Cheers to 2020
Happy HumpDay and Happy New Year! Today is national hangover day but what better way to spend your lazy afternoon than with a new HumpDay Newsletter! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!
Celebrations (Reader Suggestions!)
5,4,3,2,1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Last night most of our readers celebrated the new year and hopefully raised a glass to the end of 2019 and to the new beginning of 2020. Clinking our glasses and saying cheers is so common in our every day lives but have you ever stopped to wonder, “Why are we high-fiving with fragile glass and spillable liquid? Seems dangerous and messy.
Offering a cheers has been around for centuries. Stemming from the French word chiere meaning gladness, the act of saying cheers is meant to wish for everyone to be happy and have good cheer. The act of clinking glasses together has similar but more bizarre origins. In Medieval times, people would clink mugs of alcohol and cheer loudly to scare off evil spirts. In addition, the little bit of alcohol that would spill on the floor would be left for the spirits so that they would leave you alone.
Other origins of clinking glasses come from peoples fear of being poisoned by an enemy. It was believed that filling everyone’s glasses to the brim then clinking them together would cause liquid from one glass to spill into other cups, mixing the liquids from everyone’s cups. Since there was no way of ensuring the poisoned drink wouldn’t spill into your cup, people would be deterred from poisoning anyone. That is also why you need to drink after a cheers or else you look like you poisoned someone’s drink.
If you celebrated too hard last night it might feel like you were poisoned. Pour yourself a drink and cheers to ward off the evil spirits that are still haunting you from New Year’s Eve.
Gifts (Reader Suggestions!)
If you forgot to get a gift for someone during the Holidays, there is still time to do some last-minute shopping and find something nice. One nice (but sometimes pricey) gift to give to a friend or family member is a new knife set. The best part of giving someone a knife set is that it is actually two gifts in one, a set of knives and cold hard cash.
Most knife sets available in packaging come with an added bonus gift… one penny. The penny is included as part of a tradition that is intended to help friendships together. Superstition says that giving a friend or a family member a knife with a sharp edge could “sever” the connection between the gift giver and the gift receiver. In order to get around giving the knife as gift, people include a penny or small coin in the package. Upon receiving the knife set, the recipient must give the penny back to the gift giver so the knife was technically “purchased” for one penny and not gifted. Purchasing the knife instead of giving it as a gift protects both sides from severing their relationship.
Get your friends or family a knife set for a gift and make yourself a little cash back!
Food and Beverage
Today, everyone from coffee shops to furniture stores has a loyalty program that aims to draw customers in by promising them a future reward after making a number of qualified purchases. Although, these are very common today, the predecessor to all rewards programs is the “box tops” style promotions that would require customers to collect pieces of packaging and mail them into a company to receive a prize. Cereal box tops are the most well-known of these promotions, but the most infamous of these promotions was held by Pepsi in 1995.
Pepsi’s 1995 “Drink Pepsi, Get Stuff” campaign allowed Pepsi customers to earn points by purchasing Pepsi products that could be redeemed for Pepsi branded prizes and apparel. For instance, a Pepsi T-shirt cost 75 Pepsi points and a larger prize like a leather jacket cost 1,450 Pepsi points. Customers would need to buy a lot of Pepsi products to collect enough points to get anything more than a simple t-shirt but, that didn’t stop some people from going for the top prizes.
To advertise their new promotion, Pepsi aired a commercial that showed the different prizes customers could win and the amount of Pepsi points needed to obtain each prize. As a joke, the commercial featured a Harrier Jet Plane in the commercial with accompanying text saying “HARRIER FIGHTER 7,000,000 Pepsi Points”. The ad was clearly hyperbolic but there was nothing in the terms and conditions that said the Harrier Jet was not an eligible prize and through their commercial. Since the jet plane was featured in the commercial along with other real prizes, it was reasonable to believe that the Jet was a prize that Pepsi would have to honor for the price of 7 million Pepsi points.
Realizing that Pepsi had advertised the jet plane as a potential prize, a 21 year old business student named John Leonard did some calculations and discovered that the cost of the jet plane was around $33 million and due to a loophole in the Pepsi Points system, the 7 million points needed to get the plane would only cost about $700,000.
Capitalizing on Pepsi’s oversight, Leonard sent Pepsi an order form for “1 Harrier Jet” along with a check for $700,008.50 ($8.50 was extra for shipping and handling). He received a response from Pepsi saying that the Jet was not part of the promotion and that they would not be sending him a fighter jet. To apologize for the confusion, they sent over a number of coupons for Pepsi products. Leonard refused to take no for an answer and sued Pepsi demanding that they honor their promotion and give him a $33 million fighter jet. The lawsuit claimed that Pepsi had committed fraud, breach of contract, and deceptive advertising.
The case was in court for years until a federal judge eventually determined that a reasonable person could not possibly have believed that a Harrier Jet would be a prize in a soda promotion. Pepsi won the case and John Leonard never received his jet plane, although he did still have a handful of coupons. In addition, a spokesperson from the Pentagon said that it would be illegal to give a random citizen a military grade fighter jet.
John Leonard lived the dream by finding a simple loop hole that could have made him instantly rich but unfortunately, the law wasn’t on his side and now he has to fly coach when he travels rather than flying in a supersonic private jet.
This Week in History
On this week in 1922, four countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation) joined together to create a single communist government known as the Soviet Union. The Communist party had come into power during the Russian revolution when they overthrew the Russian empire and the aristocracy. The newly created Soviet Union was the first country founded on Marxist socialism. After its founding, the soviet union grew into a global super power and was extremely influential in global politics until it collapsed in 1991.
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