Free lunch anyone?

The other day, at work, we had a Do. In fact, we had 2. This is a perfect example of office organisation, nothing happens for months, and then you have to fit 2 parties into one evening. Typical.

Anyhoo, what suddenly hit me was the fact that wanting to go to these was not just about going out and having some fun with the work gang, we do that already on our own initiative often enough. The whole draw of these events was that they provided free food and drink. And the main thing that was annoying me about not being able to make it to the second one was that I felt I was owed that free stuff*.

Maybe it’s just me – in fact, chances are it really IS just me – but I get the feeling that at the moment the promise of free anything is enough to generate an irresistible temptation. Is this what the Recession™ (Terms and Conditions apply) does to people? In these times of terrible hardship, have we been suddenly reduced to scrimping, scavenging beasts?

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. For example, the other day, there were free cupcakes in the coffee area at work. Now I wasn’t hungry, and as you know I am now very wary of the falseness of slutty cupcakes. It was time to go home and I already had plenty of stuff to carry, having just been to a guitar lesson (I know…), but I still worked out a way to take home what is probably the most awkward foodstuff to carry, without squishing the icing. Much. Guess what? They were awful.

Take something like the Taste festival; we went to the one in Dublin this year, and it was good fun. But we spent most of our time hunting for freebees: free pens, bottle openers, keyrings and of course free food. Which we justified by having paid €15 each to get in in the first place. Still, the thrill of the free stuff was there, and judging by the hordes of gluttons descending in flocks on any fresh arrival of taster-filled trays, we weren’t the only ones.

I guess in a way, it feels a bit like you’re stickin’ it to the Man, getting some kind of payback for all the shit you have to put up with from this terrible consumer society. Yeah, let’s all rebel against the system by eating sausages on sticks! Friends, Romans, Countrymen, let us all rise up and devour the nibbles, before the nibbles devour us!

I’ll tell you something, the most fun I have had for a good while that involved free food was picking wild raspberries in a secret spot that Hubby came across on his way back from work one day. The hedgerow was absolutely packed with these gorgeous big juicy berries** and although we had to stop when we ran out of tubs, it was still full of them when we had finished. Now that is good free food.

*Ok, in this case I kind of was. I do pay for the Sports & Social membership every month dammit, ’bout time I got a free burger and a pint out of it… (rant over)
**Although if course, raspberries ain’t technically berries, they are droop sacks. Yes, I do watch too much QI.


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