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Paul Dailing

Paul Dailing

Posted: February 8, 2011 04:39 PM

The Scene: A hospital. A pleasant dapple of sunlight peers through the blinds. The Does, John and Moira, are looking at their newborn baby girl, napping in her mother's arms.
Voice from behind: What a touching scene.
The Does turn to see two large men in black suits and black sunglasses who had quietly entered the room. The larger one has a briefcase. He closes the door to the hallway as the other man steps closer.
Rocco: Might I say, that's a beautiful baby you have there. Look at that love. Can you see the love here, Ox?
Ox: (Not looking) I sees da love.
Rocco: (Continuing to walk forward) Nothing more precious than the love of a child. But the love of a child is a... fragile love. You don't want anything to... happen to that love, do you?
Mrs. Doe: Who -- who are you?
Rocco: My name's Rocco and dis here's my associate, Ox. Your baby, she looks a little cold though, don't she, Ox?
Ox: (Not looking) Very cold.
Mrs. Doe: Does she look cold, John?
Mr. Doe: Maybe.
Rocco: I believe I have never seen a colder baby.
Ox: (Not looking) Very cold.
Mrs. Doe: Is she cold? Maybe we should call the nurse.
Mr. Doe leans toward the buzzer. Rocco stops him with a gesture.
Rocco: Perhaps we can be of assistance. We represent a certain... family organization you may have heard of. And, on behalf of our employer, we would like to give a gift in honor of this happy occasion.
He snaps. The Does tense as Ox opens up the briefcase. He pulls out a rolled red cloth and, with a flick of his wrist, unfurls it.
(Pause)

Mr. Doe: A onesie?
Rocco: An official Finding Nemo ™ Disney Cuddly Bodysuit from our employer, Baby Disney. This is our gift to your family from our family.
Mr. Doe: Oh, um. Thanks.
Rocco pulls the Disney Cuddly Bodysuit back as Mr. Doe reaches for it.
Rocco: Before I present you this gift, allow me to list off some of the many fine attributes of this and all the fine Disney products your son and/or daughter will come to love over his and/or her life. We also have an e-mail list it would be in your advantage to sign up for. In case you do not speak English, my associate Ox is fluent in Spanish, Greek and Portuguese.
Ox: Alô.
Rocco: I am sure your son will come to love such characters as Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles.
Mrs. Doe: My daughter, you mean.
Rocco: Yes. And she will love The Little Mermaid and Tinker Bell.
The Does exchange a look.
Mr. Doe: I'm sorry, but my wife and I have discussed this and we're very concerned about exposing our daughter to consumerism at such an early age. We know she'll discover brands and corporate culture eventually, but we don't need to start her off from the cradle. She'll spend the rest of her life bombarded by corporate imagery. Why not give her at least an infancy without labels?
Rocco: You could buy her Wall-E merchandise. You know that's OK because the film is all about over-consumption and consumerism.
Ox: Yeah, and dey can gets dat message of anti-consumerism through the more than 1,400 Wall-E products available on Amazon.com alone. Nuthin' says "don't buy more dan youse needs" like a $899 Ultimate Wall-E robot toy for ages 4 and up.
Rocco: Every 4 year old needs a robot to tell them about anti-consumerism.
Ox: I boughts two, in case one breaks.
Mr. Doe: How did you even get in here?
Rocco: Through the auspices of Our365.
Mrs. Doe: The people who took the baby photos? You mean just because a particular company, Our365, paid our hospital for the exclusive rights to offer professional baby pictures and Disney paid that company, Our365, to let their reps slide in on the contract, Disney can now send its salesmen to maternity wards?
Mr. Doe: Honey, you're still coming out of the medication. No one could be that horrible as to try to turn our first images of our daughter into corporate gamesmanship.
Mrs. Doe: Someone needs to send that company, Our365, a message that selling access to maternity wards is unacceptable. Perhaps if a large number of people told that company, Our365 out of St. Charles, Missouri, what they thought of this corporate partnership and similar partnerships with Fisher-Price and Proctor & Gamble --
Mr. Doe: Like through a mass e-mail writing campaign to partnerships@our365.com!
Mrs. Doe: Exactly. Then maybe the company, Our365, might realize the bad PR from selling access to maternity wards isn't worth whatever Disney is paying them.
Rocco: I can see we have not yet come to terms. Ox and I will be back. Every Halloween costume, every lunchbox, every time your child has a suggestion of a stop during a planned vacation to Florida, we will be there. As God is my witness, your daughter's first concert will be the Hannah Montana equivalent of 2024!
Rocco and Ox storm out.
Mrs. Doe: Thank God we freed our child from corporate culture, where ubiquity trumps quality. What time is it, by the way?
Mr. Doe: Let me check my iPhone 4.
Mrs. Doe: Good. I don't want to miss American Idol.