Was crossing a road in front of Tampines Mall. The traffic light on my side was blocked by some roadworks barriers. More people were gathering; the crowd was bulging over the kerb.

Just across from us was another crowd. Two women were standing near the traffic light. They looked dazed, as if they had spent their teenage years abused by assessment books. They watched us, blinking in curiosity.

An auntie on my side couldn’t take it anymore and shouted across, ‘can someone please press the traffic light?’

The two women still stared ahead. Blink blink. Serene indifference. Auntie resorted to waving her arms. ‘Press the traffic light!’ she yelled.

Another woman slipped from behind the two dazed women and pressed the button.

A man beside Auntie chimed up, loudly. We all heard him: “Finally someone press. The rest got brain but don’t know how to use. Must be the 70%.”

OK so now I’m going to use ‘you must be the 70%’ on all the cockanathans who block escalators, don’t know how to move inside carriages, don’t know how to acknowledge you when you hold a door open for them, and all general acts of placid-passive-inert stupidity.

(Phrase copyrighted by Abang with specs and daughter near Tampines Mall, 2016)

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