…and then it gets weird.

Times are so tough in China that entrepreneurs can’t afford to keep five mistresses as well as their wife. So how does an enterprising businessman deal with this unexpected side effect of the Global Financial Crisis?

Let’s turn to Pravda for the answer [emphasis added]:

SHANGHAI – A MARRIED Chinese tycoon who could no longer afford to support his five mistresses during the economic slowdown held a contest to decide which one to keep, local media reported on Tuesday.

The contest took a tragic turn when one of the mistresses, who was eliminated based on her looks, drove her former lover and the four other women off a mountain road in an apparent fit of anger, the Shanghai Daily reported.

But wait! It gets stranger!

Mr Fan… introduced her to the four other mistresses – two of his employees and two former clients – with all given a 5,000-yuan (S$1,177) monthly allowance and rent-free apartment, the report said.

However, when Mr Fan’s business ran into tough times, he decided to lay off all but one woman, the report said.

“Lay off”, cough cough. But wait – it still gets stranger!

Mr Fan hired an instructor from a modelling agency to judge a private contest he held at a hotel in May, but he did not tell the women about his intentions.

Ms Yu was eliminated in the first-round beauty competition and a woman surnamed Liu eventually won after dominating the drinking round, the report said.

The drinking round? (Now that’d liven up the next series of America’s Next Top Model.) But wait – it gets even stranger!

His wife divorced him after learning of his affairs, the report said…

…because she obviously didn’t think it was suspicious when her husband didn’t come home for five nights a week.

Now, readers, there is a moral to this story, and that moral is this:

If you’re going to keep five mistresses, bribe them with stipends and apartments, hold a thinly disguised beauty contest where the four losers are cut off from their sugar daddy, and then bring all five of them on a bus trip along a mountain road… make sure the winner does the driving.

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