An everyday story of trust folk, appearing fortnightly The moment has come to unveil the trust's fragrant new chair. And what of the chief executive? . . .
The dining room was hushed. Nurses, cleaners, porters, engineers - even a few doctors - filled it to bursting. Cruster had interrupted an operating list to attend, and he gossiped in a satisfied way with Miss Twix while Rosie Broomstick wondered why she needed so many porters if they could all find time to attend together. At the back, Sterling asked Miss Fermat to count heads - he couldn't believe they had so many mouths to feed. Ardent merely beamed his best Marlboro Man smile at anyone who came close.
A door banged and Smoothie from region strode to the small platform at the front. He had difficulty regaining order.
When he did, they were all ears. He was in good form, delighted to see so many of them had taken the time to come.
They knew better than he the difficult times the trust had faced.
Not their fault, hospital had the best staff in the world, management to blame, but that was all over now. Onwards and upwards into the broad sunlit uplands with a vibrant and vigorous management team attuned to the culture of the New NHS and the prime minister - who, he hinted darkly, was watching things closely. Region had stepped in and would set them on the path of righteousness.
Everyone was chattering and looking at their watches during this guff, but they perked up when Smoothie introduced the trust's new chair. With a swirl of silk Dior and the aroma of Chanel No 5, in strode Carla Citrus. The collective intake of breath caused such turbulence I was sucked from the ceiling and almost swallowed by the head chef. Only Ardent remained composed. He winked at her, and she graced him with a very knowing smile. How long had he known?
Carla thanked Smoothie effusively, and announced she was pleased to tell them that no time had been lost in locating a new chief executive.
A man of rare ability and stature with an impeccable pedigree, highly trained and motivated, enjoying her and region's full confidence. All eyes turned to Ardent, who coloured gracefully. She invited the new chief to join her on the platform.
There was a pause, a silence in which one could hear a pin drop, before a door slammed and I was jetted back to the ceiling by gasps, moans and screams.
Striding boldly onto the dais came Charles Tarantino.