20 September 1999
Pratchard: I love it when we all go away for the weekend together. I have happy memories of the partners holed up in the picturesque 18th-century Cuthbertson Hall country retreat, debating strategy before getting arseholed and cruising for chicks. When Mrs Pratchard's away, this cat likes to play. Grrrr...
Henderson: As I've explained, we couldn't afford Cuthbertson Hall this year. Which is why we're at the Leighton Buzzard Travelodge.
Pratchard: Oh. So where's the booze and call girls?
Henderson: Try the mini-bar. Now, I'll sit here, Ms Brett if you'd like to sit on my right hand...
Pratchard: That's more like it Henderson. I say, if this was Herbert Smith we'd be 20 minutes into an orgy by now.
Henderson: Erm, if the rest of the corporate department want to sit on the bed and property - can you squeeze into the en suite bathroom? Now it's not been a good year for The Firm so we need some radical strategy. To this end I've conducted some research. Rowe & Maw is accepting payment in shares from new IT companies. I've already asked Fred Bugton's Quarries 'R' Us if it's possible. He said no, but we could have a truck and 200 tonnes of slag. All those in favour? Excellent. Now, Dibbs and Wragges are going to run a management consultancy alongside their employment practices. Sounds OK. Let's do it.
Ms Brett: What do we know about management consultancy?
Henderson: You don't need to know anything. Just turn up, get everyone to pretend to be a seed growing into a tree to "disinhibitise" them, show them some inkblots, pretend to do some sums on a calculator, tell them to stick to their knitting, sack half the staff and then bill them for £125,000 a day. All those in favour? Excellent. Which brings me to my grand plan for the coming year. We're setting up a PI department.
Ms Brett: And what do we know about personal injury? Who's going to instruct us to handle a claim?
Henderson: The attraction of our personal injury department is that it's a one-stop shop. First, the department will cause the personal injury, then the client can instruct us to sue ourselves. We wrangle for months with ourselves before settling out of court for a pittance. It's cast-iron genius. Big Tosh is in charge of the project. Perhaps, Tosh, you'd like to make your presentation.
Big Tosh: Thank you sir.
Big Tosh breaks Chalmers' finger.
Big Tosh: I am a living weapon. What's that noise? Choppers. Hundreds of them. I gotta get out. I ain't eating bamboo and rice cakes in a hellhole gook slave camp...
Henderson: Oh no. This Travelodge seems to be reminding Tosh of the fall of Saigon again. Perhaps we'd better leave the strategy meeting for another year. Besides, Travelodge security has probably noticed we've broken in.
Ms Brett: Just before we go I had some ideas about focusing next year on core areas and expanding into new east European markets...
Pratchard: Sorry to interrupt love but I have an important question. Where the bloody hell is the porn channel? I thought these places were fully cabled up. This is intolerable. I'm not leaving this partner's retreat until somebody at least snogs me!
Ms Brett: But what about my plan. I've drawn up a budget...
Henderson: I think one little lady's been reading too many clever books again. Maybe next year love. Now let's move out!
Big Tosh: Should I steal the towels as usual, Mr Henderson?
Henderson: Of course.
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