There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Buy one get one free! Open a checking account get a free toaster! Free! Free stuff! Come on down and get your free crap! I hate stuff, but that is another rant I’m sure you will be seeing soon, especially now that school has started and they’re already stuffing the aisles with toys. Today I’m going to limit it to “free stuff”.I think that every  high school economics class explored the concept that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It may not cost you a single red cent but it will cost you in some other resource like time or gas. It appears however that I’m in a minority of people who actually remember this lesson.

Everyone clamours to tables at street fairs for free stuff, as if we need more pencils, pens, notepads and plastic cups with the local ambulance chasers contact information. I have to wonder how much business these things really drum up. “Marge, that dang Fred done runned over our mailbox again, I’m suing him this time go find me that plastic cup we got at the Fall Festival last September!!” But to get that cup you had to go to the fair and fight through the crowds of other people trying to get the cups before they’re all gone. To me fighting off a hairy guy in a guinea tee and a stroller covered in free balloons to politely pretend I’m interested in what the guy on the cup has to say before I can even feel human about taking it is really not worth it. But it works! People are always drawn in with free stuff.

I also have a hard time with the free coupons. I can’t go through a drive thru and say ” I have a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A Sandwich, that’s all I want, I will choke it down without a drop of liquid” Of course I’m going to get a drink, not only because the sandwich will make me thirsty but because I know that’s what’s expected of me. If you are stingy and gutsy enough to just get the free sandwich I applaud you.

 People go nutty for free samples. The internet is teeming with websites devoted to offers for free stuff.  “Wooo Target is offering yet another make-up bag full of samples, sign me up and send it on!” What you’re really saying is something more like: “Heck yea put me on your mailing list, kill a couple hundred trees and stuff my mailbox with more offers I don’t need like a glutton on Thanksgiving so I can get another make up bag to throw in the linen closet and a sample of wrinkle cream so small I couldn’t treat a crows toe-nail let alone a whole foot!!”

I love when banks offer things like coolers when you sign up for a loan, because you’ll be taking so many vacations while trying to pay it back don’t ya know. But my all time favorite “free thing” is the free blood drive t-shirt. Give blood, get a free t-shirt. A PINT OF BLOOD for a Hanes Heavyweight. Why don’t you save your blood and go ahead and take a shirt you already own to Goodwill.

While I’d like to think I’m above all this free stuff greed and craziness it’s not that I’m more evolved than others; I’m just lazier. I realize that in the end it will cost me something, the time to listen to someones spiel or the time and energy of recycling all that junk mail. My time is worth more than free stuff.

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