The curse of the elongated coupe door
By David Menzies for MSN Autos
In the pantheon of superheroes, those meta-humans who are essentially rubberized men (a la Stretch Armstrong) surely rank as the lamest crime-fighters ever conceived.
At the risk of sounding like Super-Geek, just consider the likes of Mister Fantastic, Plastic Man, or Elongated Man (Great Caesar’s Ghost! What were they thinking when they named a superhero “Elongated Man”!?) Look, being able to super-stretch one’s torso and limbs like some glorified elastic band isn’t exactly an awe-inducing ability along the lines of “faster than a locomotive” or “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
Then again, lately, I’ve been having second thoughts about the merits of super-stretching. And those second thoughts typically occur when I find myself returning to my vintage Honda Prelude in a parking lot only to find that some leviathan-like SUV has parked too close to my driver’s side door, ensuring there’s no way I can get reacquainted with the cabin by fully opening my door... unless my door ends up dinging the offending monolith (which I don’t want to do for both our sakes.)
So it is that with my driver’s side door less than half ajar, I am forced to perform painful contortions involving stretching, moving sideways, sucking in the ol’ gut, and finally, angling my arse into the driver’s seat. And all the while I’m thinking, “This would be such a piece of cake for Plastic Man or Mister Fantastic.”
Even then, sometimes manoeuvring space is at such a premium one must engage in the dreaded enter-via-the-passenger-side routine. Which is always extra-special if one is navigating an interior with a low roof and a centre console gearshift!
As well – and please feel free to correct me if you think I’m hallucinating here – but when new parking spaces are marked-off these days with boundary lines, are they a tad narrower than what used to be the case? And if so, why so? Especially given that new SUVs, minivans, crossovers, and pickup trucks show absolutely no signs of going on a diet anytime soon.
Indeed, who is the nefarious joker responsible for shrinking the modern-day parking space?
Kinda sounds like a job for... Elongated Man...