Thursday, September 27, 2007

my dad

When I was about to come back to this area for my first summer internship as a wannabe science writer in 2002, my dad wrote an e-mail explaining why he thought it was important for me to learn to drive, and specifically learn to drive a stick shift, while I was home for the summer. It was funny, so I went and dug it up to paste here.

I am not thinking of buying a land rover. You see, when [location of internship] and [coincidentally, my current employer] offer to send you on your first science writing assignment to compare the alpine meadows of deserted Colorado mining camps with the deserts of Mexico, the first question is, of course, whether you can drive the old jeep that the "old timer" has available at the outpost at the end of the graded road. You say "yes" and land the assignment. And, it is a good thing that you can, because when you arrive you find that the best science writign material is all beyond the end of the road where all of the automatic transmission cars have broken down (surrounded by camel skeletons) and it is only you who can persevere to reach the flora and fauna that make you rich and famous. Furthermore, the stick shift, saves a bunch of starving, lost boy scouts with infected mosquito bites whose lives you are able to save by wisking them back to civilization in the vehicle with a stick shift. Incidentally, along the way you find the perfect, deserted cabin which, with only a minor bit of fixing, provides an ideal spot for small family reunions.

So, it is all a matter of being practical, as I said.



Spice said...

Hee. Yeah, I learned at 15 on a stick shift. There was a lot of screaming and crying at my mom "Why did you do this to me?!?! Didn't you realize when you bought the car [when I was 10] that I'd have to learn to drive it?!? Couldn't you have gotten an automatic? Can you get one now?"

In retrospect, though, I'm so glad I got that out of the way then and can now drive pretty much anything up to and including a 15-person van.

And on the topic of the previous post, I HATED that 1.5 years when I didn't have a car in M. Even though M is really easy to get around by walking and busing and Community Car, there were times (like having to go to the doctor when you're sick) when you just really want to have one sitting outside your front door. Also, I couldn't handle the guilt of getting rides from people all the time (particularly since it was almost always the same person, and she was annoyed about being a continual ride-giver even before my car pooped out).

Coloradan said...

Aw, that's so cute! Your dad predicted your sojourn with [your current employer]! Also he apparently thinks there are camel skeletons in alpine Colorado ghost towns!

J.Bro said...

Your dad is AWESOME! Can I be like your dad someday?

miss shirley said...

I heart your dad. He knows you so well.

grrrbear said...

Actually, there is a bit of truth to what he says. Renting cars in Europe pretty much demands that you know how to drive stick. If you don't, you have to rent an automatic which costs a lot more money. So now you can go on those European assignments, yay!

towwas said...

Yeah, I'm all about the stick shift now. It gives me total bad-ass points, and I think it's effectively an anti-theft device for my car.