Spit Sells

In 2010, I participated in a UCLA study called Y2K. Don’t ask me why it was called that and hadn’t started until ten years later, I didn’t go to college so it must be stuff that smarter people understand.

The study consisted of ten hours of tests to amass data on the brain, cognitive thinking and reaction times. I finished the tests in seven hours and still got paid for ten. Take that, high school guidance counselor who thought that my wanting to be a magician was a waste of my math skills!

Two years later I received a follow up email that offered some more tests, this time just online from the convenience of your home, in exchange for a $15 Amazon gift card. I liked the cash better but I also like books, it was quick and easy and I read Nick Hornsby’s A Long Way Down. If you like my blog and haven’t read any of his novels, you should. My fellow writer’s group writers compared me to him and I was infinitely flattered.

Then there was another email about a few more tests, a little bit longer, and you got a $30 Amazon gift card. But you had to send in a sample of your saliva for some kind of genetic study.

So the package arrived. A small tube with a small funnel attached that you were to spit into until you reached a certain line. Now I’m not a spitter. I can’t hock a lugie, I can only spray a bit. So it took me a good fifteen minutes to fill up to the appropriate amount; which an average guy could do in one take. Then I sealed it up and sent it on its way.

But now I’m nervous. What if they’re able to tell all my shortcomings from my saliva and the difficulty I have with spitting. What if they know I still drool on my pillow? What if they know that I’m afraid of girls with too many tattoos? What if they discover that I cheated on my DMV test?

Oh well, the books are here. Perhaps Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will calm my fears.

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