Fruit machines had crossed my mind, of course, both as a way of passing the time till mates turn up and as a way of paying for the drinks when they do. The problem being that it’s not easy to stand at a fruit machine and keep close guard on the handbag, gym bag, coat, scarf, and sundry paraphernalia that I generally carry round with me. AND hold a drink and a fag. And keep an ear out for the phone ringing. And I’m not very good at those things besides (the fruit machines, not the holding drink thing).

A broadsheet newspaper is indeed a good thing to hide behind – with the added bonus that you can always tear out two little spy holes so you can see if your mates have arrived without being seen to be looking up every time the door opens.

The point about avoiding nose and toe picking is valid (has anyone ever seen anyone doing the latter in a pub?) – but how’s about more refined self-grooming? What if I did my nails in the pub (finger, not toe)? Or my makeup? I’m not suggesting I bring my manicurist into the pub (like I’ve got one! In the same fantasy realm as my personal trainer and chef) or a fully lit mirror, but surely subtly fixing the warpaint is OK?