The opening of Bartlett’s art exhibition was everything but boring. Practically everybody came.
A few days earlier, Sir Humphrey had fallen out with The Minister of Administrative Affairs. The Minister was accusing Sir Humphrey in lying. Clearly an absurdist statement from someone who was nearly deaf. He complained about the incident to Sir Arnold and did not get too much sympathy. The Cabinet Secretary went like this: do you know what alcoholics always tell the police when they get caught with drunk-driving? First they tell they only had one beer while actually they have drowned a bottle of vodka and second they tell it is the first time. There is no point in admitting it is the 25th time. But nonetheless, The Minister showed up to the exhibition. For some reason he turned down all free concert tickets. He was suffering from a bad case of politicians logic that since he is nearly deaf, he must be an expert in visual arts. In The Minister’s view photography was art too and he took the maximum out the opportunity to get classy press photos.
Sir Humphrey had a few words with his dear friend Jumbo after dinner.
„Actually I think Arnold was quite impressed with the event, even if he won’t be saying this.“ Sir Frederick said, smoking a cigar.
„I would be rather pessimistic about it, my dear Jumbo.“ Sir Humphrey angsted. „All our ice princess was moaning was „If you would only put so much effort into your actual job.““
Jumbo burst into laughter. „Well said... but in other news... isn’t this strange how time moves in spirals?“ Then started stuffing his nose into territories where it clearly did not belong. „Isn’t it hilarious that out of nowhere Vickie’s ex-boyfriend from early youth turned up? Did you get jealous?“
„No, not at all!“ Sir Humphrey protested. That was ancient history. Lady Appleby had not spoken to that bloke since he had told her to get a job. It was a bit unfortunate that Sir Desmond had invited him, as he was a client of Bartlett’s. Sir Humphrey was concerned, whether he was picking a fight right now. He was totally not. Stupid chap!
Sir Humphrey was extremely pissed off all Saturday morning. Last night had been a disaster. Without a warning his wife had invited a group of female friends (all very dear ladies) to come over to drink, paint nails and gossip about men and hell knows what. He spent a few hours on the phone talking to Sir Arnold. But whenever Sir Humphrey tried to highlight that his Minister, who was nearly deaf, was impossible to work with, Sir Arnold changed the subject.
And speak of the devil, Sir Arnold came to visit. Sir Humphrey and Lady Appleby had apparently totally forgotten he was supposed to come. They were not dressed up and were rowing over what to eat for breakfast. They were not the least embarrassed to drag Sir Arnold into this fight and Lady Appleby exclaimed – being a pain is a way of life for Humpy, surely Sir Arnold must agree. Sir Arnold very much agreed. Sir Humphrey took offence.