red 2, helen mirren, car, driving test, gun scene, driving, shooting

The ultimate personality test

You do not know someone’s real personality until you have driven in a car with them. Could be that they are the driver or perhaps they are the passenger but mettle is tested on the road – relationships are trialled, friendships strengthen or weaken according to the way a car journey is handled. For better or for worse, getting behind the wheel is better than any personality test yet known to man.

It is, for example, important to know about inner anger. This is different from ‘anger issues’ which suggests physical violence and/or emotional cruelty. Driving will reveal the fury that lies beneath (not far beneath) the surface. It could be a motivating ferocity or a seething venom. Hopefully the former. Obviously if the driver screeches to a halt and emerges from the boot swinging a length of lead piping about then… you know everything you need to know.

Observing a driver will also show you if they take things horribly personally. For example this writer cannot bear it when she gives way and remains unthanked. It makes her feel quite mad with rage. Similarly, are they vengeful? Do they speed up to scare innocent citizens crossing the road in a slightly annoying way?

But, whatever the crimes of the driver, any passenger who grabs the bar thing above the door in a pretend panic, slams down their foot on an imaginary brake, persists in taking theatrical intakes of ‘afeared’ breath or even changes the music, is to be shunned. Whomsoever controls the wheel, controls the car, controls the sound system. It’s the law. Or it should be.

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