Wednesday 11 July 2012

There’s No Free Lunch

We have all heard the saying “There’s no free lunch!” It dates back to the 1930’s and 40’s when saloons would offer a free lunch in order to attract customers in to their establishments. The hope was that once in the bar they would stay and spend their money on beer and liquor. It must have been a successful business strategy because people still go drinking in bars.

The same principle is at work in modern day Las Vegas. The flights and hotels are pretty cheap (relatively speaking), the food is quite reasonable and drinks are free just so long as you are gambling. I suppose the theory is that if you are drunk it is harder to win at the tables. I can be stone cold sober and I still can’t win at the tables, but I do appreciate a cheap buffet breakfast. The best I have found is the Paradise Buffet at the Freemont Hotel on Freemont street in downtown Las Vegas. Be sure to ask if you can sit in M.J.’s section, a wonderful lady that treats you very well and also visits friends in Calgary a couple of times a year.
The “No Free Lunch” doesn’t really apply in Calgary at this time of year. During Stampede, not only is there a free lunch, but there are free breakfasts of pancakes and sausages all over the city every day, BBQ’s held by corporations and drunk tents dotting the city. Every bar in the city is busy, but I seriously doubt that anything is given away. Today was Kids day at the Stampede grounds and it was expected that they would serve 20,000 breakfasts by 9:00AM. On the news this morning they were interviewing a mom and her three kids that were the first in line for the breakfast. They left their house at 4:30AM! What kind of nut fucker would get herself and the three kids up that early for two pancakes and a couple of cold sausages?
I guess there will be about 20,000 of those “nut fuckers”. It kind of makes me wonder if I am not the crazy one and they are sane. It is possible I suppose, and probably more than likely. I am just a little suspicious of free food. I don’t take samples at the Costco unless I think there is a real possibility that I will buy that particular product. Since I am …frugal, I generally don’t sample. I stay away from the pancake breakfasts unless I have someone that wants to go and then I generally will have a good time. I went with Hurricane and Tornado last year, and that was a hoot. I don’t think it will happen this year.

If you ever get a chance, everyone should take in the Stampede if they can. It is a fun time and the city kind of relaxes for ten days. Is it correct to say “relaxed” when you are drunk? So, come on down to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, one of the few places where there is definitely a free lunch. 

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