Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quality Street

Quality Street Green Triangle BabeI’m partial, it has to be said, to the odd choccy. So much so I have developed an internal radar system (biological as opposed to implanted cyborg technology) that can locate a concealed soft centre through irradiated lead lined walls. So uncannily accurate is my cocoa-bean-product detection that had Osama Bin Laden been encouraged to take up a Mars Bar addiction I could have located his whereabouts in Pakistan within a matter of days rather than months and the American intelligence service (ahem) could have spent their days happily playing Call Of Duty on their Xboxes without ever having to countenance leaving their beloved homeland for the backwards, insurgent filled wasteland that comprises the rest of the world.

So when I go into a shop and there is an open tub of Quality Street on the counter you can bet your granny’s eye-teeth that I’m going to “lock on target”.

But to engage or not to engage? That is the question.

At home or the work office, an open tin of sweets is, in my opinion, fair game. It’s like a gazelle slathering its rump in barbecue sauce and draping itself Page 3 style over some hot coals. It’s there for the taking. Full consummation of the relationship is the normal expectation and inevitable.

But in a shop situation a curious short-circuiting etiquette kicks in. A conflict of finer feelings and good manners. Am I allowed to just (to quote Billy Idol) “…make a dip / Into someone else's pocket then make a slip / Steal a car and go to Las Vegas oh, the gigolo pool”? Or do I need moral consent from a higher authority?

Because if I’m honest I feel like I need the shop keeper’s permission before I can make a grab for her green triangle. It seems very forward to just finger her coffee cream without a by-your-leave or thank you and then head on my way with a sticky mouth. But I can’t quite bring myself to ask either. It feels a bit… I don’t know… desperate and pathetic to say, “can I have a chocolate please?” Even though I’m 99% sure they are there for the customer’s enjoyment. I don’t want to make the assumption that they are free, gratis and without charge nor have her assume that I’m so hard-up and desperate I’ve taken to raiding the chocolate charity tins of the local high street just to get a sugar fix.

So I do nothing. I just stare at the tin like the drug smuggler in Midnight Express staring at his girlfriend through the security screen (though without the lipstick smudges on the glass) and the moment passes. The opportunity slips by. I make my legitimate purchase, pay, leave and try and kid myself that I didn’t really want a chocolate anyway.

But I did.

Goddamit, I really did.

15 comments:

Fredulous Yo said...

You handled that situation just as I would have. Next time look her in the eye and seductively whisper about how you want all of those chocolates inside you. Then pocket sand her before taking them all and running away.

That's confidence.

Steve said...

Fredulous Yo: you're right; I need to develop some chocolate chutzpah and fast.

English Rider said...

Say:"How pretty! Those are my fave chocs" If they are not offered to you, you'll know they weren't for the public.
The bank where I deposit my commercial landlord's check each month has "chocolate coins" with the bank logo embossed on each foil wrapper, sitting on the teller counters. They also have nice pens with advertising printed on the side.
It's obvious that the act of taking one or two is a PR favor to the bank. It would be shabby to refuse:)

Steve said...

English Rider: clever... sucker them with a compliment. Nice. I like it.

I need you to be my PA. When can you start?

Gorilla Bananas said...

You expect shops to give you free chocolates? What kind of a bum are you? Next time, take out your penny whistle and offer to play them a tune. If you dance a little jig with your wispy beard swaying from side-to-side I bet they'd give you the whole tin to piss off.

John Gray said...

I'd kill a small child for two purple quality streets

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: only at Christmas. Or for my birthday. And I'm more than happy to make myself a public nuisance for a tin of Cadbury Heroes.

John: do you need nominations?

Trish Burgess said...

What shops do you go into? I'm moving west.

Steve said...

Trish: I can tell you now, it wasn't a health food shop.

Rol said...

Smut. Pure and simple. Your hits will be going up again.

Steve said...

Rol: story of my life - my sex sells but I can't score a free chocolate.

Barry Coidan said...

"make a grab for her green triangle".

Are you serious!

Steve said...

Barry: no, I'm joking. There's no way I'd make a quick grab for her green triangle without warming up her Caramel Barrel first.

Nota Bene said...

I don't know my way round a box of Quality Streets, so I'd end up with one I don't like and would want to put it back after I've chewed on it for a bit....

Steve said...

Nota Bene: bagsy not picking that one.