Todd and Chad, two high-powered corporate bros with enough hair grease between them to kill a gaggle of Canada geese, lounged in Chad’s corner office atop a glistening skyscraper.
Todd, somewhat jealous of Chad’s magnificent digs, gazed out the floor-to-ceiling windows. Nonetheless, he bore a facial expression that was more smug than usual.
“A penny for your thoughts,” Chad said knowing full well why Todd was glowing.
“I just think this is the best idea we’ve ever had.”
“Oh please, tell me again.”
“No,” said Todd in the manner of a 5-year-old girl who knows she’s being cute.
“Fine,” Chad shot back in mock frustration.
“OK, fine. So research and development had this great idea after the latest mass shooting.”
“Arming the teachers.”
“Right, so there’s about 3 million teachers in the United States. Even if we supply, let’s say 750,000 of them with semiautomatic rifles, that’s an easy $700 million right out of the gate. And that’s wholesale.”
“And it will keep the kids safe!”
“Like we give a shit about that. The beauty of the entire deal, aside from the better part of a billion in revenue, is the money we will make looking out five, 10 years.”
“Tell me about the money, Todd,” said Chad, who at this point had left his desk, laid down on a large Oriental rug in the center of his office and rested his chin atop his interlaced fingers. His crossed ankles swung lazily front to back, front to back.
“So the long game on arming the teachers is it will make a significant portion of the students too afraid to come to school. A lot of the teachers, too, I imagine.”
“Pray tell, what happens then?”
“Well, an uneducated population is beautiful. Easier to control. Our media partners have already convinced half the population that reality is completely subjective and college is going to turn their kids gay.”
“So, looking out five years, if we can get even 20 percent of high school-age kids to drop out, that translates to a 5 percent uptick in tobacco sales. Looking out 10 years, we can expect a good bump in the private prison sector, too.”
“What about the kids who stay in school?”
“Glad you asked. Since we can make school-aged children terrified of their own mortality, we stand to increase market shares on anti-depressants and, again looking out five and 10 years, drug rehab centers.”
“I’m telling you, man. These school shootings are a gold mine.”
“So what are you up to this weekend?”
“Linda and I are doing a half triathlon that raises money for breast cancer awareness. At least I think it’s cancer. It might be rescue dogs. Anyway, what trouble are you getting yourself into?”
“Kid has a soccer game on Saturday. Brunch on Sunday.”
Chad and Todd lept into the air and high fived. For some reason, they remained suspended in freeze frame. ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” emanated from nowhere.