I love driving. As a kid, I wasn't allowed to go for my driver's license at 16 because my parents thought I was too immature to be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. So I got really good at scrounging rides off of my classmates and pretending to love bicycling more than driving. It was better for the environment I would say. I guess I was way before Al Gore's time and my concern for the environment came from defensive over-compensation for not being able to drive a car.
Maybe my parents were correct, because I actually got a ticket for operating a motor vehicle without a license when I was helping push a friend's broken down pickup in an effort to jump start the truck. My hand was on the wheel as I was pushing, I slipped, and the truck scraped a car on the side of the street. Small town cops are dicks sometimes.
Anyway, living in New York City isn't conducive to having a vehicle, so I didn't get a license in New York, either. It wasn't until the ripe old age of 21 that I got my driver's license from the state of Florida. I had been driving quite a while without a license, but that all changed the day that I got pulled over by Florida State Police after I passed a cop (you heard that right, I passed a cop) going almost 100 mph. You want to know when someone is the most efficient? When they are faced with the possibility of going to jail. I got my license and car insurance in under 24 hours. Thanks Officer Ramsey for being awesome and understanding and not arresting me!
I guess because I got such a late start in driving I don't take it for granted like so many people do. I learned how to drive stick and just fell in love with the interaction of the driver, car, and road. My first car I ever bought was a Mercedes, and I realized that I was about 30 years too young for that car. But HPV had a racing modified Miata that was stick, and I found that I enjoyed driving her coffin with wheels a lot more than driving the car that Parisians use as taxis. I sold the Mercedes and bought a BMW -- The Ultimate Driving Machine. Or as I like to call them, Speeding Ticket Factories. I can't even imagine why anyone would have a BMW in automatic. That just seems silly to me. It's like buying a hoagie with no ingredients. What's the point? Which reminds me, my mother's preferred sandwich is a hamburger bun, a thin spread of butter, and one slice of ham. My mother also doesn't drive stick. See my point?
You know who else doesn't drive stick? Millennials. This is why my car is safe from theft. They can't drive a standard transmission. It's a shame, because they are missing out on what makes driving so much fun. Nowadays, the cars have so much technology in them that they essentially drive themselves. As a matter of fact, we literally are in an age of self-driving cars. And .10 seconds later, we entered the era of self-crashing cars as well. Apparently they are still working out the kinks on this technology.
Manual transmissions are just a sign of the time of the things that we give up in the name of progress. Try having a conversation with a person under the age of 30. I've seen more interaction with a mime. The millennial will answer the question, often times monosyllabically, and then silence. No follow up question back to you. They are probably looking at a screen while you're trying to engage in conversation. Here's a little side by side conversation comparison:
TWO NORMAL PEOPLE:
1: Hey, have you ever been to the rodeo?
2: No, but I've always wanted to go! Have you?
1: No, I haven't, but I was thinking maybe it would be fun!
2: I bet it would, we should go!
1: Yeah, we should! Do you think Person 3 would want to go with us?
2: I bet they would have a blast, I'll totally ask them. Do you want to invite anyone else?
1: Good question, let me think, yeah, let's invite my wife!
2: Oh, well, on second thought, I think I have to do taxes or go to the dentist that night. Sorry : (
1: The rodeo is 2 weeks long and I haven't told you which night....
2: Look! A squirrel is about to die!
ONE NORMAL PERSON, ONE MILLENIAL
1: Hey, have you ever been to the rodeo?
See the difference? That conversation is going nowhere. Just like the millennial in a car that is stick shift. Some other things that have been lost in the advent of amazing technology: learning shit, going to the library, patience, eating your food instead of taking pictures of it, not singing at fucking concerts, and jerking off using your imagination. So these cufflinks remind me that I come from a different time and different way of life. Progress is fine and all, but sometimes we have to take measure and evaluate what we have lost in this relentless path of progress. Actually having to press the clutch and shift into another gear isn't archaic, it's the most connective way to experience driving. Now excuse me while I go get into my new car that I recently purchased that has an automatic transmission.