By Siukei Cheung
As an elderly man rode his tricycle full of recycling around a street corner in Beijing, a loose wire ripped a young girl’s jeans and left a mother utterly furious. The woman demanded a sum no less than 50 yuan (which is a lot when you pick up trash for a living), refusing to leave until she was compensated for the heinous affliction that this hapless man had caused her.
Onlookers claimed that immediately after the incident, the old man got off his bike and begged for forgiveness, even bowing ten times to reinforce his sincere regret. The mother, unimpressed, continued to demand financial retribution. To this the man pulled out a fist full of change amounting to 8.4 yuan and a couple of receipts. Seemingly untroubled by any semblance of moral conscience, she persevered through police mediation and public disgust until the money was given her thanks to a few generous onlookers.
Update #1: It’s been pointed out to us that this story may be less than truthful, the same apocryphal story – of a heartless woman forcing money out of a poor old man – appeared in 2008.