An Ordinary Man

Or, Men 101

Royal Etiquette

“The wainscoted and wallpapered walls were covered with diplomas and certificates lacquered to gilt-edged walnut plaques in a style that was no longer popular but irreversible. Interspersed among them were photographs of Andrew with people famous enough for Richard to know they were famous, but not famous enough for him to know who they were. The collection of honors included a beribboned letter of appreciation from the palace of a minor prince who had sustained a cardiac event of some kind while visiting the area, whom Andrew, the leading cardiologist in Fairhaven, had successfully attended to. Richard wondered if such an elegant letter would have been received if his friend’s efforts had not been successful, royal etiquette in that case being unclear to him.”


Long ago, I had the privilege of working for an eminent surgeon who had been called in to consult on the case of Pope John Paul II after the attempt on his life in 1981.  Hanging on the wall of his office was a framed letter of appreciation from the Holy See that made an enormous impression upon me at the time.  I’ve used the royal seal of Monaco to illustrate the grandeur of such a communication here because the papacy could hardly be expected to endorse the story line (not that the House of Grimaldi does, for that matter).


“She had obviously been doing some heavy-duty housework and looked a little cross. Her hair was tied back, but some tendrils had either missed being collected or escaped since then. Her shirt, a favorite chambray work shirt, was missing a few buttons and he knew it would display cleavage if she were to bend forward. She had gold stud earrings on as her only jewelry; even her rings were off….”

It’s hard to get a fix on where the word Chambray comes from with respect to being a type of shirt.  There’s apparently a commune in France, Cambrai, that is famed for cambric cloth but I thought that was finer.  And where do all the different spellings come from?  In any event, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a chambray shirt, worn well:

Erogenous Zones …

… aren’t always obvious.  One of the men in the story is partial to the axilla, or the underarm complex.  A quick look at the anatomy shows it to be a complex of curves and bulges:

from Gray's Anatomy

from Gray’s Anatomy

What’s not to like?  Very sexy.