Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Uncles' Den - Day 1

Today was the first day of recording of my new televison programme for the Badgertown Broadcasting Corporation.

sees entrepreneurs pitching for investment from some of Homeward's top business brains.

I lead the panel of investors, of course, with the Old Monkey,as always, by my side. He always gives sound advice.

Dearman, being the largest retailer in Homeward, is also on the panel. He will provide expertise on the likely market for any products put forward.

The King of the Badgers, being the best at finding ways of borrowing money, is here to scrutinise how good they are at cadging.

Finally, our fifth panel member is Noddy Ninety. He has been at school so long now that he is an expert at mathematics and will check that all the inventors sums add up.

He is also keen to see any ideas for new modes of transportation - especially steam driven innovations.

First up was the old miser Whitebeard. With a cackling laugh that sent shivers down the spine he entered. His voice seems to have some kind of sickening effect, for the moment you hear it you feel rather ill, or at any rate seedy and depressed.

"You'll love this, Unc!" he cried as he climbed into an alarming contraption made of a tin bath, and a bucket suspended on broom handles.

"I call this the showermatic..." he explained "Who wants to spend a fortune on expensive bath paraphernalia when one only has a bath once a month? This simple system enables all to have a cheap and cheerful shower!"

"It is not very attractive is it?" I conjectured.

"Well you keep it in the cupboard most of the time don't you!" he retorted.

"I'm sorry - I would not give it house room - for that reason I am out!" I snapped back.

"Well that don't surprise me mister high and mighty elephant - I couldn't make one big enough for you anyway!" he barked at me.

"How much do you expect this item to retail for?" asked Dearman

"At least a fiver I should think, for this kind of engineering!" said Whitebeard in an offhand manner.

"Five pounds! - I could not sell this product for more than 6d in my store! You are just being greedy and money grubbing! I am out!" said a shocked Dearman.

Whitebeard got short shrift from the rest of the panel and stormed out screaming "Its your loss - I have already got firm offers from Richard Branson!"

Next up was a young badger with what appeared to be a toilet roll stuck on his head!

"This," he declared "Is what all hay fever sufferers have been yearning for!"

"When afflicted," he continued "all they need to do is pull the next sheet of tissue paper down in order to wipe their eyes or nose - instant relief from the painful symptoms of a runny, itchy blocked nose, and sneezing."

"The luxury model also contains tissues impregnated with aloe - a soothing balm!" he added.

"Do you not think that, ahem, one might feel somewhat ridiculous walking around with a roll of tissue on ones head?" I countered.

"Well you might, cos you are a bit self concious - but all my friends say that it is very fetching!" argued the badger.

"I suppose one could hide the apparatus in a top hat?" conjectured the King of the Badgers.

Needless to say it did not take long for us all to decide that this was not a venture we were prepared to invest in.

The final bright spark of the day was none other than Butterskin Mute.

"What have you got for us then Mute? - something to do with farming I presume?" I asked.

"Not exactly, no Sir," he replied "One major problem I have found is finding my way to the many farmers markets I attend. I often get lost on the way. I have therefore come up with a system I call the Geographic Positioning System, or GPS for short. One simply inserts a range of maps into this wrist based device and by turning these knobs one can see exactly where one has to go next!"

"Have you patented this device yet?" asked Wizard Blenkinsop.

"Not as yet, Sir, but I know of no other device capable of such advanced route keeping" he proudly informed us.

"I fear, Mute, that you have, in fact, been beaten to the market. In my own traction engine I have a 'GPS' device that I am afraid is much more technologically advanced than your own. For that reason - I am afraid that I am out!" I sadly explained.

All was not lost, however, as Dearman decided to invest in the product. "At a price point of 1s 6d I feel that it will prove a practical alternative to the more expensive products on the market!" he expounded clapping Mute on the back.

I must admit, I feel somewhat disappointed with the quality of ideas put forward so far.

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