You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
~ Abraham Lincoln


LARRY SANTERS (° 1952, Antwerp, Belgium) practiced law for a number of years before joining Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, California. Returning to Belgium, he took up CFO positions in several major companies. He set up as a consultant about ten years ago and now lives in the Antwerp area.

“What do you mean, you don’t know where she lives!” Larry yelled, “She’s your friend!”
“No, she’s not. I bumped into her thirty minutes before you came along.”

So begins Larry’s quest for the beautiful young woman he’s just fallen for like a ton of bricks. He will have to deal with a cast of meticulously haughty butlers, bossy New-York lawyers, woolly-minded brothers, dopey mothers-in-law, punctilious golf club secretaries, gruff captains of industry and other colorful and eccentric characters to pry loose his great love from the hands of his adversary. Set against the backdrop of a beautiful Kent County scenery, a gorgeous English spring, and a few Stately Homes of England, this farcical and yet romantic story is Larry Santers’s first novel.

From: A Legal Eagle in the Soup

The Scientific Method

Here we were, the three of us comfortably sitting back on the settee in Love Affair’s saloon. I’d left the heating on before leaving, so the temperature was really nice, the stereo was gurgling something quiet, and we were nursing J&B’s. I wasn’t really blotto, and neither were the girls, but it was borderline.

What with the gentle temperature, Jenny had opened another button of her blouse, and I was unabashedly ogling her cleavage.

“Like what you see?” Jenny asked.

“Boy oh boy,” I nearly replied, but managed to restrain myself. As a matter of fact, I liked what I saw a lot. I did notice something a bit odd, though.

You see, I consider myself one of the world’s leading experts on ladies’ intimate apparel. I just love nice lingerie. It’s not a fetish or anything. It’s just that I like beautiful things, and I strongly feel that a woman’s lingerie can say almost as much about her as her jewelry or shoes or purse.

I could tell that the bra Jenny was wearing wasn’t the buy-two-get-three sort of supermarket thing. This was expensive French or Italian stuff.

“I have a confession to make,” I said instead.

“Shit,” Lindsay said, “he’s gay!” Hoots of laughter.

“No, quite seriously,” I said. “I’m here on a scientific mission. I have been charged with the mission to scientifically examine the differences, if any, between English women and continental women. And so I have actually started my preliminary round of observation with Jenny.”

“Fascinating,” Jenny said. “I’ve never been the subject of a scientific investigation before. Tell me all about it.”

“Well, first and foremost, one has to stick to the scientific method, of course. And secondly, one has to remain objective at all times. Let me give you an example: your breasts. I could just describe them as small, or medium-sized, or whatever, but that wouldn’t be objective. I would have to establish their size in a proper, objective, and scientific way.”

“Like how?”

“Well, let me show you.” I started to further unbutton her blouse.

She slapped my hand. “Not so fast, buster!”

“Aw, Jenny, all I was going to do was cup one of your breasts in my hand so I could establish if it fit or not.”

“Sounds very scientific to me,” she mused.

“Anyway, I usually start with an external examination of the subject, which is what you caught me doing a few minutes ago. You’re wearing a very short skirt, so that simplifies the task considerably. Now it’s just the part between your neckline and the hem of your skirt that remains terra incognita for the time being, unless, of course, you consent to uncover some more of your anatomy—in the interest of science, naturally.”

“Yeah, naturally, in the interest of science,” she said. “Go on. What else can you tell me about the scientific method?”

“Well, after a surface examination, one has to probe further into the subject and—”

Jenny interrupted me, “Oh, probing? Is that right? And into the subject…Isn’t that painful?”

“Not at all!” I said. “We do our probing in the gentlest and slowest of fashions so as to avoid any discomfort on behalf of the subject.”

I could see Lindsay looking at us pensively. She stood up and started looking around the boat, opening cabinets, inspecting their contents, then pushing the cabinet doors shut, working her way up to the bow.

“Tell me about the probing part,” Jenny said.

“Oh, well we use only the most delicate probing apparatus, you see. It is of capital importance that we do not upset our subject; that’s also key to the scientific method.”

“Is the subject allowed to interact with the scientist at work?”

“Absolutely. We encourage it! It is vital for our mission that we get to the bottom of things, and vigorous collaboration with the subject can further that substantially.”

She smiled that smile of hers. “You really want to get to the bottom of things, don’t you?”

“Passionately,” I replied.

Lindsay slammed shut the door of the forecabin.

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