Huo Sheng: 2 Stories of Bad Joke

Explore the story of Huo Sheng, a man who played a cruel prank with unforeseen consequences, leading to deception, regret, and supernatural retribution.

In Wendeng County, Huo Sheng and Yan Sheng were very close since childhood, often joking together. Both of them were quick-witted and enjoyed bantering, fearing that their own kung fu might not be deep enough. Huo Sheng’s neighbor was an old woman who had once delivered Yan Sheng’s wife. She happened to chat with Huo Sheng’s wife and mentioned that Yan Sheng’s wife had two warts on her genitals. Huo Sheng’s wife told her husband about this. Huo Sheng then conspired with his friends to play a prank on Yan Sheng.

When Yan Sheng was about to approach, Huo Sheng deliberately whispered to his companions, saying, “Yan’s wife and I are very intimate.” The others didn’t believe it. Huo Sheng then began to fabricate a story, speaking convincingly, and emphasized, “If you don’t believe me, I can tell you some evidence – she has a pair of warts on both sides of her genitals.”

Yan Sheng stood outside the window and overheard Huo Sheng’s words, so he didn’t enter and walked away directly. When Yan Sheng returned home, he brutally beat his wife. When his wife resisted, he interrogated her even more cruelly. Unable to endure such abuse, Yan Sheng’s wife hanged herself. Only then did Huo Sheng regret his actions but dared not reveal the truth to Yan Sheng to clear his wife’s name.

After Yan’s wife died, her spirit cried all night long, and the whole family could not find peace. Shortly thereafter, Yan Sheng died suddenly, and the ghostly crying ceased. Huo’s wife had a dream where a disheveled woman screamed, “I died in such agony, why are you still happy as a couple!” After waking up, Huo’s wife fell seriously ill and passed away a few days later. Not long after, Huo Sheng also had a dream where a woman pointed at him and insulted him loudly, using her hand to slap his mouth. Startled awake, he felt a slight pain in his lips, and upon touching them, he found that his lips were swollen. Three days later, two warts appeared on the edge of his lips, and they could never be cured. Huo Sheng dared not speak or laugh loudly anymore, as his mouth would hurt unbearably.

The chronicler of strange tales said: “Being able to transform into a vengeful ghost after death indicates that her grievances ran deep. Shifting the affliction from the victim’s private parts onto the lips of the wrongdoer is truly both mysterious and akin to mockery!”

In the county, there was a man named Wang who had a particularly close relationship with a fellow classmate. One day, when this classmate’s wife went back to her parents’ home, Wang learned that the donkey she was riding was easily startled. He hid in the roadside bushes in advance. When the woman arrived riding the donkey, Wang suddenly jumped out, startling the donkey, causing the woman to fall from it. At that moment, there was only a servant accompanying the woman who couldn’t help her get back on the donkey.

So, Wang kindly helped the woman to mount the donkey. He half-supported, half-carried her, and the woman didn’t even recognize who he was. Since then, Wang proudly boasted, claiming that when the servant went to chase after the donkey, he had an illicit affair with the woman in the bushes, describing in great detail the underwear, pants, and shoes the woman was wearing at the time.

When the woman’s husband heard about this, he felt deeply ashamed and walked away. Shortly afterward, Wang saw through a window slit that his classmate was approaching with a knife in one hand and his wife in the other, angrily heading towards him. Wang was greatly frightened and quickly escaped over the wall. His classmate chased after him relentlessly, pursuing him for two or three miles but couldn’t catch up, and eventually returned.

Due to his strenuous sprinting, Wang’s lung condition worsened, and he suffered from asthma for many years without recovery.

《霍生》

文登霍生,与严生少相狎,长相谑也。口给交御,惟恐不工。霍有邻妪,曾与严妻导产。偶与霍妇语,言其私处有两赘疣,妇以告霍。霍与同党者谋,窥严将至,故窃语云:“某妻与我最昵。”众故不信。霍因捏造端末,且云:“如不信,其阴侧有双疣。”严止窗外,听之既悉,不入径去。至家,苦掠其妻,妻不服,搒益残。妻不堪虐,自经死。霍始大悔,然亦不敢向严而白其诬矣。

严妻既死,其鬼夜哭,举家不得宁焉。无何,严暴卒,鬼乃不哭。霍妇梦女子披发大叫曰:“我死得良苦,汝夫妻何得欢乐耶!”既醒而病,数日寻卒。霍亦梦女子指数诟骂,以掌批其吻。惊而寤,觉唇际隐痛,扪之高起,三日而成双疣,遂为痼疾。不敢大言笑,启吻太骤,则痛不可忍。

异史氏曰:死能为厉,其气冤也。私病加于唇吻,神而近于戏矣!

邑王氏与同窗某狎。其妻归宁,王知其驴善惊,先伏丛莽中,伺妇至,暴出,驴惊妇堕。惟一僮从,不能扶妇乘。王乃殷勤抱控甚至,妇亦不识谁何。王扬扬以此得意,谓僮逐驴去,因得私其妇于莽中,述衵袴履甚悉。某闻,大惭而去。少间,自窗隙中,见某一手握刃,一手捉妻来,意甚怒恶。大惧,逾垣而逃。某从之,追二三里地,不及,始返。王尽力极奔,肺叶开张,以是得吼疾,数年不愈焉。

Leave a Comment