The True Meaning Of Nando's
Right I’m sick to the back teeth of this bloody ‘cheeky Nando’s’ bollocks already. Its like I’m being haunted by the ridiculous Nando’s fad of 2008. For those of you who weren’t in England to suffer that onslaught of poultry based obsession I’m gonna paint you a little picture so sit the fuck back, put your feet up and get comfortable.
In mid 2008 I was, as the phrase went back in the day, ‘a Nando’s virgin.’ This was not through any boycott or principle agenda, I just hadn’t been, simple as that. This brought about a torment in my life that I still get flashbacks of today; usually manifesting in a sentence to the effect of, “OMG YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO NANDO’S?!” This was often followed with such classics as:
“OMG YOU HAVENT LIVED!!!”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!”
“I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU”
And my personal favourite, “ITS LIKE AN ORGASM IN YOUR MOUTH!”
And this was happening every single day of my young teenage life. Every goddamn day. Sometimes several times a day. I can’t even begin to describe to you how hyped this restaurant was.
Needless to say I wanted to go and finally taste for myself this wonder substance, this heavenly meal that seemed to transcend the boundary between food and religious experience. Only problem was, I was broke; I didn’t have a job and the mum and dad exchequer didn’t cover meals out, not matter how mind-blowingly delicious that meal was going to be. But finally, my moment came in the form of a friends birthday party; a few games of bowling followed by a meal at, you guessed it, the holy Nando’s, all bought and payed for by the parents of the birthday girl.
The bowling passed swiftly and the tension grew as we walked across the carpark to the Nando’s on the other side; I could hardly contain my excitement, this was it, I was finally going to try for my self this edible orgasm. Was I ready? Was I worthy? At the time I believed so, it was truly my time.
The first thing that struck me about the place was the décor, a style I can only describe as ‘a tropical rainforest meets BHS’. Next was the interesting semi-self-service way or ordering your food, running back because you forgot your table number, then collecting your own drink that every customer was doing; we were little more than an apron away from being employed there. Once we had managed to navigate our way through this grinding system of service, we waited. I had gone for a classic Peri Peri chicken burger on recommendation of a friend, the thought of which was currently causing me to salivate with such eagerness I could of rivalled Pavlov’s Dogs.
After what felt like an eternity, our food finally arrived, brought in all its glory by a team of waiters and waitresses, all of whome were smiling brightly and flirting slightly with us all. We felt very special indeed. As my food was placed in front of me I could almost hear a heavenly chorus of angels gently singing to me, welcoming me, drawing me into the warm embrace of Peri Peri.
I slowly lifted this holy grail of burgers to my mouth.
I opened wide.
I bit down.
Now the word ‘disappointment’ is tossed about a lot these days, when someone’s football team loses or when we lose something of minor importance. But never in my life have I been so disappointed in something since I found out that Father Christmas wasn’t real. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine, nice even, but ultimately it was just chicken.
As I continued to dubiously consume my distinctly average burger of lies, I looked around at the table of people who were once my friends, now nothing more to me than liars and frauds, teething anger starting to overtake my disappointment. How dare these fuckers, the bastards who would call themselves my friends, build my hopes up so high, only to run them into dog shit. All of them over acting to their meals, telling each other how 'AMAZING’ their food was, giving each other gleeful looks of triumph between bites. Why were they all doing this? They can all taste it’s as mediocre as I can right? Surely they can? And that is when I realised something, something that has stuck with me for the rest of my life:
“Everyone fears judgement from their friends for not enjoying the same things to the same degree.”
To this day I am 100% sure no one at that table enjoyed their meal even HALF as much as they claimed they did.
Conclusion: Nando’s destroyed my trust in my friends, made me question every relationship I had ever had based off mutual enjoyment of things (and continues to do so to this day) and showed me the true meaning of disappointment.