Last week, the city of Lexington launched its “End Panhandling Now” initiative, a jobs program that picks up panhandlers in former vice mayor Jim Gray’s old Chevy Astrovan and lets them clean up trash around the city for a massive pay cut of $9 an hour. This week the city will be implementing phase two of the program, which involves staging large-scale gladiator fights in CentrePointe between any panhandlers whose “Stranger Danger” instincts prevent them from accepting rides from weird vans with blacked out windows.
“Not only will this put an end to the extremely minor inconvenience that panhandling causes, but it will also finally allow us to put CentrePointe to good use,” said a press release.
Combatants in the events will choose weapons ranging from swords and supersoakers to shields made of cardboard. They’ll also be able to take advantage of the surroundings that CentrePointe provides, as they can grab handfuls of dirt or gravel to throw at their opponent ‘s eyes as a last ditch effort for victory. They’ll fight each other until one tires out, at which point future former vice mayor Steve Kay will give a thumbs up or thumbs down to determine their fate.
Depending on the success of the gladiator program, the city could continue to expand its efforts to bring an end to panhandling. Other potential options include a Running Man style race through the streets of Lexington, a Hunger Games style event in Jacobson Park, or a Most Dangerous Game style hunt that would allow wealthy citizens of Lexington to pay for the opportunity to track and subdue panhandlers at one of the city’s private golf courses.