12 NOVEMBER 2005, Page 57

Q. Mary, your recent correspondence about gaping pyjamas has prompted

me to remind you of a related inquiry you handled within living memory. A reader complained that he had a shy friend who would not look him in the eye while they were chatting but instead kept his eyes cast downwards. You recommended your correspondent should leave his fly buttons unzipped so that the friend had no alternative but to raise his eyes and look at him. As you see there are some situations where such gapes can be used to lubricate a sticky situation.

T.W., Oxford A. That is all very well, but in mixed company I cannot condone the deliberate exposure of what is known as ‘front fur with all the trimmings’.