A Conversation for There Ain't No Such Thing as a Free Lunch


Post 1


"I don't belieeeeeeeeeeve it!"
I too tackled this same topic... but hoped to prove it wrong.
Take a look at the Quest for a Free Lunch at http://www.h2g2.com/A143146 and feel free to add any ideas.


Post 2

Wand'rin star

I prefer your attitude. Have you ever walked into a dining room where there's a conference buffet??

Free? Oh yes!

Post 3


When I last got on the Llanfairefechan to Bangor bus there was a free KFC burger offer on the back of my ticket which I took in to KFC in Bangor and they gave me a burger thing. No money changed hands so it was completely free.

And before any of you smart arses say:-
"Well what about the cost of the bus ticket?"
I was getting on the bus anyway so there!!

Conclusive proof!!

Free? Oh yes!

Post 4


Where I work the boss buys pizza every thursday. He doesn't have to, but he does it anyways. The only problem I have is I work second shift, so I have to reheat it in the microwave. BUT IT'S STILL FREE!


Post 5

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

I checked out Plargarism on the Internet and found that it was a literary movement founded by the Slovenien poet and playwright Karel Plargar. The movement had as its philosophy that nothing is true - although they were later found out to by lying.

I fail to see how my illuminating little page has any collection to an obscure early 20th Century Balkan artistic movement, but I stand prepared to be enlightened.

Editorial note: The author is a member of the b'Hollucks Group, an independent collective of freelance writers of short pieces for publication on the Internet.

Free? Oh yes!

Post 6

Captain John Carter

And what does your boss get for buying the pizza. Happier harder working employees. Hence TANSTAAFL. The suggestion is that somehow, someway however indirectly, the providers of the 'free lunch' is getting something back and usually the 'diner' is usually in some, often very indirect way, paying for it.

Free? Oh yes!

Post 7

Captain John Carter

Have you ever bought anything from KFC since. Is it possible the got a little more business out of you in the long run?

Free for all.......

Post 8


Well yes actually..

I have eaten KFC since and paid for it..

And I won a raffle for a meal ofr two at a restaurant place and I didnt even pay for the ticket as I got it from a bloke at work.

Another absolutely free lunch as the resaturant is on my way home anyway so no travel costs

Free? Oh yes!

Post 9

Zathras (Unofficial Custodian of H2G2 Room 101. ACE and holder of the BBC Pens)

>free KFC burger offer

Well yes it was free to you. But KFC still had to invest some resources in producing it. As a company functioning in a capitalist environment it would seek a return on those resources. This would come from the higher prices they would charge for their products than would otherwise be the case.

i.e. advertising and promotions are paid for by someone.


Free? Oh yes!

Post 10

Jim diGriz

Yeah, the principle of tanstaafl can only be applied to a generic consumer (though it can also happen to be true for an actual individual too).

So if a restaurant offers a free meal to it's 1000th customer who was fully prepared to have to pay for the meal, then it really is free to him. However, the other 999 paying customers have had to pay marginally extra than if there was no free meal offer. The fictional 'generic' consumer is no better or worse off.

On the other hand, the restaurant owner is presumably giving away the odd free meal as a form of advertising. If it works, then his restaurant will be more fully utilised (i.e. more packed with customers) and he can use his kitchen resources more efficiently. This will lower the cost of meals, and thus make lunch cheaper for everyone...

Everyone except those who frequent competing restaurants which are now slightly emptier and thus more inefficient, so *they* start offering free lunches, and so...

Complicated business this capitalism lark! smiley - smiley

Free? Oh yes!

Post 11

Is mise Duncan

Thought for the day: There is such a thing as a free meal, but only if you aren't a fussy eater smiley - winkeye

So - I walked out the back this morning and there they were - a ganzee load of mushrooms. Assuming they can be eaten raw, there's a free meal going in South Dublin.

Free? Oh yes!

Post 12

Zathras (Unofficial Custodian of H2G2 Room 101. ACE and holder of the BBC Pens)

That doesn't make them free mushrooms. Presumably they were growing somewhere and the land they were growing on was either owned or ownable.

If it was your land - You could have rented out the rights to eat mushrooms on your land hence the foregone rental income is the cost of this 'free' lunch

If it was someone elses land - You have taken their mushrooms from them so it is not free to them. (Depending on your legal system and the pettiness of the landowner that might even be theft).

If it was 'common' land - Eating all the mushrooms means taking away the right to eat the mushrooms that everyone else held in common.



Free? Oh yes!

Post 13

Is mise Duncan

It is land which I rent but a condition of this rent is that I may not indulge in comercial type activities - so legally I can only give the mushrooms away or eat them myself.


Post 14


"Two items of salad in the fridge and one says to the other, Bit cramped in here today.
The other salad item says, Yes, not 'mushroom'in here at all "

Q: Why is it that Mr Mushroom always gets invited to parties?
A: Coz he's a really fun guy

ha ha ha bonk plink plink plink

(Thats me laughing my head off and my ribs splintering)


Post 15

Is mise Duncan

Would you believe it - the darned things were destroyed by the rain. This just goes to show - you should argue about whether or not a lunch is free _after_ you have eaten it smiley - winkeye

Free lunch

Post 16

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

The last free lunch I had was at a funeral.

Free lunch

Post 17


That's rather morbid, don't you think?

Free lunch

Post 18

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

smiley - blue

Free? Oh No!

Post 19


You are quite correct, there is indeed no such thing as a free lunch, the only thing available for free is AIR. All lunches, beer, small furry creatures, etc have a cost, if not at the point of delivery, then somewhere down the line.
Whenever people say that something is free, we should always ask ourself: is that free as in Air (really free), or free as in Lunch (Paid for in other ways....)?

In the given example, the mushrooms on common land may cost ones soul...

Free? Oh yes!

Post 20


The cost of that lunch is the time and energy you would spend picking the things.

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