Saturday, August 26, 2006

How Expensive is $7.94 Tylenol?

It isn't. That's a trick question. In reality, $7.94 is dirt freakin' cheap.

What am I talking about? Our daughter has been sick for about nine days now. Up until this bout with the Illness of the Month, she's never been a Medicine Fighter — meaning that she'd take whatever medicine necessary without much more than an "Umm ... okay, Daddy. Then can I watch The Incredibles?"

All that changed last night. Bedtime came, and little Jess — her snotty nose and sore throat undoubtedly in high gear — became a demon on a rampage when it came time to take her medicine. After much chasing and scolding, physical restraint became necessary. Mommy and Daddy became a wrestling tag team. Cute little Jess alternated between kicking and screaming, and going boneless. It wasn't pretty. Not at all.

You parents out there probably understand. You never saw it in the contract, of course. But such kid-rearing agony and consternation is simply Part of the Deal.

Repeat the scene this morning. More wrestling, more screaming, more going boneless.

So when it came time this afternoon to make the trip to Wal-Mart for kid's med refills, I was thinking about not much more than how awful it was certainly going to be to administer the stuff (again). As I reached to pick up a new package of Children's Tylenol Meltaways (bubble gum flavor; cost of $3.33), my cell phone rang. It was The Wife.

"Tylenol has something new out," she told me. "You should look for it. It's called 'Flavor Maker' or something."

For once, The Wife had rattled off a shopping-list add-on that was right in front of me. The odds of that happening again are . . . well, it won't. It's the law.

"I see it," I told her. "Wow. The stuff is almost eight dollars. It's just Tylenol, right? That's insane."

"Are you sure?" was her response. "You know how she likes picking her own flavors and stuff. She might not object to taking that."

"I dunno. Maybe. I'll think about it."

And that was that — for purposes of the phone call, at least. Against my better Spending Conscience, I went ahead and picked up a $7.94 box of Tylenol With Flavor Creator.

I bet the pharmacy cashier really wondered why I was shaking my head like that at the checkout.

She probably thought it was the $53 bottle of prescription medicine that was bugging me.

Dirt Freakin' Cheap
You know how this plays out, of course. The Kid was intrigued by the idea of "making her own medicine," and choosing the Flavor Burst Crystals that would top it off.

She tested the flavor with just her tongue, at first. Again, for you unlearned types, this is What Kids Do. They taste just enough molecules of a suspicious substance to verify that we aren't once again trying to poison them with horrible toxins like, say, green beans. And cooked tomatoes. And Zyrtec.

The tongue test went off favorably. She imbibed the rest of the magical Tylenol solution in a heartbeat. She even tipped the little kiddie-lid up so she could get every last drop.

At that moment, my $7.94 (plus tax) went from dubious expense to world-class investment.

The Point of Price
I live in Oklahoma, where truckers, farmers, and state senators pay big bucks to get into nasty, foul-mouthed, hateful wrestling events. I'd just paid $7.94 to get out of one. And had questioned my own sanity for doing so.

This is a point with "price vs. product" that I'm often guilty of missing, and maybe some of you are, too:

Price can look really, really exorbitant at first glance. But if the product actually does something of exceptional value, you don't much care what the bill was. The product paid off.

Anybody else have an experience like this? You bought something that seemed Stupid Expensive at first ... then discovered it was worth every penny, and then some?

Bonus Kid-Rearing Snippet
For those of you without kids (yet), here's a small taste of the conversation goodness you'll get when your 4yo daughter decides to answer something honestly. Overheard from my living room this evening...

Mommy: "Jessica, since you're not feeling well, tomorrow I'm going to fix something that you really like to eat. What's your idea of comfort food?"

Jessica: "Salt."

— Posted by Michael @ 10:13 PM


I'd say that was pretty darned cheap too. I remember being wrestled down to the floor when I was about 3 or 4 and being force fed Contact dissolved in water. Awful stuff. Good choice on letting her pick her own medicine.



What's Contact? Is that a medicine I was lucky enough to have missed in my kid-dom?


Michael, it's the stuff here:


Friggin hilarious. Can totally relate. 2 kids-same age-same challenges


$9 for 1oz of infant Sudafed at CVS at 1am. Thanks to the meth addicts, can't buy it most places, and can't buy enough to keep it around, but when the cold kicks in, it's worth every penny.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 12:33 AM, March 29, 2007  
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Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
— Dave Ramsey


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