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Well, I guess it isn't "double parking" per se...

Dear Bad Driver,

My name is Nick.  I was driving behind you in Burlington on Saturday, so you probably didn’t see me, since you would have had to use your mirrors.

My wife and I were discussing how Burlington is a dangerous place.  Now, it isn’t because of its proximity to African Lion Safari and all the large predators that it keeps.  Nor is it the recent infiltration of popular street gangs (the Crips now control all the big box stores east of Guelph Line, while the Bloods prefer the more eclectic west side, particularly the Indigo and Michael’s craft supplies).  Rather, we were discussing all of the congested, poorly signed, narrowly laned, streets.

Now, I am not about to absolve you of your personal stupidity (we’ll get to that soon enough), but I do have to hand some of the fault to Burlington itself.  It’s as though they built the road infrastructure for exactly half of the expected traffic on a Saturday afternoon.

Yuppies come in their BMW crossovers, looking for leather accent pillows for their mini-mansions and knitted yak-hair sweaters for their dogs.  Oakville suburbanites, desperate to escape their never-ending fields of townhouses, hit up the Ikea for all the Billy bookcases and “fÿrgeni” hot plates they can fit in their Honda Insights.  And the country folk will make their way down to the Walmart to get a new Nascar-based outfit for a fancy night out at Burger King.

Now even someone as stupid as you, Bad Driver, can see that things will get busy on shopping days.

But does that excuse your behaviour?  As my wife and I watched, you decided to drift from your narrow lane into the one to your right, a lane that was occupied by another vehicle.  Now, everyone has a lapse in concentration from time to time, but did any of the following things catch your attention before you lovingly caressed the other vehicle with your passenger-side door?

  • Those white lines painted on the road (they were painted there to show you where your space ends and the next person’s begins, much like the space between couch cushions).
  • The two-ton metal object at 3:00 o’clock (or are you one of those people that can’t tell time unless it’s digital?).
  • My anxious honking (that was the noise behind you, barely audible as you and your passenger sang a rousing duet of “The Girl is Mine”).
  • The sound of your side mirror snapping off against the car next to you (that’s usually the point where people head back into their proper lane).
  • The panicky shouting of the people in the car you are gently pushing into the curb (believe it or not, they don’t really enjoy being forcibly merged).

It would seem to me that you should at that point accept your stupidity and pull over to assess the damage that you have caused.  But you didn’t do that, did you?  No, you instead had your passenger roll down his window and yell at the driver of the other car for getting in their way.

And then you drove off.

Now, I could have called the police, since you were leaving the scene of an accident, or I could have written down your license plate number and sent it to Crime Stoppers, but I chose instead to do the right thing.

While you were waiting to turn left a few moments later, you may have noticed a string of profane, insinuating remarks Dopplering past you.

That was me.

All the best in your continuing quest to endanger the lives of everyone else on the road,

Nick Stirling

Ps.  That last bit that you might have missed as I drove past you was “…with a big spiky stick covered in red ants and salt.”

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