EXPERT ELUCIDATION — After all the hype it’s just a tool
By Andrew Savs

I GUARD my personal time and space fiercely. What little of it is available to me I spend fishing on a river or preparing to be fishing on a river.
As a result of this I am not often to be seen at those desperately annoying after-hours corporate functions. Walking around looking for a friendly face while avoiding the flaying arms of capitalist chest-beaters is not entirely my plate of beans. I want to shout out to anyone who will listen that I refuse to be defined by whatever is scrawled in the “company” and “title” lines on the sticky printer label that Mr I-Surgeon’s secretary (and part-time lover) affixed to my chest on the way in.

Still, there I was, in the thick of it, casting off the slightest hint of self respect and saying ridiculously meaningless things like “downside risk”, “backward integration” and “cautiously optimistic”. When the discussion turned to golf I just nodded or frowned in line with the non-verbal cues of my colleagues, all the while trying not to imagine the guy demonstrating his improved swing with the stem of a wine glass protruding from the side of his head.

Call me shallow. Call me ungrateful. Call me whatever the hell you want to call me. The evening was a “fine whisky appreciation” event and I was there to support my favourite and most worthy charity — me.

With the mingling portion of the evening over and no outright winner in the impromptu biggest genital competition, Mr I-Surgeon took the floor and pointed out how grateful he was and how pleased we should be for our small part in the attainment of his vast personal success.

Thereafter we moved to tables that had been specially laid out for our comfort and tasting pleasure. In front of every chair was a line of eight glasses, each containing a miserly shot of a different single malt.

We set-to, tasting one after the other, nodding appreciatively and click-clicking our tongues within the void of our mouths as each sip breathed new life into our moribund palates and our host described the nuances of each. Sure, it wasn’t to everyone’s liking and, having already stooped this low, I removed my name sticker and reached over to empty the glass of anyone who demonstrated the slightest hesitation in finishing theirs. Charity, my paternal grandmother would always remind me, begins at home.

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