This evening, Mr. Rilch and I were driving around the neighborhood, taking care of a few errands. As usual, he was frantically urging me to be more aggressive in my driving. I didn’t have to slow down going past those cyclists; I was in a different lane. I should have taken the second entrance to the parking garage, so I wouldn’t have to go around the horn. He had to point out the parking space right in front of me because he “wasn’t sure” I saw it. I shouldn’t wait until the last intersection to get in the right-hand lane. Yes, the next street was Riverside, not Olive.
All this was par. I am a pretty lousy driver: not stupid, reckless or obnoxious, but very timid, in a way that he often points out is just as likely to cause an accident as aggression. I’ve told him numerous times that nagging won’t make me better at it, but he insists that something has to make me better.
Finally, he said, “If you had as much devotion to driving as you do to the Straight Dope, you’d be Mario Andretti. Pretend you’re in the Pit and there’s a really hot topic.”
“All right. So in that case, I better make the turn now before this guy closes the gap and we have a simulpost.”
Later: “I don’t care if it is a yellow; I don’t care if a mod gets on my ass; I’m going through.” Still later, “I’m just previewing, making sure there’s not a car coming from that direction.”
“Whatever makes the medicine go down!” he said.