Rarely in these days of licentious abandon are Tulkinghorn and his cohorts shocked, but an anonymous letter from a lawyer at a well-known US firm caused gaping mouths and widened eyes all round. Then… how we laughed.
The story starts at a summer party hosted by a tax partner at his North London home. According to the source, two female US partners proceeded to get so drunk that “they shocked even the summer associates, accustomed to the debauchery of fraternity life”.
The “shocking” behaviour included spilling red wine onto the host’s white carpet (surely that’s the host’s fault for having white carpets in the first place?). The same partner then disappeared into the bathroom accompanied by two associates, a male and a female, and remained locked inside “for a considerable time”. Upon emerging, she was helped into a taxi, having first fallen into a shrubbery from which she was unable to exit without assistance.
The second female partner, meanwhile, was really tying one on. Having trodden a similar path to the first – spilt wine, lengthy period in the hugely popular bathroom, falling over – she was helped to a sofa, where, according to the tell-tale lawyer, she relieved herself without troubling the host’s facilities (odd, after spending such a long time in the bathroom). Again, an escort was on hand to help her to find the door of a taxi.
Both partners have apparently passed into firm legend – or ignominy. One has now acquired the charming nicknames of ‘The Human Stain’ and ‘The Sprinkler’. At least her system appears to be working, if a little unreliably.
The grass, meanwhile, is believed to be considering his future at the firm, partly because the incident “cannot have failed” to have depressed further the already “almost suicidal” American associates. He is believed to be considering an in-house position at the National Viewers and Listeners Association.