Monday, 1 September 2008

Secret Trillionaire Day 1

Today was my first day undercover as the Secret Trillionaire.

I am living in a one room tin shack in one of the most deprived areas of Badgertown!

The Old Monkey has insisted on coming with me. My faithful servant declared that he could not imagine what he would do if we were apart.

It would completely undermine the subterfuge, however, for a poor elephant to have a butler so I have made it absolutely clear to him that during the making of the programme we are to be equals.

Last night he made me a splendid dinner of a local delicacy called Beans on Toast.

I must say it was delicious and reminded me of those far off days when I was an impoverished student. Oh those halcyon days when I had not a care in the world!

This morning we were given lowly jobs as street sweepers on Badgertown Market.

A.B.Fox has given us excellent disguise kits. With my glasses and false beard I was able to pass totally unrecognised.

Everyone has been told, by the camera crew following us, that we are being filmed for a documentary about animals, fresh from the jungle, making their way in the world.

Whatever I do, I try to do to the best of my abilities. I like to make a go of things. If I say so myself I set to work with gusto - sweeping away.

I also, however, am conscious of the fact that being charitable is a competitive business - and one that I intend to succeed at.

I soon got talking to some of the local entrepreneurs on their stalls.

Two bearded chaps with glasses were selling 'Black Tom' from a ramshackle stall.

I had a long chat with them regarding their business and gave them a few pointers.
One of them suggested that without the beard and glasses I bore a remarkable resemblance to that 'old tyrant Uncle'!

I was about to give him a piece of my mind - but the Old Monkey kicked me in the shins.

"You are going puce, Sir, remember we are supposed to be undercover!"

"You could make a fortune as a celebrity look-a-like, mate" piped up the little beardy chap sitting on the barrels of 'Black Tom'.

I am afraid that, much as I admire their entrepreneurial spirit, these gentlemen would not be receiving a cheque from me. I could hardly countenance the sale of hooch. In fact I felt sure that its sale is prohibited and had a quiet word with a member of the local Badgertown constabulary.

Shortly thereafter the two bearded gentleman were escorted away. One of them cried out
"You making a big mistake - The Chief Constable was expecting a barrel y'know!"

An outrageous claim.

I then got talking to a badger running a stall selling bric a brac. Apart from his beard and glasses he looked the spitting image of the King of the Badgers.

It was then that I noticed a number of articles, he was selling, that bore a remarkable similarity to gifts that I had given the King of the Badgers!

This made me somewhat suspicious. I surreptitiously quizzed him about there provenance.

"Oh yes, that sceptre is a prominent item of royal regalia - straight out of one of Uncle's workshops - a gift to me, er, to the King of the Badgers I mean." he claimed.

"You said a gift to you?" I countered.

"Well, er, I meant that the King of the Badgers gave it to me for....faithful service...listen its a good price do you want it?"he stuttered.

It was indeed a good price - far less than I had paid for it.

I was, of course, suspicious that the item was, as I believe is the colloquial term, knock off.

I had a word with the police again. They felt that it was more likely that these were counterfeit goods. Apparently anything with my name on is highly sort after.

They arrested the Old Badger who cried out "It's me you fools - your King - I pay your wages you idiots!"

Another outrageous claim.

I chatted to quite a few more stall holders, but felt that, to be honest, none of them were particularly deserving. In fact I discovered a number of irregularities, weights and measures, health code infringements and such like. By the end of the day quite a number of stalls had been forced to close.

It was not really a very successful day, however. I had not found any worthy recipients of my largesse and the Market Inspector sacked us!

He claimed that I spent too much time talking and not enough time sweeping - and accused me of denuding the market!

I was bemoaning his attitude to the Old Monkey this evening. I am not exaggerating when I say that he slammed my meal on the table and said "Some of us did our fair share of sweeping!!" and stormed off in a sulk.

I wonder what has upset him?

Cheese on Toast. I am getting a little tired of things on toast.

There is a silver lining, though. I feel that I have really been accepted by the local community.

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