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Once or twice a generation, a person comes along who willingly risks everything in the fight for basic human dignity. Nelson Mandela. The Dalai Lama. And, now, Joel Gwynn.

Joel Gwynn?

If you live in the Greater Boston area, you might know him from his web site, He might even have saved you a hundred, two hundred, or--if you're like Tommy--thousands of dollars. You see, in Boston, twice a month--at an interval that no normal human being can possibly keep track of--a brigade of over-eager tow truck drivers tow every car on one side street of every street in the city. Why do they do this? Presumably so they city can sweep the streets and the city will be clean.

But why do they really do it? Think about it. The drivers get paid for every car they tow. Do they want you to remember to move your car? No. Plus, the city gets 25 bucks for the ticket they slap on every car that gets towed. Then, the tow-storage yard slaps a "storage fee" on the car. Everybody gets rich! Except the poor car owner who has no way to get to work, has to take a cab to the tow yard and then shell out 100 bucks to get his car back. It's a revenue scam, in our humble opinion.

And singlehandedly, Joel is battling the entrenched conspiracy of City Hall, the Greater Boston Brotherhood of recently-paroled Tow Truck Drivers and the League of Embittered, Taciturn Traffic Enforcement Officers.

So, how does work? It's simple.

Bostonsweeper automatically notifies you when there's an impending street cleaning in your 'hood.

The result? You save valuable dineros...while simultaneously depriving primitive forms of life your hard earned money.

Here at Car Talk Plaza, we've been using the Bostonsweeper service for several years now. Joel has saved Tommy fully 14 Denver boots on his MG--enough to pay for the gaudy Tony Soprano marble fountain in Tommy's backyard.

How did Joel get the idea? How many flaming Denver boots have been thrown through his living room window? And who will tow him if he ever breaks down?

We wanted to find out. So, recently, at Joel's safe house--directly above the Johnny D's in Davis Square, here in Our Fair City--we sat down and talked with him.

Tom and Ray

P.S. If you work for Boston City Hall, the Parking Enforcement Bureau, or anyone else who makes money off of other people's absentmindedness...good luck "erasing" Joel. With those Groucho glasses and moustache, the odd hours he keeps at Designers' CADD Company, 875 Massachusetts Avenue, you'd have an easier time finding Jimmy Hoffa.

Read Car Talk's Interview with's Joel Gwynn.

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