A black, iron machine about the size of a single bed stands in the middle of the Dragons Den. The latest contender climbs the stairs and turns to the four Dragons.
“Hello, I’m Joe Punter and I’m here to get funding for my new business machine.”
The Dragons look disinterested. Duncan yawns without covering his mouth. Peter is scratching a stain from his trouser front. Theo, curled like a snake in his chair, snores softly. Deborah is examining her nails but she looks up briefly to say;
“Go on then Joe; show us how the bloody thing works.”
“It’s easy. You put a big piece of rope in this end, turn this handle and money comes out the other end.”
A shower of £50 notes falls onto the floor of the den.
The Dragons go into freeze frame, like cats spotting a mouse.
“My name’s Duncan Bannatyne, and I’m going to tell you where I’m coming from,” says Duncan Bannatyne. “Your machine is crap, your business plan is weak and I don’t like your tie. But I’ve been around the block a few times, I’ve had my share of ups and downs and I recognise a gullible punter when I see one.”
He pauses for dramatic effect.
“So I’m going to offer you twenty five pounds for twenty five percent of your business and I think the other Dragons will come in on the same basis.”
The other Dragons nod eagerly.
“I should just warn you about one thing,” says Joe.
“Go on,” says Duncan, warily.
“The process is illegal and will put a lot of families on the bread line. Most of your employees will be made redundant. You’ll just have to keep one person to operate the machine.”
“Thank God for that,” says Duncan “For a horrible moment I thought I was going to have to turn that handle myself!”