A doctor's waiting-room. Our hero is waiting in it. Which is generally the purpose of waiting-rooms. The clue's in the name.
He is nervous. Is the question going to come up?
There are a few distractions. There is the TV playing infomercials about how to have a better relationship with ones colon. The leaflets: 'Chlamydia and You', 'Thumbs up for Your Prostate Test', 'Ear Wax for Beginners'. The newspapers and magazines with all the news that was fit to print in 2005.
He remains nervous. The question - it's going to be asked, isn't he?
He glances idly around the room, decorated in National Health Service magnolia. He regards the other occupants. That man with the Cough that deserves to have a capital letter. The old couple in the corner - serial visitors, at a guess - with a prescription list as long as your arm. The young mother with the hyperactive child that appears to be channelling Tigger.
It doesn't do anything to reduce his nerves. The doctor's bound to ask the question, he's sure.
Then it's "The doctor will see you now," and he is through to the inner sanctum. The doctor is ebullient yet avuncular. And some other words, probably.
"Ah, it's good to see you. We don't see you here very often. What appears to be the problem?"
That wasn't the question. Our hero kind of expected that one. So far, so good.
"It's a little odd, doctor. You see - I can only breathe through one nostril. I'm sure that's not right. It's making sleeping a little difficult, amongst other things."
"Hmm. I see. You're right, that's not normal." We can see that the eight years of Medical School weren't wasted on him. And he hasn't asked the question yet, at least. "Let's have a look."
And with that he is peering up our hero's nose with that pointy, angled torchy-type instrument that almost certainly has a more impressive name than 'pointy, angled torchy-type instrument.'
This was unexpected. But at least he hasn't asked the question.
"Oh, yes, I see the problem. You have polyps up there. It's just your nasal wall growing a little too much. It's nothing too serious and we can get you sorted with a little minor surgery. I'll get you referred - In the meantime here's a scrip for some spray."
So that's it, our hero thinks. This niggling problem that has been bothering him for months can be sorted and he'll be able to breathe properly. Which is a good thing. and, best of all, he's been able to avoid having to answer the question. He stands and gets ready to leave.
"One more thing," asks the doctor. If he wore glasses, he'd be peering over them. "I thought we were going to be doing something about our weight?" The use of the word 'our' is interesting, our hero thinks.
Bugger. The question, in all its glory.
"Yes, doctor, it is reducing." A pathetic response, but it's the best our hero can manage.
"Really?" Eyebrows are being raised over non-existent spectacles. "The pace is glacial from where I'm sitting. Work on it a little harder if you can, there's a good chap."
"Thank you doctor."
Our hero exits, the weight of the world on his shoulders.