Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Cold…Hard…Cash



I got a call last night from a friend who gave my number to a guy from a focus group and he would be calling in about five minutes. I know, I thought the same thing “What a BITCH!” Normally that would be the last time I ever talked to her, but she did mention that there is a monetary compensation which I am not adverse to at all. Other than this, she has been a goodish friend and I have decided to give her one last chance.

It turns out that they wanted men between the ages of 59 and 64 for their focus group, and I fit in quite nicely. He asked if I had a problem with voicing an opinion in front of people. I held the phone in front of me looking at it as if the guy on the other line was nuts. "So, you are wondering if man aged 59 to 64 have strong opinions , I think that would be a gimme." 
The topic was over the counter cold medications with an emphasis on Cold FX. I told the guy that I don’t really take many over the counter drugs but I would be willing to participate. He asked if I had ever taken Tylenol, Benylin, Buckley’s, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Neo-Citran and of course Cold FX. I told him that sure I have taken all of those, and then he said “So you have taken every over the counter medication I mentioned, but you say that you don’t take them?”

“Uhhh..yeah. I guess I am a good candidate for the focus group.” He agreed and told me when and where to go.

That was last night, so tonight my friend (I’m still talking to her) called and said she was going as well and if possible she would like a ride. Sure, why not? Then she told me that when we get there we need to go in separately and not talk to each other, look at each other and if possible not to seem to like each other. No problem, I don’t like you very much anyways. We parked the car a block down the street (just in case they were looking out the window) and went into the building separately. Very cloak and dagger like. When I was shown into the waiting room I gave a non committal nod and started to read the paper. Others came in and I talked with them but not Ollie. It was the perfect crime and we played our parts very well. Well, I did. Ollie kind of stage whispered to me at one point and since I didn’t really hear what she said I just nodded and smiled.

When everyone got there, all eight of us were shown into a room and sat around a table. The facilitator introduced himself and had us do the same. Then he talked in general about what we were going to do and we started to do it. It seems that most of the people around the table were very concerned about whether the medication was natural or not. I said I didn’t care how many chemicals were in it, just so long as it worked. I told them I was an old hippie and had no qualms about over medicating and in fact whenever I did get sick too many drugs were the right amount.

There was a point when he brought out a box of different medications and dumped them on the table. I had no idea there was so much stuff in the market place that did virtually the same thing. Live and learn I suppose. There was a woman there that knew all of the different cold medications and if there were such a thing as a connoisseur of cold medications, she was it. One of the other guys just reached into the cabinet and used whatever his wife had in there. One guy was a little slow I think, but pretty good natured. I imagine he is just writing the same thing in his blog about me.

It was a different way to spend the evening, I will do it again if I am asked, and I walked out of there with $80 in cold…hard…cash!  

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