There is a meme going around Facebook, one of those stupid quizes, that I love to take, this one ranks your life skills. I scored 96/100, I don't know how to ski, and four other stupid things. One of the things on the list was driving a stick shift, and I was shocked by how many of my friends said that they can't drive stick-
best driving a stick story is from Christmas Eve of 1988.
I was cooking
dinner with some European grad students from PSU, and around 6:30 one of
the women started crying because she had no tree.
I said "I think the
Thriftway over by Alpenrose Dairy sells trees until late" I phoned them
up and they indeed had a few left. I had no car, but there was a French
fellow, very macho, who had been building a sailboat, and owned a
rusted out 1968 International Harvester, that was missing the rear
window... he was totally drunk, so I offered to drive.
The problem was not that this was a stick shift, the problem was
that the seats were stuck all the way back, which required me to perch
on the edge/stand up to reach the peddles, it also had that long kind of
gear shift, like a mail truck, or a VW van, that requires a pushing
down motion to shift; getting decent leverage was tricky, so I drove across town, standing up, with the
wind whipping through my hair.
When we arrived the Christmas tree guy
said "did you let that little girl drive that thing?" to our intoxicated friend. We got our tree
for free, and returned to chestnut puree! Rolf and I made a little flag for the puree and the tree stood unadorned in the corner, with only a few lights.