Friday, May 23, 2014

Writing Exercise: Cliche Busters

Here's our latest exercise, and my results!

Choose a cliche and write an argument against it. If you can use your own - or someone else's - experience, to support your argument, all the better. Here are a few cliches to start you off:
  • What goes around comes around
  • Money is the root of all evil
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • There's no such thing as a free lunch
  • All good things come to those who wait
  • Revenge is a dish best served cold
They say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but it really depends on what sort of monetary system you are using. The typical lunch that isn't really free is one where you have to listen to a lecture or, worse, a sales pitch while you try to make a meal out of warm hors d'oeuvres and whatever beverage (if you're really lucky, an alcoholic one) is on offer. But what if you really are interested in the topic or making a purchase and would have come anyway? Isn't that a free lunch?

The supporting cliche underneath the free lunch is the idea that time is money. You could have spent your time some other way, some more valuable way. What if that was the most valuable use of your time, or at least a chance to  learn that you don't want a beach-front time-share no matter how appealing the pitch? It's, to cite yet another cliche, time well spent. And you get to eat too.

Another way of looking at it is that the organizers of the lecture/sales pitch certainly did lay out money for the fine banquet they used to draw in the unwary. To them it's the price of doing business. Sure it may be tax-deductible but they'd probably save even more money by not offering it in the first place. There's a cost for them. But, as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. If they make more in sales than they spend on enticements, there's a net gain. Does it count as free if the cost is negated?

It depends on how you look at the money. If you start the day with $100, spend it all on renting a hall and stocking a buffet, but then sell $500 worth of product, so you end the day with $500, perhaps you won't complain about the cost. Especially if you ate the leftovers from the buffet.

Perhaps in the abstract there really is no such thing as a free lunch, but depending on how you do the accounting, it might feel free, or even as if you were being paid to eat lunch.
I think I used "really" too many times but I liked how cliches kept popping up.

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