FOUR MEN HAVE just been jailed for providing matchmaking services for ghosts. They supplied ten female spirits for ten lonely male ghosts. The female ghosts have been returned to their original graveyards.
This story, published recently in the Xi’an Evening News of China, tugged my heartstrings. The matchmakers were jailed, but surely the ghosts are the real losers?
Since this columnist has written regularly about ghost weddings, I wasn’t surprised to get a call from a foreign correspondent from Europe wanting background on this tale. “Why do ghosts need matchmakers?” she asked.
I explained that men who die single in Asia turn into lonely guy ghosts who refuse to leave this world, and instead hang around moping. This puts a serious downer on family parties.
“Who’s the transparent guy?”
“That’s Cousin Chen, deceased. He’s a bit of a wallflower.”
The only way to solve this is to find the ghost an attractive female spirit of the right age and class. Agents offer female ghosts at a retail price of US$5,000, but if you go direct to the supplier, the wholesale price is US$3,000.
“But in this case, several things went wrong,” I explained.
The four men, named Pang, Bai, He and Zhang, should have advertised for lonely female ghosts. Instead they saved time by simply visiting graveyards at night and digging up recently buried female corpses, the newspaper said.
They then turned up at possibly haunted homes offering them for sale. “Good morning, ma’am, can I interest you in a fresh corpse?”
When I was a kid we lived next door to a graveyard for a while. My mother said she didn’t mind their presence except for the fact that they “smelled like they were rotting”, which I always felt was an unfair accusation; a bit like saying, “Hey, this water is wet.”
IN OTHER NEWS….
TWO APPRENTICE hangmen dropped out from their unique training course unexpectedly, I hear from a correspondent in Sri Lanka named Big Bubblemaker.
Last he heard, police were searching for them.
Anyone fancy taking their place? Lessons include: “Calculating Length of Rope in Relation to Height of Victim”, and “Use of Sandbags to Test Hanging Mechanism”.
This stuff is important. In Iraq in 2007, the gallows were set up wrong. Instead of being hung, Saddam’s brother Barzan had his head pulled off. Witnesses described the execution as “inelegant”. That’s one way of putting it.
THE SNEAK thief who was stealing money from Nozato Elementary School in Osaka City, Japan, has finally been caught, the Daily Yomiuri reported last week. It was the school’s Vice Principal. A hidden camera revealed footage of 57-year-old Takashi Honda going through bags and jacket pockets.
Well, I suppose it’s educational, in a way. “A is for appropriation. B is for burgle. C is for criminal. D is for Detention when you get caught.”
THE EX-POPE watched The Hunger Games, they say. So, to choose a successor, he’s going to stick all the cardinals on an island and make them hunt each other?