How Toxic Are You? Or, why you shouldn’t accept flyers on the street
I work in a building in the center of the city in which I live. In fact, to make it easier for verbose people like me, the part of the city in which I work is known to many as “center city.”
In this place called center city, my building’s corner is like the red light district for marketers. This past spring, it seemed like every day I came into work with a bag of free goodies that they were handing out on the street. Free stuff is always awesome. I got caffeinated water, Red Bulls, cereal, M&M ice cream. Actually, scratch that. Free stuff is usually awesome. Two weeks ago, they were handing out free samples of cat food. Cat food? Seriously? That took it one step too far.
Earlier this week, I walked to work and on my corner there was a dude handing out pieces of paper. The first thing that popped into my mind was the Mitch Hedberg joke: “Whenever I walk, people try to hand me out flyers. And when someone tries to hand me out a flyer, it’s kinda like they’re saying, ‘Here—you throw this away.’”
But…in marketing land a piece of paper isn’t just a piece of paper…it’s a coupon for 10 Quiznos or a free full body massage. Naturally, I dismissed Mitch’s advice and held out my hand reminding myself of the rule of thumb: free stuff is usually awesome.
Here is what I received:
May as well take the test, I thought to myself, despite a little voice in my head that sounded a lot like Brittany Spears singing “don’t you know that you’re toxic.” Who cares what I know or think I know? This test handed to me by some random on the street will tell me definitively if I’m toxic. Plus, maybe if I flip over the piece of paper, I’ll find out that I can mail it in, postage already paid, for a free iPod or something.
3) No comment
10) Um, not really…. N (finally!)
Boy, that kinda sucked. Only one response indicating that I may be a healthy person. At least I didn’t completely fail….hopefully this doesn’t mean I’m ineligible for my free iPod…
I flipped over the piece of paper. To my dismay, I saw this:
Are you kidding? In freebie heaven, L. Ron is trying to scam me for $40? I totally should’ve listened to Mitch Hedberg from the get-go.
All in all, I learned a very important lesson. I’m only taking hand outs from people dressed in Styrofoam costumes from now on. Even if they’re handing out cat food.