Can't You Just Picture It...?
Whoremann, never one to beat around the bush, cuts straight to the chase slapping an open magazines onto the table .
“Gentlemen, before we begin, there is some shocking news that I feel I must share with you. I have just read this Human Rights Watch report that claims that there are over 300,000 children being used as soldiers around the globe. That is THREE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND gentlemen. How is it that nobody ever told me about this before? It’s a damn disgrace! What is it Jenkins?"
“A disgrace Sir”
“And WHY is it a disgrace, Jenkins?”
“Well, having mere children coerced into committing and suffering brutal acts of violence that will probably mark their lives irreversibly. It goes against everything that we consider civilized or sacred.”
(Whoremann stares blankly at Jenkins for several seconds)
“Well Jenkins, I am most grateful for your input. Gunther. Please escort Mr. Jenkins to his desk where he can collect his things and then kindly throw him out of the building.”
(Large bald man with earpiece drags Jenkins whimpering from the boardroom.)
“Now, Cartwright, why is it a disgrace?”
- “Because we are not addressing the market Sir”
“EXACTLY! As far as I’m concerned there are 300,000 unsatisfied customers out there and nobody’s doing anything about it. You only have to look at the disturbing pictures gentlemen. Poor undernourished Senegalese nine-year olds dragging around heavy AK-47s that are almost bigger than they are, it’s so damn inhumane. We have to do something for these poor kids. The hardware just isn’t there for them. They’re being completely marginalized by adult-dominated conflicts and their little voices are not being heard above the flack. What do you reckon Cartwright?”
- “Well Sir, we’re definitely looking at a lower caliber with less recoil and a lighter piece overall. However, we don’t really want to sacrifice range or armor-piercing capability. Tricky. I’m thinking carbine here Sir.”
“Excellent, I like the concept. What about usability? Got any ideas Jenny?
- “Well Sir, I completely agree with Cartwright on the recoil. We’ll also need a smaller handgrip, lighter trigger action and easy load. I have a good friend who designs educational toys, I’ll ask her advice on what a six-year olds’ limitations might be when it comes to munitions handling.”
“Good. Get onto it and come back to me with a full report ASAP. Any thoughts on materials, Chang?”
- “We are talking children and a third-world market Sir. So the emphasis should be on light ‘n cheap. High aluminum content. Hell, we could even use recycled scrap here! I mean if the thing jams or explodes, we’re not exactly going to get a lawsuit through the mail, or even a complaint for than matter. I’ll talk to my man in Beijing.”
“You do that, Chang. And are there any aesthetic considerations here, Serge?”
- “Well you think children and you automatically think bright colors. However, the need for urban and rural camouflage leaves that option unviable. So the second option would be corporate branding. Try telling me that some Columbian rascal wouldn’t like to have a photo of Arnold embossed onto the shoulderstock of his semi-automatic.”
“Nice. Go talk to our merchandising boys and see what action figure fits best. Now down to basics. What are we going to call this little sucker? I’m opening it to the table here folks. All suggestions welcome.”
- “The UrchiN?”
- “The Little’Un?”
- “The Happy Rattler?”
- “The Doozie?”
- “The Juniorizor”
- “The Guerrillito?”
- “The Mini-AK?”
“Whoa, people! Too much information already! I can see there’s no shortage of inspiration present. However, we’re going to do this right. I want Marketing to do a complete study on this. Yes, I mean everything - gaming companies, gun clubs, playground questionnaires in the projects - the works OK? You all have your objectives. We will reconvene here on the third of next month to assess progress. And meanwhile, I want you to remember one very important thing. We’re not just doing this for a greenfield market with the potential for over a quarter of a million units……….
……we’re doing it for the kids!”