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From the Crow’s Nest: Free advertising and waffle fries

By Clint Younts

Dang! December crept up on me like an ill-fitting Speedo. I had just taken down my Halloween decorations when one of my grandkids asked me when I was going to put up my Christmas lights. I usually wait a full week after Thanksgiving, allowing my body to shed all the tryptophan and extra weight I accumulated on Turkey Day and several days of leftovers. With the weather being so sketchy these days, I went ahead and climbed up on the roof on that one sunny day we had last week. So, my house is now lit up like drunks stumbling down 6th Street, and I have some time to sit in my recliner, sip on some egg nog and finish my Christmas shopping.

I can’t recall the last time I went into an actual store to purchase a Christmas gift, except for purchasing a fifth of Tennessee snakebite remedy for my son-in-law. I did recently make a stop at a Goodwill store to look for some great deals, but all I bought was a book to improve my math skills. I reckon I do about 95% of my shopping on Amazon and the other 25% on other websites. I often get emails from retailers offering great deals from their stores. I don’t often buy Christmas presents at Discount Tire, but they keep sending me offers. Do y’all know how hard it is to wrap up four Michelin tires and place them under the tree? 

I also get countless offers from Whataburger to buy merchandise with their logo on it. Hey, I do like the #4 meal, cut the pickles and grill the jalapenos, please. But I’m not about to walk around town wearing apparel advertising hamburgers and a Dr Pepper milkshake. And I heard this morning that Chick-fil-A is selling blankets designed with an image of their special sauce and also pillows covered with chicken nuggets. The guy on the radio said they’re selling a mess of them. I suppose you could say they’re selling like hotcakes, but those aren’t on their menu. 

I have dined numerous times at Whataburger, and you can count the number of times I visited Chick-fil-A on one hand and still have fingers left over to pick your nose. I reckon other retailers do the same thing, selling stuff with their company logo on it and hoping customers wear it to a crowded mall to entice other shoppers to rush over to the food court for a grilled chicken sandwich like the one on your sweatshirt.   I don’t mind spending a few bucks on fine cuisine, but I don’t think I should have to spend hard-earned money on merchandise that should be given away to their best customers. It doesn’t seem right to me that I would buy stuff that essentially is free advertising for these retailers.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have several caps from Tractor Supply and Cabela’s, but I got most of them for free. Well, not exactly free. I got ‘em after spending a ton of money on keeping my cows alive and just the opposite for feral hogs. I don’t mind wearing these caps, but why would I want a cap with a picture of waffle fries on it?

I once bought a cap with the logo of Lone Star beer on it. I don’t recall where I bought it, but I bet it was after I sampled a few longnecks and still had enough cash to buy the cap. 

Enough of this talk about free advertising. I’ve got some shopping to do. With the weather being cold and damp, I may have to grab my Southern Comfort blanket and settle on the couch for my shopping spree. 

Where’s my Tractor Supply credit card? They have some boxer shorts with John Deere tractors on them. What a great gift idea! 

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