Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At least I got a free poncho

Weird stuff happens to me.

Today I took a little stroll over to the cafeteria in the building across the street to get some lunch. I was cutting through the nice little plaza next to the Tribune Tower, enjoying the "warmth" of the 30 degree day, when I saw this guy and girl calling for my attention. The girl was waving a camera, so I asked her if she wanted me to take a picture of them.

Nope. She wanted a picture of ME. I was really confused for a second and then she shoved a black bag in my hand (the freebie drawstring backpack kind) and mumbled something that sounded like "from espnradio.com" and told me to smile. When I still looked really confused, the guy told me it was just a nice picture in front of the Wrigley Building (which was across the street behind me). 

Before I could protest, the girl snapped the picture and then sent me on my way. I tried to give the bag back, but they told me that it was my free gift for taking the picture. So I thanked them and continued to the cafeteria clutching my little black bag.

I swung that bag all through the cafeteria, all down Michigan Avenue back to work, all through the crowded lobbies and sidewalks, all the while wondering what fun little freebies and prizes were inside. If it was from ESPN, I was thinking I'd get a cool T-shirt, great coupons, and maybe even some free granola bars.

And then I got into the elevator to go to my office. And I finally took a look at the writing on the outside of the bag.

And there—in HUGE white letters—it practically screamed:

Maalox. For Advanced Relief.

For a split second, I was absolutely horrified. And then I burst out laughing. The other woman in the elevator thought I was nuts, but I just couldn't stop. 

I can't believe I didn't look at the bag they made me pose with. Where the hell is that picture going to turn up? I can only imagine—me smiling, proudly showing off the huge Maalox logo. I'm sure the caption will read something like, "Chicago girls love fast relief" or "Maalox makes you smile" or "Chicago was a gas" or something like that.

How embarrassing...and funny. I wonder if it was for some kind of radio website gag or something because it seemed so random. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

The best part is what was inside the bag. There was one really sexy XXXL shirt that had the Maalox logo on it not once, but TWICE. So no matter which way you go, everyone will know you love Maalox. Plus, there was a fantastic black poncho with the logo plastered across the chest. The thing is so big you could probably fit 5 of me in the there. And thank God they included a handful of Maalox coupons. Who doesn't love those?

Now I'm sure Maalox is a wonderful product and as someone who has frequent stomach troubles, I can't be too harsh. But the situation is just too funny. And honestly, if it really is for Maalox, which I'm assuming it is considering the T-shirt and such, what kind of lame marketing ploy is that? Taking pictures with a Maalox bag? Bizarre.

I guess I can just be glad it wasn't Gas-X, right? 


Cheryl said...

That happens to me all the time. Like, tourists come to China, and i'll be visiting my grandfather's grave or something, and they'll ask to take a picture of me- it's weird, and slightly inappropriate.

But I love Maalox- saves me from heartburn everytime!

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

And why do they assume that people who need malox need size XXL?

Rachie said...

Oh em gee! That is the best thing I've heard all day. Wow, how many people can say something like that has happened to them?

zentiment said...

That is hilarious! Why is it that freebies always have to be so hideously embarrassing? Logos plastered everywhere, and they usually always give you the biggest size possible. You'll have to let us know where it turns up if and when you find out! I'm curious!