It's free

Today as I went to get lunch at York University, I had to use the bank machine.  Beside the bank machine was a table filled with small black packages.  Around the table was a group of student-aged people handing them out to people.

"Here's a free sample," said one girl behind the table, as I waited for my turn at the bank machine

"No thanks," I said.

A second girl steps forward, pushing one into my hand, "Here you go!"

"No thanks, I'm not interested," I repeat.

A man, larger than me, now steps forward and starts to argue with me, "It's free man, here, take it!"

"No.  I don't want it, thanks."
I have no idea what they wanted me to have so badly, nor do I intend to find out.  I really don't appreciate this sort of tactic, and on principle I choose not to engage it.  The only thing an exchange like this can point to is the fact that it wasn't free, that it required more of my attention than I was willing to give, that above all it required my submission, required me.  This makes it the opposite of free, which is not in and of itself a problem--I pay for lots of things I need and want, and I immediately went over to buy my lunch.  However, it's important that this not be presented as a gift.

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