Progress in America:
(7) The Oscars - Leaving There(Sorry for the delay in posting this.)
Nine p.m. and leaving the Oscars is another adventure, another logistical nightmare. Imagine the problem. 3401 people leaving the auditorium all at about the same time. Each having to relocate their unique limousine.
A mess? Humpty Dumpty on the floor - and here are the details that tell you precisely the recipe for this flop. Recall from my previous post that each of us got a chit telling us our Limo number. Ours was Limo 0414. People drift back down the stairs, on the carpet, onto the sidewalk. It is night time.
At the curb in front of the theater are thousands of people, packed like sardines facing three lanes of traffic. In each lane is a standing limo. By each limo there is a man with a bull horn. Each is announcing (simultaneously) in 3 independent bull horns the numbers of the limos. It is pandemonium. 3400 people straining to make sense of the virtually unintelligible, highly magnified screams:
“Curbside lane, Limo 0024!”
“Far lane, Limo 0431!”
“Last call, Limo 0173 in the center lane. Step lively!”
Not only do you have to listen but you then have to assemble the limo’s party so it can leave and the next limo can come up. Three at a time. Our group is sort of self-coagulating together when the film’s publicist sees us. She quickly tells us, “Your chit is wrong. You are not looking for Limo 0414. Your limo’s number is 0122. Here is a replacement chit.” Her new chit is handwritten, on white paper, not at all similar to that blue printed heavy paper one we were handed when we alighted from the limo before the show.
Of course, how could we know if our limo 0122 has already come and gone (presumably back to the back of the line). We hadn’t been listening for 0122. But not to worry. Audience to the recent great Oscar celebration, we wait patiently – Sheep waiting the bull horned shepherd. More numbers called and then suddenly, “0414.” Luckily we know better. “0414" is yelled again. And the again. I wonder if the publicist knew what she said. My replacement chit doesn’t look very ‘official’ to me. So I go to the limo 0144. The driver is the one that we had coming. I go to ask him about the changed limo number but he is very frustrated, “Where is everyone?”
“They were told they should wait for Limo 0122.”
“Jesus, 0122 was my assigned parking number. Who ever told you that would be called out was ignorant of how this works.” I round up everyone and soon we are packed into the re-renumbered Limo 0414. Luckily. We pull away from the curb and begin a slow haul on the prescribed route (hurricane fencing along the way blocking exits) away from the theater. After a few minutes we are permitted a turn to the right and take it. This is a narrow street: two lanes. Again, exits are blocked by more fencing. There are probably 40 limos in front of us when suddenly all grinds to a halt. After a few seconds we can see some of the limos are squeezing by going back up the street. Then we notice some of the limos in front of us are making U-turns. But our driver pushes on. Finally we can see the problem: the road is blocked: barricaded. The police opened this street for entry, but not for exit. We too begin the endless process of turning a limo in this tight space.
We meander through streets up the hills of Hollywood. Our driver, who has two GPS systems going in the car, is lost. Finally we hit another dead end. Then we drift down, and toward the restaurant we were to all go to. We arrive at 11:15, 1 mile from the door of the Dolby theater. Josh arrived at 1:30a.m. Needless to say, we all slept well.
Ready for another Oscar?