The crash of breaking glass cracks the silence of your apartment. Crippled with fear, you're unable to pry yourself off the couch to investigate, as a man in a ski mask walks in to your living room and unceremoniously places the business end of a gun to your forehead.
"Any last words?"
"Sardines are a healthy addition to any diet," you say, reflexively. Years spent running a sardine review website had rotted your brain. Even when you didn't have a gun to your head, you would try to steer every conversation into sardine territory. Your acquiantances all knew you as "the sardine guy." and now here you were, wasting your last moments on earth shilling for a small oily fish.
"What? What the hell are you talking about?"
"It's true. Sardines are an excellent source of protein with an ideal amino acid profile. They're able to be sustainably fished while also being low in mercury. They support healthy brain func—"
"Shut up," your speech is cut short by your would-be executioner, "are you talking about those little cans?"
"Yes, sardines are usually found in the canned goods aisle next to other seafood, like tuna and clams. Another great thing about them is their affordability; sardines are not only healthy, but widely available and frequently for just a few dollars per can."
"I hate the smell," his eyes narrow, and his finger tightens on the trigger. It appears that talking about sardines may not be the right approach. You can either beg for your life or double down on the sardines.
"Not all sardines smell. Boneless and skinless varieties are especially mild..."
You remember those Snickers commercials: "You're not you when you're hungry." Maybe the man with the gun pointed at your head is just hungry. Maybe he'd also like to subscribe to be notified of new sardine reviews straight to his inbox? One step at a time.
"Would you like to try some?"
"You're just trying to get me to not kill you."
"No, I just want to spread the love of sardines."
Truth be told, life would be a lot easier if you were dead, but you promptly soiled your pants when you realized there was an intruder in your apartment. The indignity of being found with both a bullet in your head and dookie in your shorts was reason enough to put up a fight.
He lowers the gun from your forehead to rest at his side.
"You're messed up."
"Aren't we all? Let's head to my pantry, I have a tin that I'm sure you'll like."
Now that his guard was down, you could easily grab a tin of sardines and bash him over the head with it. You could even say something witty as you swung the can, like "Eat fish and die!", but your drive to spread the love of sardines overpowers your greater sense of reason, again.
You open the door to your pantry and visually scan the tins row by row. You're usually really good at picking the perfect tin for every occasion, but your experience with choosing the best tin of sardines for a mid-murder snack is admittedly lacking.
"Ah, King Oscar skinless and boneless. Manufactured by special royal permission of the Norwegian King Oscar II, a mighty tin indeed," you say, playing it up.
"A king huh?"
Your hooks are in him now. You've appealed to his baser instincts—killers have a thirst for power. Yes, a King signed off on these deens, wouldn't you like to be a king?? The plan is in motion.
"That's right. Now, a lot of people eat these straight from the tin, but for a first timer like you I think it would be best to eat them with something else, like a salad. Do you like salad?"
You walk to your fridge and pull out the ingredients to make a basic salad: a bag of greens, cherry tomatoes, diced onions, and some home-fermented carrot and raisin slaw, chef's kiss.
Throwing some greens in the bowl, you toss them with the rest of the pre-sliced fixins before cracking open the tin of King Oscar. Being a natural product, sardines are a bit of a crapshoot sometimes, but you're glad that these are nearly odorless, an especially good thing when it could mean the difference between life and death.
You grab a fork from the top drawer and scoop the filets onto the salad before finishing it all off with a bit of the oil from the can. Your mouth is watering just looking at this thing, how could he not like it?
"Here you go, give this a try," you say, backing away from the counter and sliding the bowl and fork towards him.
Cautiously, he approaches the bowl, places his pistol down on the counter, and grasps the fork in his fist.
He pierces a chunk of fish and manages to arrange a surprisingly respectable stack of ingredients given his otherwise atrocious fork handling technique.
He leans over to take a bite.
"Here goes nothin..."
Your heart races. You want so badly to bring another sardine fan into this world that you almost forget that you were about to be murdered.
His eyes widen, "Wow, these are pretty good. They're salty, and a lot like tuna actually. Where did you say you could buy these?"
You press the pistol to the back of his head.
Perhaps the years of running a sardine review website had not rotted your brain as much as you thought—a true testament to the brain health benefits of sardines.
"Any last words?"
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