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Driving Styles

I’ve come to realize there are only two kinds of cars in this world. Yours, and everyone else’s. Of course, most folks only drive their own. However, Todd and I drive such a wide range of cars in our lives and for the show, we invariably treat them with a broad range of driving styles. A car reveals different characteristics depending on how it’s driven, but it definitely depends on who the owner is.

I confess to a double standard—I quite enjoy driving other people’s cars, but hate it when people borrow mine. I’m considering joining a recovery group, but not sure which one. You know people like me—folks with a little black cartoon cloud over their head if they’re having a bad day. It’s not that kindergarten didn’t teach me to share. You can have anything in my fridge, but leave my car alone.

Whenever my car gets a nick, I get depressed. Sometimes it takes me days to get over it. It’s just a car, I know, but my friends regularly accuse me of owning vehicles that are entirely too shiny. Until I win multiple lotteries and can discard cars like used teabags, I don’t predict any behavioral changes, though. On the other hand, it’s kind of a bummer to see exotic cars without any rock chips or fender scrapes that tell a story. <a href="">Porsches</a> work better the harder and more frequently you drive them, and I don’t want a garage queen. What’s the point of ownership if you don’t drive it?

I drive my cars in a specific way. I drive fast, but creep over speed bumps like they’re made out of eggshells, which really thrills motorists right behind me. Let’s just say my steering and wheel realignment budget is low. I usually park at the back of a parking lot, or in an extra-wide SUV parking space, known as Paul Parking. I deploy a sunshade in the front windscreen because I live in southern California. I’m not even sure why the weather guessers have jobs in this town.

However, my demeanor entirely changes when I drive cars that don’t belong to me.

Like most people, I have no apparent ethical or moral responsibility attached to rental cars. I release stress by abusing them like they’re a squeeze toy. If the automobile should accidentally get incinerated and launched off a cliff, I won’t be responsible. Insurance policy in hand, I careen merrily out of the parking lot like a Viking ready to sack the city.

Borrowed and loaned cars are a different category, though. We have a duty to our friends and press fleet managers to keep them shiny side up. We don’t hoon them like they’re destined for Kings of Crash, but we have discovered that speed is very apparent to the camera lens. Sometimes we greatly exceed the speed limit past the camera, but it appears as if we’re dawdling. Therefore, we have embraced a noble compulsion to drive fast, and with purpose.

There’s a special category reserved for track cars. We must grind them into dust.

So you see, even though I have a double standard, I don’t feel wrong. Obsessive-compulsive and anal-retentive, quite possibly. The Awarning is this: cars are expensive to own, and even more expensive to replace. Each time you turn the key, you must consider where it came from. <strong>How do you drive your friends’ cars? Do they allow you to beat on it?</strong> If we can borrow your car, we promise not to trash it, but we will drive it hard. Especially if it’s a Porsche.



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