Breaking news in Chengdu: A man attempted to ride the bus with no shirt yesterday.
Is it a sign of the heat, social disorder, or just the fact that there's not much to report in Chengdu these days?
No shirt, no shoes, no service: That's what a young man who tried to get on the bus on Sunday afternoon learned. The scandal broke out at 2:30 p.m. when a caller dialed emergency-hotline 110 to inform the police that he had been attacked by another passenger on the Line 12 bus as it passed the Jiuyanqiao East stop.
Minutes prior, he had boarded the bus wearing no shirt. Driver Mao Chengjun said that when the passenger alighted the bus at the Hongwasi stop, he was warned to put on his shirt. The passenger refused to comply, retorting, "Where did that rule come from?" Holding his shirt in one hand, he swiped his bus pass and sat down. The bus driver issued another warning, and when that was ignored, threatened to stop the bus. The passenger replied, "Then stop the bus. I have time."
The bus was full of other passengers, who were not happy about the prospect of the bus stopping.
A passenger named Xiao Liu later reported that the shirtless passenger looked to be around 22 years old and that he simply ignored all of the other passengers who tried in vain to persaude him to put on his shirt.
An elderly man on the bus warned the topless passenger that he would catch a cold, but the latter brushed him off.
An elderly female passenger tried to persuade him to put on more clothing as well, with kind words, but she said those words too fell on deaf ears, and that the young man continued playing with his iPad.
When the bus stopped at a red light, a young male passenger wearing dark sunglasses told the topless passenger that he shouldn't be riding the bus and tried to physically push him off. But the latter merely pushed back, replying that he had paid for his ticket. He then dialed 110 to report the assault. Shortly thereafter, Mao Chengjun drove the bus to the Longpan Lu police station, where the caller finally put his shirt on, and he and the other passenger received a lecture from station head Yuan Yong.
But as soon as Mao Chengjun pulled away from the police station and made the next stop, another young man got on the bus without a shirt. Again, Mao Chengjun reminded him to put on his shirt. This passenger complied immediately, sheepishly saying that since it was so hot outside he'd forgotten to put it back on.
Mao Chengjun said that in three years of driving a bus in Chengdu he had never before encountered a passenger who refused to put his shirt back on after being asked.
The published Regulations for Passengers of Chengdu City Public Buses state that passengers are prohibited from riding the bus if they are intoxicated, naked, afflicted by a serious and contagious illness, or mentally ill or children without supervision.
The Chengdu Commercial Daily report of this incident also included an analysis by a Sichuan Social Academy of Social Sciences professor, but, unsurprisingly, it's not particularly interesting or profound.
This story, in fact, is about as interesting as the one about the man who rode the bus with his bare feet on the seat two years ago.