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Jun 24 2009

Irony is often lost on Swedes

My Swedish “hometown” of Malmö has been in the country’s news a lot lately for reasons that my American readership will likely find somewhat entertaining.

The first instance is a story about a cost-saving measure implemented at the city’s main police station in which several of the building’s restrooms were closed for the summer.

Nothing wrong with the plan in principle considering that much of the administrative staff will be on vacation during some portion of July and August. No, the problem was with the execution of it. Turns out the folks in charge of building maintenance didn’t bother to inform the affected departments before they locked them out of the toilets.

Don’t get me wrong…in these tough economic times, I truly do appreciate any government agency’s efforts to save tax money. But I’m not sure that forcing police to search a huge building (it serves as headquarters for regional law enforcement operations in this part of the country as well) just to find an open bathroom is making our streets any safer.

Then a few days later, the Malmö sports and recreation committee ruled that women have the right to swim topless in the city’s public pools if they want to, a ruling that can reasonably be considered more of a victory for teenage boys than for the women who filed the discrimination complaint.

And finally, on the VERY SAME DAY, Malmö customs officials were in the news for a seizure of 9,000 Viagra tablets that someone was trying to smuggle into the country through the mail. Talk about bad timing…the topless female bathing policy will probably cut the demand for erectile disfunction medication by at least 50%.

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Feed my ego!

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