Durians are no laughing matter

JULY 22 — You know why South-east Asia never produced an Isaac Newton? 

Because all these world-changing hopefuls were sitting under durian trees. 

The truth must have hit home too hard. These meditators, dreamers and thinkers couldn’t withstand the power of the revelations, uh, falling upon them.

And yet it’s these same trees which ensure that, every June to August of every year, Malaysians go all-out crazy over something which stinks so bad you can see dead cockroaches in your car boot after you drive home with your durians.

You know how every Malaysian is an expert in politics, education, world affairs, early childhood development, economics, Asian cuisine and, lately, the who, how and why of a particular sex video? (If you’re not sure, simply spend about an hour in an average kopitiam.) Well, between June and August, we are also experts in durians. 

Every Malaysian knows everything there is to know about XO, Golden Phoenix, D24, etc. where to buy them, what not to buy, how to “sniff” out the best fruits, the price range of each breed plus which stalls accept credit cards. 

Seriously, you’d think whoever named the fruits could’ve done better than just picking up lazy superhero names with passive-aggressive undertones: Black Thorn, Red Prawn, Green Bamboo. 

It really sounds like an all-male team with a metrosexual edge. It also demonstrates the versatility of the fruit; in a, uh, nutshell it can burst forth flavors which range from seafood to hard liquor to something pandas eat.

And then of course there’s His Majesty the Ruler of Musangistan himself, the Musang King. I think if you check up its background, you’ll discover that, well, his dad was the original king of the land then, you know, his uncle wanted the throne, plotted to kill his dad and pin the blame on the son, blah blah blah

This joker costs anywhere from RM38 to RM2,000 per kilo and no durian lover worth his sweat will dare say his majesty tastes anything less than awesome sublime perfect and heavenly. 

I’m surprised the fruit isn’t on any of our state flags, since I have it on good authority it’s going to be hoisted by our national mascot or may even become our national mascot.

This is also why Singapore will never DARE to say that durians “originated in Singapore”, because that would be tantamount to a declaration of war. 

The closest they’ll come is to launch some piece of nonsense like “durian whiskey” which really isn’t worth anybody’s time responding to.

However, as with all kings today, unfortunately, society’s respect is declining. You can tell a celebrity’s decline when you see his or her face on almost every brochure or product ad. Ditto Da King of the King of Fruits. 

Nowadays, every dish must have durian inside. From ice-cream, to cendol, to nasi lemak, to biscuits, to cake, to whiskey (!) and probably fried chicken as well. What’s next? A condo with durian flavored walls? Durian slippers, durian-inspired cars? I’m offended.

Simply ask those people living in America, Canada, Europe, Australia. You know what they pay for durians? Almost enough to get a brand new Tesla Model 3.

Dammit. The durian is fruit royalty, not cheap seasoning. Hey, it’s probably the only fruit which has made it on Jimmy Kimmel Live, brought into the studio by none other than Jessica Chastain (who pronounced the word “durian” like she was talking about an Indian herb).

Finally, I wish to remind the younger generation that one must never eat durians without participating in that time-hollowed ritual: Drinking from the empty husk (you’re most welcome to drink from the non-empty husk, but that might be difficult). 

You see, like how the skull of the xenomorph (in the Aliens series) is the only thing which can withstand the creature’s acidic blood, the durian’s husk is the only thing which purifies water to the point where it remove the stains and smells of the pods from your hands. 

It’s a miracle of creation, okay. Don’t play play. Don’t believe me? Cuba, jangan tak cuba. And if doesn’t work, add some soap — that totally boosts the miracle.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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