Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, March 17, 2014

RI 499971

Just back from the Ocean State. While New York debates Di Blasio's St. Patrick's Day Parade "snub" and New Jersey ponders the ever-expanding Traffic-Study-Gate, Rhode Island is enjoying the spectacle of a candidate for governor and a celebrity spouse squirming over a missing car.  In brief: On February 25th, Michelle Kwan, figure skater and wife of Clay Pell, the candidate (son of patrician Democratic Senator Clairborne Pell) reported the couple's 2010 Toyota Prius missing from a parking spot across the street from their house on Providence's East Side. As it turns out, the couple waited nine hours to report the theft, during which time they scoured the neighborhood for their earth-friendly hybrid vehicle. (It now appears that, in his rush to meet Michelle at a campaign event the night before, Clay had dropped the keys inside the car and left it unlocked.)

Dude, where's my car? (And my stick?!)
You might think the delay in reporting signals a lack of confidence in the Providence Police Department (nobody calls it the "PPD"). Instead, it signals a lack of confidence in Clay's memory. A March 11 story in The Providence Journal (here) revealed that three months earlier the same car had been reported missing from the same spot. However, on that occasion, Pell was able to find the car parked outside a coffee shop just blocks from the Pell-Kwan house. What luck!

In fact, Pell's spokesperson tells us the initial report contained some "inaccuracies." It now appears that Clay had forgotten that he had driven there, walked home from the coffee shop, and, noticing the car was not parked across the street, reported it missing. A short while later, he walked to the coffee shop and found his car where he had originally left it. He called the police back to report he had found the car. An officer arrived on the scene and asked him, "Did you misplace your car?" Pell conceded that he did.

The more recent missing vehicle report appears to be genuine. To cap it off, the Prius had a hockey stick signed by Wayne Gretsky in the trunk. And you thought you had car problems!

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