An internationally respected psychic has provided the best explanation yet for the City’s failure to craft a working solution for the now vacant Harley Clarke mansion – the ghost of Harley Clarke himself wants the mansion as his private playground. In effect, his spirit has haunted a mystified City Council into complete stagnant inactivity.

“He loves the place,” said Beatrix J. LaRiske, who for more than two decades has consulted with confused families over real estate matters in an effort to determine the wishes of a building’s deceased first owner. Ms. LaRiske was engaged by Friends of the Mansion, a new organization formed with the goal of restoring the mansion to its original opulent glory.

“Harley came to me full of youthful energy, talking about his former home,” she continued. “He’s still there, sliding down bannisters and chasing pigeons off the roof. He really doesn’t want anyone else in there.”

While the failure of City Council to act has befuddled thousands of observers since at least 1973, Ms. LaRiske’s explanation rang hollow with numerous critics. “I mean, come on,” said activist Alberto Incognito, “Council makes its decisions at the Civic Center, not over on Sheridan Road. The location – it’s just all wrong. Pshaw.”

Ms. LaRiske had an explanation ready, however. “The phenomenon of psychic transference is definitely at play here,” she said. “There must be some longstanding connection between Mr. Clarke and the Civic Center building itself.
I sense it.

“A conduit opened long ago, allowing the transference of energy from the mansion over to the Civic Center. Some involvement – I can’t see clearly what – drew Mr. Clarke over there. The connection remains strong – strong enough that the spirit flits back and forth with ease,” she explained.

“Hogwash,” said unimpressed Incognito. “Utter horsefeathers.”

City psychic phenomenon czar Pearl LeBlanc also dismissed the report and assessment as virtually impossible. “The City commissioned no less than four consultant studies to report to us on psychic energies here at the Civic Center,” she said. “Each and every one of them – and they were all fully and well paid – failed to identify any connection at all to the Harley Clarke Mansion,” she said.

Ms. LeBlanc admitted there was some connection found between the Civic Center and the former Keg Restaurant, but declined to further elaborate.

Ms. LaRiske seized upon the Keg connection, saying it was entirely possible that Mr. Clarke’s ghost made it to the Civic Center by traveling first to the former Keg, then on to the Civic Center. “It’s an extremely rare, but not an unknown anomaly,” she said. “Nondirect geographic transference, like Ivan the Terrible’s extremely powerful connection to Donald Trump’s home office. The connection is very well documented, and nondirect geographic transference is the only currently accepted explanation.”

Regardless of the reason, the Harley Clarke Mansion remains in limbo, vacant, and tabled as an agenda item at City Council until such a time as the State of Illinois passes a budget. Asked to comment on the State government buildings
in Springfield, and whether there is an explanation for the complete failure of elected officials to act in that building,
Ms. LaRiske could offer very little of use.

“The only connection I can sense
down there is to the dearly departed Curly Howard of the Three Stooges,” she said. “And that makes no sense whatsoever.”

Or does it?