Monday, January 11, 2010

Gate Crashing 101

We all heard about the couple who crashed the White House state dinner for the Indian statesman. Now, accusations of gate crashing are being made against a third man who arrived with an Indian delegation though he isn't on an official guest list.

Reactions range from horrified at the security breach, to amusement at the ineptitude of the Secret Service to "who cares".
I sit somewhere in the middle of that group. Those in charge of security need to be held accountable. System review is needed.
The guy who snuck in maintains his innocence. He seems like a publicity seeker to me. Maybe he was just swept along. Could it happen? Could he have been sent a bogus invite by a prankster? Doubtful.
I think there might be a 1% possibility he accidentally was included with the Indian delegation.
He tells of being at the Willard hotel when it was announced the shuttle was leaving for the White House party and just going along. Really? Well... Let me tell you a story.

About ten years ago my husband went to Las Vegas to sell some artwork that was part of his dad's estate. He was executor and had contacted a gallery owner in Las Vegas who promised a good price. Off he went. He had a little down time and drove out to see the Hoover Dam. Jon is an early riser and arrived there around 6 am. An odd time to be taking a tour, but people were queued up and he joined them. He got a hard hat and tour guide, and was assigned a group. Amazing tour, it was. He saw the inner working of generators and equipment. At one point someone asked him where he was from. "Minnesota", his answer. "But, what park?" they asked. "What park?"
Turned out he was getting a special behind the scenes tour for managers of national parks. The VIP treatment. They discovered he was an accidental interloper and good naturedly let him finish the tour. I think he even had coffee and donuts with the group. This was all before 9-11 and tightened security measures. It does illustrate you can get by with some things just bungling along. Wonder if Jon is up for a White House dinner. He'll need to trade the hard hat for a tuxedo.

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