Tuesday morning police in Chicago shut down a block of automobile and pedestrian traffic for a “suspicious package” at 247 South State street near a DePaul University off-campus building. Chicago’s Red Line was also closed down as it runs directly under State. The object, as you can see in the photo above, is a can of ravioli with a Thomas the Tank Engine-esque face drawn on it in marker. That can is taped to a structure of wooden axles and four skateboard wheels to make some kind of strange toy car that I’m going to call a Ravioli Rover.
Police confirmed to CBS Chicago 2 that a student at DePaul built this toy car as a project for a class. The can was described by a DePaul spokesperson as a “prototype of a car, made by a student in a design class.” I’m not sure how realistic this prototype was meant to be, but I’m intrigued by the idea of a narrow tube to hold humans connected to stick axles at both ends with a much wider rear track than front. It’s also considerably wider than it is long, which might make handling tricky in full-sized form.
The exact directive of the student’s assignment is unknown, but students and the professor stated that a student took the Ravioli Rover down to the street level, set it down on the ground, and then ran back upstairs to observe the results. This was corroborated by security video in the area.
The street was closed down at around noon, and was re-opened by 12:30.
The next time you want to leave a homemade toy car out in the streets of Chicago, maybe Chef Boyar-don’t.