Free Lunch Anyone?

Does such a thing exist? Is “lunch” ever free or does everything come with a cost?

I’ve been wondering about this in the light of people blagging free stuff. Cadging (Yorkshire colloquialism), a lift to the pub is one thing but being given a private jet to aid your impending world domination is another thing. Or is it?

If I offer someone a free physio treatment, I don’t expect financial reward. A thank you is always expected. Manners cost nothing- or do they? Hang on I’m confusing myself now!! ( I suppose in the unlikely event of me maiming or killing you that you’d feel a bit begrudged to thank me.  I for one wouldn’t be thanking the surgeon who mistakenly removed the wrong kidney. Although it’s unlikely I’d make a fuss either. You can seek verification of this from the fishmonger at Morrisons, Beverley. After being unexpectedly and violently pinned to the glass fish counter by an out of control mobility scooter, the most I could muster was a grunt  of annoyance. On reflection this possibly had more to do with my face being pressed against the glass and the horror I was feeling as I looked into the mouth of Jaws. I was later informed that this was only a salmon- but you never know with those farmed fish! I’m pretty certain that this encounter is what started my open water anxiety,  that’s another blog).

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Anyway, back to free stuff- just last week I was called by the receptionist of a local GP surgery (I’d left my shopping there an hour earlier and the fish fingers were defrosting and causing a slip hazard apparently!), she asked me if I wanted to take advantage of some free advertising in the surgery’s new glossy brochure. All I had to do was sponsor a page for £500 or half a page for £300, and I would get my free space! Amazing!

This brought back memories of university- free offers of entry into nightclubs if you would do a few hours work each Saturday for the owners other business. Frankly I didn’t ever see the problem standing in the horizontal rain holding a sign 5 times bugger than a small child atop a 9 foot pole advertising a never ending golf sale, but it wasn’t for me. Besides, I always wondered what they did when they needed the loo…..

Take food for example- fat free- an amazing nutritional advancement? Hardly- it contains 3 times as much sugar (artificial sweetener) and more preservatives than its full fat relative. So fat free but full of crap. Genius.

And what about us? What about values? Emotions? Do we really expect gains with nothing in return? when my husband asked me out on a first date I don’t think I expected anything apart from a hangover. (When he said don’t worry – “no strings” I was fairly relieved, I was happy with dinner, violins weren’t my style and I would’ve felt the same way had he told me “no brass”. Possibly slightly more ecstatic if he’d guaranteed me “no wind”, but that had nothing to do with music). Anyway he must have felt guilty about making me wash up in the kitchen restaurant after our meal, because he did then ask me on a second date which he paid for ( £20 for 100 £50 notes from a guy in the local had its benefits).

What did I give up for him? A rather annoying house mate and a tiny bit of selfishness- although there’s a fairly good stock of that left to be fair.

Even fredom itself can come at a cost- the responsibility for our actions, the burden of makin decisions.

Youll understand that what I’m alluding to is that nothing in life comes without a trade. And that’s how I frame it- we trade objects, emotions, pokemon cards and freedom. But ultimately it’s the choices we make that decide what we trade and how that effects us.

So enjoy the freebies, but don’t expect that they aren’t costing you anything. After all, you can’t have your cake and eat it.

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