Just Saying

2018: The year in half-baked predictions

Russia wins World Cup in odd circumstances, Trump sends grammatically correct tweet

Ever since I was a young lad, I've always known that I possessed a unique supernatural ability to predict the future.

"What rubbish!" I correctly predict you saying as you read this. (See?)

But it's true, I have long been blessed with the ability to foresee things before they actually happen. Why just last week, I told everyone who would listen not to buy tickets for the Toto $9.7 million draw because they were most definitely not going to win.

And then when the draw was made, in what was an exceptionally rare scenario, nobody won the first prize. I was thus proven 100 per cent correct.

In the name of transparency, the full prediction was people would not win as I had already bought the winning ticket. But that's just a minor detail. I argue the the gist of the prediction is still correct.

Anyway, the point is, I am an incredibly accurate fortune teller with a proven track record of accuracy. And I thought I would thus do everyone a favour and just share all my visions for the coming year.

2017 was kind of a miserable year full of miserable surprises, so I thought I would spare us all the shocks this year by just telling everyone what is going to happen.


ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA

Here goes (Spoiler alert!):

• A minor flash flood after a bout of rain will fail to make the news for the same reason most people no longer pay attention to your shorter train breakdowns.

• Speaking of train breakdowns, train reliability will markedly improve until SMRT issues a press release or a minister makes a speech offering praise and congratulations for the progress. Shortly after that, there will be a pretty major train breakdown.

• A man will be filmed going 80kmh on an e-scooter on the PIE before colliding with a wild boar. There is an outpouring of sympathy online for the boar.

• Unable to learn his lesson, Harvey Weinstein will be caught on tape committing an egregious act of abuse and harassment. His target will be an oBike.

• Miss Universe Singapore will don a national dress modelled on the Marina Bay downtown area - the key feature being a piece people will refer to as the "durian bra".

• The nasi lemak burger craze will finally come full circle when an enterprising nasi lemak seller comes up with the burger nasi lemak - just like a regular nasi lemak dish but with the a Ramly burger patty and mayonnaise.

• A national uproar will erupt when a record price is announced for the World Cup cable TV package. Nevertheless, telcos will report a healthy number of subscriptions, because what are you going to do, not watch the World Cup?

• Following an unprecedented spate of own goals and mysterious injuries to nearly all of the world's top footballing stars, the World Cup is awarded for the first time to Russia.

• Some minor thing will happen somewhere which triggers a completely overblown reaction online, which some of us will feel quite bad about later.

• United States President Donald Trump will send a tweet that doesn't insult anyone, is written in grammatical English and doesn't have any words in all caps. The US National Security Agency instantly launches an investigation into whether his account has been hacked.

• For like the umpteenth consecutive year, people will hate the National Day Parade song and the Orchard Road light-up.

• The Grab vs Uber battle will reach a peak when a passenger - using a promo code - takes a ride from Ang Mo Kio to Bukit Batok and ends up earning $5.

• The British royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is broadcast to a televised global audience of millions, at least half of whom are saying: "Why are we watching this? Our forefathers fought wars/negotiated agreements so we don't have to care about this."

• A driverless trial in Jurong and Punggol is abandoned after the buses are subjected to multiple bouts of road rage on the first day.

• A new iPhone will be released that revolutionises long-held notions about how much is too much to pay for a phone.

• Despite stated intentions to create a more positive experience on Facebook, it becomes even more depressing because now your news feed consists nearly entirely of acquaintances and distant relatives either: 1) Boasting about some holiday 2) Offering ill-informed political views nobody asked them about 3) Taking part in some inane challenge because they think it makes them look socially conscious.

• Presenters will triple check to make sure they are reading the correct card before announcing that the Oscar for best picture was won by a movie you have no intention of seeing.

• Very soon, people will get back to their usual habit of complaining about how hot the weather is.

• You will share a piece of fake news thinking it is real. Several months later, this piece of news will find its way into a WhatsApp chat group my mother is in.

• And finally, you will not win the multi-million dollar prize for the Toto Chinese New Year Hong Bao Draw because I will have bought the winning ticket.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 14, 2018, with the headline '2018: The year in half-baked predictions'. Print Edition | Subscribe