Raised above the ruck of workaday unfortunates by the special quality of their afflictions were two people: Jack-of-All-Theatrics Orson Welles and Jill-of-All-Parties Elsa Maxwell.
Great-headed Welles got scratched by a poisonous nettle while he was making a picture in Mexico, and found himself wearing a face swollen to thrice its normal size. It stayed that way for three hours.
Miss Maxwell, the world's most publicized party-thrower, tried to put on a big Opera Ball in Chicago. Chicagoans were not charmed by a Maxwell column, six weeks before the date, which remarked: "It is...