A few old men were meeting in an hotel lounge to drink good beer and expensive whisky - Chivas Regal - and to discuss. Unlike the Inklings what they were discussing was not chapters in books they were writing or principles behind medieval manners or stories.
A set of men used to meeting in their networks for shady and smudgy purposes were about to discuss what they called a "case." They were big believers in being jerks. If they gave each other a hard time, they were helping each other to grow. If they were doing so to someone else, they were making someone else grow. Hard times was the very thing that helped you grow. Good times were scarce. Desirable of course, and to be enjoyed, if opportunity was given (with due fear of the others who might help you grow if you enjoyed them too much), but scarce.
Wait a minute ... were they really that scarce? Why in that case were they making the good times more scarce for others? Would seem a bit pointless if good times were really all that scarce in themselves. Maybe they were jealous because with all this belief in "growing" and "maturing" they were themselves not having the best of times. But the best of their times were when planning to "help" someone else "grow" or "mature".
I've known sets that really specialised in "helping" men "grow" who were not part of their network and were not deserving its evil attentions - since either they had just been doing well generally or doing some ill only to that network to stop it from doing ill. They can take a beggar and claim him for their adept. And since society is so used to them doing such to their adepts and so little used to standing up to such networks, the people who would normally have helped out concluded placently it was just another one of their new adepts, one who needed and wanted their help to grow. There are people who, when a beggar receives a gift from one in someone else's network will accept that network's claim to own the beggar.
"Spivvins cooked my meat too meaty today! Almost as if he were claiming to be a real cook!"
"Right. And yesterday my wine was far too winy."
"Last year, he was painting my house green. It was far too green after he had painted it."
"My niece showed me some of his water colour paintings. Far too watery, if you see what I mean. Fades as they say in French."
There one man coughed, turned red as if choking, and said: "don't say that. Please don't say that!"
They knew very well what he meant, but they liked to turn the knife around in the wound. They considered it helped the wounded man grow.
"What do you mean?"
"Is it too stuffy? Someone let out gas ...?"
He put up a brave face and said: "that was the reason we were giving Adolf his Sonderbehandlung; and look how he got back at us!"
And it was Nathan Coon, and none else, who finally said: "Well, I guess we'll have to give Spivvins his Sonderbehandlung now ... Adolf or no Adolf ..."
Who were they to argue with a psychiatrist? Even supposing they had had sufficient piety to argue energetically and efficaciously against "giving lessons" to people who were not in their network and might have been better off without them.
A few weeks later, Spivvins' restaurant had gone bankrupt.