However, if she is reading, it is better to leave her undisturbed, especially if she is reading one of those books apparently about a muscular young man desperately in need of a shirt.
Just why there are so many young men – apparently both historically and in the contemporary world – who seem to lack the basic wherewithal to purchase a shirt, despite – according to the blurb – being multi-billionaires, is a bit of a mystery.
Which, quite possibly, could be what the book is about.
After all, you as a normal(ish) bloke know little of the ways of the extremely wealthy, except for those that play football for a living.
Maybe there comes a point in a wealthy person’s life when the mere tedium of putting a shirt on for the daily grind becomes less de rigour. After all, if you own the company – or several of them – maybe shirts are optional. Besides, the aforesaid protagonist is only running these Footsie 100 companies part-time between performing bouts of life saving brain surgery on orphan children in a war-torn enclave of the third world on a purely pro-bono basis.
Either that or he is doing something equally endearing perhaps involving rescuing cute puppies from some evil dog fighting business, or cultivating his gentler side in a way that makes the female protagonist, and quite possibly the reader, somewhat weak in the knees in a way that only wine or chocolate can usually satisfy.
Although, the books you read, often involve a fair bit of shirt-free action. In those cases often in a more hot and sweaty way than that book you bought by mistake – honestly – on holiday once. The book cover featured two well-muscled young men in vests grappling together in what you took to be a life or death struggle, either atop a burning building or a storm swept cliff top overlooking the evil antagonist’s secret island base.
It did turn out quite different though.
Although, your good lady did look at you in a somewhat peculiar way when she flicked through it after you’d dropped it in haste to dive into the hotel pool.
She claimed to believe it was an honest error on your part, as you claimed. Although, she did tip you a wink when you were discussing the United back four with that bloke at the bar, later that same evening. Then she smiled in a knowing way when you claimed that you hadn’t noticed he wasn’t drinking beer, but one of those drinks with a little umbrella and a heap of fruit in them.
Anyway, your books usually have explosions on the cover, or guns as well as the be-vested sweaty man, or occasionally be-vested sweaty young lady holding the gun in a way that would also make you hastily dive into the hotel pool should you spend too long perusing it.
However, she does also occasionally read those books with the title scrawled in a faux handwriting style. The covers usually feature silhouettes of young ladies riding bicycles. They often later get turn into those romcom films you intended to sleep though over the Christmas holiday, but somehow find yourself engrossed in. You surreptitiously wipe a tear from your eye as the obligatory race across town scene ends with the couple embracing at the port, airport or train station, where the one was leaving forever, and was caught by the other just in time.
At least in those scenes, the male lead has the decency to keep his shirt on, no matter how many times he loses in in the rest of the film.
The she gives you another look as you pretend the tear was something in your eye, before letting you watch the football in peace.
At least until the end of the match when the teams swap their sweaty shirts and suddenly she is interested again.