The Bonfire of the Vanities

Wolfe, Tom

Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1987

p. 54

Sherman Mc Coy, the super bond salesman, and his six-year old daughter Campbell, walking on Park Avenue in Manhattan: “He held her hand tightly and led her across the street. He was her protector. He glowered at a taxi as it came to a noisy stop at the light. He would gladly throw himself in front of it, if that was what it would take to save Campbell’s life. As they crossed Park Avenue he had a mental picture of what an ideal pair they made. Campbell, the perfect angel in a private school uniform; himself with his noble head, his Yale chin, his big frame, and his $1,800 British suit, the angel’s father, a man of parts; he visualized the admiring stares, the envious stares, of the drivers, the pedestrians, of one and all.”

p. 100

Like the young group at 29th Street Fitness, Ray Andriutti, a young assistant DA, “was rubbing the back of his left arm with his right hand as if it itched. In fact, he was feeling and admiring his triceps, which he pumped up at least three times a week by doing sets of French curls with dumbbells at the NY athletic club. . . .He didn’t have to worry about his triceps and his deltoids and his lats deflating. Andriutti liked the fact that when he reached behind one of his mighty arms with the other hand, it made the widest muscles of his back, the lats, the latissima dorsae, fan out until they practically split his shirt. . . .Kramer and Andriutti were of the new generation, in which the terms triceps, deltoids, latissima dorsae, and pectoralis major were better known than the names of the major planets. Andriutti rubbed his triceps a hundred and twenty times a day, on the average.”