Thursday, January 29, 2015
Eve Made Me Do It
We hadn’t seen them for years but we had been very close, socially and geographically, in years past. It was therefore a delight to be invited to be their guests for lunch at a local chain restaurant.
How disappointing to discover that they were not reconnecting for the sake of friendship but to enlist us to sell (under them in a pyramid scheme) the latest snake oil remedy they had discovered.
It didn’t take long to discern that their faith was less in the efficacy of the snake oil than in a marketing scheme which, if we were to buy into it (literally) we, and all those whom we later persuaded to “buy in” would become comfortably rich in a very short time. Uh, of course they would benefit too since . . . oh, you get the idea.
And, it was a very good product too, capable of curing almost any illness known to mankind, except the nausea I felt rising in my throat as I realized I was being asked to sell my soul for the price of a cheap chain restaurant meal.
It has been years since that delightful surprise invitation to dinner but the sense of disappointment and betrayal still lingers. I would have bought an upscale restaurant meal for the joy of reuniting with our old friends; spending two hours reminiscing about old times. As it is I’m still, years later, trying to choke down that free meal and ruing the hours spent fending off, without offending our old friends, an unwelcome marketing solicitation.
Our friends would never have picked our pocket or pilfered our “jewels” while visiting our house. They were honest people. So how did they come to be peddlers of a useless product marketed to their relatives, friends, and acquaintances, using a predatory scheme; promising both health and wealth? Obviously, someone whom they trusted had taken them to dinner. And so, before that, had that person accepted an invitation to dinner. And each in turn had become convinced of both the efficacy of the product and the profitability of the marketing scheme. They believed the lie.
Who concocted the snake oil and constructed the flimsy pyramid marketing scheme? Someone should crush that snake’s head. But instead, like Eve, like Adam, like all the sons of Adam since, too many keep passing the oil from hand to hand, promising themselves and everyone whom they can persuade to go to lunch with them that there is a way to get heath and wealth that doesn’t involve the sweat of one’s brow.
Come on, folks. Get real. I promise you; there is no free lunch. Just ask Eve. Oh, and those cheap lunches will give you a bellyache that lasts forever.