Short Stories, Tale Africa

The Tale Of The Spare Ribs

By Symon Kenny, Uganda:

They say that there's strength in numbers. There's no end to the things people are capable of doing in large numbers. Some of them can be amazing, others completely stupid. Somewhere between those lines is where you find the utterly ridiculous. A few colleagues of mine recently got a hankering for some better class of junk food. The usual chips and kebab combo was no longer whetting their appetites so they sought to try something better. Unfortunately they were either too lazy to go out to find better food, or just not interested in the hassle. They inevitably turned to the friendly neighbourhood food ordering app. For a few extra shillings, they'd have food from whatever restaurant of their choice delivered to them. So, they collected the money, made the orders, and waited.

Forty minutes after they'd placed their order, they started to exhibit some impatience. The app had promised that food would be delivered within 30 minutes. They didn't honestly expect that time of commitment, now did they, especially at rush hour? It was late in the evening and everyone seemed to be heading in the same direction. Anyway, they tried to pass the time by telling folk stories and singing redemption songs, but all that couldn't distract their excited enzymes. After an hour and 20 minutes, they had resigned to the fact that the food would arrive whenever it arrived, and curled up into balls, trying to stay alive for a little longer, and not pass out from hunger during the wait.

They were shaken from their deathly sleep by the chirpiness of the delivery guy. They pounced on him like a pack of starving foxes, quickly disarming him of the food packages. After paying him and bidding him adieu, they settled down to recover their strength by way of feast. Upon rapidly removing the lids from the aluminium containers, they discovered something was amiss. They were looking at a smidgeon of red sauce and two slender bones, vaguely surrounded by flesh, which was blacker than it was supposed to be. The silence was only broken by one's wail of disbelief. “These are the spare ribs? Ah, we should have known better.” And slowly, laughter broke throughout the room as they realized that the joke was indeed on them. The measly pieces of rib were as though upon hearing the order for spare ribs, the guy had gone to the chef and said, “Ayo! Do you have any spare ribs lying around? Someone wants to eat those!” Sincerely, there is no cheat nearly as painful as that that is associated with food. When it's not as good as advertised, someone can easily swear to burn down a village in revenge for such a level of disgrace. Needless to say, they all ate their ribs solemnly, swearing never to order from that particular restaurant again.

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