Today I came home to find a flyer taped to the front window of the house, offering a curb number painting service (“Community Address Painting Service”). At first I though this was a second chance to get our number repainted properly, since last time they flaked out and failed to come down our street. But a couple of things made me question the validity of this flyer. This all occurred after I had written a check for $15 and taped it to the front window. To assuage my suspicions, I decided to search the web for answers (but of course, where else would one look?).

Google had one hit for the exact phrase “Community Address Painting Service”, and it was the public works commision meeting minutes for West Lafayette, IN from 1997. Apparently an enterprising person wanted to offer this service to the city, and the police chief made a couple of remarks. He pointed out that the flyer should have an address and phone number for the service. The reason being that he heard from police chiefs in other cities that similar flyers went up and the next day the checks were collected, but no curbs were painted.

This reminded me of the last time a similar flyer appeared, about two years ago. It was actually a letter from the home owners association, saying that they had commissioned a team to repaint the old curb numbers. If we wanted to participate, we just tape a paper in our window with the house number on it, then later they would send us a bill. I put up the paper, but they didn’t paint our curb (or anyone else’s along our street). Oh well, nothing lost, nothing gained.

So, given that this flyer today lacks both an address and a phone number, I have taken it down and torn up the check. Now we’ll see if anyone else falls for it, and whether or not their curbs are painted.