News with a Twist
Coping with the loss of a loved one – Porsche/Bentley edition
The big news in some parts of the country this week was not the impending confrontation between the United States and its NATO allies over the Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Nor was it a judge’s ruling that Donald Trump and his two “children,” Lil’ Donny and “Ivankaranka,” will have to testify at depositions this week regarding financial improprieties at their eponymously named company. It wasn’t even Joe Manchin “just saying no” one more time.
No, the big news in Marin County California and Palm Beach County Florida, two places where I’ve lived and now live, was this:
Cargo ship carrying Porsches and Bentleys is burning and adrift at sea; tow boats on the way
The cargo ship, Felicity Ace, packed with Porches, Bentleys, Audis and Volkswagens — went up in flames while crossing the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday.
According to the Portuguese navy, the 650-foot ship was afire and adrift near the Azores Islands. It was traveling from Emden, Germany, to Rhode Island. All 22 sailors aboard the ship were rescued.
While the cause of the fire has not been determined, it is possible that lithium-ion batteries in the electric cars on the Felicity Ace caught fire. Although no Tesla cars were reported to be on board, Elon Musk immediately issued a statement saying he bears no responsibility for the fire, blaming Mark Zuckerberg and FaceBook for once again spreading nasty rumors about him. However, the website “Find My Vessel” reported one crew member said that the ship was using Tesla’s self-driving, hands-free software to navigate and was miles off-course. Musk offered a “no comment” when asked about that allegation.
The good news is that the crew was rescued. That same could not be said about the Porsches and Bentleys. And that’s why this news was a page one, above the fold story in both the Marin Independent Journal and the Palm Beach Post.
Many buyers in both counties awaiting delivery of cars being transported on the ship were reported to be beside themselves and seeking psychological counsel. In Marin, where BMWs were once referred to as “BasicMarinWheels,” and where Porsche is now the sports car of choice, one man, Francis Drake VII who lives on the lagoon in the tony Marin enclave of Belvedere is in particular stress. Drake has been waiting for his Porsche since August and doesn’t know what he’ll do if the car he ordered burns and sinks.
“The Boxster Spyder with Deman 4.5 motor and shorty gears is the best sports car of all time, hands down,” Drake lamented. “I had it specced exactly as I wanted it. There is no moving on.”
The Marin IJ reported that the Belvedere Police Department has begun a suicide watch, placing one of their six officers outside Drake’s home on a 24/7 basis.
The situation in Palm Beach County, and particularly in Boca Raton, is even more critical, as many upscale gated communities in that city have a residential requirement that each household must have one registered Bentley convertible.
With that in mind, the Palm Beach Post is reporting that psychiatrists and psychologists in Boca are being overwhelmed with calls from patients seeking emergency counseling.
Curious about how my own “Boca shrink” is handling the emergency, I gave her a call. Here’s her current outgoing voice message:
“Hello, you’ve reached the office of Dr. Miriam Fitzgerald Schwartzkopf. Please listen carefully as this message has recently changed. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911. If this is a Bentley emergency please press #. If this is about Porsches and Audis lost at sea, please leave a message with your name, phone number, car make and model and the car’s approximate MSRP. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible in descending order of your car’s value. If this is about VWs lost at sea, please press * and your call will be redirected to the next available psychologist in Boynton or Lake Worth.”
Here at Around the Block, we can only say to all our friends in both Marin and Boca, “our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of need.”