There’s a reason pencils have erasers and it’s the same reason there’s a market for morning-after pills. As a country, we’ve made our mistakes and sometimes we’ll even own up to them; be it Bill Clinton apologizing for sticking his slick willy in that fat Jewish girl’s mouth, be it paying reparations to decedents of slaves, or be it Ronald Reagan effectively saying “our bad” for that whole kerfuffle with Japanese internment camps. Owning up and taking action to correct any, well, questionable decisions can be a lot easier and, frankly, it can also be pretty refreshing to see.
Now, behind every purchase of Plan B there’s a good story and likely some good stains. But, honestly, watching two people admit to each other in the cold, unforgiving light of day that they have no desire to chance becoming parents to a baby right now is a beautiful thing, arguably worthy of celebrating. Most of us can accept that we can’t be astronauts, time travelers, or monster truck drivers and we’ll freely admit this to ourselves, but why is it so tough to admit when we know we can’t be good parents? What I’m proposing is a series of commercials for Plan B that are intended to show the non-sitcom-y, harsh, disgusting-at-times realities of being a parent. With raised awareness, Plan B can further financially prosper and more Americans can take those quick easy steps to prevent several lives from being ruined. It’ll all be worth it in the end—even if just one unwanted baby isn’t born.
INT. GROCERY STORE – LATE MORNING
A ten-year-old boy rolls around on the floor of a shopping aisle, cereal box in hand, kicking and screaming in a Chernobyl-esque meltdown of a tantrum. A father stands over the child, frozen in confusion-based shame while other shoppers have gathered to gawk at the situation. A determined, gritted look appears on the boy’s face followed by a low grunt and a sickening splatter. The father covers his eyes in repulsion, knowing he’s powerless against the “Code Brown Tactic.” The father abandons the cart full of groceries and drags his son, sloshing sweatpants and all, out of the store while the realization sets in that his afternoon will now be spent doing an emotionally-scarring hose down and burning that pair of pants and underwear.
The scene fades to black, the corporate logo appears, and a soothing voice informs, “Remember, there was always Plan B.”
INT. HOSPITAL DELIVERY ROOM – LATE NIGHT
A woman in her twenties writhes in pain on the delivery table. Doctors and nurses frantically run in and out of the room hooking up various IVs and barking orders while wiping blood and tears from various orifices of the lady. Machines beep sporadically, lights flash, the woman’s fingers clench the sheets to the point of losing circulation. She let’s out a deafening wail that momentarily halts everyone in the room’s actions with the exception of the father. He’s curled up in the fetal position and rocking back and forth in the corner of the room, humming, breathing in and out of a paper bag, and scratching himself like a recovering addict.
The scene fades, the Plan B logo appears, and a comforting voice of an old sage repots, “It could have been out of you the next day virtually pain-free.”
INT. EVENING – HOME OFFICE
A man in his mid-fifties sits in front of a desktop computer. He leafs through a magazine with pictures of sailboats on the cover before picking up an envelope with official-looking university insignia on it. After opening it, his skims the contents noticing “academic probation,” “University Judiciary Committee,” and “$15,235 owed” appearing within the letter. With a heavy sigh and a dismayed shake of his head, he grabs the sailboat magazine and hurls it across the room, shattering a framed senior picture of his son, before reaching into his bottom desk drawer to retrieve a near-empty bottle of whiskey.
The scene fades, the iconic logo appears, and a relaxed, rugged voice justifies, “It’s less expensive than fathering a failure.”
INT. MINIVAN – AFTERNOON
Two grade-school aged children bicker in indiscernible English in the backseat while two parents loudly squabble, both trying to talk over the other one, in the front seats. The family dog wanders around the floor, oblivious to the furious anger storm brewing around him. Suddenly, the smaller child starts aggressively barfing all over his clothes, the seat, the open picnic basket, and the dog. The volume of voices increase, but the clarity doesn’t—it’s just becomes the unmistakable cacophony of children crying, a dog licking vomit, and permanent grudges being formed.
The scene fades to black, the Plan B logo appears, and a calming, serene voice states, “You could have been napping right now.”
In a perfect world, Plan B will love all these ideas and you’ll all get to see the finished product of each one airing during next year’s Super Bowl or Puppy Bowl.