I am officially done with advertisements that say “Free,” but that are not. Free is a very specific word. It means something that costs nothing. Free should not have any words following it to explain what you have to do or pay to make the product/service cost nothing. I am going to send letters to my representatives to try and get the following “free” items taken care of.

Free! (plus shipping and handling and processing and service charge)
This type of free is big on television. You buy one item and you get a second free. Free as long as you pay for shipping and processing, which I assume are jacked up high enough to actually pay for the second item tenfold.

Free Attachments! (plus shipping and handling and processing and more service charges)
This is very similar to the first Free except that during the commercial, they show you the original item and then they demonstrate how it works using several attachments. Those attachments are Free… as long as you pay S&H&P&HJery)

Free 30 Day Supply! (With purchase of 90 Day supply)
There have been several commercials on television and radio that suggest you can get a free 30 day supply of diet or sexual enhancement drugs. That’s great, except that you have to buy a 90 day supply to get the 30 day supply free. And pay shipping. I assume the ingredients in the pills of both varieties are the exactly the same. If a manufacturer wants to send you some free pills then they should be free with no strings attached. Not that I need sexual enhancement drugs. And I would need way more than a 30 day supply of diet pills.

Screw you asterisk. No matter what you say or how you politely suggest... you mean that free isn't. I hate you, asterisk.

Buy one Get on Free!
I do the shopping in the HolyJuan household. We have a collection of about 30 meals that we rotate through. On the nights that Miss Sally wants to have linguini with alfredo, I make myself chicken wings as alfredo make me nauseous. So I watch with a keen eye as the prices of 64oz of frozen chicken wings goes up and down. They usually float between $6.99 and $7.99 for 64 ounces. Then every so often, my local store jacks up the price to $12.50 and does a BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. That’s crap! If the gasoline companies fluctuated their prices like this, the pitchfork and torch people would be rolling in stacks of money. With this mentality, every thing is buy one – get one free if you pay 2x for the first item.

Free shipping and handling
Bullshit. All that cost is rolled into the final price.

Free checking
OK… it might be free, but don’t overdraw your account or you’ll be paying for everyone else’s free checking. Oh, and it really isn’t free because your money is being used by the bank for other purposes. Everyone looks the other way so that you can continue to get free checking. You can get an interest bearing checking account, but the people that can afford to put that much money in their checking account can afford to pay for checking anyways.

Free (but we sign you up for a membership that sends you overpriced shit your don't want or need)
I watched a "Girls Gone Wild" commercially very intently, rewinding and rewatching to ensure I had all the details correct. As it turns out, you actually have to pay for the videos. So I zipped up and turned the channel until I got to the "Free Software" commercial. In this one, they suggest that you can get a video of your choice for free... but you have to give your credit card number and agree to buy a new video every month. If you are getting something for free and giving up a credit card number, you deserve what you get.

Free Hand Jobs
This one is completely false and I ended up having to pay $15. And the dude couldn’t make change for a $20.

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