In Praise of ‘Apprenticisms’

In Culture, Satire on June 15, 2011 at 2:53 PM

So, another impending summer..and with it, as sure as death and taxes, a new series of The Apprentice. The 7th in fact, of what is, for better or for worse, becoming a British institution, as weekly, millions react with an intoxicating maelstrom of despair, desire, dislike, lust, laughs, even occasional respect, to the latest incumbents fawning, fighting and fabricating their way into the affections of the self-righteous “Lord”, Alan.

The first episode had the two teams of supposed recession-rescuers essentially shoving into the faces of unwitting Londoners extortionately-priced food they had produced with the £250 given to them by “Lord” (I refuse to not parenthesise) Alan. As is the norm with The Apprentice, this task itself provided much televisual gold with many eminently quotable catchphrases on exhibit. For example, Edward’s inane (and often inappropriate) endlessly repeated “rolling with punches” and his boardroom tautology so watertight it could be used as an example of the concept to budding logicians: “when I was producing, it was production”. Though the latter quote undeniably demonstrated the logic of ‘Team Logic’, his zealous over-spending on produce did not, and represented a ridiculous over-compensation for being in his words a mere “humble accountant”  and “the youngest AND smallest in the team”.

But before this, there was The Apprentice equivalent of the peacock pluming its feathers as the contestants indulged in the seemingly customary braggadocio, which has brought so many classic TV sound bites in recent years such as one-of-a-kind Stuart Baggs’ “everything I touch turns to SOLD”.

This year was no different, with Helen Milligan claiming “social life, friends, family…they mean nothing to me” and, pick of the bunch, Melody Hossaini declaring: “don’t tell me ‘the sky’s the limit’ when there’s footprints on the moon”. This was in addition to her working “with an understanding that there is..ACTUALLY (who’d av thunk it?!) a purpose greater than (herself)” and being “trained by Al Gore and personally taught by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama”. Naturally.

It got me pondering what brilliant nonsense could come next. So I came up with a few ‘Apprentic e-isms’ of my own. Feel free to join in at home, folks. Turns outs it’s actually quite fun getting into the ‘twat’ mindset….


A few rather standard ones, perhaps already consigned to the budding apprentice’s/twat’s proverbial dustbin:

“Audacity is my middle name.”

“I ALWAYS make sure I get my five a day: aspiration, assertion, audacity, achievement, alpha-male status.”

And basically any sentence of this ‘I am a champion’ American Football battle-cry of speech, which is so ‘Hollywood’ in its style, I don’t know whether to laugh or roar: . For example: “I do not understand when things go wrong. I do not understand mistakes. But I do understand victory and never surrendering!”


A few where the imagined apprentice/twat has actually managed to step outside of their own self-absorbed bubble for just long enough to consume some pop culture…only for it to confirm their supposed brilliance and subsequently return to their narcissism:

“If I’d have been in any way connected to the production of Jerry Maguire film, it probably wouldn’t have got made ‘cos I would have shown Rod Tidwell the money long ago.”

“Don’t tell me ‘the sky’s the limit’ when Emile Heskey has played for England 62 times”.

“If I’d have been Ian Brown, The Stone Roses would never have released I wanna be adored ‘cos I’ve always been adored, even in the womb”.

“I’ve got so much drive I make the Duracell Bunny look narcoleptic.” (Risque, but then why should apprentices care about the feelings of anybody but themselves?!)


A few where the hypothetical apprentice/twat has, to be fair to him/her, displayed a dextrous grasp of the nuances of the English language. To similarly cheesy effect, though:

“The only difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is a bit of ‘OOOOMPH.”

“I’m not a businessman…I’m a business…, man.” (O.K, as much as I’d like to, I admit I can’t take credit for those two, the former being from a friend, the latter; a Jay-Z line).


A couple where the apprentice/twat has, strangely, considered for a second at least the possibility that someone other than him/herself is, in fact, God and subsequently glanced at some Theology, albeit with spurious appropriation:

“I’m not just the best businesswoman in this world…I’m the best businesswoman in ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS”.

“In all honesty, I don’t really see the need for Christianity because, clearly, I am all three faces of everything great: entrepreneur, salesman and marketer, yet still, just one entity…MIKE!”


And, my favourite of all, which I will be sure to use just for shits and giggles (unless, god forbid, I get eaten up by the proverbial ‘man’) in the extremely unlikely event of me being on The Apprentice:

“I inhale mediocrity, excrete worthlessness, exude purpose and exhale brilliance”.

Quite proud of that, if I say so myself. Maybe I would make a decent apprentice. Or at least I could walk the proverbial walk…





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