Somewhere in a parallel universe, deep within the bowels of Corporate America, Mr. A.S. Hole has settled into his comfortable leather chair, and is ready for his assistant Nigel to brief him on new investment opportunities. Mr. Hole is anxious to expand his portfolio, and realize his lifetime ambition to be wealthier and more obnoxious than Donald Trump.
“Well Nigel m’boy, what do we have this week?” (Mr Hole often affects a “Winston Churchill” British accent)
“Mr Hole, I’ve got you a winner this week….it’s going to be BIG!”
“Get on with it then….”
With a flourish, Nigel turns on the overhead projector (no Steve Jobs or Bill Gates in this parallel universe)
“I give you………ALCOHOL!!”
Mr Hole looks at Nigel expectantly.
“Alcohol is a colourless liquid, that is made from rotting fruit that will REVOLUTIONIZE the WHOLE WORLD!!”
“Good God, boy – rotting fruit?? Didn’t I tell you never to bring me these half baked ideas again? I thought we were done with this after the debacle with the dried leaf sticks…”
“Sir, sir, this is different…..let me explain….”
Mr Hole waves his hand…”Get on with it….”
“Alcohol has many wonderful properties. Mixed with sweet flavouring, a person drinks it, and is almost instantly transported into a euphoric world, where troubles melt away like lemon drops, rainbows appear, and bluebirds sing…….(starts to hum)…..and people become happier, more confident, more loving, and much better dancers”
“Yes sir…..it’s a beautiful thing……..”
“And will people pay for it?”
“Yes Sir… that’s the best part, once they’ve had Alcohol just one time, they want it again and again…..
Mr Hole sits up in his chair…..” What’s the marketing plan on this one Nigel?”
“Well Sir, after the success with Botox last year, we decided to roll it out in Palm Springs….”
“Hmmph, good idea. I don’t like the name ‘Alcohol”, can we come up with anything better than that?”
“That’s the beauty of it Sir, we can brand it to suit any demographic”
“Excellent, do we have any celebrity endorsements?”
“Dean Martin is all over it Sir”.
Mr Hole sits back in his chair thinking.
“You know Nigel, this sounds promising and everything, but for a really good investment, I like to target the masses…rich people are extremely important, but to really hit it big, I need to get a foothold in that other market…you know, the others……the…
“Poor people, Sir?” said Nigel helpfully….
“Yes, yes…..those people……”
“Well Sir, that’s the beauty of this liquid, it’s just a matter of marketing….for the rich people, we package it in elegant bottles, with expensive looking labels……for the poor people, well, it can go in tins……or even cardboard boxes…..AND, the message is slightly different…..here….”
Nigel changes the slide on the Overhead projector to reveal a slogan….
“Alcohol….Takes the Edge off Your Miserable Life”
“I like it, I like it……..any downside??”
“Well Sir, it can make you feel a bit sick and give you a headache, so we’ve had a bit of a backlash from the Lobbyists………and, sometimes Sir…….
“Sometimes it can kill you……apparently it is a poison…..but overall I think the benefits outweigh a few deaths……
Mr Hole wags his finger at Nigel…
“Listen here m’boy, you know I won’t support anything that can do harm, REGARDLESS of all the money I could make….so we must listen to the Lobbyists, they keep this Corporate world honest and transparent, they are the backbone of our democracy!!”
A short silence followed by raucous laughter.
“Oh, Mr Hole” said Nigel wiping tears of laughter from his eyes, “you got me there!”
“Ha, ha, yes, this Alcohol thingy is going to make me a rich man! So no Lobbyist will ever stand in my way….why, it’s more likely that we will have….have a….
“Woman President Sir?”
“Never joke about that, m’boy”.