San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

It’s Spelled I-N-V-E-C-T-I-V-E

THERE can be no two ways about it: Danziger is aphilanderer and a skirt-chaser. Slice him how you will,he’ll always remain a womanizer, a ladies’ man. Heparts his hair in the middle, sports a pencil-line mustacheand wears two-toned shoes with pointy tips. Heaffects a cheap and smelly brand of aftershave, whichhe laces with a concoction advertised in jock magazinesas “the ticket to romance.” And he shaves meticulouslytwice a day so as to be, in his own words, “readyto kiss at any time.” Oh, and one other thing: like allcon artists, he talks incessantly.Curiously enough, behind all the flimflam, he isquite an accomplished poet, though in an archaicstyle. For no reason known to men his conquests seemto enjoy the stuff, so he often trots out a stanza or twoto soften any resistance left after the baby face and the dodgy perfume havedone their work. And while we’re still feebly debating “will she or won’tshe,” Danziger needs only a glance to proceed as confidently as if he’dreceived an engraved invitation.But Danziger can never get enough, and when he’s courting three or fourprospects simultaneously he has been known to send the same poem to twoseparate girls or even to get the names mixed up. Naturally, the girls all comparenotes and the boo-boo is soon discovered, but the irritating thing is thatthose concerned just call him a scalawag, while if I did that I’d be branded adetestable swine. Not that there’s much chance of it happening; the few poemsI have offered to potential sweethearts have all been met with ribald laughter.It’s not that I’m insanely jealous, you understand; it’s just that the rest of usare only human, and we, too, would like to have all feminine heads turn as weenter a room, while their escorts stare resolutely out the window.Danziger’s weak spot is that with all this absolute mastery of his subject,just like Casanova and Don Juan, he sometimes gets bored with the wholething and starts taking absurd risks, like making eyes at a Mafioso’s mistress,inviting instant annihilation.I would not go so far as to say that the fall of Danziger, richly satisfying asit might be to the rest of us, would actually do us much good. Whatever he hasthat attracts women like bees to honey is obviously something we don’t have,and no amount of loaded aftershave will ever redress the unfairness of it all.But at least we have something to look forward to, and when that happy dayarrives we shall be there to cheer, perhaps a little hysterically, the crash of afallen idol.

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