June 19, 2015 by T. Gregory Argall
SCENE: Several people are gathered around a boardroom table. One older man, B.M., sits at the head of the table, running the meeting. On the wall behind him a logo and slogan are visible. “Aware R You (Inc.) – Makers of fine quality PSA’s and awareness campaigns for nearly a quarter of a decade and still going “strong.”“
B.M. Okay, gentlemen, we need to capture a contract soon and I think this is the one. I can feel it. But we need the right idea. Cerebral Palsy awareness. Let me hear what you’ve got.
Blank faces stare back at him.
B.M. Jon. Hit me. What’s your pitch?
JON (fidgeting, gesturing vaguely) Okay, um, cerebral, right? Cerebral, brain, thinking, intelligence, Mensa. We’ll go that angle, right? So… “Cerebral Palsy – The Thinking Man’s Palsy!”
B.M. That’s good. I like it. “The Thinking Man’s Palsy.” It’s got a nice ring to it.
JON Right. Because it’s cerebral, right?
B.M. Yes, Nigel? You have another idea?
NIGEL Actually, B.M., if I may, I’d like to address Jon’s idea for a moment.
NIGEL Jon, there are two words in Cerebral Palsy, but you’ve chosen to apply ALL of the focus on just one.
JON Well, yeah, Nigel. Anyone that understands how the public thinks would do that. If people are presented with a choice between two words they’re going to pick one.
NIGEL (sarcastic chuckle) Wow. You amaze me.
NIGEL So, Jon, if I were to, say, punch you in the forehead very, very hard, hard enough to cause a cerebral hemorrhage, would you call that a thinking man’s hemorrhage?
JON Quite possibly, Nigel, yes. If we go with this type of branding, then quite naturally–
NIGEL No, Jon. No, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t be able to call it anything because it would be bloody fatal, wouldn’t it?
JON Not quite sure I follow you, Nigel.
NIGEL (sigh) Maybe you’ve already had one and you just don’t know it yet.
JON (smiling) Well, I am a thinking man, Nigel, so yes, it’s quite possible.
B.M. Right, Jon, draw up a proposal for this campaign and get it on my desk by the end of tomorrow. (shuffles some papers) Now, the Parkinson’s Disease fundraising campaign. Ideas?
REG quickly raises his hand and smirks at JON, pleased with himself for getting in first this time.
REG How about bobblehead dolls?
NIGEL You’ve got to be kidding.
REG No, people love bobbleheads. I think it will be a big hit.
B.M. Tell me more, Reg.
REG Maybe have a little speaker in the base with a few recorded sayings? You wobble the bobblehead and it goes…
REG shakes and wobbles his head while speaking.
REG “Find a cure for Parkinson’s,” or, “Help us shake Parkinson’s for good.” Things like that.
NIGEL You… you can’t do that. It’s incredibly offensive. That whole idea is in very poor taste. There will be no end of complaints.
B.M. Right. And that will get people talking about it, won’t it? Well, done, Reg.
NIGEL I don’t believe this.
B.M. (shuffling papers) Okay, next… An anti-bullying campaign. Anyone?
JEROME I think this would be an excellent opportunity for some cross-promotion with an organization I’m involved with.
JEROME Nazi baby jugglers!
NIGEL I can’t work here. I quit.
NIGEL stands up and storms out of the boardroom, slamming the door behind him. There is an awkward silence for several moments.
REG So… Are these Nazis who juggle babies or are they people who juggle Nazi babies?
Try to be nice to each other.