Thursday, June 14, 2012

Send Check and Get Free Hat

Am I ever going to learn that nothing comes FREE?

Hubby picked out, and bought for me, a snazzy new fishing pole.  A closed reel is my preference cuz it's easier for me to cast.  The rod and reel combo he picked out for me is designed for catching small pan fish.  Naturally there has to be one of his lopsided jokes hooked to this story, but we'll keep that in-house for now.

Anyway, when I spotted the tag shaped like a red ball cap attached to the pole, my heart jumped.  "FREE HAT."  Yowza.

We ran it through the checkout, went out to the car, read the instructions how to redeem my cap, and that's when the cuss words came flying out of my mouth.

How to redeem your free cap:

1.  Go to website and print out a form.
2.  Include original, dated store receipt (non-returnable) with the price you paid circled.
3.  Include the UPC bar code from the rod/reel combo as proof of purchase.
4.  Include a check or money order for $5.95 made out to ******* to cover shipping and handling.
5.  Mail.
6.  Wait 8 weeks for delivery.  (That's two frickin' months.)

They expect me to write out a check to get something free?  Nah, I don't think so.  I'm surprised they didn't want my fingerprints and blood type, too.

This misleading hoopla bugs me because I remember a time when things actually did come to us free, tucked in with the products we bought.

Back in the 1950s, when mom bought oatmeal, there would be a cup, saucer, or other dish packed right in with the oatmeal.  Interestingly, when sorting through my attic collectibles these last weeks, I found some of those green glasses and saucers.  Talk about the past coming back to visit.

Breeze packed a free Canon face cloth in boxes of detergent.

Flour came in colorful cloth sacks, which housewives used for pillow cases.

Duzz Detergent came with free stemware tucked inside.

Wheaties cereal gave away free cobalt blue Shirley Temple bowls, pitchers, and cups.  We found a couple pieces of this up in our attic, as well.

Cracker Jack had one surprise after another....plastic stand-up toys, planes and boats, and tiny spinning tops.

Gas stations were known to give free glassware with an oil change, as did movie theaters with a ticket to a Saturday matinee.

So, you see, this well-known reel company doesn't really give a hoot if I wear their cap, or don't.  If they did, the cap would have been attached to my pole.  They are playing mind games with their consumers, but this chick isn't going to bite.  They can nicely catch some other sucker that comes along.