Dragons’ Den, No 1: Totally Crackers

(Dragons’ Den is a programme on BBC in which people with business ideas pitch for investment in front of a group of five rich people, the so-called Dragons. This short series of posts (very short at the moment, this is the only idea I’ve got so far) tells of episodes which didn’t make the air).

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“Good afternoon, Dragons, my name is Tinman, and I’m here to show you my business idea.”

“Good afternoon, Tinman.”

“Here’s my idea – I’ll just hand one to James and Duncan here.”

“Don’t we get one each?”

“No, one between you, that’s the whole idea. Now, let me show you what it does.”

“I’d be amazed if it does anything – it seems to be a toilet-roll core covered in coloured paper, with each end of the paper twisted into a tulip shape. I’ve a five-year old daughter who could make this.”

“Er, really? Well, tell her I thought of it first. Now, James and Duncan, I want you to grab an end each and try to pull it away from the other person.”

“Why? I don’t want it.”

“Well, pretend that you do. Now, pull hard!”

“Oh dear, they’ve ripped it in two.”

“That’s ok, Deborah, that’s supposed to happen. Now, did you all hear the bang?”

“Which one? The bang that came from the product, or the sound of James and his chair toppling backwards onto the floor?”

“The first one. That’s caused by a small strip of sulphur stuck inside. Now, Duncan, you got the bigger half, so you get the prizes inside.”

“Big deal. All that’s in here is something paper in an elastic band, and another piece of paper with writing on it.”

“Actually, there was something else. It shot out at speed.”

“Well spotted, Peter. That was the toy.”

“Really? What was it?”

“Just some indeterminate plastic blob. Don’t worry, the toy will always shoot out and vanish.  In fact, after a couple of years I plan to stop putting the toy in at all, and people will just assume it’s shot into the fire. Now Duncan, I see you’ve taken the rubber band off the paper. See what it is?”

“It appears to be a pink paper crown.”

“It is. Now, put it on.”

“But I don’t want -“

“PUT IT ON!! Ha, ha, er, sorry about that. It’s just that whoever gets the hat must wear it.”

“Says who?”

“I don’t know – it seems to be some sort of law of nature. Now, read the joke on the other piece of paper.”

“Er, what do penguins order in McDonalds? Iceberg-ers.”

“That’s not very funny, is it?”

“You’re not wrong there, Theo. Wait, there’s another one. What do you get if you cross a stoat, an octogenarian and a blind lapdancer?”

“Now that’s more like it. What’s the answer?”

“Er, dunno, the piece of paper runs out.”

“Tinman?”

“I don’t know either. That’s the advantage of the short piece of paper, you don’t have to think up punchlines.”

“Well, I don’t know, Tinman, why do you think anyone will – PUT THE HAT BACK ON, DUNCAN!!, er sorry, don’t know what came over me there – buy this?”

“Because it’s FUN, Deborah. Remember how James fell over backwards? Just picture your granny doing that at the dinner table, the whole family would be in stitches. And then there’s the bang, and the hat, and the jokes. How could you not love it? I hope to sell fifty million a year, at twenty quid for a box of six.”

“What’s it called?”

“I call it the Cheerful Cracker. Anyone interested?”

“I’m out.”

“I’m out.”

“I’m out.”

“I’m out.”

“Theo?”

“It’s expensive,  it’s tacky, it’s annoying and it will cause family rows.”

“Wow, you’re right. I should call it the Christmas Cracker.”

“Do that, and I’m in.”

3 thoughts on “Dragons’ Den, No 1: Totally Crackers

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