So I attended some research in Dallas last week for work. We flew in Wednesday night in time for supper and margaritas, and crashed for the night. Thursday was an ENTIRE day of focus groups – in 2 hour increments. Each group was a different “Stage of Mom”. For example, the first group was all Prenatal Moms (women pregnant with their first baby). We set up camp in the viewing room – where we were brought lunch, dinner, snacks — no leaving the room. Until 10pm! Long day. Very informative research, but very exhausting few days.
The real excitement of the week started on Wednesday night at dinner — when I started running my mouth about the Gallon of Milk Challenge. Our P&G Business Team Leader (who also attended the research) - Keith – has done this. Successfully. With whole milk. For those of you not familiar with the Challenge — the idea is to drink a gallon of milk in 1 hour, without the milk being “rejected” from your body. According to various reliable internet sources – this is nearly impossible. Keith has done it. So he starts giving me the “it’s harder than it looks” speech to which I continue to sass him about how I know I can do it, blah blah. He writes me off as a crazy person and we continue with dinner.
So Thursday in the viewing room there’s all kinds of snacks and crackers and what not. Mick (my client – who’s in cahoots with Keith) scoots a foot-tall canister of Peanut M&Ms over to me during one of the groups and whispers “15 minutes”. I tell him I can do it in less than that — and don’t want to embarrass him. I look over later and the M&Ms are half gone — so that bet is out. Later in the day, he scoots a jar of Reeses Peanut Butter cups to me and says “3 minutes”. I’m in on this one. He starts laughing and has me count them. 21 Reeses Peanut Butter cups. In 3 minutes. That’s the bet. He gets the whole group into it. During a break – we document who is in for what amount — who is backing me and who is on Mick and Keith’s side. They agree that I, as the Prize Fighter, should get paid regardless. So the bet is on. Mick and Keith keep telling me that it is a physical impossibility and that they don’t want me to get sick on the business trip, yada yada. They also throw in a rule – AFTER I agreed to do it. Nothing to drink. Fine. Bring it.
So Friday morning we had one more group then a debrief. We had ordered lunch – and it would be here any minute. Everyone agrees this is the time for the showdown. So the leader of the research, Bob — unwraps all of the Reeses and brings them to me on a silver platter. Everyone on my side is cheering and telling me that it’s a piece of cake — while Mick and Keith are nervously pacing the room like they’re about to see someone either puke everywhere or go into diabetic shock.
So the timer starts and I start eating. And wouldn’t you know – it’s a LOT harder than it looks. Time is ticking and my throat is filling up with this dry yet oily peanutty substance and I can’t drink anything but I’m sure not about to give up after all the smack I’ve talked over the past day or two. About halfway through, I’m thinking this has got to be the most disgusting feeling there is. The hard part is not the chewing or the sugar — it’s the swallowing. It is almost impossible to physically swallow that much candy and peanut butter and crap — but I did it. They started counting down the last 10 seconds and all I had to do at that point was swallow everything — and I did it. When it was over I stuck out my tongue at them to prove that I did it and everyone cheered. Mick and Keith came over and shook my hand as they muttered under their breaths that they can’t believe they just saw that. It was awesome.
The lunch I had ordered was Sushi – which I clearly couldn’t eat. I drank a lot of water and swallowed every few seconds through the rest of the debrief. I had sugar shock for the next 20 minutes or so then crashed. I don’t remember a single minute of the flight home – I was out. And by the time we got home — 8 hours or so later — the oily peanut butter taste was beginning to fade from my throat.
I challenge any of you out there who think “that it can’t be that hard” — try it. I was a nay-sayer, too.
I’m ready for the gallon of milk.