File this one under "must be a culture difference":
A public library in Holland has been swamped with queries after unveiling plans to "lend out" living people, including homosexuals, drug addicts, asylum seekers, gipsies and the physically handicapped.
The volunteers will be borrowed by users of the library, in Almelo, who can take them to a cafeteria, and ask them any questions they like for up to an hour, in a scheme designed to break down barriers and combat prejudice.
Renting homeless people to library patrons for a kaffeeklatch? Mwheh-heh. Yeah. Good luck with that, Holland. All I know is, it'd never work in America. Because if this were an endeavor in an American public library, a whole lot of things could go wrong very quickly. Two days into the experiment, there'd be hundreds of complaints about panhandling, bad language, inappropriate touching, confidence schemes, propositions, drug use … body odor … then the human rights groups would get involved ... Jesse Jackson would arrive to lead a prayer at the circulation desk ...
Americans! I love us, you know I do, but we're a suspicious lot with a finicky sense of smell.