This is a true story. Not in this world but in some parallel universe, one where I am tall, lanky, intelligent and have wavy hair, this has already happened.
In this world I started a restaurant, a spacious 250-seater, always packed, people tearing away at myriad meat platters (including bovine as there weren’t any anally retentive nuts to object) to their carnal delight. And then, in that universe, very much like in ours unfortunately, a band of useless no-gooders conferred it upon themselves to confer awards on everyone else. Nobody knows who farted and made them authority but if it wasn’t one fool giving away awards to appease every place he had ever dined at, it was a bunch of fools honouring each other on stage before honouring everywhere they expected to be fed without a bill turning up.
Alas, I was too innocent, and when the awards came in, all framed and heavy, I took it upon myself to display them on a wall behind the reception, all 500 of them—from critics’ choice to consumers’ choice, to somebody’s personal choice—I hung them all up. The very next day I received a call that there had been a tragedy at the eatery; the award-wall under the weight of all these awards had collapsed and a mob was busy taking selfies and were threatening me with the worst online reviews ever on something called Somato or DripAdvisor (parallel universe guys, honest!) unless I fed them free for life. I immediately rushed to remedy the situation. Once the free-for-life coupons had been exhausted, I reconstructed the wall. In light of the awards received and the many more to come from everybody who runs a blog or doesn’t, I revamped the restaurant. The wall now ran all around the restaurant and it was reinforced to be a load-bearing structure, but at least it could now take on another 1,000 awards which, I calculated, could see me comfortably through for the next few weeks. Trouble is now I was reduced to a seating capacity of 15 and that too only if diner numbers 14 and 15 interlocked arms and shared a quarter plate. Revenues have fallen dramatically, I am dying in deep debt and yet I keep the place open. For the awards keep rolling in, the wall has more exhibits than the Louvre and it pleases me to no ends to please people who visit so frequently, even if they never pay for their meals.
I guess my next restaurant will help me break even. I just need to be good enough to have people come and eat, but not so good as to be awarded for it. Awards today are a pain in the a**. They mean nothing, and considering how almost everybody has a dozen, maybe if I try and be the only restaurant on the block with no awards at all, it might hold a reverse appeal of some sorts. Surely, there are people out there with a sense of taste, ones who don’t merely turn up to eat based on the number of awards a restaurant has.
Thank god I don’t live in that universe with their Sirloins and sir-jis; it is so much better here… Oh! Waitaminute. Suddenly I feel like the protagonist at the end of the original Planet of the Apes movie.
Why, god, why!!!?
The writer is a sommelier