In 1985, during a visit to Detroit, I handed a rental car over to Valet Parking and it was stolen in less than a minute. I blogged about this before, but I mention it now because I had a sort of “opposite” experience yesterday. I handed my car over to a valet parking operation, and then it took quite a while for them to give my car back to me. Because, you see, they lost the valet. Let me explain.
To get my car back, I handed my ticket to the valet. He took the keys and walked off to my car, which was perfectly visible about a hundred feet away. My mind wandered, and I failed to notice that he walked on past it, into an enormous parking garage. After awhile I asked one of the other valets, “I handed over my ticket; that's my car over there; when am I going to get it back?” Well, they realized what had happened, and they went off into the parking garage to spy out my key-carrying valet. Eventually one of them drove my car around and handed it over to me.
“You were lucky,” he said, “that guy can't drive a stick shift anyway.”