NASHVILLE, TN- A consortium of economists affiliated with the American Economic Association have published findings this week asserting that while the best things in life are free, it would seem that the worst things in life are often without cost as well.

“It was a shockingly simple idea,” stated Tyler Tamburino, University of Chicago professor and head of the consortium. “We started thinking about it at the beginning of last year, when [Professor] Tom [Church] realized he didn’t have to pay anything to get kidney stones. He came into my office, shut the door and said, ‘Tyler, I’m onto something.'”

The study found that while many of life’s best gifts, such as the sound of birds chirping as one wakes, a soft breeze on the face, or the gift of a child’s laughter are certainly free, so too are hernias, earthquakes, and Songs of Innocence. “We found that some of the worst things in life can lead to large costs, such as a tornado or particularly messy divorce,” Tamburibo conceded, with a knowing twinkle in his eye. “But, it’s certainly rare for one to forfeit something of monetary value to, say, be attacked by a rabid pack of weasels in a forest, or to be woken from a great nap because their arm has that pins and needles feeling.”

While Tamburino adamantly stressed that this is only a preliminary finding, he also reports that he can’t help but feel a sense of excitement, and noted that “at least I won’t have to pay for the paper to be rejected from any prominent journals.”

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