Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love is All Around (Public Transportation Division)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - It is inarguable that Danish culture is extremely socially progressive.
   In 1969, for example, Denmark was the first country to legalize pornography, a move for which it should be awarded a Nobel prize, as have been some of its authors and physicists (for literature and science, not, alas, for pornography). 
  In that tradition - the socially progressive one, not the pornographic one - a bus company in the capital city of Copenhagen (population 1,181,239) has decided to put what it calls "love seats" in its buses to spur light-hearted conversation and even, perhaps, romance. 
  Two seats on each bus are covered in red cloth and sport a "Love Seat" sign, according to a May 3 post on the Web site of AFP, an international news wire service. 
  "Even love at first sight is possible on the bus," Martin Wex, a spokesman for the Arriva bus company, told the AFP. "You never know what will happen. We cannot guarantee that you will find the person of your dreams. We are just offering the possibility for people to communicate, to smile a bit more, and, possibly, to win someone's heart."
  The experiment, already a success - Mr. Wex said drivers have noticed lightened moods on buses - will last a fortnight, and is secondarily geared to getting drives out of cars and into buses. 
  This is incredibly touching, and is the sort of thing one hopes might catch on worldwide, but with modifications appropriate to the culture that appropriates it.
  For example, here in America the seats would be termed "Hate Seats" and equipped with bullhorns and earplugs. That way, people could scream political slogans at each other without being required to engage in civil dialogue.
  The seats would be outfitted with holsters for the participants' handguns and a selection of hors d'oeuvres from Taco Bell, Burger King, Jack in the Box and McDonald's. 
  Out of deference to the troubling gastronomical habits endemic to the United States, the seats would be the size of small beds, the better to accommodate the ever-expanding American badonkadonk.

  (In an interesting geographical side note, Denmark, one of the three Nordic countries - the others are Sweden and Norway - is possessed of a peninsula named, quite reasonably, Jutland. This is not unlike having a mountain range named Reachpeak, which, come to think of it, would also be an excellent name for an exotic dancer or, indeed, a fitness coach.)

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