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My wife is a Placebo Responder

This stuff always hits hardest when there’s a family member involved. My wife, the love of my life and devoted mother to my children, is a Placebo Responder.

This stuff always hits hardest when there's a family member involved. My wife, the love of my life and devoted mother to my children, is a Placebo Responder.

There. I've said it. Obviously, my first feelings were ones of shock, shame and disbelief. And, yes, it does feel a bit better now I've got it off my chest. But it still hurts. Deeply.

A mate of mine appeared on that "Prof Regan's Medicine Cabinet" TV show so we felt honour bound to have the telly switched on in the corner while we finished supper. She was the boffin that caused the rumpus about anti-wrinkle creams a couple of years back so Beloved was paying more attention than I.

Halfway through the show they ran an "experiment" where they gave doses of expensive brand name painkillers to rugby players and then did the "hand in the ice bucket – really bloody good fun, yah.." thing. Then they gave the rugger-buggers exactly the same pills, told them they were generic unbranded tablets and repeated the process.

OK, the "trial" might have had more holes than a Lord Darzi dartboard but it did suggest that the flashy packed meds worked better than the plain white versions. And, obviously as the pills were in fact identical, any difference was pure placebo.

The flankers, hookers and fly-halves all looked amazed at the revelation that they'd been duped. I'm assuming that they all resolved not to waste any more precious beer money on brand name painkillers next time they limped off the pitch.

But Mrs C, cool as you like, just piped up with, "Yes. They really do work better. That's why I always buy Nurofen for me and the children."

Then as a final twist of the knife she added, "You get the Morrisons' own brand stuff." Because I'm worth it, obviously.

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