Snatch and Grab…Why not, it’s free!

The fluoro coloured promoter shoves the bottle in your face! It’s bright, with a flashy title like ‘Koji Water” that jumps out from the ergonomic, environmentally friendly, space aged container. (Which when you look closely is just a great way to hide the fact that it only holds 50ml of liquid.)

“Would you like a free sample, its 100% organic,” the uni student, looking for some quick cash, cries out in her high pitched voice. Hell, you think to yourself, why not, it’s free. I’ll take one. I might even go back for another. Or do you walk on by?

I’ve had this debate with my better half for a while now. I think it goes back to a time long past, a simpler time, when I was a wee lad, travelling to the Melbourne Show with my mother, entering the food hall where hundreds of stalls line the floor, trying to elicit a purchase by offering a sample. “A free sample!” I think to myself. “I better make the most of this.”

I’m a sucker, I have to say. When I walk through the city and there is a stall or a bunch of promoters handing out samples of the latest ‘must have’ product, I always make sure my path veers towards them. If it’s something I can eat I will probably go back. If in going back I can take more than one sample, I definitely will. (It’s for my friend over there, that’s right, the old lady who is scowling at me as though I am about to steal her handbag.) In doing this I believe I have often embarrassed my wife.

“Oh look free sample,” I say, already grabbing her hand and heading for the girl handing out fabric softener. I feel the resistance in my wife’s steps, the look on her face which is bordering on manic. I just don’t seem to understand why she doesn’t want her clothes to be silky smooth for free!

But we aren’t all the same. There are those of us, who like me, love to take advantage of the monetary windfall that is a free packet of eggplant crisps (Fried in 100% Sunflower oil from the sundrenched shores of Swaziland). There are others who feel embarrassed to take the free goods. They have done nothing to earn that free crisp. I guess the crisps could go to better use, to people who so desperately need those delicious eggplant delights. Will I understand this frame of mind? Maybe one day I will, until then there are more crisps for me!

The good news is that we seem to have come to an understanding. I won’t force her to take a free sample if she doesn’t feel comfortable doing it. And in return I’ll drink her free sample of ‘Koji Water’.


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