Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Tears Of A Clown

Expecting little anyway, I only watched the first half of the Champions League Final last night. Up until Manchester United scored it was, to quote Katie Hopkins, “dull, dull, dull”. So, come 9.00 I switched over to watch the programme that showcased the scheming harpy’s poisonous manoeuvrings: The Apprentice.

I know I was only exchanging one bunch of arch-egotists with inflated ideas of their ability for another, but at least there was the potential for a few pratfalls on Sir Alan’s Idiot Parade. Having said that, it appears from reports that the Moscow turf ultimately saw it’s fair share of comedy tumbling too.

The task for the two teams this week was to brand and market a box of tissues. They made the usual crass mistakes that, as usual, shone an unforgiving light on the braggadocio of their CVs. Recriminations and in-fighting inevitably ensued as each struggled to sell ineptitude as genius: a re-branding master class, that had it been employed for the preceding task would surely have negated a visit to the boardroom in the first place. The inquest over, I returned to watch the remaining extra-time, and subsequent penalties.

Fortunately, Manchester United won. I don’t favour one team over the other, but it would have been very embarrassing, had Chelsea prevailed in the shoot-out, for Avram Grant to have to then decline the trophy and insist on a replay. Having claimed that a play-off would be the only fair recourse had the two teams finished the season on equal points in the Premier League, he would indubitably have done this out of respect for consistency, goal-difference and penalty shoot-outs being equally unsatisfactory measures of footballing superiority eh, Mr. Grant?

Viewers were then treated to an unremitting procession of vignettes featuring John Terry, sobbing inconsolably into numerous different shoulders.

In the strange way that indiscriminate channel-surfing can provoke, these two events began to coalesce in my mind. If only, I mused, the contestants on The Apprentice had been the beneficiaries of a little mystical foresight and had been privy in advance to the scenes unfurling before us in Moscow, they would have been presented with the perfect branding opportunity with which to succeed in their task:

Terry’s Tissues: This Is What It Sounds Like When Thugs Cry.

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