Oh, stop trying to make me hate you, Toronto. You’ve already got sub-zero temperatures, vicious storms and week-long power outages going for you. Why did you have send the SUV woman to give me parking advice?
I was in the under-ground parking garage at Mountain Equipment Co-op, still jet-lagged from my return from Brussels, but putting a good face on it and taking advantage of a break in the weather to return a faulty product. I had already paid for parking at the wonderfully old-fashioned booth. The attendant was happily gossiping with a friend. There were many empty spaces. I was taking the opportunity to change the carpet floor mats to the rubber winter ones, when a woman in a beige SUV pulled up behind me.
“I realize it’s hard to see the lines,” she said, “but you are parked so that no-one can use the next spot.”
I could just barely discern a yellow line when I looked down. It was covered with salt and dirt.
“Thank you so much for telling me,” I replied. “But try not to get hysterical. I’m leaving immediately.”
“I’m not hysterical…”
No, just really, really annoyingly self-righteous and hidebound and so very, very puritanical, typically Torontonian, indeed typically North American.
While I was thanking her again for rendering my day more pleasant, I was remembering how cars on my brother’s one-way street in Brussels were often parked facing the wrong direction. No tickets. No outraged neigbours. Oh, carry me back!
I’ll hate myself for saying this later, but at least our mayor is a little looser.
(I know that’s an allusion, but I figure you’ve all heard about Rob Ford.)