Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Companies aren't in the business of giving things away.

Not unless they want something more in return.

Sample: Donald Trump gives a speech for free. In return, he wants adulation, money, and your vote.

Sometimes, though, even the most profit-oriented corporations comes over all sentimental.

So it is with Starbucks.

It has just announced that, to celebrate the 13th birthday of its Pumpkin Spice Latte, it's giving away free coffee to the first 1,300 customers who walk into every Starbucks and say "Happy Birthday, Pumpkin Spice Latte."

I'm sorry, I have that quite wrong.

Instead, Starbucks is giving away a Pumpkin Spice Whip.

You might wonder what this is. Well, it's a celebratory topping that you can add to your PSL, as it's known to aficionados.

"The special topping will be served on Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino® blended beverages during this limited time," says Starbucks, "or atop any other Starbucks beverage by request."

You, then, must prepare the line: "I'd like a whip on top of my chai please."

You'll already be salivating at the prospect of something more on top of your already hearty drink.

Starbucks says the Whip is made with "with real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg."

This celebration of something spicy is quite something. Please just imagine how much is coming off Starbucks' bottom line.

And how much may be added to your waistline.

Still, you must hurry. This fit of generosity is whipping by fast. It only lasts four days. And it's limited to participating stores in the U.S. and Canada.

If you happen to be in the U.S., however, you have the chance of a bonus.

"Customers in the U.S. who purchase a Pumpkin Spice Latte between October 6-10 can pick up a free Happy Birthday PSL pin," says Starbucks.

While supplies last, of course.

But imagine wearing one of those pins to work. Feel the envy. Fear the spite.

One shouldn't be too churlish. It doesn't appear that Starbucks wants anything in return.

So I won't use this opportunity to complain that, having gravitated from a non-fat latte to an almond milk latte, the price of my morning drink has risen by, well, rather more than the cost of a little whip.

Oct 7, 2016