The Chaser A chaser is something you drink such as beer or soda which follows a shot of whiskey or hard liquor. The purpose of the chaser is to wash away the sharp sting of the harsh whiskey. Alan Austen is a young man who is looking for a magical elixir. He has been referred to and seeks out help from an older gentleman who deals with such potions and even poisons.
The old man offers an expensive, undetectable poison but Alan is most interested in a more affordable love potion. Alan, innocent and full of hope, buys the love potion. The potion acts much like whiskey, leaving its target “drunk with love. ” At first, Alan is thrilled with the incessant doting of his mate and enjoys the attention. He is the center of her universe. But as time passes his pleasure is exhausted and he grows intolerant. He wants and needs a break from this perfect love he created.
The undying passion he initially sought from his lover has done nothing but breed contempt. He feels he is suffocating and wants relief. Alan returns to Pell Street to purchase the tasteless, colorless, untraceable poison that he had previously been offered. The old man expected Alan would be back. He had dealt with many naive youngsters like Alan who wanted nothing more than everlasting love and adoration from their significant other.
The wise, somewhat cynical, old man knew that the infatuation the potion induces from its swallower would eventually leave Alan feeling stifled. He had seen it many times before. Alan and the others got exactly what they so fervently wished for only to realize it was not what they wanted or needed. The love potion customers inevitably always return for the chaser. For the purpose of the chaser is to wash away the sharp sting of a harsh reality.