Monday, August 07, 2006

Out with the old. In with the teens.

The One Bench Geezers lose even that in Holland:

AMSTERDAM — The official meeting place for senior citizens in the town of Oude Pekela in the north of the Netherlands has been taken over by the local youth.

Jan Romme, director of the national senior citizens fund, confirmed on Monday that the hang-out is in a run down state. Piles of rubbish and cigarette butts are building up and the bench has graffiti on it, with texts such as 'geile beer' (lecher).

The meeting place was announced in March with much fan fair to enable older people to socialise after the local supermarket introduced a general ban on groups gathering there.

After it was unveiled, a number of shopkeepers moved the 'hang-out' bench to a darker and less
attractive corner of the shopping centre.

Despite this, it was originally a great success. But as the weather became warmer the seniors made less and less use of the bench as a meeting place. This was a cue for teenagers to claim the place as their own.

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