As soon as I heard that, I had my in. Mr. Lynch is not what you would call a young man, although the fact that he’s fat makes his face look pretty young. Unless I’m utterly wrong, he’s forty. A man his age should have been celebrating at least his tenth anniversary, if not more.

I congratulated him anyway. I told him I thought that two years of marriage was a fan-tas-tic achievement. It wasn’t hard to lie to him. Mr. Lynch is the kind of person who sops up compliments, probably because he doesn’t feel he really deserves them.

Then, when I was sure he was feeling like my special buddy, I told him—not in a mean way, just as a sort of casual observation—that I was surprised Mrs. Lynch hadn’t divorced him yet. Mr. Lynch was a little shocked by that. He asked me why I would say such a thing. I said it was common knowledge that Mexican women married American men to become citizens, and then divorced them later because they find American men fat and not very accomplished lovers.

Mr. Lynch was deeply offended, although I wasn’t sure whether it was more what I said about his being unaccomplished or what I said about his being fat. Of course it was both, but I take a sort of clinical interest in insults. I like to know exactly what works, and how well.

Mr. Lynch put his pictures away and got a little pompous, which didn’t surprise me. He said, "I assure you that’s not the case in our situation." When I heard him use the word "situation," I knew I had struck a nerve, because no one uses a word like "situation" unless they’re trying to hide something.