This is a story about two families: The Liang family and the Xiong family living next to each other in the same building in the fair city of Taipei, Taiwan. One day, their long dislike for each other erupted over something as simple as a dead cockroach.

One early morning, as Mr. Liang left for work, he saw a dead cockroach in front of his neighbor's door. He didn't think much about it and left. When he came home later, he found the dead cockroach in front of his own door. He was upset and believed that the Xiong family must have moved the dead cockroach there.

Mr. Liang went to ask his neighbor, but Mr. Xiong denied it. They got into a heated argument which escalated into a fist fight. The two wives came out to stop the fight, but ended up getting involved themselves, and both couples got into a bloody melee.

The police were called, but since both sides were wounded mediators were asked to step in. It took almost 4 hours for the two mediators (in the photo with the dead roach) to defuse the fireworks. The mediators, Mr. Tsai and Mr. Wu, realized there was an underlying issue between the two sides and the cockroach was simply the catalyst that ignited the war. Mr. Liang has long disliked the Xiong's kids for slamming their door and making a thumping noise that affects his heart. The mediators convinced the two couples that the penalty for assault would be costly if they did not agree to reconcile. The penalty could be 3 months of imprisonment for each person, and the fine could be NT $90,000 (about US $3,000) for each side.

Finally, the Xiong couple gave a red envelope of NT$2,000 (US$67) as a token of consolation and promised that their kids would close the door gently from now on. Mr. Liang also became softened and accepted the red envelope but returned the money. The nice gestures from both sides helped the two neighbors become friendly again.

It is suspected that the cockroach was only half dead at first, but then crawled to the other door and died there. Personally, I think the poor little dead roach was Romeo looking for his Juliet. It's good that we have a happy ending for this story.