After last weeks “surprise” midday task it was back to the early mornings for the ever-dwindling band of wannabe Sugars. They were driven to York Hall, home of East End boxing, and told to invent a new type of fitness regime. It was a surprisingly dowdy venue for a programme which prides itself on showing London in all its glory so I’m guessing the Olympic stadium pulled out at the last minute. Nevertheless York Hall, where many a would-be contender has had his dreams and indeed his face bludgeoned out of all recognition, was as good a place as any to get cracking.
The sight of the ring certainly had an effect on Ricky the Wrestler. Fired by memories of swearing grannies shouting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” Razor Ricky the Robust Rumbler announced his candidacy for project manager of Sterling. It would have taken Big Daddy Splash to stop him and he was duly placed in one corner. Opposite him, Stephen the Evil Slither squatted on a stool for Phoenix. The bell rang for round one.
Razor Ricky jabbed at a gap in the market. Apparently nobody had yet thought to combine martial arts and dance. Similarly nobody has thought to combine poetry and furniture polish. Or kiwi fruit and Gregorian chant. However, Razor Ricky was convinced this fusion would allow the lucky participants to work everything. Including their elbows. Who knew that elbows needed working?
The Evil Slither knew he wasn’t the grannies' favourite. They were all waving their fists at him and rooting for Razor Ricky. But this wasn’t going to put him off. He struck back with a retro themed eighties extravaganza featuring hula hoops and space hoppers. It wasn’t clear how this was going to make anybody fit but it was certainly going to make someone look stupid.
The someone in question turned out to be Azhar the Orca. He was tagged in by The Slither to star in the round two’s video. The Orca brought a ferocious intensity to his workout. Unfortunately he also brought very short shorts and a kajagoogoo headband. The watching grannies thought Razor Ricky was home and dry.
However, they had not counted on Cecil B De Duane. He was in charge of the production of Sterling’s video and it was obvious from early on that he had the vision of the grand auteur. Plus the prickly ego to match. It is sometimes true that one must ignore all advice and counsel if one is to create great art. It is probably less true when it’s a video of someone doing jerky physical movements. Though some would argue the films of Buster Keaton fit into both categories.
Duane would listen to nobody. He broke all taboos and insisted on Leotarded Laura pumping through her fusion exercises with back to the camera. Now even the Catholic Church have given up on having the leader of the ceremony look in the opposite direction to the congregation. And when you’re lagging behind the Catholic Church in manners of modern presentational skills you can be pretty sure you’re doing something wrong.
The grannies must have feared the worst for Razor Ricky’s rumble.
But so often in bouts of attrition the momentum can move between the combatants. Round 3 saw Razor Ricky punch out Sterling’s pitches like a pro. Back in action, The Evil Slither stumbled and staggered through his moves. Feeling it was slipping away, he desperately clung on with woozy offers of free hula hoops and complementary space hoppers but with no idea how much they would cost it was the final hopeless swing of a punch-drunk man.
Back in the boardroom Team Sterling duly got the vote of two of the three judges. The nation’s homicidal grannies waited to cheer a unanimous decision. But though the third judge agreed with the previous two that The Evil Slither and Phoenix were well-beaten they saw something else. The Space Hoppers and the Hula Hoops had family appeal. This was news to Phoenix who, up to now, had seemed convinced their target market was Chris Hoy and Paula Radcliffe. But it was a gift horse and as we learnt last week you should never look one of them in the eye. Phoenix didn’t. The third judge outvoted the previous two and The Evil Slither was victorious. Razor Ricky looked like Marlon Brando did the night Rod Steiger told him the fix was in. The nation’s grannies pelted their plasma TVs with half consumed mugs of Horlicks.
The firing was all a bit awkward as everybody knew that Team Sterling had basically won but had also lost. There were a few complaints about a lack of emphasis on elbows in the video but nobody’s heart was really in it. Faced with Razor Ricky, Leotarded Laura and Cecil B De Duane, the Pugnacious Pointer from Peckham picked out Duane for the one way taxi ride to Palookaville.
And that’s all for now, grapple fans.