That was the sound. Every head looked around, thought “Hm, that was funny!” for a moment, and then back to reading The Economist.
None of them were actually reading The Economist, but it was very important that every other person in the room pretending to read The Economist thought that everyone else was reading The Economist.
If not—if that illusion was broken for even a second.. Well, that wasn’t really something The Economist would go for. Too racy. Too quick. Not proper. Proper was important.
Randy was doing a crossword. Carson was checking the latest horse-racing odds. We won’t even mention what Al was doing. Save that shit for where it belongs.
There were others, all suitably and sensibly occupied. None of them much stirred or said anything. It was very quiet.
Laurel picked up a copy of The Daily Mail and opened up to the Letters section.