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This is the kind of story that just smacks of urban myth, and yet ...

InventorSpot, a website that says it's dedicated to inventions and innovations, reports that a bus company in China -- the Harbin Public Transport Co. in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang -- has outfitted buses with bright yellow bricks emblazoned with red characters that say "for emergency use."

Why? Here's the part of the story I love:

"In case of emergency, brick glass? Goodbye, yellow brick, road? Have brick, will travel? The puns come fast and furious when attempting to explain a low-tech safety measure found on Chinese passenger buses: yellow-painted, window-breaking bricks."

The idea is to offer an (admittedly crude) means of escape -- and the bricks apparently have been around for a few years. The story goes on to say the bricks replace hammers, which were expensive and frequently stolen from the buses. About 300 of 700 buses in the company's fleet have two bricks each: one under the driver's seat and another in one of the rear seats.

I'm not completely convinced. Anyone traveled in China recently and seen the bus bricks firsthand?

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