An everyday story of trust folk, appearing fortnightly In his bid for a new office, Ardent leaves a bad impression. . . of Bogart, Brando, Rosie Broomstick. . .

Getting out of the Terminator's hall of mirrors was an experience I would not care to repeat.

Try as I might I could not avoid frequent collisions with his photographic image, an altogether unnerving experience.

Eventually, quite by chance, I found the door and decided to see how Ardent was coping.

He was in his office in pensive mood, talking to himself - not in an undertone but in full Shakespearean mode.

He adopted accents and acted out whole scenarios, playing all the parts himself. He was actually rather good: his Rosie Broomstick was so lifelike that I executed an about-turn in mid-air thinking the rotund one had entered the office behind me.

His performance reminded me of the time a visiting US theatre group had undertaken a modern language rendition of King Lear in one of the crumbly wards. Three of the old dears had popped off during the storm scene when the contents of their water jugs had been upended over them.

'What to do? What to do? Oh fate, where is thy sting?' and so on. The upshot was that he eventually convinced himself that his first task was to get a new office. His 'stinking joint' was 'not for him, blue eyes'. Then Humphrey Bogart metamorphosed into Marlon Brando running through the high-risk targets of his relocation attempts.

When he attempted Cruster as a cross between Hugh Grant and Professor Stanley Unwin, however, I decided to move on.

In Rosie's office the coven was in similar mode. They had already worked out that the office move would be Ardent's first strike.

Suddenly, I heard the Terminator say Ardent would never get his office, only to realise that Cruster was also a talented mimic.

This was rapidly becoming surreal; nothing was as it seemed any longer.

Tarantino had certainly upset the apple cart, all the old certainties had gone within hours of his elevation.

Inside this tower of Babel, Twix was a rock. Undeterred and unchanged, she took command. They must choose Ardent's points of weakness and play on them. But what were they? Who knew him best?

A silence came over the babbling throng as thought replaced panicked jabber. Twix stood up. 'I'm off, ' she said, 'to phone Carla Citrus.'