Dear Tom and Ray,

I am something of an expert on what to do when a woman in another car smiles at you. I have been successful twice, but both times it was I who failed to follow through. Needless to say these two events are at the top of my "Most Regretted Moments" list. Incidentally, both experiences took place while I was driving my fire-red Toyota MR2. Nothing has happened since I went to the stodgy Toyota Camry wagon I now drive. Interestingly, both encounters occurred at more than 60 miles an hour.

My first auto-erotic experience occurred on the long and dreadfully boring drive from Washington, DC, to Westchester County, NY, where I reside. I noticed a rather pretty blonde head inside a black Corvette. She and I were abusing the speed limit with equal abandon. It was as though the goddess of romance had sent all the state troopers between DC and New York on long doughnut breaks....And you know how hard it is to pry a New Jersey trooper away from his appointed rounds.

Anyway, the damsel noticed me staring at her and returned the stare, along with a very wide smile. Being ever ready to seize the moment, I smiled back. What ensued was a veritable automotive mating dance-- our cars passing each other, clearing other cars out of the way, and changing lanes with minds of their own. Had an anthropologist been watching, he would have recorded a mating ritual more complex than the trumpeter swan's. I marveled even as I breathlessly alternated between following and leading. Who could have guessed that a Toyota and a Chevy would want to mate?

This went on for more than 200 miles. The time just flew by. Finally, she was charmed by my graceful moves and, on the very northern end of the Garden State Parkway, indicated her surrender by signaling to exit at the Montvale rest area.

(This is the point at which I know that if Defending Your Life is a true picture of the hereafter, as soon as they show the tape of what happened next, I will be condemned to repeat my time on earth.)

No, I didn't drive past the rest area. I pulled in and followed her as she walked into the restaurant. But I found myself paralyzed by fear. I couldn't bring myself to say hello. Perhaps the chase was enough. Maybe the conquest was in de-roading her, stripping her of her powerful vehicle with the force of a lover ripping the garments from his beloved. If you believe that, I have a bridge for you.

The episode ends with me returning to my car and driving off, leaving my conquest buying a Whopper inside.

Alas, you would think I had learned my lesson. Two years later I was driving home from work on the wide-open lanes of I-684. I admit that my mind was wandering in a distinctly lustful direction. In fact I was dangerously preoccupied by these thoughts.

I was driving in the left lane. I noticed a shadow in the lane next to me; there was a much higher vehicle, a Chevy Blazer. Looking down at me with a very broad and friendly smile was another delicious woman.

I looked at her and smiled back. Her look made it clear that she knew what was on my mind. I am not sure if I offered any visible evidence, but judging by her look, I must have.

We drive side-by-side for a few miles. Abruptly, she moved to the right lane and I moved to the center. Her window lowered and her hand poked out and made a distinctly come-hither gesture as she signaled to take the Westchester County Airport exit.

Again, I found myself frozen. A fly caught midflight in amber. My car continued north while my mind shamefully followed that Blazer off the interstate.

Ever since, I have imagined an impossibly exciting set of scenarios. Everything from returning to her house, to an orgy in the back of that spacious vehicle.

All this brings me to the important question my adventures raise: Once you catch it, what will you do with it? Are we macho sex-driven males really brave enough to follow these automotive mating dances to their logical conclusions? Isn't it really better just to enjoy her smile and drive off without the certain humiliation that will occur when one has to put up or shut up?

Bob Walter


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