Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What to expect in 2008 (the complete guide)

THEE-IA v. listen

What can an average person like Sisuahlai expect in 2008? Let me share with you some of my predictions for the new year.

January: Amateur blogging is fast becoming an obsolete pastime. The in thing now is mogging. It involves running around the kitchen table chanting mong-mong-mong, or other incomprehensible words for the sole purpose of annoying the elders. But thankfully, the fad meets a quick death when the new season of American Idol starts (Jan 16). People return to their happy old ways, and congregate around the family LCD/plasma TV.

February: Eveybody's talking politics. The Star reporters have a field day unearthing more scandals involving senior politicians. This month, expect ministers getting caught making false promises on a grand scale. Also expect more feature-length DVD specials of politicians behaving like mortals, all caught on camera. Some techie idiots would be found ripping the DVDs and illegally uploading them on Youtube. The election date is set for next month, craftily chosen as to not coincide with the finale of the Amazing Race.

March: No surprises on election day. The same wrinkled faces emerge victorious, minus the last Health Minister. "Time to jack up prices" the winning government whisper. Motorists and rempits will start to feel the pinch. Petrol price goes up 2.25 a litre. The Star runs a story of a 5-year-old trying to ease the family's burden by pouring cooking oil into the car's petrol tank. The car fails to start and the kid is sent to the grandparents.

April: Economic turmoil. The growth corridors can not continue, as the ringgit can no longer pay the foreign workers' salaries. The migrant population leave and the country looks like unfinished jigsaw puzzle from Google Earth. The Prime Minister comes up with a quick-fix solution, pensioners are given extra incentives to retrain as construction specialists. The parliament concludes that Google Earth uses spy technology. Meanwhile, the government set up a new water company, called AnaksendIRi (AIR) or in Hokkien, Kakinarng, which specialises in bottling tap water and selling it to hypermarkets.

May: The country still looks like unfinished jigsaw puzzle. But nobody cares, because Liverpool suddenly emerges as favourite to take the EPL title. There is little urgency to finish the roads and build new offices. The country do not need them until the English football season is over.

June: Another military coup in a neighbouring country. Our country capitalise by rolling out red carpet for the ousted billionaires. A billionaire's son buys a State football team, and hires Steve Mclaren to coach them. A work permit is not granted initially. So the billionaire's son has little choice but to buy the immigration department also. Happy ending for everyone, now that everyone is richer.

July: Something scandalous happens. Nothing is formally reported. A cabinet minister returns home after one month living abroad; internet users frantically search for Youtube evidence. A famous Malaysian blogger allegedly has the inside scoop. His site is banned indefinitely. Life goes on as usual for the rest of us. The country "oh well" attitude prevails over good sense.

August: The Summer Olympics begins in the grandest fashion. China is destined to hold the best Games ever. The amount of gunpowder, fireworks and electricity consumed for the Opening ceremony alone is enough to power a country the size of Sri Lanka. But the month-end TV viewing figures reveal that people are really more interested in the Euro Football Championship in Austria/Switzerland.

October: The country comes home with one silver medal, the badminton men's doubles so nearly did it. They blame it on excessive badminton hall lighting. This month also sees the government renewing its interest in sending another guy into space; people soon forget about the country's gross under-achievement in sports. Plenty of TV time and news print column for the unmarried spaceman. He plans to conduct an experiment, titled Imagining Space Action (aka I.S.A.). This involves mental visualisation of severing oxygen supply to any dissenting cosmonauts.

September: More rain in the coastal region. The flooding situation is worse than last year's. Citizens are advised to avoid contaminated tap water and instead buy water that is certified and bottled by AIR. Buying frenzy ensues, one customer is allowed to buy a maximum of 5 litres of AIR water each time. Smart buyers circumvent this problem by buying 5 litres from different stores. Rogue traders start to bottle their own water and label them as AIR. Nobody knows what water they are drinking. All hell breaks loose.

November: Calm is restored. Six unauthorised AIR manufacturers are sentenced to 6 months of editing RTM1 shows. Three appeal for more lenient sentences citing poor eye-sight and hard of hearing. The judge rejects their request, and comments on the fact that those qualities are not so alien to those currently doing the RTM1 editing work.

December: US will now have a black American president. The country sends a congratulatory message, read out by the cosmonaut in space. He does a zero-gravity somersault at the end of his message to show his delight, but the Americans mistake it as an insult. "No one shows the US President his backside! We want him back on Earth," The US president spokesperson demand. The space crew comply and send the cosmonaut back to Earth.

"I.S.A you. I.S.A. you. I.S.A. you...." these are his famous last words as the cosmonaut leaves the International Space Station.


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