I was lounging by a pool in Skokie, a northern suburb of Chicago, writing the final chapters of this book on a chlorine-stained notebook. I had just been to the University of Chicago to present my findings at a seminar in the psychology department on the possible dissociation between implicit and explicit attitudes towards the environment and how this might be reflected in unconscious gestures. I had presented at David McNeill’s lab, the very epicentre of gestural research, and the talk had been received very well. ‘Spectacular,’ said David, ‘absolutely spectacular.’ I was basking in that warm glow of praise that academics so love, and the very warm glow of the Chicago sun. It was 92 degrees, ‘a very warm late spring, abnormally warm’, the locals were telling me (but without any real concern in their voice), and the weathermen and women, all beautifully turned out with the same small regular features that looked almost artificial, were reminding us that there were, after all, precedents for this sort of weather, fifty or maybe sixty years ago, maybe longer. No reason to be alarmed, they said, and everyone seemed to believe them.