Conflicts and compromises between the urban administrators and an aging fruit vendor who takes advantage of public streets to do his business in Wuhan, the largest city in Central China. The bureau officers are firm in their duty to clean up the streets, but still show sympathy towards vendors being displaced. They meet their match in Wang Tiancheng, an elderly and cantankerous seller of fruits and clothing, who receives help from his grown son who lost a hand in a factory accident. The old man is brazenly defiant, like a swordless warrior against an army. He rips up the officers' paper citations, screams insults to their faces, and even throws punches. They take his abuse with surprising patience and humour. But their bosses are adamant to see the job get done.