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On Risk-Taking: A Vignette

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Cholly and Missy sit in the kitchen on a rainy summer night. Cholly is reading the funnies section of the newspaper. Missy stands and opens the refrigerator.

Missy: Shoot. We're out of milk.

Cholly: I'll go get some.

Missy: Thank you, dear.

Cholly exists briefly and returns with a raincoat and car keys.

Missy: You're taking the Mercedes?

Cholly: Yes. Well, like, I like my Mercedes car.

Missy: But it's a 500,000 dollar SLR McLaren...

Cholly: So?

Missy: ...and it's pouring out.

Cholly: So what?

Missy: Don't you think it would make more sense just to take the pickup truck SUV?

Cholly: No. Why?

Missy: Because it's pouring out and the car cost 500,000 dollars.

Cholly: I don't follow ya.

Missy: My point is, why would you take that risk just to drive a few miles to get some milk?

Cholly: But the car only has about 4,000 miles on it.

Missy: Look, I don't want to argue with you dear, but what does the car's mileage have to do with whether it is a smart idea to take it out in a thunderstorm to get some milk?

Cholly: It has been running fine. Why do you have to worry so much?

Missy: Again, what does how well it has been running have to do with whether it is a smart idea to take it out in a thunderstorm to get some milk? Every car runs fine until it doesn't.

Cholly: You know, like, you're always trying to baby the darn thing. How do you expect it to learn to, you know, like, toughen up if it doesn't ever get used?

Missy: Okay dear. I can see this is going nowhere. But just so I have this straight, you are telling me that taking your beloved half million dollar Mercedes out in a torrential downpour and risking an accident is worth being able to feel confident that you have the nicest car in the supermarket parking lot? You are saying that you would rather take even that infinitesimal risk when you have a vehicle that is one thirteenth the price and probably better suited for these conditions anyways, but probably will just blend in with all the other cars in the lot?

Cholly: Yes.

Missy: Drive safely.

Twenty minutes later, Cholly returns.

Cholly: See dear, I told you ain't nothing to worry about.