HENRY SHERWIN, the founder and CEO of Sherwin-Williams Company. He’s pitching his new line of lead-based paint, genuinely unaware of the danger it poses. He speaks with the pace and pomp of 1890s snake oil salesman.
MISS HAYNES: An innocent 3rd grade teacher who has early symptoms of lead poisoning.
DOCTOR FRIEDRICH: The concerned doctor who performed Henry’s wife’s autopsy (she died of lead poisoning.)
Setting: At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. HENRY stands on stage, flanked by MISS HAYNES, DOCTOR FRIEDRICH and a sheet-covered table with something hidden underneath.
HENRY: Welcome to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair! My name is Henry Sherwin, founder and CEO of Sherwin-Williams Company, and I’m here to talk to you about a revolutionary new line of paints that will change the world as we know it.
It’s resistant to scratches, stains and dents. It stands up to dirt, mud and grime. It’s completely safe, and has absolutely no dangerous substances or chemicals.
In short, it’s the perfect paint! THE PAINT OF THE FUTURE! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…
[HENRY pulls the sheet off the table, revealing a large stack of paint cans.]
…Sherwin-Williams Lead-Based Paint! It’s the same Grade-A paint you know and love, with delicious amounts of 100% American lead mixed right in. And it’s completely safe!
[HENRY throws a handful of lead powder into the air.]
Our new paint is the most durable on the market. Just ask the folks at Middlebrook Elementary School, where this new paint coats the desks, cafeteria trays, toilets and more!
Let’s hear what 3rd grade teacher Miss Haynes has to say!
MISS HAYNES: I love the new paint! But… (frowning) I’m having trouble remembering… where are we?”
HENRY: That’s funny, Miss Haynes. Folks, if you’re not already convinced, I can personally attest to how magnificent this paint really is.
I used it to repaint the doghouse of my sweet Greyhound, Mable. That was over two years ago, and it still looks brand new! I loved it so much I also used it to paint Mable’s adorable dog-shaped coffin.
But don’t just take it from me. How about a professional opinion? Let’s hear from Doctor Friedrich — — the man who conducted my wife’s autopsy!
DOCTOR FRIEDRICH: Honestly, it’s absolutely incredible. The medical community has never seen anything like it. It’s almost like Mrs. Sherwin never had a central nervous system.
HENRY: See? Even doctors think it’s incredible! Now folks, if somehow you’re still not sold on this magnificent new paint…
(serious, frowning) …I truly do need the money. My daughter… Belle… sweet, beautiful Belle… she recently became ill. We’re still not sure what’s wrong with her… but as she lays in her hospital bed, cuddling her freshly-painted toy horse… I can’t help but think… that maybe…
(beat, angrily) …it was that goddamn smallpox vaccine! Vaccines are killing our children!
(clears throat, smiles) Well, I can tell you’re itching to get your hands on this astonishing new paint. Stop by the Sherwin-Williams booth to place your orders!
Lead-based paint — — it’s the last paint you and your precious loved ones will ever need!