Like the song goes, breaking up is hard to do, so what do you do when your paramour becomes a parasite? I mean, who you gonna call?
The Chinese Lovebusters, of course! Here's how those who fell out of love in China can outsource the sad task of breaking up to a "break-up agent":
If one party wishes to break up with the other but find it difficult to tell them in person, he or she can hand over the thorny problem to the 26 break-up services advertised on the e-commerce platform Taobao.
These companies will break the bad news to the jilted party and also provide gifts to soften the blow. The gift of freedom (if not from guilt) is avilable for around 100-200 yuan (US$15-30).
Tu Weiming, a 25-year-old man from Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, became such an agent together with his friends after watching a Korean film called, appropriately enough, Sad Movie. He said he started the business just for fun and was actually surprised when he got his first case.
Among his clients, he remembers most clearly the case of a young woman. He was originally paid by her boyfriend to tell her that their relationship is over. As he delivered the news to her however, the girl threw him 500 yuan (US$78) and told him, "I am the one who wants to finish it, not him." Thus, like an emotional version of Lee Van Cleef's mercenary in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he collected from both parties and broke both hearts.
Tu has not always been so lucky. On one occasion he was assumed to be the new beau of a girl who hired him to break up with her boyfriend, who trapped him in a cafe with his friends until the girl showed up and talked the man out of beating him.