A conversation between Tom Henderson and Rodney Bickerthwaite
27 March 2000
Henderson: ... I'll have another vodka martini, and garcon, don't bruise the vodka this time. You know Rodney, I'm feeling frisky. How about we hit the dance floor, see if we can get lucky with some petite crumpet.
Bickerthwaite: I thought this was supposed to be a seminar on "Property Deeds: The Next Ten Years". Everyone's just been partying. Even the seminar chairman doesn't seem to care - what firm is Mr Eddie Izzard from anyway?
Henderson: Loosen up Daddio. This is MIPIM. Nobody does any law.
Bickerthwaite: But property lawyers are so boring.
Henderson: That's the first rule of conferences. The duller the people, the wilder they feel they have to make the conference. Why do you think the tax guys take a jet out to Rio every summer while the corporate big hitters go to the Bracknell Travelodge? Remember me telling you about feeling Britney Spears' arse? She was serving canapes at a lecture on Scottish trust law. We're here because it's a great place to pick up business.
Bickerthwaite: But you're not a property lawyer.
Henderson: Not legal business you fool. At £130 a gram I'm raking in cash. Especially considering it's not my finest "naughty salt". It's actually bathroom scourer but these bozos don't know the difference. Look over there. That guy playing tonsil tennis with the 17-year-old. It's Sir Dickie Trumpton, founder of quarrying giant I-Can't-believe-it's-not-Clitter. Sir Dickie! Hello, I'm Tom Henderson.
Sir Dickie: Ah, Henderson. This is my...erm...wife.
Henderson: Well I'm sure we can find you something a little prettier. Maybe a blonde.
Sir Dickie: No, she really is my wife.
Henderson: Oh. Well, maybe you'd both like to come back to our luxury yacht...
Bickerthwaite: About that. I couldn't quite get a luxury yacht. But I managed to blag my brother's trawler for a few days. Smells of fish a bit, but bloody hell, we're in France. What doesn't stink?
Henderson: Oh dear. Well maybe Sir Dickie would like to come back and see our presentation.
Bickerthwaite: Yes, The Firm prides itself on its knowledge of the quarrying sector. We have a 70-minute film showing how a proactive approach to regulation can...
Henderson: Rodney! Snap out of it. We're losing him. Give him the under the counter stuff.
Bickerthwaite: Oh, I booked the Baron Knights, they're being supported by the Roly Polys - you know from Russ Abbott, and I've excelled myself with the headline turn...
Henderson: I believe I can guess who you've booked.
Bickerthwaite: Geoffrey Boycott himself has agreed, as a personal favour, to talk our guests through his 10 best innings under 30, beginning with his batting 16 in four hours versus Sri Lanka, Edgbaston 1985.
Henderson: Oh what's the point! Look at Finers Stephens Innocent's boat. They've got Blur jamming an acoustic set with Paul McCartney. I'm never going to shift my Columbian marching powder at this rate.
Sir Dickie: Actually, I liked the sound of that presentation. I came here to find a top firm to handle all our property work and have spent two days being offered nothing but gin slingbacks and loose women. It's greatly upset Mrs Dickie.
Henderson: Yes I'm disgusted at all this debauchery.
Sir Dickie: Excellent. Why don't we discuss this at the seminar on "Property and Tax: Providing a Coherent Strategy"?
Henderson: Oh dear god. That sounds like it'll be an orgy.
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