Who's Who 6: Moreish

Here we sit. We can wait. Perched on some tacky merchandising stand. Only a few shuffles from where we sit to the counter. We lie flavour side up, trying to catch the eye of everyone who queues past us. It’s the ideal spot, really.

Behind us, there’s shelf upon shelf of alcohol. Behind the counter, hidden behind a cheap cupboard door, there are all the over priced cigarettes. Booze and fags. The twin towers of temptation for so many who come in here. Never mind the lottery tickets or the more questionable magazines, tucked behind their little, opaque modesty shields. Just the parted, painted lips and sultry eyes showing. The titles that doesn’t so much suggest as scream to the lonely who come in here all fumbles and nervous smiles.

Of course, all thee big temptations are easy. If you’re going to cave to them, then you’ve been doing that long before you got here. Just one more bottle to make the pain away. Just one more pack, so I can get through to the weekend. I’ll quit tomorrow. I’ll quit in the new year. I promise. It’s all a dance that goes on through endless, sleepless nights or restless, sweaty afternoons. There’s no sport in that type of addiction. Not for the likes of us.

We prefer to see ourselves as feather weight to their heavy weight. We’re more about the speed on our heels. The light flick of a fast fist that catches your jaw off guard. We don’t go for deep, rib bruising blows and fast knockouts. No, here we sit here, waiting. We catch the eyes of every person who’s been good this far. Their baskets full of washing up liquid, sandwich fillings and salad. Maybe even a little fresh fruit for the kids. We let them come to us and wonder ‘who left those there’.

Which is exactly the point, you see. Here we sit. Abandoned at the last second, as far as anyone knows. The light from the chiller cabinet subtly catching our wrapping, causing the patterns on our packaging to pop just a little.

Who left those there? They were probably trying to be good.

It really is that simple. Our prey comes to us, thinking about the other person. The one who came before them. The one who had the willpower to put us down at the very moment before they paid for what they came here for.

Good for them. It was a close call, though. I guess someone should put them back. I wonder what flavour they are?

That’s where we hook them in. As they step up to stand beside us, they’re already looking down, no longer paying attention to the paying customers ahead. They’re reading our flavour and we can make that flavour look like whatever they desire. Something spicy, something familiar. Something new, that you just have to try once.

Granted, it doesn’t always work. It can take time. But, on a busy night, everyone has to come past us. They have to play our little game. In the end, one of them cracks. They always do. As the afternoon slumps to evening. As the hunger nips at their heels. Someone will pick up our packet and carry us to the till, doubtlessly saying something along the lines ‘ah, why not?’. Particularly at this time of year, when the diet starts with the next year’s calendar.

Here comes another one. Looking past us to the wines. The beers. The spirits. They contemplate a can or two, but resist that old devil before their eyes turn to us.

Come on, that’s it. That’s it. Pick us up. Turn us over. We can contain as much salt as you’re told you’re allowed. Once you take us home and open us, you’ll learn what’s really bad for you.

The funny thing is, as they approach the till and drop us into their basket, they never notice that another pack has taken our place. Ready to begin the game all over again.