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The Morning GIF: Bus driver narrowly dodges being impaled

Mao Zhihao mixes pole dancing and jousting by accident.


Lorraine Murphy

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 28, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 8:17 pm CDT

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Don’t mess with Mao!

You think you had a bad Monday. Chinese bus driver Mao Zhihao has nerves of steel, reflexes of lightning, a head of levelness, the luck of the Irish, and a few days off work healing his ruptured spleen in the hospital. Why? He’s recovering from a spectacular accident at the start of this week in which his moving bus was rammed by a toppling steel lamp post. Basically, he jousted with a flying street lamp, and lost. 

Or won?

Despite having only a fraction of a second to see what was happening, he managed to duck, roll, and avoid the foot-diameter steel pole that smashed through his windshield and the rest of the bus. What was he doing while everyone in back was screaming? Pinned on his side, unable to see the road, he was steering the bus to the curb by feel, gearing down, and braking. Once the bus had come to the prescribed complete halt safety announcers are always nagging us about, he got out from under the pole, grabbed his cell phone to document the accident (good lad!), helped the passengers off the bus, then made a report to the police.

Then and only then did he go to the hospital for the potentially fatal ruptured spleen which he hadn’t noticed at first because he was busy.

Today he’s a hero around the world. He told Sky News, “I was pinned down by the lamppost and put the bus into gear instinctively. I just wanted to slow the bus down.” The YouTube video has more than 190,000 views. He’s on the Huffington Post, Gawker, NPR, MSN, RT, and now, in the crowning glory, the Daily Dot. 

The GIF comes to us from Cuntamination on Tumblr, and was clearly ripped from the video posted on YouTube. It has only 432 notes, because while there’s a <3 button on Tumblr, there’s no “Holy Shitballs” button. 

GIF by Cuntamination/Tumblr

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*First Published: Mar 28, 2013, 8:32 am CDT