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Is there such thing as a free lunch?

July 28, 2009

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, actually, there is. As long as you are prepared to look for it, you’ll find you can get a free lunch. It’s just a matter of being aware, and believing that it is possible to get a free lunch. I’ll prove it.

A couple of months ago there were coupons going around my neighbourhood for a free meat pie/sausage roll and a free muffin. They were attached to cheap petrol coupons, since the whole world is trying to buy and sell cheap petrol at the moment. You weren’t, however, required to buy petrol to get the free meat pie and muffin. No, all you had to do was walk into the shop, choose a pie or sausage roll and the muffin flavour you wanted, give the cashier your coupon, and walk out. There it was. Meat pie and muffin. A free lunch. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the most healthy lunch option, but it was still lunch. And these coupons weren’t hard to find. There were stacks of them all over Coles. You could grab 5 or 6 at a time and go get a whole bag of free muffins or pies. But, other than members of my family, no one seemed to be taking advantage of the free lunches. Now, my family really enjoys getting what we can off corporations, and are fans of the ‘bleed them dry’ approach. I regularly send off for compensation tickets for public transport, and I don’t know anyone else who does. My mother frequently complains to restaurants that give her bad service, and gets a free meal. I don’t expect everyone to be like my family, who were in there getting free muffins every day, but there was never anyone else. I’m guessing most people didn’t even know they had the chance to get free muffins. Or maybe they just didn’t care. Either way, if you don’t pursue your free lunch, you’re not going to get it.

Today I had another free lunch, which is what got me thinking about this whole thing. I was walking out of my ultra-boring maths class when I noticed this massive wok filled with fried rice, and a quickly growing line. Since, as a general rule, people don’t join massive queues just for fun, I found a spot at the back of the line, and, within seconds, was walking away with a free plate of fried rice. A very nice lunch, if I do say so myself. To be fair, there was a lot of other people crowded around, desperate for that free lunch unlike in the case of the pie and  muffin. Perhaps university students are, by their nature, more likely to chase after a free lunch.

So my point? You can get a free lunch, as long as you’re willing to keep your eyes open and look for one. Or you could just follow the uni students. They’ll lead you to the free lunch and/or booze. Free lunches are everywhere, as long as you really want them. They’re not just going to fall into your lap. Like free samples at ice-cream shops these days, you have to ask for them. Ask, and you shall receive.

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