Amsterdam Paying Alcoholics In Beer To Clean Streets

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Nice Move

I knew Holland was famous for sex, drugs, and M.C. Escher’s drawings of TFTC staircases, but just when I thought they couldn’t get any fratter…

Some alcoholics were causing a nuisance in one of Amsterdam’s parks. Now, through a special program, the men are being kept busy cleaning streets. For a day’s work, they receive 10 euros (around $13 U.S.), a half-packet of rolling tobacco and five cans of beer — two to start the day, two at lunch and one for after work.

The Dutch sure know how to give the people what they want. I’m a functional alcoholic now, but I know that when I seamlessly transition into the non-functional stage post-graduation, this is the exact job I want. Smoking heaters and shotgunning shitty foreign brews in a park I shittily cleaned sounds way better than the typical 9 to 5.

Gerrie Holterman, who heads the Rainbow Foundation project, which is funded by the Dutch state and donations, says the aim of the project is to keep the men occupied and away from disruptive fighting and noise-making in the park.

Maybe the Dutch respond differently to alcohol than us Americans, but I don’t see how giving these drunkards beer will curb fighting and noise-making. I still fully support the Rainbow Foundation’s project, but only because I think enabling alcoholics is sort of funny. We all have that one friend who drank way too much sophomore year, dropped out of college, went to AA, and came back a year later, chip in hand, who we tie down and force to buttchug Frangelico after he tells us he isn’t going out on a Friday night. Frat!

One 45-year-old alcoholic, named Frank, says, “I think I can speak for the group and say that if they didn’t give us beers then we wouldn’t come. … We need alcohol to function.”

It’s a TFM.

Looks like it’s time to rethink the old “you’re just going to spend this on alcohol!” excuse and start dropping Natties in panhandlers’ change cups if we want any real change.

[via USA Today]

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