I've been meaning to post this for sometime, but things have just been conspiring to take away my time to type things. But it's important that I share what I've learned. In a vain attempt to distract myself from my increasing decrepitude for my birthday last year, I tried an experiment. I attempted to see how much free stuff I could get just because various businesses take pity on those who are advancing, albeit slowly, closer to the grave. Here is what I learned so you too can have a similar, though hopefully improved, experience.
DO: Sign up for various birthday clubs and whatnot early. I would advise a week out, minimum. This because some setups apparently still need time to process, which is weird and also one of the biggest First World Problems ever.
DO: Sign up for a variety of things. Even if you don't plan on using them. Because you never know. I am still a bit peeved I never made it to Sephora for my free gift there.
DO: Make a plan of attack. Especially if you're someplace large like Atlanta. Because you want to spend time consuming free stuff, not driving. I actually wanted to find a hard copy map of the city I could tape to a wall for a photo op, but nobody sells hard copy maps anymore. Go figure. So plan your route to efficiently make use of your birthday, since you're spending the day being constantly reminded of your mortality anyway.
DO: Get started early. I grabbed my birthday drink at Starbucks after midnight. I mean...they just give you a drink credit and you don't have to even use it that day, but it just seemed appropriate.
DO: Have backup plans. And be ready for silliness. Like at Which Wich, where I had been looking forward to a free sandwich, but was told I needed the free sandwich email (which never arrived) to prove I was in the club and it was my birthday...two things I could prove even without the email. But anyway.
DON'T: Go to Denny's for the free grand slam breakfast. You pay for it in different ways. Trust me.
DO: Make random side trips. Found a huge Asian grocery and thus stumbled upon such items as original Thai Red Bull, aka Krating Daeng.
DON'T: Drink original Thai Red Bull, aka Krating Daeng. Unless you find its stateside cousin to simply not taste enough like cough medicine.
DO: Be very pleased when your parents arrange to get you a cookie cake when your freebie was only a slice.
DO: Get creative. Like when your free Moe's burrito isn't that great...as a burrito. But dissect it and turn it into nachos and it becomes palatable!
DON'T: Make a stop at a beer tasting. Not because it costs something (and hey, the jambalaya was free) but because they might have one of your favorite quads and it might be high gravity and you might greatly impair your endurance for the rest of your adventure. I mean, I won't blame you if you did, but just plan accordingly. And for God's sake, let someone else drive.
Yes, unfortunately, my love of quads did me in. After attending the beer tasting (during which, oddly, I seemed to keep tasting Wild Heaven Eschaton over and over and over again), a nap ensued, which is just testament to how old I am now I suppose. I was able to get some other freebies not shown (because I couldn't make them remotely funny), like a bagel breakfast sandwich and some ice cream and so forth... but perhaps this year I can do even better.
Come to think of it, maybe that terrible Red Bull is what did me in. Hmm.