During a train ride in China last December, I scanned a local newspaper. One story concerned a man Zhou who was convicted of murder.
The story goes that Zhou and his wife went to a restaurant with friends. During an interlude, Zhou noticed his wife was absent. He walked upstairs to find her hugging one of his friends.
Upon interrogation, his wife claimed that there was nothing between her and the friend. In fact, they were talking because she wanted to set up the friend with Xu, a former female classmate of hers.
Zhou has never met Xu, but since his wife was hugging strange men, he demanded the right to do the equivalent. He announced he would sleep with Xu, and elicited her phone number and address from his wife.
Zhou called Xu's phone and announced that he was going to sleep with her. Xu, having never met him, was shocked and then irritated. She cursed him out.
Zhou gathered a few buddies to commiserate. Over drinks, he lamented his plight. First, his wife is hugging strange men. Then, he got rejected by Xu. This was not acceptable! After a couple hours of beers and anger, Zhou and his buddies picked up knives and lead pipes, and descended upon Xu's home.
They burst into Xu's apartment at 2am, and commenced beating and slashing everyone in sight. Xu and her boyfriend received heavy wounds and were hospitalized at the time the newspaper went to print. Xu's roommate died of her wounds.
This was a sad story, and made me melancholy. Later I told it to Bo, who started giggling at the end.
"What?" I said.
"Xu's roommate has absolutely no connection to this! Zhou's wife hugged a man, so he went to find Xu -- who he never met -- and ended up killing her roommate!"
For some reason, I started laughing too. It's gotten to the point now, where one of us will say out of the blue "Xu's roommate" and then we both dissolve into giggles.
Then we sober up and say a few remorseful words about how we shouldn't take joy at other people's suffering.
I am curious whether anyone else finds this comical.