Metalhead gets disability pay for heavy-metal addiction

Metalhead gets disability pay for heavy-metal “addiction”
by Adriana Barton, Globe and Mail
Monday, July 25, 2011

Never mess with a man’s Metallica – let alone his Iron Maiden and AC/DC.

In Sweden, a dishwasher has succeeded in having his heavy-metal habit declared an addiction requiring disability payments, reports The Local, a Swedish news site.

Roger Tullgren, 42, says he consulted three psychologists to obtain statements confirming the depth of his heavy-metal dependency. “I have been trying for 10 years to get this classified as a handicap,” he told a reporter. The heavily tattooed metalhead says his compulsion to attend up to 300 concerts last year left him out of work and on welfare.

Now his part-time income will be supplemented by state benefits. What’s more, his boss has agreed to give Mr. Tullgren time off to see shows as long as he makes it up later. And the hard-rocking dishwasher is allowed to play metal on the job – “but not too loud when there are guests,” he notes.

The musicophile reportedly got hooked at age two when his older brother came home with a Black Sabbath album.

But as odd as his obsession sounds, it’s hardly the kookiest addiction out there.

Growing 24-inch fingernails, eating drywall and performing non-stop ventriloquism are among the weird compulsions highlighted in the TLC reality show My Strange Addiction.

Treatment generally involves urging addicts to kick the habit: In uber-liberal Swedish, the state could be accused of enabling Mr. Tullgren’s addiction by accommodating his heavy-metal lifestyle.

It’s enough to turn any employer into a headbanger – against a wall.

File under “The World Gets Weirder and Weirder”.

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