Sir Gerry Robinson, chairman of Allied Domecq, was awarded a knighthood at the end of 2003.
One month later, at the distiller's annual meeting, he resembled a nobleman petitioned by starving vassals.
Three times Sir Gerry was asked by shareholders why Allied only provided coffee and chocolate biscuits before and after the event.
To applause, the first petitioner demanded sandwiches. "We aren't asking for the world," pleaded the second, "we think you might reward us for coming here and listening to you."
A piece of cake would do, he added.
No. It turned into yet another rambling lunch question. "I'm not going to answer the lunch question again," Sir Gerry ruled.
But he did not say anything about carrier bags.
"How about a small carrier bag to take away containing a small sample of products?" demanded the next speaker, who, in keeping with his desire for miniature freebies, described himself as a "small, private shareholder".
Realising he was mired in a bog of triviality, Sir Gerry burst out laughing. Others might have wept.
In 1997, to quote just one example, the late Lord Hambro's final one as chairman of the merchant bank that bore his name was hijacked by a riddling, Latin-spouting octogenarian who demanded that the finance director stand up and click his heels. He obliged.
HT: The FT's management blog