A few days ago, I got a telemarketing call. Unlike most people, I don’t absolutely despise telemarketers. As long as the same company doesn’t call me fifteen times in the same week, I am okay with telemarketing calls. I mean, how else am I going to find the best phone rates and whatnot? I don’t have the time to research those things on my own.
Anyway, the point is that I let a telemarketer get out a few sentences before I hang up on them. This time, it was survey. Do I read any of these magazines and then the telemarketer rattled off a list. Most were the “I hate myself so I read this magazine so I can hate myself” kind. I don’t read those. But one was Better Homes & Gardens. That one I read. To my knowledge, BH&G has never told me to lose weight or that my clothes are terribly out of fashion.
So the telemarketer asked if I would be willing to get a free copy in exchange for answering a few questions. Well, in addition to being a good Midwestern girl, I am also a good Scottish-American girl. Hell yes, I would like a FREE gardening magazine.
So the next day the May 2006 issue of Better Homes & Gardens was dropped off at my house via UPS. I sat down and read the magazine and then waited for the call from the marketing company.
The first few questions were what I expected. What ads did I remember, what did I like about the magazine, what did I not like about the magazine and so on. Then the telemarketer started to ask me a few questions about one ad in particular. It was a toilet paper ad.
After that, the next 20 minutes were spent deeply analyzing my reaction to this toilet paper ad and my toilet paper preferences for me and my family. I don’t think I have ever spent so much time thinking about toilet paper. Frankly, the most time I normally spend is figuring out which brand is on sale weighted against whether the paper softness (or lack thereof) is worth the price. That is a 20 second decision once every few weeks.
But, the long and short is I got my free gardening magazine. A whole $3.50 would have been spent if I had bought this at the supermarket. $3.50 in exchange for discussing my toilet paper opinions with a complete stranger. Hmm… Nope, nope… It was worth it. It was a FREE gardening magazine!
Anyway, there was a great article on keeping cut flowers fresh for longer (pg116). It had a really good table that told you exactly when the best time to cut a particular type of flower and keep the flowers fresh for longest. I recommend it. If they put in up on their website (it’s not there yet), I will link to it. Until then, you may want to take a peek at it while standing in line at the grocery store. At least you won’t have to reveal your innermost toilet paper secrets in order to read it.