Sunday, February 18, 2007

Xu's roommate

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.

29 comments:

Josh said...

Um, isn't that the most tragic part of the story?

Librarian1968 said...

The nice thing about a blog is that the author can delete an entry if, on reflection, they think it isn't a very good entry.

Anonymous said...

Whilst I can see how this might be funny in a surrealist or slapstick way, a real human being in the real world experienced a mortal injustice here. I always felt that the trend to find such things funny marked a decline in values in a society.

Ola said...

Nope. I think Zhou and his friends are in fact mad

Anonymous said...

It's cruel. get yourself together. should be ashamed of yourself!!!

Anonymous said...

Think of Xu's roommate's poor aged parents, who now have nobody to look after them in their old age. They will probably die prematurely, huddled together as the cruel elements beat down on them. As one dies, the other dies soon after from the combined effects of heartbreak and exposure.

Think of the poor kitten that Xu's roommate may once have kept as a pet. Never having learned how to fend for itself due to Xu's roommate's loving care, it now is probably condemned to die soon, hungry and lonely and scared.

No, I don't think this is funny. Not at all.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am a psychopath who finds senseless murder funny. Will you marry me, Niniane?

Anonymous said...

This story illustrates perfectly one of the reasons why I prefer to live alone. There's no way I'll pay the price for my roommates' adulterous hugging activity.

Anonymous said...

thank god I am not Niniane's roommate.

KE Liew said...

It would be funny if Zhou died accidentally on his way to Xu's appartment or during the slashing and dicing... :)

But no, I don't think it's funny. It's tragic that an innocent died, and none of 'em get punished. Or did the article mention it?

Would be more interested in how Zhou treated his wife after :) Post their vids on the internet? haha~

SPS said...

Obviously another poor soul stricken with
SPS (Small Penis Syndrome)
Similar in symptoms to Napoleons syndrome but instead of affecting
Caucasian men it is predominately found in Asian men. Also known as SAPS. Please give generously to the SAPS foundation so the tragedies like "Xu's roommate" can be avoided.

Anonymous said...

Funny? No. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anonymous said...

I think it's funny, and I've only been called a psychopath twice.

Apparently the wife's story doesn't check out. Xu already had a boyfriend, right? So how could she set up the friend with her?

Rakesh XP said...

So was he hanged ? I hear that generally China takes tough legal actions....

clarissa said...

one word: Schadenfreude

"Yup! It's German for 'happiness at the misfortune of others!'"

http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/avenueq/schadenfreude.htm

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous#4 proposing with a ring with the hand still attached

Phill Midwinter said...

schadenfreude isn't quite as simple as happiness at the misfortune of others(not quite translatable), but it's a brilliant word, with some lovely overtones of shame

Pioneer said...

Leave it ti the Nazai's to come up with a "brilliant" word like that

Anonymous said...

Funny? Not in the slightest.

ishkabubba said...

good grief...another can of worms. :-P

Aaron said...

I can confirm, and every body else in Cell Block A agrees, that that is certifiably hilarious.

Brian said...

I totally get this reaction, folks. It's not that the tragedy was funny, it's because when you have an inappropriate reaction to something tragic, it often causes uncontrolled hillarity.

My sisters and I were at the hospital one night when my mom was dying.

One sis remarked, "We shoulda brought her a beer here while she could still enjoy it."

Me: "I dunno. I don't think that would have been good for her."

Other sis, looking at my unconscious mother: "It sure as hell couldn't have hurt!"

At which we all three collapsed into a half-hour of uncontrollable hysterics. I would have felt bad but I know that the folks at the nearby nurse's station had seen this all before. We still crack up over that 20 years later.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is funny in the least. It's not just the senseless violence and the tragic death of an innocent bystander, but the underlying view of women as objects to fuck, to beat, or to stab.

That a person could think having sex with another woman would make things even is bad enough, that he expected said woman to go along with it when he didn't even know her and that not only he, but a group of people, decided that not complying with the request of sex-for-revenge-from-a-stranger ought to be punished by death --cuz really, what good is a woman if she won't put out when a man wants it... Women as objects.

ishkabubba said...

at first i was *not* going to opine and just ignore this post, but i have to agree with the above comment. something i've learned from traveling outside the states is that in the majority of places around the world women are treated like second class citizens or even worse like chattel. it reminds of the *bride burnings* in india due to insufficient dowries. any form of violence against women is nothing to make light of.

especially, coming from you niniane, being a privileged, well-educated, independent woman with a successful career in the united states. how can you be so careless as to blog with such utter disrespect and disregard for human life. especially your lack of compassion and condemnation for violence committed against women completely sickens me.

please use your better judgement and discretion before publishing such an indignant and irresponsible post in the future.

Jake said...

Something Stateside

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17307669/

bruce said...

I sometimes get the uncontrollable giggles when I am feeling guilty about something, especially if there is something absurd about the situation. It's really bad, because it usually makes things worse.

Example: once I borrowed an old car belonging to a friend. He had replaced his gear knob with one from another car (I still don't know why), and so the gears were incorrectly labelled. This resulted in me using such extreme force on the stick trying to get it into reverse, that it detached from the shift rod. I'm sitting there staring at this limp gear stick in my hand.

As a consequence, I had to enlist the help of a somewhat reluctant stranger to push the car backwards and forwards twenty times to turn it around (I was at the end of a very long dead end in a crowded university car park, you know what these are like. To make matters worse it was a scorching hot day, and the tires were very flat). I spent the next two hours repairing it as best I could by borrowing tools and wire from the school of Mechanical Engineering (I had driven to university). I completely missed the lecture I had borrowed the car to attend (because mine wouldn't start). That day I learned how gear sticks work. I was quite proud of myself given my complete lack of mechanical knowledge and ability.

When I got it back to his place, I could barely relate the story due to my uncontrollable hysterical laughter. Thankfully he is a great friend with a sense of humour, but at the time he was (understandably) extremely miffed.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. One person laughs at something that is just plain inapproiate, and THAT is hysterical. So all of you good samratians who cant get past the tragety need to lighten up and get over it!

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I think the some of the anonymous commenters who is sorta pro on this story is actually niniane herself

Niniane said...

re: most recent anonymous commenter.

Come on, I'm not that lame.