Friday 14 April, 6pm, Woburn Golf Club: Shooting the breeze at the 19th with key client after shooting 107 on the Dukes Course. Bloody pine trees. Time to casually mention the bad news. 

Agent P written in calculator style white text on a red background. A cartoon man in a black suit is stood on the right of image. He has no facial features but is wearing sunglasses

“Er… Clive, you know those tree-huggers GBH has working to green up your annual report?” Clive gingerly sips his fresh pint of lager, but says nothing to disturb his foam moustache. “You know, the start-up we stupidly paid £10m for in 2019? Being pushed overboard on Monday. Money down the drain. Their ‘greening fees’ have never covered their costs. As for their inflated ‘we’re saving the world’ egos, well, between you and me Clive, those of us who make the bucks will be cheering the whole hippy-dippy gang off the gangplank. Ha! Ha!”

There! Pre-prepared sentence out in one breath, including my clever greening fees allusion. Geddit? Clive smiles, then hesitates for three long seconds. Actually, next year we plan to hire JLL.”

My face freezes. “Their tech guys made a $113m operating loss last year on revenue of $214m.” He’s researched them! “But they’re keeping many of their greenies.” He’s been talking to them. Judas! “JLL is so keen for the instruction they’ve offered to undercut GBH. Relax, you’ve done me a favour. But we don’t need your services now. Another pint?”