I don't think there's any better way to get to know someone than driving long distances together. I suspect this results from a combination of a desire to break up the monotony of a long drive, and the fact that it's easier to bare your soul to someone if you never have to look directly at them. Because really, what are vehicles if not confession boxes on wheels? Ideally, by the end of a long drive, not only will you know what kind of music your travel companion favours, you'll also know such diverse things as whether s/he prefers Peanut to Plain; who's on his or her Free Pass list; and - if the trip is a successful one - a pantload of personal peccadilloes.
I've done a lot of long drives with a lot of different people, and believe me I've downloaded a whole lot of Grade A personal bullshit to almost complete strangers on a fairly regular basis. (Not even drunk!) This sort of random, intense emotional intimacy has often landed me in awkward morning-after-type situations:
"Uh, hey again. So was it, like, good for you? Bebeh?"
I've never asked if anyone has ever felt burdened (or alarmed!) by my cathartic urges, or resented that I insisted on chatting the entire way when all they really wanted to do was listen to sports radio. And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn - I can only talk about the weather for so long before I'm forced to either shoot myself or steer the conversation into livelier waters. So I've only ever assumed that it was, in fact, good for them too. Judging by the number of repeat clients I've had I don't think my customer service is falling down too badly on this point, but just in case you wish to be a little more mentally prepared for the next time you're slated for a trip with me, here are some things* I usually** feel the need*** to talk about****:
Educational background; family history; pet peeves; what a jackass my ex is; hot office gossip; super powers; culpability; food; sex; parenting (experiences/ philosophy); relationships (experiences/ philosophy); recreational drugs (experiences/ philosophy).
(Bold type = repeat as necessary.)
* Conversation topics including, but not limited to, the above.
** Items are presented in no particular order.
*** I never feel the need to talk about sports radio.
**** Expect frequent story breaks, semi-regular mental track derailment and heavy f-bomb deployment. And yes, I'm probably the John Candy to your Steve Martin. Get over it.