The concept of valet parking has always been a fascinating one to me.
Here is an item that for many people is one of the largest tangible things that they own, for most second behind their home, and yet when we pull into a driveway at a hotel or restaurant, we are totally cool with just handing over the keys. I don't even trust close relatives to drive my car, yet I'll gladly hand the keys over to Tony the valet guy, even though he might have five DUIs and 20/200 vision.
Why do our brains just automatically assume that valet drivers are capable drivers? Does it strike you as a vocation that is particularly diligent in its vetting process? Maybe it is, but that doesn't change the fact that you're tossing the keys to a complete stranger.
Well, perhaps videos like the one below will bring about the proper amount of pause.
This footage comes from the front driveway of the five-star property Le Meridien hotel in Delhi, India. It's what I would imagine is a fairly typical bustling day at the hotel, with cars lining up and people crisscrossing the driveway, loading and unloading.
Keep an eye on the back of the line as the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder makes its way to the central part of the driveway. And then brace yourself around the 0:20 mark....
Okay, first of all, how in the hell did that one dude slide out of the way? Amazing catlike reflexes for that dude. Seriously, how did nobody die?
So what was the total damage? Well, a lot.
The car is owned by a Mumbai businessman, and the model retails here in America for around $250,000. However, in places like Asia, it has import taxes attached to it that can as much as double the costs, which is why the owner is estimating $335,000 in damage.
The medical damage was a trip to the hospital for the valet, who was treated for minor head injuries, and currently remains on leave. According to a hotel spokeswoman, the valet in question has been in the business for a decade or so.
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The hotel is calling the accident merely "inadvertent" and nothing else, but clearly it looks like there's a mistaken pedal hit, either out of confusion or a physical error. Amazingly, the hotel denies responsibility (how??), so the owner has filed police charges against Le Meridien and the valet for damages.
If nothing else, this should serve as a reminder for all of us -- self-park it whenever feasible, especially if your car costs more than the average home in an affluent American suburb.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.