Pieter Brughel the Younger
How was the weekend? he or she will enquire, perhaps casually, but with a disturbing gleam of hunger in the eye.
One's defences are down on a Monday morning, you see. The jet-lag involved in being vertical at least an hour earlier than Weekend Time, as well as the effort of having trudged to your place of work when every fibre of your being is whimpering yearningly about downy pillows and pillowy down, puts careful calculation out of the question.
And this sets up the quidnunc for his or her campaign of evil.
Yes, that's right, a quidnunc is a gossip.
They are everywhere, quidnuncs, so seeing one is no problem at all. Spotting one is, admittedly, harder, but the simple rule is this: if a person tells you gossip, then he or she is also gossiping about you.
So they're easy to deal with, even on a Monday morning. Give in to the weight of exhaustion, and when the quidnunc asks, just grunt.
Then go and find yourself a nice cup of coffee and a quiet sit-down.
Spot the Frippet: quidnunc. This is the Latin for what now? So the clue, as so often, is in the name.