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My Date With R8: A 100 Percent True Story

  • June 5, 2008
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A match made in heaven? Yes.

I settled into the driver’s seat, gripped the wheel and took a deep breath.
“You’re scared, aren’t you?” asked the Audi R8.
“Damn right, I’m scared,” I answered. “You’re beautiful. You’re powerful. I couldn’t afford you for myself if I sold all my internal organs on the black market. I checked.”
“Wow, you really can find anything on the internet, huh?”
“True dat, R8. True dat.”

“Uh, Katrina?” said Stephanie, who in a moment of spectacularly bad judgment had given me permission to tool around an empty parking lot in a supercar. “Are you going to drive or anything?”
“Ssshhh. I’m having a moment.” I turned my attention back to the car. “Where were we? Anyway, I’m used to driving Tauruses and Spectras and other cars that…well, they’re not you. I drove a C Class once, but it was so sensitive I was afraid I’d veer into a tree if I took my hand off the wheel to adjust the heater. And you’re a lot fancier than the C Class.”
“I am. But you don’t –“
“The point I’m trying to make is, you’re out of my league. We’ll be driving along and I’ll think about turning right at the end of the lot, but you’ll pick up on it right then and we’ll wind up with you crashed into the side of this outlet mall and me committing hari kari before the insurance guys can get here. It can never work between us.”
“Seriously, drive the car,” said Steph. “You’ve been begging to do this for a month, and we’ve got to get back to the office sometime this week.”
“Listen to her,” purred the R8. “You don’t have to be scared. I’m here for you. Hit the gas. Yeah. Just like that.”
The car jumped out from under me, and I was lost.

It uses these to go so very, very fast.

“Wheeeeee!” I cried in a totally dignified and mature manner. “I was wrong to ever doubt you, baby! We’re going places together!”
“Wait, who are you talking to?” asked Steph, but R8 and I were in our own little world.
“Told you so,” said the car. “I’m nothing like the other cars you know. I’m here for you.”
“I don’t understand this,” I said, turning around and flooring the gas again. “At best – Wheeeeeeeee! – I’m a competent driver, but you make me feel like Danica friggin’ Patrick. What’s going on here? Is this…is it love?”
“It’s speed, darling,” said the R8 as it gripped the asphalt.
“Same difference. Look, I’m going to slalom around these light poles for a while. That cool?”
“Sure,” said Stephanie.
“Are you still here?” I asked as I began to weave in and out. “R8, I’ve figured it out: You’re making me a better driver. We’re a great team, and we can use our combined powers to rule the world. Also, I think we can cut a really tight loop around this last pole. Let’s go.”
“I thought you’d never ask,” said the car, transporting me to cornering heaven.
“I’m having a thought here,” I said. “I’m going to do that corner thing again, and you’re going to throw your passenger door open. Once Steph falls out, let’s you and me hit the road. I think I know a drive-in theater that’s showing Iron Man!”
“Aw, I hate watching my own work.”
“That’s what I love about you. That and the speed and the handling and your mad-science suspension design. You’re not vain like those other supercars.”
“Okay, you’re freaking me out now,” said Stephanie. “Our agreement with Audi says crazy people aren’t allowed to drive the car.”
“She’s right, you know,” said the car, sadly. “This can’t last.”
“I’m just crazy for you,” I said. “I knew going in this was a temporary fling, but now that it’s over…”
“Shhhh,” R8 idled. “We’ll always have the abandoned outlet mall. Keep this moment in your heart.”
“I’ll never forget you, R8. Never.”
“New rule,” said Steph as she reclaimed the driver’s seat. “I don’t ask what all that was about, and you don’t get mental illness all over the press fleet. Okay?”
“Okay,” I said, caressing the dash. “Let’s get back to work.”
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Forbidden love

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