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IS THAT EGG ON YOUR FACE?
< prev next >
CAST: steve, jeff, gnc (General Nutrition Center) representative
SETTING:   Country Music Marathon Expo in Nashville, TN
SCENE: after registering for the race, jeff and steve are passing several of the product display booths when they are approached by the rep working the GNC booth.

GNC GIRL
You guys have got to try this waterÖ

STEVE (after taking a drink)
What's so special about this water?

GNC GIRL
Well, it's fortified with oxygenÖabout 100 times more than regular distilled water.

STEVE
So, how does that do anything for me

GNC GIRL (rolling her eyes)
Well, you've got to have oxygen in order to live.

STEVE
I'm fully aware of that fact, ma'am, but the question I have for you is how does ingesting water affect the amount of oxygen in my blood?

GNC GIRL
I'll show you.

(She reaches under the counter and retrieves a pulse-oximeter, a device used in hospitals to assess the amount of oxygen saturated in the blood, and places the probe on Jeff's finger)

JEFF (after a few seconds)
So, am I OK?

GNC GIRL
I'm afraid not, sir. Your oxygen content is dangerously low.

(She proceeds to reveal the numeric display on the pulse-oximeter that reads 93%)

STEVE (annoyed)
You've got to be kidding me!

GNC GIRL
That is what the machine says, sir.

STEVE
Doctor.

GNC GIRL
You're a doctor?

STEVE
I most certainly am and I cannot believe that you have just told my well-conditioned friend that he has a dangerously low oxygen saturation when, in fact, that value is absolutely normal. You see, ma'am, the pulse-oximeter that you have just employed actually measures waveforms of light. When hemoglobin in blood binds to oxygen, it changes its chemical conformation and absorbs light at a different wavelength. The pulse-oximeter predominantly recognizes oxygen-bound hemoglobin and interprets it as a certain numeric value. As with any laboratory assay, by no means is this method flawless. Therefore, we consider any value from 90 to 100% as normal.

(a crowd has started to gather)

As far as your product goes, I do believe your "scientists" should read a little more about physiology. Gas exchange, as that would occur when you exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide, takes place primarily in the lung through breathing. Since its sole function is that of absorption of food and not gas, any amount of oxygen that is absorbed in the gut is negligible at best. Any claims to the contrary are absolutely absurd. So, what you are actually doing is marketing a questionable product to a population of "health conscious" and impressionable people using a device and lab values for which you clearly have no understanding. For all intents and purposes, you are nothing more than a modern day Snake-oil Salesman.

GNC GIRL (after a slight pause)
Um, doctor. You have some chocolate smeared on your face.

(she motions to the right side of her face directing steve's attention to the remnants of a powerbar he had about ten minutes earlier)

STEVE
Over here?

(Embarrassed, he wipes the right side of his face) Thank you.

(steve turns and heads for the exit. Jeff follows and the crowd disperses.)

JEFF
Dude, you were on a roll there for a while but you kind of lost your credibility at the end.

STEVE
I know, dude. I know.


IS THAT EGG ON YOUR FACE?
< prev next >


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