Topless Carwash Political Economy

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 5/25/2007 03:37:00 AM
WARNING: The topic of this post may be politically incorrect. Do not shoot the messenger. Pardon me for this silly post but I have been unable to resist it. You might be wondering, "What the !@#$ do topless carwashes have to do with international political economy?" Well, it's simple, really. The ongoing drought in Australia has made the government ban citizens from washing their own cars. That's the political side. Toss in the possible effects of global warming and you have an international side, too. Consequently, there has been a boom in carwashing services in drought-stricken areas. An enterprising (or depraved, depending on your point of view) strip joint operator thus decided to create a topless carwash service in Brisbane. That's the economic side--supply and demand, my friends. Here's the story:
Australia's worst drought in memory has had many weird side-effects -- but a nude carwash has to be one of the oddest. The "big dry" has driven snakes into towns in search of water and sent thirst-crazed wild camels rampaging through outback camps. In Brisbane, capital of the "Sunshine State" of Queensland on the east coast, it led to water restrictions, including a ban on residents washing their own cars. The result was a boom in professional carwash services, a phenomenon which caught the eye of strip club entrepreneur Warren Armstrong.

He set up "Bubbles 'n Babes", where customers can have their cars washed by a topless woman for 55 dollars (45 US), or a nude woman for 100 dollars. Armstrong told the City News newspaper this week the operation was above board.

"I'm just trying to make an honest dollar -- simple as that," he said. [Such a heartwarming story, Warren.]

Police said no complaints had been received and, as the washing took place out of public view, no criminal offence was being committed. Acting State Premier Anna Bligh said the operation was running on recycled water and therefore did not break water restrictions -- but neither she nor the government fleet would be using it.

"It seems to me a pretty weird and wacky way to get your car washed," she said.
Brisbane's finest have, er, washed their hands clean of the operation:
A nude carwash offering an X-rated sideshow and topless cleaning in Australia's tropical Queensland state has been given the all-clear after police and officials said they were powerless to scrub it.

The Bubbles 'n' Babes carwash in Brisbane prompted a flood of complaints with a topless car wash for A$55 (about R330) and a nude car wash with X-rated lap-dance service for A$100 (about R600).

"If it was approved for a car wash then I can't imagine how we can stop them," Lord Mayor Campbell Newman told a council meeting with worried local lawmakers...

The raunchy wash, set up by a strip-club owner, was screened from the public and used recycled water to avoid breaching water use restrictions, they said.

"We don't want any traffic accidents caused by people looking at the girls instead of looking at the road," Superintendent Colin Campbell told local media.