Dear Burger King,
First, there was the Hainanese Tendergrill Chicken Burger and the Teh Tarik pie.
Your mother and I were worried, but we figured it was just a phase and you would soon outgrow it.
Then you made the Kopi Siew Dai Pie and the Mala Stacker Burger.
Your mom was alarmed. She wanted to sit you down to have a proper talk. I’m afraid I convinced her otherwise.
After all, weren’t all the kids experimenting with Mala these days?
I was afraid that nagging would just push you away. Destroy an already-strained relationship.
But when I saw the Laksa Burger, I knew something had to be done.
Nevermind that fried chicken does not belong in Laksa. Nevermind that its ‘gravy’ tastes like week-old curry. What truly saddened us was the close resemblance it bore to McDonalds’ Nasi Lemak Burger.
When your mother saw the slices of cucumber and boiled egg, she broke into tears—and so did I. You are struggling so hard to be like Macs, and it breaks our heart to see you try and fail.
We understand what it’s like, to feel forgotten and unloved, alone in a crowd of admirers who seem only to have time for your sibling.
Your mom and I, we’re guilty of this too. We should have paid you girls equal attention, but sometimes we failed.
For that, we are deeply sorry.
But I want you to know we don’t adore you any less because you’re different. You don’t need to act or behave like McDonald’for us to love you. You don’t need Laksa burgers, or Rendang pie or Bandung-flavoured chicken wings to enjoy our unconditional affection.
Listen to me BK, your mother and I, we love you for who you are. The no-nonsense beef burgers. The sticky cheese. The onion rings. Every part of you is perfect and wonderful as is, and we wouldn’t change a thing.
Remember when it was all about low low prices and more meat?
Remember when adding cheese to potato was the epitome of fast-food innovation?
I miss those days. I still remember when I first laid eyes on your double beef patty with swiss cheese and mushrooms. You looked so precious—and so delicious—that I thought I could never let you out of my diet.
I just wish there was some way we could make you understand this. These days, the silence between us feels as vast and untraversable as an ocean. I don’t know the words to make you step back from the brink that is a Laksa burger.
To me, you are perfect, and my wasted heart will love you unless you come up with a Charcoal-pandan salted-egg turnover.