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Grand Theft Oscar?

Steve Proffitt surveys a mass of unattended car keys at the Oscars Brian Unger, for NPR hide caption

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Brian Unger, for NPR

Last night, Brian Unger and I got to go to the Oscars. Instead of press passes, we had actual tickets, which allowed us to stroll down the red carpet, hobnob with the stars, and eat really tasty hors d'oeuvres.

But watching what is essentially at TV show from the 4th balcony (you didn't think they would give us good seats, did you?) was less than satisfying. Plus, we knew there would be a great crush after the show, when people wait for hours while valets try to find their cars, and then wait more hours trying to navigate through the traffic.

So we busted out early.

We made our way down to the fifth level of the underground parking lot at the Kodak Theater. When we arrived, there was a huge valet station, with hundreds and hundreds of keys, each marked with a letter and number indicating which space the car was parked in. But there was no one around. No one!

A quick glance showed a nice new Corvette parked in C26, and a Mercedes S600 in C29. Really, had we been larcenous, it would have been too easy to upgrade from Brian's Prius.

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But, even though the reality of unemployment and poverty hangs over us, we maintain a thread of morality. Finally after a bit of shouting, an attendant appeared, and in a flash, we were in the Toyota, out of the garage, and into the cool of the Oscar evening.

And not in jail.

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