Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Valet or Not To Valet. This Is The Question!

Wow! I got issues with this one! Sure there are a lot of nice cars out there and the pressure is always on when I pull up in my Mercedes SL Roadster to a fancy Casino/Hotel with my lady in the car. I am sometimes an emotional wreck, pondering between parking the car myself or let the little Rickey Racer do it. Yes! I am among the most frugal people out there, so I can't quite come to grips with paying a person to do something that I can easily do my self. Not to mention the pressure of seeing the Ferrari boys and a few other exotics allowing these kids to park their rides. 

In my younger days I made a trip to Las Vegas in my friends new Mercedes 380SL. It was a beautiful money green color, and it was immaculate in every way. I made the trip from California to Las Vegas on less than a tank of gas, and I made no stops until I reached the hotel, and passed my friends gorgeous Roadster to the Valet. I took note of every little detail on the car before I got the keys from my friend, so that we would have absolutely no misunderstandings about his pricy convertible. Equally I took car of it like it was my most valued possession. 

I was in Vegas for two business days, approximately 35 hours in total before I dug into my wallet and pulled out the claim ticket. My meetings were not a fruitful as I had hoped, but I smiled when I thought about how much fun I will have driving back to California in this sweet Mercedes Roadster. 

After giving the claim ticket the the Valet, I stood in the waiting area with a few other patrons eagerly awaiting our chariots. Several cars arrived before mine. I was enamored listing to some of the people gawking over a couple of the cars, most notable was a Candy Apple Red Corvette. This guy almost came unglued when that car showed up. He cried out "My Dream Car!" Wow! poor guy! The woman with him did not crack a smile or show any facial expression that would lead anyone to think that he had a chance of owning (his dream car) one in the future. I wounder if that was his wife?

Anyhow when my transportation home arrived there was no outburst from the crowed. I breathed a sigh of re-leaf when I saw the car because now I know that it was not stolen, and as it approached it looked as clean and stately as only a SL could. When the car stopped I thought to my self "I had better walk around it, then look it over before I pull away" As I walked towards the car I was focused on every curve of the body looking for anything larger than a speck of dust, my x-ray vision was on full sweep and in high detection mode. Then about six feet away from the car it happened!

I was stunned! I lost all focus and my quest to inspect the car with a fine tooth comb was blown to smithereens, when I heard a sweet sounding voice behind me say "He! He! Can I go for a ride with you?" Man! What a boost to my ego!! When I turned around to locate where this angelic voice came from I almost passed out to see an extremely beautiful, tall green eyed girl standing there, beating me down with a smile that should of been deemed illegal, and a danger to all men. Can you say TEN PLUS! 

Well! Thank goodness that I did not give in and found myself weak willed like most men! Nope! I was well beyond that! Stupid Putty!!! Yep! That was me! She told the Valet to hold on to her car, and off we went. Driving around the strip, talking, laughing, then to the gas station, and back to the casino. This was my first lesson on a global scale of how some woman are attracted to money, or in my case the perception of money. Women would see us driving around and they would through me a kiss, and pull up to her side of the car and start talking and flirting with me. These were beautiful women in the 9 Plus range! Surly! I have to be successful and buy one of these cars! What a chick magnet it is! 

Well I am way behind schedule now and I have got to get back to California, so I dropped her off where I found her, or where she found me, and it was on the road to California I went. Naturally with a phone number in hand! 

You know, when something belongs to you, it is amazing how quickly you can spot problems with it. It was very early in the evening when I pulled up to my friends home, and there was still about an hour of daylight left. He heard the sound of that monster engine coming up the drive way, and exited his home to meet and greet me. As the front end of the car swung by him I watched the expression of his face change form happiness to uncertainty then to a look of peaceful resolution. I wondered what the heck had come over him. After a few minutes of laughing and talking he said to me "It looks like those Valet guys got me again!" I was be bewildered! He walked me over to the front drivers side of the car and there it was. A white colored scrape on the fender. Evidence that I did not do my job, and now I am paying the price for it. I was so ashamed, and embarrassed. Although he had experience with this sort of thing and was comfortable in his resolve, he would not let me pay to have it repaired. The pain of it all just worsened as I could not stop feeling like I let my friend down.

Since that experience many years had passed by before I would let a Valet even close to one of my cars. No matter the distance I had to walk, if I had a nice car I either paid them to let me park it up front or I left the car at home or in a secure place and found another mode of travel. It's funny though! A mans' brain works in mysterious ways, You see I never blamed the girl! 

What's your view on Valet Parking?

By: Fred Johnson

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