I Participated in a Medical Trial So You Wouldn’t Have To

By: Ernie Tremper

Journalistic integrity. Seeking the truth, no matter the obstacles. The unimpeachable autonomy of the press. Phrases like this tumbled around in my mind while I drove to the building where I was about to have my first ever medical trial.

And anyway, I told myself, it’s all in the name of science. Journalism and science. That sounds like a rockin’ combo to me.

I had the radio set to my favorite 80’s station, WDOG, hoping it might calm my nerves. But Jimmy Buffett and his classic tune “I’m Getting a Blowjob (in Martinique)” just weren’t doing the trick. Finally, I pulled up to the address I’d been given, and was shocked by what I saw. Paint chipping off the façade. Windows boarded up. Giant graffito of a single lonesome tit, softly lactating, on the front wall. Weeds were peeking out through cracks in the pavement all over the parking lot. Save for my car, it was completely empty. Was I the only participant in this trial?

As I was opening the door to the building, I thought to myself, Nothing that I could possibly see right now could make me feel worse about this whole experience. How wrong I was!

Stepping into the waiting area, I nearly bumped right into a homeless! It was an obvious homeless, too! He had on dirty jeans and a kind of army jacket. His beard was all scraggly and gray, with orange stains. I was horrified! What was he doing here? Had he wandered in looking for a place for his urine? Would he be thrown out soon? Anxiously, I awaited his expulsion.

He walked up to the front desk, where I was sure he’d be met with the kind of fury good home-owning people reserve for the intruding homeless.Imagine my horror when he received no comeuppance! On the contrary, he was rewarded with a piece of paper, on which he was instructed to write down his disgusting name and personal information! Who wants to know such trash?

Reeling from the shock, I ran out of the building, back into the safety of my car. I flipped the radio back on. Oh, sweet WDOG, give me solace in this terrible time. My prayers were answered, because at that moment I heard the lilting strains of Prince’s hit “Let’s Dry-Hump (in Minnesota).”

I sped home. Screw that, I thought to myself. I can conduct medical experiments on myself in the comfort of my own home. (Thus ends part one of my medical trial adventure. Stay tuned for part two, when this spoon finally heats up and I can get these 800 mg of heroin into an injectable form.)