A New Need

The members of the board gathered around the table, already sipping their coffee with smug grins on their faces. 

“What will we be selling today?” one asked. He had on a new suit, and he turned as he spoke to make sure everyone noticed.

“I have an idea,” someone piped up. “A new vitamin.”

“That’s too concrete,” another said. “We need something abstract. They gobbled up that socialization thing. Let’s go with something like that.”

“Socialization isn’t marketable,” one man said. He was wearing the same suit he’d worn last time.

New Suit chuckled. “Not marketable, says the man who doesn’t own ten preschools.”

Old Suit scowled at him. “What’s your idea, then?”

“I suggest we create a new need, something to scare parents.”

“Like a new shot?” someone asked.

“People are getting too suspicious about that,” Old Suit said. “They’ve noticed how many immunized kids keep getting sick.”

“Yes,” laughed a woman at the end of the table. She had two chairs, one of them reserved for her designer bag. “But they still blame the anti-vac kids. All we have to do is pay a few doctors to write scary announcements and allow the pro-vaxxers to share them all over social media.” She frowned at a smudge on her fingernail. “It’s easy.”

“What scares parents most?” New Suit asked. “Aside from their kids dying of chicken-pox.” He snorted at that.

“The idea that we’ll fail to prepare our kids to survive in the world and be successful,” said a woman across the table from him.

“Exactly. Socialization myths work, because we told them their kids have to be placed in a closed environment with several kids their own age in order to learn to navigate the real world effectively.”

Designer Bag got caught up giggling. “Because they’ll all go to work one day in a room with thirty people their own age …”

“I realize,” New Suit said, clearing his throat, “that the theory is flawed. But it sells. This time I propose creating a new product that trains children to develop a skill no one knew they needed before.”

Old Suit sat up. He owned a handful of factories, so he loved hearing about new products. “What skill might that be?” he asked.

New Suit smirked. “I’ve seen a lot of quizzes online lately about being right-brained or left-brained. What if we convinced parents that allowing their children to write with only one hand led to an inability to easily use both sides of their brains?”

A few members groaned. That was a stretch. But hadn’t everything they’d thought of started that way? Smiles began to spread.

“I’ve already done some research,” New Suit said. “Unfortunately, there are studies that suggest being ambidextrous is harmful. We’ll have to bury or undermine those.” He smiled at Designer Bag. She was best at that. “But I’ve also compiled a list of famous people who were ambidextrous. We could title the new product after one of those people.” He passed the list around.

“Leonardo da Vinci!” Old Suit said. “He’ll appeal to anyone.”

New Suit sat down and let the idea take hold. He could already feel another new suit on the way.

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~ by Rachel McMahon on March 27, 2014.

2 Responses to “A New Need”

  1. I love their names…lol

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