“Let me show you round the offices.”

I am thrown by this. I have psyched myself up like a hungry tiger, albeit a hungry tiger that is resigned to having to put together a short pitch and credentials demonstration in order to be awarded some freshly-dead gazelle. But my psyching-peak has arrived too soon!!! I have to look at some offices first.

Things have gone a bit pear-shaped on the money front recently, according to the LTLP who looks after those sorts of things. This has entailed some economising. She arrived home yesterday with some supermarket own-brand Weetabix, and if that is not Hogarthian degradation then I don’t know what is. Therefore I have made the reluctant decision that I should try to get a bit more work, ie some work.

I have not been into the capital city for a while. The last time, I had to go to Goodge Street, the BBC3 of underground stations, then on to Camden Town which put me off somewhat as it is full of the most awful people that there can possibly be, viz people who think that they have a sense of humour and have set up a business creating t-shirts with witty slogans. There is no justice when the good people of Basra are being exploded to death whereas the people who create ‘Adidhash’ t-shirts are left to ply their trade unmolested. But there is no oil in Camden Town eh, George?

I am shown an office. I always used to show people the offices when I had an office to show people (my private secret office in the garden shed does not count). It seemed like the polite thing to do. I had no idea that it was so intimidating an act. I examine the office, carefully.

“It’s very nice,” I comment.

My host whisks me through to another office. “Here is another office,” she announces. “And here are some people!”

I give a weak wave to the people, who are almost exclusively foxy-looking girls, although it does not seem appropriate to mention this at the time just in case it is some kind of honey trap arranged by the LTLP with all the money I thought we had. There is an everso short pause.

“Hullo,” I say, brightly.

We stand in the office, with the people. I look round, trying to think of what else to add. There are some shelves on the wall. They are good shelves, all level and not bowing in the middle. I wonder whether I should compliment them on their shelves but I decide against it. They would not have put the shelves up themselves. Their hands are too dainty.

Just as I am wondering whether to pipe up a conversation about photocopying, we move on to the next room. “And here,” I am told very proudly, “is my desk. Where I sit.”

It is a smashing desk, and there is indeed a chair planted underneath it, which backs up her story.

“Right – shall we get on then?” asks my host. I realise that my tigerness has all but dissipated. It is a trick of an Evil Corporation to do this; I have forgotten all the things that I meant to say and all my initial suave and go-getting impact has been lost.

I emerge later, with no gazelle.