'Oh fine,' he mumbles before swiftly asking about my plans for this week's tube strike. Another pinko chum is unmoved, snapping at me: 'I'm simply bored of politics, it's over, who cares, it's, it's ... just boring.' Sorry I asked.
What is going on, comrades? When the Conservatives had their leadership campaign in 2005 there were weeks of bitching and inappropriate T-shirts. Buck up socialists, channel your passion, put the Mandelson book down and do something.
Many Tories have been secretly envious of the pounding heart of the Red. They might consider their beliefs insane but they like the spirit and gumption of proper old-school Labour.
Miliband brothers - yes, you two - stop swaggering around Primrose Hill and give us some colour. When Britain first learned that two siblings were going for Labour leadership there was a bristle of excitement. This was going to be good; Spielberg could well turn it into a film with Ben Stiller and Michael Sheen. But no, the great contest is here and no-one feels a thing.
Perhaps it is because Labour and the BBC are obsessed by Conservative director of comms, Andy Coulson. The Beeb has devoted vast amounts of time to a story about phone-hacking that is old.
Ask the taxpayer paying for the BBC who Andy Coulson is. Unless you carry out the poll in Westminster or perhaps some smart 'Yentobby' media restaurant, you will be hard pressed to find a man on the street who knows who he is.
Labour MPs such as Chris Bryant and Alan Johnson can do their best at keeping this one going. It is summer, they have time on their hands and their own leadership campaign is clearly boring them.
Conference season is almost upon us. This will be an opportunity for each party to showcase themselves. Unusually, all three political parties are approaching their week having to appease their own members. How they choose to do it will be interesting.
- Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team