
M. Chariot it is clear you are a nineteenth century man trapped in the twenty first century.
Ah, a most refined mixture of the bawdy and the elegant. Merci, Monsieur.
Indeed. When all else fails get a nosejob.
Oh my, je suis enchanté! And enchanted. And entertained. And happy to have you on OS. Still, and yet.
I am always charmed by your beautiful posts. Thank you.
The older we get the more we can appreciate what we see here. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful collection and more.
My Dear Monsieur Chariot, So much is finally revealed to us, yet, I sense you are holding back bit of information for the next round of personal disclosures. I am humbled by the sophistication and breadth of your experiences.....the stuff of many volumes....thank you for this lovely post.
Cher Monsieur,

I had to come back and re-indulge in this marvelous gem. It is a delight to happen upon art in unexpected places, in an undefined discipline, made with a voice that speaks from an authentic and well seasoned mind, unaffected by trend. These are indeed bon mots.

As a fellow artist, I fully appreciate the amount of labor and attention and detail and craft in every piece you make, even your enchanting and funny in character responses to our comments, which expand the work further. You are a master at creating interdependency between words and pictures, in the same league as Nick Bantock and Duane Michals. Pack up this work and take it out into the world, if you have not already done so.

Your Fan,
Mlle. Heron Verte
I bumped. I dare no comment again.
I'm planning to get my first pedicure.
Then I will Not go to a White House.
I gave my invite to Michael's dear wife.
I will be happy to be babysat at a Home.

Annabella put red toenail polish on toe.
I push Lewis in a wooded wheel barrel.
Krissy is happy as a pink flamingo Lady.
Enchanting. You are a treasure.
My dear M. bbd ~ Many thanks for your esteemed kindnesses. You may be interested to know that intimate lettres from Mme Walsh, M. Kerry and our own Mlle Holleman are detailed in future submissions!

My dear Mlle Wendyo ~ Check your mailbox my dear girl! A hand-written note has been delivered by courier to your undisclosed address in Paris.

My dear M. Mishima666 ~ La famille de Chariot has been mired in a swamp of litigations with the Sartre estate since 1948. And even these dolors do not begin to compare with painful memories attached to the Limoges Tea Service, which you so sensitively reference.
My dear Mme Riordan ~ I have been battling to have the shuttlecock legally classified as a controlled weapon since 1938. Until that time, La famille de Chariot encourages Badminton professionals and amateurs alike to wear full-body protective gear — or suffer la conséquence tragique!

My dear Mlle Lindau ~ Many thanks for your exuberant tribute, thoughtfully delivered in your native Macedonian dialect.

My dear Mlle Murder of Crows ~ I do cut quite the bello figuro in the Peru Negro poster, do I not? As you so delicately allude, ma chère fille, M. Chariot's charms… er, extend far beyond the wan delivery of dinner table bon mots!
Enchanting. You are always a rare delight. Rated, but of course.
My dearest Mlle Cathy ~ Thank you for your kind wishes. Always a recuperative tonic to encounter your bright visage!

My dear M. James ~ If "Life is the flower for which love is the honey", your verse, kind sir, is the fragrance.

My dear M. Heart ~ Thanking you for your keen perceptions on Poe vs Lovecraft! I approached Mother's bedchamber with the news of my impending nuptials, but was forced to take my place behind a long line of manservants awaiting their orders. Alas, it took too long for the line to move and I gave up.
My dear Mlle Sumac ~ I do believe you meant to say that M. Manson took on a resemblace to moí? Cheers, dear girl!

My dear Mlle Bleu ~ As one thrice-divorced, I have few useful perceptions on the issue of love and marriage, which, regardless, I shall be proposing in future posts. The gentleman hopes that the lady will join me in analyzing the imago of Love!

My dear M. Procopius ~ Marie-France left the Palais Garnier and was ne'er seen nor heard from again. I am pleased to hear she found work in the colonies!
My dear Mlle Füsun ~ My sincerest thanks for your careful examination of this latest submission. How one adores the discreet perceptions of the refined gentlewoman!

My dear M. O. E. Sheepdog ~ And which century is this, dear sir? I lose track, here among the detritus of memory, and of longing.

My dear Mlle Peel ~ The kind of refinements of which you speak are appreciated only by the the most enchanting of ladies! Hence my long and tragic romantic history.
My dear M. Whirlwind ~ To paraphrase M. Benjamin Franklin, "it would not be altogether absurd if a man were to thank God for his vanity among the other comforts of life."

My dear Mlle Kelly Lark ~ So very enchanting to encounter your sweet sentiments, my dear woman. Blogging, one finds, is an attempt to come to terms with life. There appear to be as many solutions as there are bloggers, are there not? So many solutions, yet so little by way of satisfaction.

