Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Life in a box of chocolates

Forrest Gump said "Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you gonna get." Why do I mention this now? Don't expect me to answer that, I have no idea. I can barely remember my name or what my name is. Anyway, I've never understood what it meant. I'd never really spent any amount of time pondering it, although I'd always meant to set a side a week for intensive contemplation on the subject. And that week has just come and gone.

I’m pretty sure that Gump was wrong. Things were different in 1994, but the way people handle boxes of chocolates remains unchanged. With a variety box, people are all too aware of what they're "gonna get". Hours of staring at the chocolate key sheet ensures the only surprise they experience while chewing on the selection they arrived at after hours of careful deliberation, is that an "Almond Surprise" delivers no specific 'Surprise'. Maybe the surprise was intended to be the presence of the almond, and the makers assumed that people would still be following Gump’s just pick out a random one philosophy. How wrong they were.

It’s also true to say that most people don't like coffee flavoured Quality Street. To be honest you can't blame them, they taste of Mondays. So what is the point in them? Why do Nestle still nestle them into their distinctive cardboard box of lovelies?

The almost unanimous consensus on the nastiness of the coffee flavoured Quality Street has created a small sub-group consisting of the people that made the use of the word 'almost' earlier in this sentence necessary. These people have never stood out and rarely had much to say that anyone’s wanted to listen too. They’ve lived in the shadows of others who have hobbies and a nice kitchen. They may never have had anyone giving them the briefest glance of impressed amazement in there long beiged-up life. And they see their chance. An opportunity to be served up a thin slice of attention pie. Maybe even have a surprised exclamation of "Do you?" directed at them from those that usually look through them and into the sky. So after the general sigh that accompanies a chocolate information bulletin stating that all that there's left are 'the coffee ones'; these people stand tall, open their body language to a never before seen glory, and say, "Actually…I quite like them!" It would be a cruel company to take this opportunity away from someone, and even Nestle aren’t that evil.

To be fair to Forrest Gump, he may be a little simple and not actually exist, but at least he'd just stick his hand in a box of Thorntons and shove in his mouth the first one he pulled out. Maybe his comment about life was based around his understanding that contemplating which chocolate to eat next, for extended periods of time, brought little more enjoyment than a random shove-the-hand-in selection. He wouldn't know that what he had in his grasp had an almond in it until he shoved it in his mouth and tasted almond. At which point he could quite rightly exclaim, "Fuck me - Almonds!"

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