If You Can’t Find ‘Em Grind ‘Em.


I’m not a fan of millennial-bashing or bashing any generation. Singling out a group of people who happened to be born within a certain time frame and assuming they all share similar characteristics seems singularly stupid to me which, I know, is totally something one of us Gen Xers would say.

Anyway I can’t drive a stick-shift. Well, I probably could but with a lot of trouble. Manual transmissions were still widely used when I came of age but never covered in my driver’s ed class and I was okay with that. I’m still okay with that. I still don’t get the appeal of driving a stick-shift vehicle. Almost everyone I’ve known who had one told me, “It gives me more control of the vehicle.” That’s the problem, as far as I’m concerned. I’m one of those people for whom a car is just a way to get from one place to another and while I enjoy the journey I want it to be as carefree and easy as possible. Starts and stops, turns, lane changes, and other drivers are all more than enough for me to concentrate on while I’m driving and even on long empty stretches there are things to think about like, am I going the right way? or would German vanity plates stretch halfway around the car?  I don’t need to have to worry about pushing in the clutch and shifting from second to third in the middle of highway traffic.

Same source but much more accurate.

A friend once did try to teach me to drive her stick-shift pickup truck. We were on some back roads early on a Thursday morning and she thought that would be a good time and place to teach me this important life skill that, honestly, I’ve never needed and probably never will. She was a good teacher too—patient and giving clear directions, but every time I tried to shift gears the engine made a noise like a chainsaw going through a full orchestra. I’d shut it off and restart, until the third try when it wouldn’t restart. We switched seats so she could take over and it still wouldn’t start. We waited a few minutes. Then we waited a few more minutes. Finally we gave up and walked to her house which, fortunately, wasn’t that far away. A few hours later her husband came home. He walked down to the pickup to see if he could figure out what the problem was and it started for him on the first try. There’s something to think about.

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  1. The Huntress

    As a fellow Gen Xer, I will neither confirm nor deny any thoughts I have for the millennial generation. But I will agree with the picture you posted, anti-theft indeed. I learned how to drive on a manual transmission truck that belonged to my grandfather. My mom said that she learned on a manual and that my grandfather told all of his daughters when it came time to teach their kids to drive, they’d better learn standard transmission first. It wasn’t as hard to learn actually, but would I buy a car/truck with a manual transmission now? Hell no, why would anyone? Except for Jeep enthusiasts, but those peeps a breed unto their own.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Oh yeah, Jeep enthusiasts are definitely a different breed, and, having ridden in a Jeep, I can understand why. And I used to know a man who’d learned to drive a Model T which he said was surprisingly hard even though it only had one pedal. You pushed it all the way down to go forward, you pushed it halfway down for reverse (good luck finding that), and to stop you just took your foot off of it. A manual transmission may be more complicated but at least it has more than one speed.

  2. mydangblog

    I’m with you. My dad tried to teach me to drive a stick when I was 17 and it just resulted in tears (his, as he agonized every time I ground the gears trying to get into first)! Automatic transmission is fine with me:-)
    mydangblog recently posted…The Streak Is OverMy Profile

  3. Catxman

    Every generation thinks the succeeding generation doesn’t quite measure up to snuff. This is a general lament of the passing of time. Time doesn’t play favorites, and it definitely doesn’t give free passes to its trapped prisoners to play with. Time is, in the end, an executioner, I feel.

    — Catxman

    Catxman recently posted…To rain fire upon the mountainMy Profile


    I drive a stick shift, Chris, because it’s more FUN and less expensive. For me, that’s an unbeatable combination. Every time I get a new car, it’s harder and harder to find one with a manual transmission, so I’m sticking to my little yellow Honda Fit for as long as I can.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I knew manual transmissions were less expensive several years ago when my wife and I were looking for a new car and I’m a little surprised they’re still less expensive given how hard they are to find. I’m glad you enjoy it, though, and I hope I can transmit many more happy years of driving for you and your Honda Fit.

  5. Sawyer

    Hi Christopher,
    It’s look interesting that you tried to shift gears the engine made a noise like a chainsaw going through a full orchestra. By the way, who is your favorite singer?
    Sawyer recently posted…Greenworks 40V Chainsaw Review: An OP Chainsaw?My Profile


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