Los Angeles Times

Bad luck? Lost job? Coronavirus outbreak? Hong Kong's 'villain-hitters' beat all fears away

HONG KONG - Slap, slap, slap.

The sound echoed off a highway bridge overhead, cutting through the beeping and ringing of car horns and crosswalk bells. Under the bridge, a wrinkled woman in a red vest and flowery shirt hunched over on a stool, pressing a paper figurine down on a stack of bricks with one hand, raising an old slipper to the sky with the other.

She paused, taking aim at the paper person, then bashed the shoe down like a chef with a cleaver, chopping and chanting in Cantonese. Slap, slap, slap-slap-slap.

"Beat your little hand, beat your little eye, beat your little foot, beat your little mouth," she muttered, smashing the "small person," a Chinese phrase meaning one who's petty, villainous or

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