A monograph on the Parking Goddess, a Twentieth Century Deity
Parking Goddess hear my plea
Find a parking space for me
Make it deep and make it wide
and make it on the proper side.
This invocation, which dates to the summer of 1993, beseeches the Parking Goddess, whose worship dates back to 1991, to find the supplicant a parking space. The Parking Goddess deserves a place of honour in the urban pantheon.
Religion has a boundary layer of power. This power over the seen and the unseen is what causes people to worship, or log on to the power. Conventional religions – those with accretions of dogma, institutions, warlike clerics and hysterical followers – still have power to the extent they can:
1.Bring focus and peace of mind to their adherents;
3.Provide easy, formulaic and widely acceptable rituals for life’s moments of transition;
4.Provide easy, formulaic and widely acceptable social occasions;
5.Provide easy, formulaic and culturally approved answers for such questions as “Why did Daddy die?” and “Why am I superior to the vast majority of Earth’s inhabitants?”
The Parking Goddess is a minor deity. Her shingle does not say “All life’s problems solved, Lost Love, Business, Bad Luck.” Her gracious bounty adheres strictly to urbane matters. Thus it is she has jurisdiction over:
1. Vehicles, insurance, gas, coffee, repairs, and the presence or absence of the local gendarmes;
2. Parking spaces;
3. How fast the tow-truck comes;
6. Government buildings;
7. Any domicile where a ceramic likeness of her is put into a shrine.
Since the Parking Goddess has not actually become incarnate yet, as all of the Big Cheese gods eventually do, this ceramic likeness may take the form of any female figure who inspires awe and amazement.
Worship at the shrine may take any consensual form. Ritual copulation, burning incense, consumption of food, piercings, quiet meditation, speaking in tongues, inverting cats and computer repair are all acceptable to the Goddess, provided one consciously dedicates the activity to her first.
It may interest ethnologists to know who the Parking Goddess is. Like most deities, her origins are shrouded in mystery. It can be authoritatively stated, however, that she:
1. Is the second cousin of Quan Yin;
2. Attends booze cans with Tet, Minerva and the Corn Maiden;
3. Is most likely to appear in physical form to her followers as a lamÃ©-clad transvestite;
4. Is transported from place to place by car radios;
5. Causes minor cases of possession in traffic reporters;
6. Will not be able to hear the pleas of her acolytes if she is wearing her headphones while working out.
At present the epicentre of Parking Goddess worship is the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which represents the mystical union of male, female, concrete and media which is the essence of her appeal to her followers.
Followers of the Parking Goddess, when asked as to the rationality or propriety of contributing to the development of a religion, during a period of human history when religious wars are pandemic, are likely to give one of two responses;
1. I know it’s irrational, but it works;
2. t’s okay, she’s a Unitarian.
The correct response to the prayer is:
“The Parking Goddess heard my cry, V – I – C – T – O – R – Y!”