By SAO GOODMAN
WENZHOU (China Daily Show) – Police were last night hunting a trio of drug dealers, after a botched batch of traditional Chinese methamphetamine (TCM) unexpectedly exploded, killing two and singeing the eyelashes of one.
Witnesses in the thriving business city of Wenzhou reported smelling smoke and fragrant herbs before the explosion. A camper van was later seen hightailing it out of the area, tires squealing, shortly after the makeshift laboratory went up in flames.
Local cops quickly released the names of three suspects: Hai Zengbo, 52, his wife Si Kailuo, 47, and 26-year-old acolyte Ping Meng.
Police began to suspect the team of cooking TCM after plainclothes officers observed Ping purchasing large boiling cauldrons and suspicious amounts of lizard scales, bat wool and anhydrous ammonia from a neighborhood dispensary.
TCM is a popular cure in China used for common ailments such as fatigue, loss of libido, boredom and wealth. Users typically feel euphoric and productive before losing most of their teeth and moving in under a bridge.
Chinese meth was once also a favorite remedy against fatigue for sentries guarding fortifications such as the Great Wall.
Ming General Qi Jiguang is among several well-known historic tweakers, and Mao Zedong’s Red Army medics reportedly whipped up several batches just prior to the Long March of 1934.
Subsequent paintings depicting peasants gurning and waving during the arduous journey (left) are considered historically accurate.
According to police, Hai was a chemistry teacher who had fallen on hard times.
In 2008, his wife was duped by local doctors into allowing a snake to bite her repeatedly, in order to cure her of an obtuse case of passive aggression. Instead, the bites caused her to die.
When all of Hai’s hair fell out, he was forced to go into drug dealing to pay for a costly series of mostly-useless traditional Chinese treatments.
Police say Hai then recruited one of his former students, Ping Meng, 26, a college drop-out and former race car driver, now on the look-out for a new direction.
Ping’s extensive contacts in the endangered wildlife trade made the pair an unlikely partnership for a TCM bonanza.
But that all came to an abrupt halt this weekend when Ping, apparently seeking to narrow the gang’s pseudo-echinacea margins, attempted to cook using the grungier “hot pot” method, rather than Hais preferred “scientific” technique.
Also known as “shake and bake,” the hot-pot technique involves pouring all the ingredients into one large container and stirring vigorously, which increases the risk of spontaneous combustion due to the close proximity of qi to the heat source.
Hai is now said to be “hopping mad” with Ping.