Last night’s task saw our captains of industry get the chance to buy stuff. Easy. Got to be easier than selling Germinator. It’s boys versus girls in the quest to purchase ten unusual items for the least money. It’s the battle of the bargain hunters. Surely one for the ladies and thankfully one of them’s already fired up.
The 5.30am call is sensibly ignored by everyone except Stella who pisses everyone off by answering it, waking everyone up and calling them all lazy slags.
Thankfully this morning they’ve got a generous thirty minutes to professionally whiten their teeth, starch their collars and chisel their jaws. Laura even finds time to fire up the curlers whilst we wonder if week nine will finally be the week when she gets the finger. How has she lasted this long? A whinging motor mouthed, harridan - they should have flippered the rule book and sent her home on the first train back to Amityville when she turned down that exclusive deal with Boots to sell that shit reading thing that even a tramp would have thrown back in the bin.
Stuart Baggs, the kind of square headed div that would to sit at the front of the class and get paper pellets flicked at the back of is head stumbles out of his pit and pulls on his big daft tie. He thinks the winner will be the one who gets the most sleep.
Baggers barely has time to wipe the grit from his eyes before he and the rest of the gang are whisked off to London’s Financial District. This is some dark, foreboding place with chrome and glass palaces, see through lifts, invisible choirs and the secret lair of the all powerful El Azúcar who descends from the sky, folds his gigantic wings in to his breast pocket and starts talking a load of confusing guff about wheeling and dealing. Ten items to buy in ten hours. Whoever spends the least wins. “Is that clear?”, barks the grizzly bastard. Chris looks confused and starts talking in that droning tone that sounds like the engine of a sputtering Lancaster Bomber as it ditches in to sea.
Lovely Liz takes on the task of Project Manager for the girls. A chance for her to shine and a chance for Dirty Nick to peek down her top. We saw ya! You dirty rotter!
Chris looks confused and starts talking in that droning tone that sounds like the engine of a sputtering Lancaster Bomber as it ditches in to sea.
Liz is everyones favourite. I reckon she’s an animated hologram invented by Japanese scientists to win the show. Then she’ll seduce Sugar and steal his secrets. Whatever they might be. I have to confess I have no idea what his business actually does these days, other than reminding me that I really must get round to scouring the oven with his chin.
Years ago I turned down a job selling Amstrad computers because I couldn't bring myself to kid anybody they weren't buying a useless lump of piss coloured plastic. He seemed to do okay with satellite dishes before anybody could afford them, but his ridiculous videophone was a disaster. You’re more likely to find Madeline McCann than some poor bastard using one of those horrors. Currently being sold on ebay for ninety nine pence. No bids. Remember this is the fella that claimed by the end of 2005 the ipod would be “dead, finished, gone, kaput".
Jamie takes charge of the boys, he’s no Don Draper, but he’s keen and determined to make up for a melange of muck ups in recent weeks. “We’re going to negotiate our bottoms off”, he squeals like some demented rent boy.
“Off you go - you young scamps”, grins Uncle Quentin and the Secret Seven disperse around the capital in search of crockery, tartan picnic blankets and pornography. Or so it seems. Baggs and Chris are running around like headless chicken in their quest for the “Blue Book”, a rare vintage American “magazine“ - according to the walrus faced proprietor of one book shop. He seems to shy away from revealing too many details, possibly weary of revealing the last hiding place of his finest jazz mag. “Needle in a haystack lads!”, he coughs. The girls soon figure out it’s an overpriced A to Z for taxi drivers.
The boys hit another brick wall looking for a tikka. Jamie wastes valuable time talking to Tim Nice But Dim who eventually grins like a moose and tells him he has no idea what the fuck a tikka is. Everybody shouts chicken! Nobody has a clue, but yet again the girls head the pack. Joanna is firing on all cylinders today. She often seems to suffer from tunnel vision. I have a vision of her in a tunnel - trapped deep underground where her moronic ideas for crisp flavours and reading stands can be buried for eternity, but fair play she picks up the phone and some fella off the Yellow Pages tells her where to buy one. The lads are still struggling. It’s like Google never existed, but eventually Jamie walks in to an Indian Jewellers and grapples with the owner to get a reasonable deal on the tikka. Whatever that is.
The girls coo over the Singer sewing machine, but Lizzy Dripping pays too much. As always Nick screws his face up like a crisp packet being sucked through a straw. Like he’s just seen a German pissing on the cenotaph.
Jamie finds his sewing machine in a shop owned by a man who’s also called Jamie, but who quickly pretends to be called Cyril when he finds out Jamie’s name. “Hi, I’m Jamie - I’m Jamie - You’re Jamie? No I’m Cyril!”.
Karen is impressed with Jamie. I’ve always had a soft spot for Karen - and it’ll probably stay soft as I find her sour expression very unattractive. She needs to lighten up a bit more. Still, I bet she’s got a filthy laugh. Like a cackling hen. Talking of which - The girls fill the boot of their car with chicken feet. God knows why. They don’t ask. It’s on the list.
The lads finally suss out the Blue Book is for taxi drivers as one of them tells them where to buy one. They thank him and run several miles to the shop, wasting valuable time when they could have simply asked the taxi driver to take them.
As always Nick screws his face up like a crisp packet being sucked through a straw. Like he’s just seen a German pissing on the cenotaph.
Chris invents some bullshit story about his handicapped brother being held hostage by Arabs in return for a cheap copy of the book when he could have just said, “Hey! It’s for a TV show. Can’t you see the camera?”
Laura and Stella nearly come to blows over the tartan blanket thing, before it’s the final push for truffles. Rare as rocking horse shite seems to be the opinion and for some insane reason Stella thinks that the only place to get exceedingly rare underground fungus cheaply is Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant. Heh! After a quick call, Stella is gutted to get knocked back, but is determined to sneak off and blow as much cash as possible on truffles. She ignores Liz’s request to discuss the deal and finally her snout unearths some in the poshest restaurant she can find where a French man dressed like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen rips her off big time, despite believing her ludicrous claim that she eats there very week.
Chris and Baggles are starting to feel the tension. Jamie can’t find a kitchen worktop. Surely he’s aware of B&Q. In the kilt shop Chris squeezes a few pounds out of some poor bastard with a story about his nan needing an operation for a harpoon wound she got at a wedding. The man virtually gives away his giant tea cloth. Karen seems surprised that lying seems to get good results in business. Amazing.
Liz and Joanna seduce some poor old fella in to signing away a shit load of cheap plates in exchange for a quick grope. Liz goes weak at the knees. He explodes in his pants and keels over. They use his dead hand to write out a false receipt.
The race is nearly over. It’s one minute to ten. Baggles demands their driver mount the kerb in a bid to win the task. Upon arrival Chris punches the air and Stuart punches himself in the cock. Despite the euphoria it looks like the blokes have blown it. The girls have bought ten items. The boys only seven. Surely the girls have walked it, but in some strange kind of twist it appears that by buying less the boys have spent less and are therefore the winners! Huzzar! They win a trip to Paris on a nice train that doesn’t get stuck in snow like mine and they get to link arms and skip down the Champs Elysee looking like proper tossers.
The girls bicker, pull each other’s hair and scratch the shit out of each others faces. As usual they’ve spent too much on pointless crap. Sir Alan starts waving his magic finger. It looks certain to land on Stella, but no.... in yet another twist his finger is swayed by some kind of hypnotic force and like some slow motion game of eeny meeny miny mo it lands on Laura.
Back at the house Stella and Liz exchange homicidal glances, setting things up nicely for next week when our contenders have to throw kitchen knives at each other blindfolded.
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