My Fellow Inebriates,
Our next-door neighbor has a sign on his lawn that reads:
along with some gardening implements and…a chainsaw.
Amazingly, since yesterday the free hoe and spade have disappeared, but the free chainsaw remains.
This is astonishing given how many tween- and teenaged boys walk this road to and from school. What one of them wouldn’t want his own chainsaw? Especially without having to undergo the red tape involved in requesting such a tool from one’s parents.
That the chainsaw is a hedge trimmer shouldn’t limit its appeal. Are potential miscreants concerned, perhaps, that it’s broken and not worth the hassle? Or is our neighborhood gentler than I thought?
I don’t want a chainsaw—OMG, can you imagine?—but when one is lying at the foot of a grass-mounted sign that says “FREE,” the urge to take it is strong. Researchers have demonstrated that people will avail themselves of free things even if they have absolutely no use for them. In a famous study, people were invited to take “free rocks” from a sidewalk stall, and many of them did just that. Because they were free.
This is exactly why I had a COORS LIGHT the other day. It was free. Somebody said, “Hey, do you want a beer? Sorry, it’s COORS LIGHT.” And of course I said yes.
Straw-yellow and blandly corn-flavored with frothy foam, its aroma wafted a veritable periodic table of unwanted metals. Cold temperatures are indeed a friend to COORS LIGHT; while cold it is mercifully flavorless, but as its temperature increases, so does its ability to deposit lingering, unwelcome aftertastes.
But I’m being a douchebag here. COORS LIGHT has no pretensions of “sessionability” or even quaffability. It’s a straight hockey beer and fully capable of delivering refreshment after you’ve, say, trimmed the hedge, cursed your crappy hedge trimmer and resolved to buy a new one, then left it on your lawn with an open invitation for anyone, including neighborhood children, to take it home.