I discovered this week that a man for whom I have immense professional admiration possesses a comb-over of apocalyptic awfulness. It is not so much a hairstyle as a standing test of his subordinates’ loyalty; an oxbow lake of glossy, hypnotising vanity skirting the rear of his polished head as if in mocking apposition to the wisdom stored beneath it. God forbid that I should ever meet him at some point in the future when it has become a still greater monument to his state of denial, and my wilful baldness a mightier affront.

[You can tell that I am only a matter of months from the end of this job of mine—and quite possibly from the end of my sorry excuse for a career.]