After a short period of being quietly weird, Germany is really unloading with the utter strangeness lately, mailing us spiders and the killer pig they butcher in the name of revenge and freaking out over Google. The German city of Dortmund, which has a deficit of $133 million or so, is trying to fill the hole any way they can, and they naturally turned to the first thing a politician always thinks of: prostitutes!
In the one way in which Germany is like Nevada, prostitution is actually legal there, which come to think of it, really does explain a lot about Germany. And taxing hookers is nothing new: the city of Cologne introduced the awesomely-named “pleasure tax” in 2004, although we’re not sure who collects it, and whether he washes his hands a lot.
So how are the hookers taking it from the government? In the form of a $8-a-day pass. The city is really sticking it to the hooker both ways; either she can pay up front for the pass, or if she gets caught, she’ll take it in the back end in the form of a fine.
Which leaves us with just one question, really. Say a hooker works a five day week; that’s $40 a week, $1080 a year. So how many hookers do they have on the streets that this is actually going to chip into their nine-figure budget deficit? Are there any non-hookers in Dortmund? Is it just a big hookerville?
Even if it’s not, it still sounds more laid back than the British and their ridiculousness this week. Our cousins to the East have a tradition of “Christmas crackers”, which are basically a teeny cap from a cap gun in a cardboard tube that pops when you pull them apart. People treat them like wishbones, and it’s a much more fun tradition than drinking heavily in the morning and pretending to be sober like most American families.
Anyway, the British have classified these utterly harmless little devices as “class 1 fireworks”, which means if you look under…wait for it…25, they’re going to card you in order to keep these dangerous little things out of the grasp of …15-year-olds. What do the retailers get for violating this rule? A fine of up to 5000…pound…things (WINGDINGS ARE HARD OK?), which is about $8000 in real money, and a six month stay in jail.
So, just to reiterate, a country facing serious problems, including a serious knife crime problem in the city of London, has decided the best course of action to protect people is to ban something absolutely harmless because it makes a loud noise.
Man, Britain…just…man up.
- Meanwhile, in animal news, some idiot let their small yappy dog out on a flight and it bit two people, forcing the pilot to divert the flight. Why do we bring this up? (CNBC)
- Because of the far more bad-ass contrasting story in Australia, where a flight was diverted not by a tiny dog that likely exists as a food source, but because they were having trouble loading in a cheetah. Why were they loading a cheetah into an airplane? To see what would happen. This is Australia. Fine, fine, it was being transferred between zoos, and didn’t actually get out. But still, you have to admit, a minor flight delay in Australia is vastly more awesome than an animal actually getting out into an airplane in America. Way to make us look like wusses, US Airways (Reuters)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- There are at least 200,000 prostitutes in Germany, that the German government actually knows of. Even better, their support organization is named HYDRA. HAIL HYDRA! (German Ministry for Family and Whatever)
- Hey, want to know just how scary Britain actually is? Back in 2006, they had 4.2 million cameras. In 1999, they had 1 million. Doing the math, that means by now, there is at least one camera in Britain watching someone poop. What’s wrong with these people? That’s what the Germans are supposed to do! (BBC)