Monday 29 June 2020

That’s a fowl: I finally got free Texas Chicken meal by pretending to be a Liverpool fan

Dear Texas Chicken Singapore,

I have a confession to make – I’m not a football fan.

But I’m a fan of free food.

Because I’m a fan of free food, I have pretended to be a football fan – specifically, a Liverpool fan.

It started last June after Liverpool won the Uefa Champions League after 14 years.

For some reason, even though Liverpool is not part of Singapore or vice versa, to celebrate the English football club’s European victory, several eateries in Singapore offered one menu item for free for one day to customers wearing a Liverpool jersey.

Even when our national team won big matches in the past, I don’t recall any restaurant offering free food.

Although that could just be because the last time Singapore won a big match was so long ago that I can’t remember.

What was more baffling was that one of the places offering free food to celebrate Liverpool’s win was Texas Chicken Singapore as Liverpool is nowhere near Texas or Singapore. We’re on three separate continents.

If you had offered a free meal when the Houston Astros won the World Series, sure, that would make sense since Houston is part of Texas, even though no one in Singapore cares about baseball.

But free food is free food and who was I to look at free fried chicken in the beak?

All I needed was a Liverpool jersey. The closest thing I got was a Liverpool T-shirt.

I had bought it together with a Manchester City shirt for $50 for both at Takashimaya for the sole purpose of trolling a colleague, who is a die-hard Reds fan.

Last year, Liverpool and City were in a close race for the English Premier League (EPL) title.

If Liverpool had won, I would wear the Liverpool shirt to annoy him because he knows I’m not really a Reds fan.

If Man City had won, I would wear the City shirt to rub it in.

It was win-win either way for me. The latter came true. Rub, rub.

But Reds fans could console themselves with the Champions League trophy – along with your free two-piece combo offer.

However, by the time my colleague and I reached the Texas Chicken outlet at Nex in our Liverpool apparel (him in an actual jersey), we were told the free combo had sold out.

How was that possible?

Apparently, there was a cap of 100 free combos per outlet, which wasn’t mentioned in the offer. Just “while stocks last”. I felt cheated.

I felt even more cheated a couple of hours later when you announced on Facebook that the 100 combo limit was lifted for the rest of the day.

So I was both too late and too early.

I was so upset that I complained on your Facebook page: “I went all the way to Nex at 6.50pm and was told only the first 100 customers get the free combo. And now you lift the cap. You cheat my feelings twice in one day.”

To my surprise, you actually replied to my comment and asked me to message you back.

A week later, I received a Texas Chicken $10 gift voucher in the mail. Woohoo! I haven’t thanked you for that.

Complaining on Facebook works. Former PAP candidate Ivan Lim knows what I’m talking about.

Then in a moment of weakness, I decided to give the $10 voucher to my colleague because he’s the true Liverpool fan. Also, I wanted to make up for trolling him.

So in the end, I didn’t get my free Texas Chicken meal.

That is, until last Friday.

Liverpool finally won the EPL title after 30 years.

You posted on Facebook: “Don your #LiverpoolFC jersey to any Texas Chicken outlet today – and receive a free 2-piece Chicken Combo meals (U.P. $8.80). Available for dine-in only from 11am till 9pm today or while stocks last.”

This time, I didn’t take any chances and showed up at your Star Vista outlet at 12.10pm in my mask and Liverpool T-shirt.

A guy in a Reds jersey was already in front of me ordering the free combo. Nice to know I wouldn’t be dining alone.

When it was my turn, the cashier saw my shirt and guessed what I wanted. All he asked was “Original or spicy?” and “Drink?”

Best of all, he charged me nothing.

I finally got my free Texas Chicken meal!

About six other guys in Liverpool tops were in the restaurant with me. I'm not sure if they were all wearing jerseys.

I was happy at first, but now I feel guilty after realising I got the free food under false pretences.

I’m a fraud.

The offer was meant for Liverpool fans and I’m not one. I just got the T-shirt (not even a jersey) – and for a rather nefarious reason.

I apologise to you and all true Reds fans.

There goes my chances of becoming a PAP candidate.

To clear my conscience and help me sleep at night, I would like to belatedly pay you $8.80 for the free spicy two-piece combo I didn’t deserve.

Please let me know how.

You have PayLah?

- Published in The New Paper, 29 June 2020

EARLIER: Getting free food with my Liverpool T-shirt

From readers:
Dear SM Ong,

I read your article in the New Paper dated 29June 2020. You are so honest and funny! The photo is also funny... You look guilty hahaha. I read it laughing so much. Thank you for your honestly and humor... And making my day brighter. Pls write more...

Best regards,

Hi the new paper and smong journalist

I enjoy reading the new paper but not from today onwards

What is the purpose of The New Paper and any ethics being a journalist ?

As I was reading today article, I was fill with rage 😤, what values are you communicating to your reader? Are you asking us the readers to follow your journalist to wear a PAP t shirt and vote for opposition?! We have enough of fake news and spam in this information era! With deception news like yours, the kids and adults will think is ok to pretend and get a free meal

I am diehard Liverpool fan, the YNWA has encouraged me to complete my cancer treatment. I only have a red t shirt, I understand the meaning t shirt is not a jersey (I haven’t own one because is $100 over dollars which I cannot afford) so I didn’t go for the free combo meal. Your act is annoying to me, worst thing is your Facebook complain, I praying there will be lesser singaporean like you to exist on earth! You paid your price of unable to sleep and guilt, for all you know, the God above may cause a drought of 30yrs for Manchester City, not sure will you live to see it, is really sad to read such an article on a Monday morning!!!

I am saddened an adult matured and responsible can do such an act to create a news to bring values to the next generations that is ok to cheat and have what you want! A Little act will not cause harm and going to jail...

I sincerely hope your editor and CEO of SPH can look into this! If not, I will do like the journalist share in social media to get attention! With power comes responsibility. Those who are in power has responsibilities and make singapore a better place

You all owe an apology especially to Texas Chicken who want to celebrate a happy moment with all the truthful fans but abused by some, who did without consciousness. Very Sad 😔

Thank you