In a bid to prevent suicidal dives from a 1,000 foot bridge in southeast China, officials have had the entire span slathered in butter.
The idea is that by covering the bridge’s various substructures in such a slick, fatty substance, it would be nearly impossible for potential corpses to ascend to a dangerous height.
Though this seems like the set up for a jingoistic jab at just how backwards a foreign power is, reports from bridge workers and locals give the impression that the butter plan is a huge success.
“The butter makes the bars and frames slippery and hard to climb on to, and we can easily catch them,” said bridge guard Wong Man.
“Each time somebody threatens to commit suicide to get media attention or sympathy over personal problems we end up with several hours of tailbacks and there were lots of complaints. Since we put up the butter there have been no problems with these attention seekers.”
I don’t know whether to marvel at the resourcefulness of the Chinese people or at Man’s incredibly callous statement.
It should be noted that though the Chinese government issued the story, it offered no concrete figures on how often this particular bridge was used as a means to end one’s life, either before or after its buttery makeover.