As bus 68X sped through the streets of Hong Kong, the man in front of Elvis Ho kept talking on his cell phone. So Elvis, 23, tapped the man on his shoulder and asked him to lower his voice. He called the man "Uncle," a Cantonese phrase for addressing older men.
The man was livid. He spun around, leaned over his seat and started shouting at Elvis. His tirade continued for almost six minutes.
Another passenger on the bus captured footage of the exchange on his cell phone and broadcast it across the Internet. The "Bus Uncle" video, which was recorded the night of April 29, is making its way around the world. People are quoting the clip, selling T-shirts of the Bus Uncle, even marketing ring tones of his now-famous rant.
More than 5-million people have downloaded the video from YouTube.com, the Wall Street Journal reported last week. The Journal reporter tracked down Elvis Ho and the Bus Uncle, whose real name is Roger Chan. According to the Journal, Chan is 51. He lives in a 350-square-foot apartment with five cats. Last year, he unsuccessfully ran for the office of Hong Kong's chief executive.
What follows are translated excerpts from the argument between Elvis and the Bus Uncle, as taken from English subtitles on the video. Wording and punctuation have not been changed. Language has been edited for obscenity.
Be warned: The scene is both absurd and profane.
- LANE DEGREGORY, Times staff writer
Bus Uncle: (Standing, shouting over his seat at Elvis Ho behind him) Get off the bus right now! Don't, don't stay on the bus.
Elvis: (Sitting, leaning back in his seat) No need.
Bus Uncle: Why did you pat on my shoulder? I'm talking on the phone. You, you . . .
Bus Uncle: Hey, don't call me boss.
Elvis: Fair! We don't know each other.
Bus Uncle: Why should you do that? Why should you do that? Hey! Everyone has pressure. You're now doing something unfair. Should I have some words for you? (Pointing his finger inches from Elvis' face) Did I touch you? What? I want you to apologize.
Bus Uncle: Why? Am I correct?
Elvis: You wanna save face. Sorry, boss.
Bus Uncle: I don't wanna save face. Hey! I didn't disturb your conversation. Why did you blame me for talking too loudly?
Elvis: What do you want?
Bus Uncle: I wanna settle with you.
Elvis: It's simply settled.
Bus Uncle: Not yet! Not yet!!! We have to deal with it seriously. . . . Did I disturb your conversation? So why did you disturb me?
Elvis: Too loudly.
Bus Uncle: Hey! You were also on the phone! Did I blame you? Both of us were only on the phone. There must be noise.
Elvis: But . . .
Bus Uncle: Our voices are the same.
Bus Uncle: I've pressure. You've pressure. Why did you aggress me? What? Apologize!
Bus Uncle: (Shouting) Louder!
Bus Uncle: (Shaking his finger in Elvis' face) Be warned! Don't do that again. (Bus Uncle extends his right hand over the seat. Elvis pulls back, holding his cell phone in his right hand.) Give me your hand. Why? You don't agree? Should shake hands after apology. Useless without shaking hands!
Elvis: No need.
Bus Uncle: Why is there no need? It's not dealt without shaking.
Bus Uncle: You disturbed my conversation. Did I do that in return? F---! I am already furious! What the hell patting on me? (At this point, Bus Uncle makes a suggestion about Elvis' mother.) You also talk while I am talking. What the hell you know about me? . . . We haven't shaken hands!
Elvis: Okay! I give . . . give way to you. (They shake hands.)
Bus Uncle: Fine! Don't do that again. For others, you'll be punched.
Elvis: We may meet again.
Bus Uncle: By destiny. Don't do that again. Don't disturb me. Okay?
Bus Uncle: We both have pressure. What? I welcome fight any time.
Elvis: No need. Gentlemen say, not fight.
Bus Uncle: Talking with you is a damn trouble. You patted on my shoulder! Maybe I should pat on your head! You've just apologized. It's fine! But . . .
(Here Bus Uncle describes an impossible encounter between himself and Elvis' mom. Elvis swears back.)
Elvis: I warn you . . .
Bus Uncle: You warn me for what? Buddy, why are you warning me? We've shaken hands.
Elvis: It's been dealt.
Bus Uncle: So why did you warn me? I have great pressure. I wanna shake hands. . . . Ought to punch you twice! You warned me? I am not scared. I have damn pressure, you know?
Elvis: Settled! Understand?
Bus Uncle: It was not settled if you warn me. Dealt. We've shaken hands, okay?
Elvis: Fine! No more words with you!
Bus Uncle: (His cell phone rings.) Damn!
Elvis: Answer the phone!
Bus Uncle: (Finally sits down, talks into the cell phone, just as he was doing when the argument began.) Yes . . . Yes . . . Yes . . .