Freebies Our Household Will Never Need Again

free calendar

…thank you? I’m not required to treasure it always, am I?

When I was a kid, no one ever warned me about all the free calendars we’d receive in the mail every year. And everyone needs a calendar, right? It’s handy reference material you can nail onto your wall for easy glancing whenever you need to center yourself at a fixed point in time, or for scribbling reminders of important future dates. As an added bonus, the good kind of calendar comes with twelve free mini-posters to liven up your living space and remind you of things you like. While today’s smartphones can duplicate most calendar functions and render them mostly obsolete, they make terrible wall art because of their miniature nature and their resistance to clean nailing.

In my mind, an effective calendar needs to contain enough artistic merit that I’ll want it in my presence for twelve straight months. It helps if its content is somehow related to any of my interests at all. Free calendars, which are nearly always a promotional giveaway in honor of someone’s product that I’m probably not buying, are not consequently never my thing. Exhibit A: the example shown above, which landed in our mailbox today as a token of good will from representatives of certain non-renewable energy concerns. Because all my friends know my name is synonymous with “geek pipeline safety”.

And the non-essentials don’t stop there…

What to Do with My Free Yellow Cape?

free yellow cape

Behold the freebie I received for running the Norton Symantec promo gauntlet at Wizard World Chicago 2013. Five minutes of minimal effort toward a game meant to sell a product I’ll never buy, and this was my reward. My wife and I normally avoid any booths huckstering software or any other merchandise we’re unlikely to buy on impulse, but when the doors opened at 10 a.m., not all the guests or exhibitors were in the house yet. We had to find something to do until they did.

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