'Convinced about that beard, are you?' he inquired tentatively, then lapsed into silence while I explained about radical socialism. I interpreted his apparent torpor as a sherry-fueled sloth. It was only years later on, when I found out how sharp he was, that I realized he was politely but immovably bored rigid at meeting his ten thousandth young savior of the world. With his direct line to an earlier and better qualified envoy sent on the same task, the Dean was in the position of a senior manager who is required, for form's sake, to go on interviewing candidates after the job has been filled.
- From May Week Was In June by Clive James