BEIJING (AP) - Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand - and pushed him off the ledge.
Chen fell 26 feet (8 meters) onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.
The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.
Several things jump out there.
1. Why in the hell are you trying to kill yourself off a 26-foot ledge? Call that disability point, not a suicide leap.
2. The guy was standing there for 5 hours? I agree with Lai, that is plenty of time to contemplate things. Dave Ramsey can fix your financial life in a 2.5 minute segment.
3. Most important. What kind of a protective air cushion causes spine and elbow injuries when you fall from 26 feet? If this happened in America, Chen would be a fucking millionaire, pay off his bad construction debt and go on the Rodney King talk show circuit.
Apparently, Lai was seen saluting the crowd in TV after Chen bounced. That doesn't fit my stoic buddist image of Chen, but it is TV.
I pushed him off because jumpers like Chen are very selfish," the newspaper quoted Mr Lai as saying.
Their action violates a lot of public interests. They do not really dare to kill themselves. Instead, they just want to raise the relevant government authorities' attention to their appeals.
And then this explains everything.
The bridge has gained a macabre reputation, attracting at least 12 would-be suicide jumpers since the start of April, according to the China Daily report.
None of the 12 has jumped, although each has held up traffic for several hours, it said.
How 'bout some Obama haiku. The only rule is it must start like half of his phrases...In America
Using my Obama voice,
people get suicidal
and jump from up high
In China the shame
is a wasted tragedy
and no body count