Big Bro to Little Bro: Use a Chamois

Lobbyist Jeff Kimbell (left) with intern Matt Packard
Jeff Kimbell, left, and new victim/intern Matt Packard. (Amy Argetsinger -- The Washington Post)

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Friday, July 14, 2006

Nightmare boss . . . or nightmare intern ? This week we dissected People's story on real-life versions of "The Devil Wears Prada" in an attempt to ID young Mike Packard's onetime boss -- a high-profile D.C. lobbyist apparently too evil to be named.

A reader who probed clues in the story informed us there could be only one D.C. lobbyist who owned a hot tub (where Packard was sent to fish out a live rat, according to the mag story) and an SUV (which the intern washed) and got to throw out the first pitch at a 2001 MLB game (Packard played catcher in endless practices) . . . and that man is Jeff Kimbell .

A quick glance at the health-care lobbyist's Web site solidified the connection -- and blew our minds. Guess who's working there this summer? Mike Packard's younger brother, Matt !

Okay, so, clearly this Kimbell fellow couldn't have been that bad a boss. An in-person inspection found no evidence of horns or a tail -- or any ill will between him and his former intern. "Mike Packard was one of the most amusing characters that have passed through here," Kimbell said warmly. "When I'd ask him to do various tasks, he'd do them without questioning."

So, the hot tub story? "Fully accurate." Kimbell's only quibble with People is its account of Packard "accidentally" scratching the hood of his SUV. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we submit that when Packard washed Kimbell's Jeep, he did so with a Brillo pad ! "It looked like it had been hit by softball-sized hail," said Kimbell, who says Packard offered (and wasn't forced) to pay for repainting, roughly $230.

In all, maybe more a crazy-summer-job story than the boss-from-hell. The two remain good friends: Kimbell wrote Packard's law-school recs, and Packard urged his brother, a senior at Hamilton College, to spend the summer with Kimbell. Matt's duties thus far have included accounting, Rolodex upkeep and vacuuming fireworks debris after Kimbell's Fourth of July rager. Of his brother's time with Kimbell, Matt said, "I do recall him saying this was the best summer of his life."

Retiring? Say What?

Nancy Chistolini
Nancy Chistolini: Looking to purge the day planner.(Zaid Hamid)
After 37 years in Washington retailing and PR (Woodies, Hecht's) and charities (National Italian American Foundation, Lombardi Cancer Center), Nancy Chistolini was a fixture on the Power Chick circuit. She retired this spring and told pals at Wednesday's celebration at Neiman Marcus in her honor that she's happily doing . . . well, not much of anything -- a concept that Washington workaholics just don't grasp. Here's the conversation she's been having a lot lately:

"What are you going to do next?"

"I'd like to do nothing," says Chistolini.

That confuses people. "You mean, you're just going to wait a while?"

She shakes her head.

Then they say, "No, really . . . "

Well, she is still working on a snappy comeback.

HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

ยท John Corbett , wearing denim and dark shades and ordering a roast beef on wheat at a Potbellys on Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday. The former "Sex in the City" boy toy and "Northern Exposure" star is now launching a singing career -- he played the Birchmere last night.

Quote

"Americans really are just learning about soccer. It's a new sport to the United States. I guess you can tell it's a new sport by the way our team plays."

-- Laura Bush , in Germany for the G-8 summit, explaining why the American team did so poorly in the World Cup. (At least she didn't head-butt anyone.)

THIS JUST IN . . .

In her first on-screen role since giving birth to baby Shiloh Nouvel , Angelina Jolie will star as Mariane Pearl in a film produced by Brad Pitt .

The movie is based on Pearl's book, "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl," about the Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. No word who's playing Daniel Pearl or when filming will begin, but the project is being produced by the company co-owned by Pitt and his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston . In a statement, Mariane Pearl said she's "delighted" Jolie is taking the role: "I deeply admire her work and what she is committed to."


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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