It is often the case that at the end of one of my talks I dread the Q and A because of a certain sort of person or people. Usually to be found huddled in small packs on either the front row or back row. The conversation is just above a whisper, just audible but not clear, heads nodding in puppet like unison and derisory laughter issuing forth.
The lights dim and the introductions made, the pack turns in hierarchical order and as one, arms fold, knees cross and bodies lean back in the seat. A receptive audience then !
As the talk progresses, images flicker on the screen and in my peripheral vision the shaking of heads begins. Members of the pack confer and confirm how right they are and how wrong I am. The knowing smirks and raised eyebrows, the side long whispers passed from willing ear to willing ear. Often the talk is interrupted, " In my opinion" (In your limited knowledge on a subject you know little about and probably have even less practical knowledge of) "Do you really mean that ?" (Of course I do or I would not have said it) the list goes on and on.
The talk concludes with the Q and A session. Now the pack curl their collective lip, their teeth honed ready to draw blood and cement their Superior skill and knowledge. The Alpha of the pack opens the session with "Mr Cockram, do you ever think about the conservation issues with your work ?" The titters from the pack sound like preening monkeys, how deep the question, how right to ask they are.
"Yes" I reply."Next question please"................