Dear Bimmer Two Space,
What a week! Have your ears been burning? If so, that's probably because somebody set your BMW 325 on fire for being parked in two spaces instead of one.
I'm kidding - sort of - people actually really hate you. Who would have thought it? One day I'm going about my normal euphoric existence searching desperately for a parking spot when I happened to see your Bimmer straddling two spaces. I snapped a photo and, inspired, went home and ran fingers across keyboard.
The article ( Why Take One Parking Spot, When Two Will Do?) triggered a tidal wave of animosity. As one reader put it, "The death penalty should be brought back exclusively for such ignorant offences as this one."
While some might argue that death would be too swift and easy an out for this sort of narcissistic behaviour, many felt some kind of retribution was in order. Key the car, they suggested, set it ablaze, fill it with excrement or urine, smash it with shopping carts, cement glue, more excrement, leave a note, dent the door, or key a note into the BMW's dented door.
I didn't feel the need to key your car. That would be foolish. There are surveillance cameras everywhere and it's no longer possible to key cars in private or have sex in public. Besides, I didn't feel anger. I felt awe. I wanted to meet you, to gaze in wonder. To look with teary eye upon you and whisper, "Alexander wept for there were no more spots to conquer."
If Canadians felt as passionately about the election as they do about people who park their cars in two or more spaces, we'd have a government so efficient and honest it would have the deficit balanced and the environment fixed fast. Instead of yammering on about jobs, health care and war, Michael Ignatieff should just accuse Stephen Harper of parking his 1979 Dodge Aspen in two spaces.
Yet take heart, my double-parking friend. There are those who defend you.
One reader wrote, "He probably got tired of the white trash that do not know how to control their doors and have damaged his car in the past. Nothing like taking delivery of a new car and having some hick with a 15-year-old rust box intentionally bang your car because of envy." In the psychiatric realm, this is what they call "projecting."
Others share this sentiment. Owners of quality vehicles, they maintain, have no option but to occupy two or more spaces in order to spare their pricey rides the indignity of being mauled by the masses. There is a widely held belief that a conspiracy exists amongst the great unwashed to exact revenge on our betters by leaving dents in their cars.
Proponents of the "two spaces good" theory believe the poor spend their hours patiently waiting for the chance to "ding" a Mercedes or a Jaguar. Thus gratified, the perp drives his Ford back to his semi-detached dwelling. We're even, he thinks, you own 90 per cent of the country's wealth and I dinged your car. Strangely, they never make reference to Bimmer-on-Bimmer violence.
I am dubious about this theory. The "poor" don't obsess over ways to harm expensive cars. They're too busy pondering questions such as, "Will I have enough to eat?" and "Why is my son, who was nine when we entered Afghanistan, now being sent over there to fight? Don't wars have time limits, like hockey games? Can't we just have a shoot-out with the Taliban?"
The truth is that everyone dings everyone. Let he who is without ding take the first spot.
How else can we explain the existence of the scratches and dents that mysteriously appear? Who's putting them there? It can't all be the poor's fault. Admit it, 90 per cent of the time you open your doors carefully but that other 10? Well - you'd leave a note but you're kind of in a hurry. Dings and dents are like line calls in tennis. Some go against you and some go for you.
So who can we blame? We have to blame someone. How about the folks who design parking lots? Spaces are smaller than they were 10 years ago and our spaces are smaller than the ones in America, where the parking spots (and people) are wider. I've been in parking lots where the spaces were so small you could barely fit a motorcycle in one, let alone a car.
The reality is that both parking spaces and lots are going to continue shrinking. So, we're either going to get a lot better at parking and opening doors or we're going to have to get a lot better at accepting the wear and tear administered to our vehicles by other less-conscientious motorists. We're going to have to accept the fact that, considering the low level of driving skill and the number of cars on the road, if the worst you suffer are a few dings, count yourself among the blessed.
And if you still insist on parking your car in two spaces, count yourself among the scratched, smeared and dented.
Follow Andrew Clark on Twitter: @aclarkcomedy