O'Brien eventually got to his feet. "Thanks very much, Helen. I'll hire you to write my obituary."
But rumours of his demise are greatly exaggerated, although that could have been rapidly promoted had he fallen victim to temptation. O'Brien confessed that his hotel room was the grandest he had stayed in so far, and the bed by far the largest.
Lest anyone should forget, he emphasised: "I'm a bachelor. I sleep in a small bed. This one had three sets of pillows on it. I don't know what kind of perversion the hotel thought I might get up to."
Heaven only knows.