Tonight was that episode of The Apprentice, yes, the one where Lord Sugar gives them a list of things to track down and buy at the lowest possible price.
There’s always a lot of frantic running around, with fines for lateness as well as missing products.
Last year they were packed off to Dubai, this year it was the sweaty streets of London and, to celebrate the tenth series of the show, a whole bunch of items from series gone by on the list. That old favourite Oud was back, as was a loose diamond and what turned out to be the much-debated anatomical skeleton.
Dynamic duo Daniel and Felipe were together for the day, with Daniel doing his very best to build the bridges broken over hot tub-gate. And my what a lovely time they were having, all but skipping down the street as they nailed what they thought was the best purchase of the day – a flat pack paper skeleton.
It meets the criteria, Felipe cried, going all American courtroom drama on Project Manager Daniel and counting out the various reasons it fit the brief. “Well, I’m a lawyer and it doesn’t say fully built,” he said referring to the shopping list, which asked for a ‘Human skeleton, specifications: Full-sized, anatomical skeleton, minimum 150cm tall’. Frankly it’s a surprise he didn’t say something along the lines of ‘Felipe’s sure, because Felipe is a lawyer and Felipe knows that Felipe is confident that this fits the brief’.
Teammates Mark and Katie rubbed their hands together as it came in at £14, Daniel confirming Lord Sugar’s description did not say it needed to be built. “As long as it fits the brief, do it to the absolute minimum requirements because that’s going to save us pennies everywhere,” Mark crowed.
They all sung each others praises in the boardroom, waxed lyrical about Daniel as a changed man, a grown up who could now lead a team. It’s a wonder they didn’t leap up and give us a verse of ‘That’s what friends are for’.
But then came the blow from Lord Sugar. He did not see this as thinking outside the box (or indeed, the flat pack box). No, no, no. He was not to be tricked by any loophole. He’s the judge, jury and executioner to Felipe’s lawyer, and you don’t turn up to someone’s birthday with eggs and flour and expect them to make their own birthday cake.
“A skeleton made of paper?” Sugar scoffed. “It’s a skeleton that’s been run over by a steam roller. You are taking the p*** aren’t you? You are having a laugh with me now aren’t you? That is not a bleeding skeleton. Someone must think they’re being clever.”
Suddenly Daniel and Felipe deflated, shrinking down with their flat pack skeleton, visions of Sugar praising their ingenious idea – perhaps even rolling up his sleeves to stick said skeleton together – flying out of the window. Mark and Katie turned. The other team laughed. Heck even Solomon’s skeleton ‘Stevie’ seemed to be mocking them, his bones all firmly in place looming from the other end of the boardroom with a £230 price tag.
But was Sugar right to turn on the team for trying to scoop a huge bargain? Meeting the brief, if not in the way Lord Sugar exactly envisaged it? Did they deserve that hefty £310 fine for it not being “allowed”, leading to their eventual loss?
It’s time for you to cast your vote. To flat pack skeleton or not flat pack skeleton as it were….