Dragons Den 2011, Week Three: Premature Fencing Failure

Certainly the most bizarre episode of the series so far, featuring posts, knitting needles, dog muck devices and a cage that masquerades as a shirt...
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Certainly the most bizarre episode of the series so far, featuring posts, knitting needles, dog muck devices and a cage that masquerades as a shirt...

In spite of the fact that my own inventions and business ideas are miles better than the ones that make it up the stairs of the den, I’m still waiting for my invitation to pitch to the Dragons. I’ve got a vajazzling hand-puppet and a loudspeaker that clamps round a tiger’s neck so that you can hear it coming.

Never mind – other lesser propositions were paraded before Peter, Deborah, Theo, Duncan and Sexual Tina again last night, with perhaps the barmiest coming first. Something about a dog toilet that I still can’t get my head around, even though more than twelve hours have passed since I saw it.

The idea seemed to be that the dog would shit in a box that had a tiny artificial football pitch inside. You’d keep it in your house and then wash it once your mutt had fouled all over the thing. Theo didn’t fancy it – he doesn’t want to put Mrs P through that kind of palaver. She’s a lucky woman.

The fact that the majority of the shite was spewing out of the mouth of Mina, one of the developers of this crackpot scheme, didn’t help much. As the dragons united in withholding their cash from the dog toilet, a nation of viewers united in roaring ‘Shut the fucking fuck up Mina!’ at their screens.

The dog shit debacle was followed by a quickie from a barman called Dan, with a scheme that would allow people to have unlimited booze in his private members club at for as little as £15 a week. His face was a delight to behold – he BELIEVED in this plan.

However the dragons spotted a flaw – Deborah didn’t think she’d want her workers to be taking advantage of the unending flow of drink, seeing it as leading to a drop in efficiency and an increase in employee liver failure. None of this seemed to compute with Dan. He thinks that everyone being pissed all the time is great. He's a WINNER.

Their criticisms sailed over his head and he was sent packing just as he was about to grab Peter Jones by the lapels and shout, 'But we'll ALL be shitfaced ALL OF THE TIME!' in his millionaire face. Shame.

Either way, it was the saddest thing I’ve seen on TV since the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth. A genuine tragedy.

Finally it was time for someone to invest some dough, and the lucky recipients were husband and wife team Michelle and Peter and their fancy dress franchise idea. This was an odd one – all of the dragons gave the couple a verbal kicking over their complete inability to understand how a franchise worked, before Duncan made them an offer.

It reminded me of the time I bought loads of stuff from the Spar and then tried selling it outside the Spar for 3p more. Complete lack of understanding of ‘the numbers’. Speaking of which, Michelle and Peter were quite happy to hand over a whopping 60% of their company to the surly Scot – they’d have been better off if he’d just beheaded them and kicked their severed bonces down the stairs instead.

Following that, and following on from Glen Harden’s bewildering ‘tan yourself thinner’ rouse from last week, some geezer pitched another kooky get-fit-quick plan. It appeared to be some kind of cage shirt that will physically prevent you from putting on weight. Looked like it might crush one or two of your organs as well though.

Bonkers pitch alert! Next up the stairs was some steely-eyed eastern European, armed with a murderous gaze and some flashing lights. Was this the bloke who's got Duncan's daughter? Curious. It turned out he’d been in the UK on his honeymoon, opted not to go home when the war kicked off in Serbia and stuck around here, masking his anguish with his mad flashing light obsession.

I was waiting for Jones to get his wallet out and conjure up some kind of ‘Hamfatter synergy’ but no. It’s looking more and more as though those boys are being hung out to dry. It’s a cruel world.

There was just time for a quick, classic Dragons’ Den staple – the invention that no one had thought of before solely because the world doesn’t need it. Namely a hot water bottle holder that would reduce boiling water spills and calamitous hand injuries. Yeah, cos I’m sure your hands are just like mine - pretty much fucked from hot water bottle boiling spills. No investment.

Finally, it turned into MASSIVE STUFF WEEK in the den. A pair of misguided ladies were shown the door for daring to turn up with some giant knitting needles. As pointless as trying to play snooker on a football pitch while using a lamp post as a cue. They were then followed by a couple of brothers who were armed with what appeared to be a giant pencil.

But no, it was a fence post, and they were here to save us all from PFF. You know, Premature Fencing Failure. Yes? Yes?? It’s when your fence post rots and your fence falls down. That’s right – the number one blight of modern life. It’s up there with when your windows cave in from a strong wind. Something must be done now.

The solution – melt some plastic over the damaged part of the post with a bin liner and a blow torch. Thanks for the tip lads, we can do that ourselves now that you’ve shown us what to do. I imagined that Sexual Tina would be all over this. I bet she loves a sturdy bit of wood.

In fact, they were all interested, and offers came flooding in left right and centre. But the brothers got greedy, tried to negotiate the dragons down and ended up with nothing, screwed by their own arrogance and their massive pencil. Er, fence post. Whatever.

Either way, it was the saddest thing I’ve seen on TV since the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth. A genuine tragedy. I was so moved that I absent-mindedly filled up my hot water bottle before bed and am now recovering from a severe hand-scalding. If only there was another way…

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