By Joe Ribton
Big Ribs Bday Bonanza
The first week of Commander Dan’s FLAPS (Fiction Literature and Poetry Society) is upon us, and flavour of the month is ‘Big Rib’s Birthday Bonanza’. Its cake week on Bake Off, birthday cake, Big Ribs Bday cake to be pointlessly and surely word count increasingly specific. I’ve never really earnt a recurring nickname, other than Ribbo from my rugby/secondary school days, or J-Riddem when I’m DJing in East London, or J-Rib when I was a pro baseball player, or even joseribtonio22 when I used to get into arguments with 9 year olds on Call of Duty. I’m enjoying being Big Rib, because its never a nickname I could give myself without looking like a prize twat. So I thought I’d share some tales of birthdays past to pay gratitude to Phil/Philliam Wordsworth/Content-Aware Phil/Philistine/Philly G, as he conceived Big Rib in that big bonce of his, and also to inspire those of you who have chosen to insult me by writing your fiction piece in the last hours before deadline. Just as the Coen Brothers wrote at the start of Fargo, “This is a true story…”. For those of you not acquainted with their practices, this will mostly be bullshit with small sweetcorn pieces of truth interwoven – one year will be entirely true – it’s up to you to decide which.
14 – I’ll start at 14, before that we are all amoebas really aren’t we? My real birthday is on 19th December, although the class has decided that – much like the Queen or my mate Greg with a fake passport – I deserve to celebrate my birth on more than one day. The 19th is a special time, same week as Jebus (pbuh), and also the date when blockbuster Christmas films are released so as to best profit off of the families slowly maddening from school holiday cabin fever. This year the penultimate Harry Potter film was making its way to the big screen, and I was ready to be blown away. I had agreed to a birthday meal in central London with my family, we ended up in a great place in Chinatown. I’ve just smashed through about 20 aromatic duck pancakes, and have decided to go wash my hoisin decorated face in the gents. I take a wrong turn through some swinging faux oriental style doors and become witness to a most peculiar scene. As I ponder the contents of those pancakes, and consider the possibility that I may have eaten enough to induce hallucinations, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint accompanied by all their parents are sat in front of me feeding one another dim sum mother bird/ baby bird style. “Fuck off you little prick” said Rupert Grint, through a mouthful of shrimp. He later came and apologised, but I was – nonetheless – petrificus totalus.
16 – remember the original Facebook party? The one where an open house party event went viral on social media and 5000 people turned up to a tiny suburban house. Riot police had to be called and the house was irreparably damaged? Yeh wasn’t there either mate. The actual house is only a couple doors down from where I live now though. On my 16th birthday I recorded and released a reggae album under the name Jah-Rib, it has since sold 13 copies, 11 to my mum.
18 – Coming of age, relinquishing my childhood, growing a beard. None of these happened on my 18th birthday. Instead I had a really good steak with a side of 7 beers, followed by more beers, followed by what my friends called a ‘dirty pint’ – consisting of everyones favourite Glen’s vodka, pretzels, nacho cheese and more beer. I stumbled into the local club, PRYZM Kingston (infamous for its many rebrandings as a result of violent crimes over the years) at around midnight. What felt like 5 minutes later (but was, in fact, 4 hours) I was being thrown out in an arm lock by a bouncer. Turns out I had gone in for a hug and never really came back from it. Had a tiny little nap in this big scary man’s arms. He did not hesitate to ban me for 2 years. Was rolled off the bus at my stop, and lay on the pavement pondering if this, this moment right here, was adulthood. I was more right than I could have possibly realised.
20 – seemingly cured of my fear towards the Harry Potter franchise, I was taken to Harry Potter World in the mystical and forgotten lands of Watford. I saw some really awe-inspiring bits and bobs, voldemort as a foetus was certainly a highlight. I’d had a couple butter beers and intensely needed to pee, so I had my head-down and was speed walking to the urinals. Wands out and I’m emptying the tank before I realised next to me, with the same shrimp-devouring yet shit-eating grin was Ron Weasley himself. I let out a guttural shriek and pissed right on his shoes, what a ginger dickhead.
21 – really nailed it this year, had a massive rave in the big McDonald’s in Wimbledon. Head Office came down and had a boogie. Subsequently, the McRib was born.
So there you have it, if that didn’t oil you up and get your creative juices pumping I don’t know what will.
For those of you that read my last post, I’ve started a serial addendum to my blogs with a story made up of my noteworthy dreams in the last week. Last we heard, Joe had just woken up in the middle of the night with a dream – induced dislocated shoulder (a painfully true story). Here’s part 2:
Joe had no time to be worried about a dislocated shoulder, he had an important wedding to attend the next morning. He popped his arm back in got some shut-eye. The groom, Prince Harry, was expecting Joe and his dad Mike in attendance to his wedding to a faceless, gender less being who he’d seemingly swapped Megan Markle for. Other guests were dressed in vibrant and incredible fabrics, but – crucially – everyone had concave pits instead of breasts. Proceedings got pretty boring, so Mike and Joe left and hit up the playground instead. There was a tall swing with an egg shaped seat that enamoured the both of them. Joe felt liberated as he swung and spiralled in a pendulum motion. When he got off, Mike was desperate for a go. He climbed up to the seat, but in his giddy child-like state kept going until there was nothing to hold on to. He fell and hit the ground with a sickening thud, his arm was not bending the right direction. He needed hospital attention, and fast. Luckily, Joe knew the way. They crawled through a hedge and came out in an airport hospital full of people from all over who had been made irate by the time they had to spend waiting to be seen. Joe pushed right to the front, worried for Mike. This made a Spanish man called Juan go NUTS. He shouted until his throat went hoarse and then turned into a chrome-ish black metal before their eyes. Once dad was seen to, he was taken home and put to bed in our mansion in his big coffin shaped room. (It was at this point in the dream I realised I had been on a hover board the whole time, like Marty Mcfly) Oh what adventures a father and son have.