My dear Mlle Holt y Roybal ~ The most beautiful treasures are those invisible to the eye — but found by the heart!
My dear M. Kemezys ~ Thanking you for your artistic appreciations. Our imaginations crave rambling, tinkering, long inefficient hours of fussing and puttering — do they not?

My dear M. Justis ~ As your own lovely stories show us, Art imposes pattern on experience, and viewers reflect their own aesthetic resonance by recognizing and appreciating such patterns. Mine are never finished — only abandoned.

My dear Mlle Heron Verte ~ A million thanks for the lady's sweet indulgence! I enjoyed perusing the work of the artists you mention as well, and am flattered by your comparisons. One dips one's brush into one's soul, and paints one's nature — corrupt though it may be — into one's pictures.

My dear Mlle Stars ~ The pen flows, the brush strokes, and then the dark days, when all is effort. That tiny bit achieved stares at us at the end of the day. The next morning, we grit out fancy new teeth — and start anew!
Monsieur Chariot ~ I am going to be in Paris in October for about ten days... I help a friend every year to put on a conference. This year it is in the City of Lights! We are both soooo excited.

I am saving money for this trip, since I'll have to pay my own way for the last few days.

I've been to Paris before, but I didn't have a very good time. It was the company I was with... too much walking then, when I did not have the stamina. Now, I'll be raring to go!

Lovely photos! Are they really of you?
Well, I can understand not remembering the wife's name. You were undoubtedly still under the spell of the Sisters du Rances...particularly Sandrine. I hope you are still writing with a fountain pen; it is always a class act!
What did you all become possessed? Funny...
Mon Cher Monsieur, I am happy to see you retained your youthful aspect through all the trials of your life. =o) Alas, for the fallen fortunes of the Chariot Famille!
I pity your unfortunate bride who was so unmemorable, her name has evaporated from your mind and heart.
rated, of course!
Zut alors! Thank you very much for your memoir. Imbued with a massive dose of joie de vivre and such. I anticipate more in the next installation.
M. Chariot, I am obliged to confess, regretfully for several reasons including the very public venue of this my woeful embarrassment, that I have forgotten the password. I am...aghast. Ummm...sorry about the fire.
Thank you for making my day! This was absolutely hilarious! Loved the excessively sweating hands and the debacle of the double flush. And the pairing of captions and quotes (though I don't think your self-administration is quote what Ms. Austen had in mind . . . ).
Your blogs are the most visually beautiful of any I have seen here.
Just getting to this now Monsieur. Magnificent post. That 60 year OS internship has paid big dividends, to us, your readers that is.
My French, such as it ever was, failed me just enough to turn L'École into a school for disturbed waiters. Hardly as amusing nor doing the necessary justice to what has been a marvelous series. (r)
Somehow, I can't help thinking the young lady on the right (your left) in the photo ""Establishing a career" 1960 " has a ball-gag in her mouth.

I'm sure it's just me.
My dear Mlle ktm ~ "When good Americans die they go to Paris." - Oscar Wilde

My dear M. Tingey ~ As you have intuited, the Sisters du Rances had quite the impact on my innocent mind, haunting my dreams to this day, awakening as I do in a swithering froth.

My dear M. TG Within ~ Guests at my cloistral apartments are possessed of elegance and refinement!

My dear Mlle Shiral ~ Mother taught us to consider Youthfulness a spiritual responsibility!
My dear Mlle Linnnn ~ Always a distinctive pleasure to see the lovely lady and her tiny pet at my cloistral apartments!

My dear Mlle Hyblaean-Julie ~ One finds that cleverness is serviceable for everything — yet sufficient for nothing!

My dear M. Paust ~ Your kind condolences with regard to the fire at The Chariot Institute at Shush Castle are deeply appreciated; especially in light of the tidal wave of accusations crashing about me at trial!
My dear M. AtHomePilgrim ~ You may be interested to know that I met several members of Jane Austen's family at a cocktail party in Bath (1911), who intimated that her skills at the fortepiano — and as a seamstress — were significantly compromised due to an inability to resist extravagant gratifications of personal whims and desires! Little known, but quite true, I can assure you!

My dear Mlle Penrose ~ A bouquet of Diosma for the Lady!

My dear Mlle Miguela Holt y Roybal ~ The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw!
My dear M. Abrawang ~ Discreet training at the Computer Users Network Testing Society has proved invaluable to my duties at OS!

My dearest M. Stacey Youdin ~ How very delightful to encounter the gentleman at my cloistral apartments! It has been too long, dear sir!

My dearest M. Lonnie Lazar ~ If you don't manage to exhibit a little propriety, sir, I shall be forced to bring out the paddle! And then you shall be sorry! Very, very sorry indeed!
Dearest M. Chariot,

Regrettably, I'm rarely on Open Salon, as my home here is in truth an annex from my usual estate on Blogger. However, I've enjoyed reading your histoire petite so thoroughly that I've made it a point to save your calling card in a conspicuous place so that I might be reminded to check in upon you when in the country.

The Beheld