July 9, 2005

“Free Car Wash”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:11 am

During a portion of my walk this morning that took me down one of the main streets in town, I saw, in a distance, two people standing on a corner, each holding the end of a white sign. As I got closer, I could see that the sign was homemade, and I could also see that the sign was being held by two very respectable looking teen-aged kids (one girl and one boy). I could also hear that they were yelling something at the passing cars and waving them in direction of the side street that runs into the main street.

As I got even closer, I could see that the sign said, “Free Car Wash,” and I could hear that they were yelling “Free car wash here” to the passing cars. Not surprisingly, they were not getting any takers.

I happen to know that at the end of the block to which they were directing people, there is a small Protestant church, with a mixed, young congregation, and I think it is a good bet that this was a fundraising effort inspired by the church Youth Group. I assume that the car wash is indeed “free,” but the “customer” would be asked to make a donation to the church. In other words, it wasn’t, in the ugly sense of the word, a “scam”. I suspect that the passing motorists didn’t know any of that, but I could not help but wonder whether knowing that would have changed anything.

I thought how nice it is to be young enough to think that people might actually believe that something is truly “free.”


  1. I would bet most of them knew it… not that it was at a church, but that even though it was “free” there would be some sort of request for a donation.

    The kids would have been better off if they’d made a sign that said – Car Wash today… leave off the fake “free” bit. *grin*

    Comment by Teresa — July 9, 2005 @ 8:09 pm

  2. Jim I have seen “free” carwashes before.

    They were sponsered events for a charity.

    The deal was someone usually a business
    made a large contribution and they
    did a “free” carwash in their name.

    All you had to do was get your car washed
    pay nothing, be asked to pay nothing and oh
    yes usually get to see some cute teenyboppers
    running around in scant bathing suits. 😉

    Comment by Dan Kauffman — July 9, 2005 @ 11:00 pm

  3. I’ve never seen anything “free” in my life. You ALWAYS pay, one way or another.

    Comment by Acidman — July 10, 2005 @ 11:06 am

  4. By the way, Jimbo… let me know what you think of your new guitar. Willy says that you should have it by Tuesday.

    I believe that you will be mightily pleased.

    Comment by Acidman — July 10, 2005 @ 11:08 am

  5. I vaguely remember that here there’s some stupid law or ordinance which won’t allow charitable organizations or schools to charge a fee for things like that. They can only ask for donations. Maybe there’s something similar involved there.

    Comment by rita — July 10, 2005 @ 12:33 pm

  6. Rob,
    According to UPS, at this moment it is in Secaucus, New Jersey to be delivered tomorrow. I am stoked.

    Comment by Jim - Parkway Rest Stop — July 10, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

  7. When I was a church youth, we had those as well. The way we made our money was to get pledges from church members. They would pledge to give us some amount of money, say a dollar, for every car we washed. So for the washee, it truly was free, and we didn’t even ask for donations, the parishoners were the source of profit.

    I can’t say that’s how their setup was, but that’s how we did it back in the day.

    Comment by Evilwhiteguy — July 12, 2005 @ 12:07 am

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