The city of Bonn, Germany has long boasted of former resident Ludwig Van Beethoven, and now it can boast of automated ticket machines for street-walking prostitutes. It was only a matter of time before this would become a regulatory reality. Prostitutes must now fork over six euros a night (around $8.65 at the moment) for the privilege of plying their trade along the Immenburgstrasse.
The modified parking meter is, of course, manufactured by Siemens, and city officials are hoping to rake in between $400,000 and $500,000 in annual booty taxes. Said spokesperson Monika Frombgen, "This is an act of tax fairness. Prostitutes in fixed establishments such as brothels and sauna clubs already pay tax."
The new meter system means hookers must now buy tickets for the right to sell their bodies between the hours of 8:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. The streets will be monitored by inspectors, who will scold ticketless streetwalkers for their first offense, and subsequently fine and ban them if they don't pay up. The city collected $382 from the meter over the weekend, probably not enough to cover Angela Merkel's next haircut. (Or maybe it is.)
Critics of the ticket machine complain that it will encourage prostitution, just as critics of condom-distribution complain that it will encourage sex. But all the regulation makes the women walking the block much safer. They already have a private security detail. And now they have inspectors hanging around. (Who I hope all wear drab overcoats.) The city has also constructed special wooden garages near the machine where business can be "transacted." The streetwalkers will probably think the city is just one big pimp now, but at least the creep quotient will be significantly lower.