I was at this hotel in Uganda last week and being very fond of peas, ordered ‘green peas risotto’ through room service. Half-way through the meal, I realised there was no green peas in it. There was only green beans cut tiny, about the size of a pea. I felt cheated but I also felt hungry, so I went ahead and finished it. But I wanted to let them know I had seen through their low trick. I called them. ‘There was no green peas in my risotto’ I said, in a voice loaded with sarcasm.
‘You want to order green peas risotto?’
‘I already did’ I replied, with a nasty tinge in my voice.
‘You want to order another?’
‘No! This is a complaint. Listen! I ordered green peas risotto, but there was no green peas in it.’
‘You want to return it?’
‘No, I … er no. But I want to know why it wasn’t there.’
‘So you want to know ….’ he paused.
‘I want to know why there were no green peas in my green peas risotto.’
‘I will call the chef.’
Two minutes later. ‘Hello?’
‘Hi. Are you the chef?’
‘No, it’s me. Chef says there was no green peas in the kitchen, so he put green beans.’
I spluttered and swallowed convulsively. ‘The chef said …h-he put green beans in my green peas risotto because he had no peas?’
‘Yes!’ the chap exulted. He seemed delighted at my quickness of uptake. As I sat there gulping and trying to think of something really acid and clever, he turned philosophical.
‘Next time, maybe.’
I replaced the receiver slowly. There didn’t seem anything else to say. Yes, maybe next time. Though I wouldn’t bet on it.
PG Bhaskar is a private banker and a former Khaleej Times’ Friday humour columnist. He has authored several books and tries hard to keep up with the times @bhaskarpg and www.pgbhaskar.com. Look out for his weekly humor column on B-Change Saturdays.
Featured Image Artwork: Bhoomika Ghaghada