I’m at Starbucks, enjoying their newly instated, free wireless internet (’bout time) and I have just heard the fourth person this afternoon discuss 7-11’s slurpee giveaway tomorrow from 7 to 11 a.m., in honor of July 11.

This afternoon, while I was visiting a hostel in San Diego for an article I’m writing about hostels (saying that just doesn’t get old–“an article I’m writing”), a syrup-accented guest from Furt Wurth, Texas asked, in a panic, if there was a 7-11 close to the hostel. Yes? Matt, the front desk attendant told her. There’s one on Rosecrans? Whew, she said. Because tomorrow is free slur-pee day.

Just a moment ago, the cashier at a Starbucks in Del Mar reminded me of free slurpee day after I had inquired about their free wi-fi. Now, I am painfully aware of how elitist this makes me sound, and I don’t mean to be rude, but… Lady. We are in Del Mar, Calif. I just ordered a double-tall soy latte. How many of your customers do you really think are planning to partake in this slurpee bonanza; are planning their Sundays around 32 ounces of sugar and ice?

I admit. I have planned days around free things. In college, I almost wrapped myself entirely in tin foil to get a free Chipotle burrito but, alas, the only store in biking distance had run out of tin foil. The thing about free food–and free things generally, which I am most certainly a fan of–is that they are only good and fun when the free thing is something you would have paid for anyway. Say, a free chocolate chip cookie. Or a free pair of extra-long jeans (which doesn’t happen, but sometimes they are deeply discounted, and it doesn’t get better than that–half-off what you would have paid full price for). In the food realm, I’ve recently decided that, though I am not made of money, it is generally good practice not to eat something for free that I wouldn’t consider worthy to pay for in the first place. Though, I don’t mind paying for Chipotle burritos, because they are delicious, so that particular anecdote does not my point prove.

Bravo to you, folks at 7-11, and to all you people who give things away for free–splendid marketing.

What’s that saying? There’s no such thing as a free slurpee?


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