Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A BUTTERY DEATH

An emergency crew was dispatched to a steel bridge in Guangzhou, China last month to smear butter over every inch of the 1,000-foot-long bridge.

The scenic bridge had become a renowned spot to commit suicide. The site is so popular among the desperate that eleven people plunged to their deaths there in April.

Chinese officials installed fences and posted notices “asking people not to commit suicide here,” says a spokesperson for the PRC.

Yet the suicides continued, leading to the bizarre application of butter to a bridge.

“That’s not going to stop people from jumping off the bridge,” comments my wife. “That’s going to cause people to fall off.”

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In May, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng pushed a potential jumper off the bridge.

Chen Fuchao intended to kill himself to escape a 2 million yuan debt incurred over a failed construction project.

Lai was enraged when he saw the would-be jumper on the bridge, holding up traffic. After failing to persuade the police to allow him to negotiate with Chen, Lai broke through a barricade and climbed up to Chen’s perch.

Lai greeted Chen with a handshake before quickly shoving him off the bridge.

“I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish,” says Lai. “Their action violates a lot of public interest.”

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Meet and greet.

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Pushed by Lai, Chen falls off bridge.

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Chen salutes the crowd after pushing man off bridge.

8 comments:

  1. Doesn't surprise me one bit... I've been to Guangzhou, and can personally understand why people want to jump off that bridge! Cheers!

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  2. Bridge jumping is a popular pastime in Guangzhou for a reason. I hope you had some good food while you were there at least. I've never been to any of these lovely places I write about.

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  3. shanghai was better... I did eat seagull in Guangzhou though... just to get back at the fucker that crapped on me in high school gym class!

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  4. Wait, so you can get away with murder in Guangzhou as long as it's off a bridge?

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  5. Eman, you tracked that bird from high school all the way to China? I don't know what I admire more, your persistence or your tracking skills. I've made a note to avoid crapping on your head, if possible.

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  6. Hello, brother!

    Eman's abilities are astounding. Let him loose in a kitchen and you will soon be eating a luxurious meal. His bird tracking skills are legendary.

    The most impressive element of the story is that the bird remembered Eman after all those years.

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  7. Well I don't understand why the PRC gov't officials are so concerned about all of this to begin with. We're talking about a geographically HUGE country where the human population is so tremendous that the state enacted laws restricting childbirth rates for families to only keeping one infant. It's supported even by the gov't via monetary and class status incentives ("gentle government encouragement"). For families who f-up and conceive additional babies and have the audacity to not abort the unborn fetus, they receive not-so-gentle government penalties. Hell, I even read somewhere, recently, that they're thinking about restricting dog ownership in China to just one per person or family, as well now.

    So why would PRC officials be so intent on preventing a dozen or so additional human deaths per month? At least those who've leaped to their deaths off that bridge had the opportunity to make the decision to die all on their own initiatives.

    That is, minus Chen Fuchao's death. His choice was made by some other individual, not himself. Just as all of the unintentionally created fetuses and puppy dogs lives or deaths are chosen for them, as well.

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