Alan Sugar & I: An Unrequited Friendship

   Alan Sugar. Lord Sugar. The Big Boss. Mr. Business. Sir Strike-a-deal. We’ve all seen him, right? We’ve seen him, Alan Sugar, Lord Sugar, Britain’s favourite entrepreneur, on the television with his tight ringlets of candy floss hair and his jagged, pointy fingers he jabs stoically at potato-faced buffoons in rigorously starched suits as he bellows aloud his world-famous catchphrase: “You are laid off!”

   To know him is to love him. Who hasn’t sat down in front of a TV set, the idiot box, the deception transmitter, and wished that the grandiloquent gentleman with the profound inability to pronounce “résumé” was their friend? Their best friend perhaps? Their consigliere, their mentor in life and/or death? I know I have.

   Wouldn’t you want this avuncular scarecrow as your guardian? Your guardian angel (not in disguise)? Your ethereal protector in a glossy Windsor knot? How I wish I could tread through life akin to Whitney Houston with Alan, Sir Alan, the kind Prince of Profit, as my Kevin Costner. If, somehow, this became true, there would be a Waterworld of joy in my tear ducts.

   Fate, they say, is a bridge you build.  With this in mind, I had two choices in life. The first was to wait patiently for Alan, Sir Alan, the Baron of the Boardroom, the bullfrog of Business, the ball-sack of Barterdom, to come to me. The second, my preferred option, was to track down Alan, Sir Alan, the Kaiser of Capitalism, the phantom of the Free Market, the ingénue of income, he of indeterminate facial smoothness, and make an offer he couldn’t refuse – an offer made of the most valuable currency of them all. An offer of friendship.

   In hope of replicating the path of all great relationships, I soon realised my best approach was to contact our protagonist on social media like those millennials, those cool millennials, would. I’m not as down with online interactions as Alan is, Sir Alan, the coquette of communication, my hero of MySpace, so I tread as softly as angels in my opening interactions with him, hoping to cultivate a long-term and meaningful friendship with the political flip-flopper.

   As I’m not particularly interested in business, or, indeed, anything Sir Alan, the loquacious Lord, is professionally involved in, I find myself flummoxed as to where to start before reverting to a male cliche - maybe, just maybe, I can coax him out of his shell with football talk. The brainwave occurred to me during England vs Russia during the Euros; I attempted to interact with some well-worded questions which each failed to garner a response.

  I began to worry for Alan - not just because he hadn't replied to me but, because he hadn't yet shared an opinion on the game for a country waiting with baited breath for his analysis.
   Alas, it transpires, our friendship was not meant to be at this time. Undeterred, I begun to think up new ways to get a digital interaction from Sir Alan - a like, a retweet, a reply I could build our blossoming friendship upon - and plumped for making small talk replies on topics of his choosing. I thought I did well but apparently, according to the good Lord's silence, I've yet to step up my banter to the appropriate degree.

   I turned my hand to flattery - sycophancy of the most dignity-relieving, oleaginous kind. That must surely gain a response? Alas, the Lord moves in mysterious ways.

    The following words made my skin crawl, but it would be worth it to make a friend as wise as Alan (Sir Alan, the cherubic face of an industrial society).
   Once more I received no reply but learnt a valuable lesson - the only good thing about a broken heart is that I can't be hurt again. I reached out my hand, my tiny, tiny hand, looking for a hand-up (not a hand-out) in return from Alan (Sir Alan, the quaint darling of quarterly returns), but I was left dangling.

   When I look back on my life as a dream, a dream of walking along the beach with Sir Alan, I'll see that there were two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord. Yet, at the darkest times of my life, I will observe I took the journey alone - I notice that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. I will ask: Where were you when I needed you the most? When I needed a friend? Of course, you won't reply but we'll both know - you were in the boardroom. Working hard. At the business that you do. The business of not having me as a friend.

   Well, Alan - if that is indeed your real name - when it comes to our kinship, I have some words for you. Words I'm sure you know very well. Words you know like a collection of words you know well and can remember sometimes. Words you have heard and which you can recall and deliver as a dramatic denouement whenever requested of you by producers or other appropriate supervisors who assist you in making shows for television, for the deception transmitter.

   Sir Alan: "You are dismissed from employment."

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