Some people thought it was his impeccable taste. Others believed it to be his encyclopedic knowledge of current events and popular culture. Another faction pointed to his good breeding and background. No one knew exactly the reason for it, but everyone knew this, for a fact: A party was not a party, certainly not a good party, and most definitely not a party with any chance of being a legendary party unless Oswald McTavitt was in attendance.
At baptisms, birthdays, or bar mitzvahs, Uncle Oz could be counted on to engage the younger set in highly complicated adventures with convoluted rules that only he and the young participants fully understood and that somehow managed to get the youngsters out from underfoot and doing something quiet, somewhere else. Whether invited for a casual backyard barbecue or an impromptu round of cocktails and nibbly bits, he could be counted on to bring the hosts something unexpected but completely apt for the occasion. At dinner parties, each lady jockeyed ever so subtly to be the lucky one to sit at his side. His stories were scandalous yet each one wished, if not to be swept off her feet for a lifetime adventure, then at least to be taken for a few spins around the dance floor, so to speak. The men exchanged knowing glances and assumed there were several things - names and places - that McTavitt, being a gentleman, would never divulge. Invited to tea with the old dears, he soon had the grannies and aunties blushing with remembered joys and casting coquettish glances at the men present, men who found themselves standing a bit taller and feeling a bit more, say, stallion-like than they had in quite some time. Oswald McTavitt, perfect guest.
Archibald McTavitt hung out in the lobby bar of the Hotel Garamond, exchanging desultory conversation with, but secretly despising, the other members of the ex-pat community. Chicks dug bald guys; he always had more than even odds of finding someplace to get a meal and some "entertainment" when the cruise ships, full of the lovely-lonely were in port. From time to time, someone would bring up the name of Oswald McTavitt and speculate about the relationship. He always denied it.