My car has a manual transmission. I’ve always driven cars with stick shifts–I just love the more intimate connection with the engine. I particularly love to drive the 6-speed manual, diesel-engined cars you get to rent in Europe. (I think one of the dynamics you have to guard against as you get older, by the way, is the inclination to want to make things smoother–take the bumps and dips out of life and experiences. Not only does this make life less zestful, but it’s actually bad for you. The more experiences you have, the sharper you remain. Researchers, for example, have concluded that walking barefoot (and baring other appendages) is actually good for your brain health. Exposing and stimulating all those nerve endings, otherwise trapped behind layers of fabric, keep your mind even more active. See here for the radical cure.
But as I was saying, my car has almost 90k miles with its original clutch, a personal best for me. And the specter of clutch failure had been preying on my mind for about twenty thousand miles when Wednesday, KERPLANK, the clutch pedal collapsed to the floorboard, and I immediately had to pull over. (Those of you who are car experts will recognize this turned out to be not the clutch, but a leak in the hydraulics–a more reasonably priced repair but a turn of events which still leaves me prey to clutchophobia. Sigh…) FINALLY I get to call AAA after decades of loyal subsidies. The service rep was excellent, the tow truck arrives within 15 minutes of the call, drives past me on the two-lane residential street, and proceeds to make a u-turn to come back to me.
In this picture, you can see the truck in the rear view mirror just as it has become stuck in the mudpit on the shoulder. Perhaps you’ve heard it’s been raining a lot on the East Coast this year.
After about five minutes of reverse-forward, forward-reverse, the driver stops by to say Hi and to tell me he has called another tow truck to tow him out of the mud pit. Here they are when they first meet.
And here you see the kiss and embrace of the two trucks.
And the resulting environmental damage.
The truck driver was a jolly fellow. I’ve tweeted this elsewhere, but I took the opportunity to ask him which cars he towed most often. With no hesitation, he said VWs. The cars he tows least–Nissans.
Happy Spring to all!!!
PS: I have no connection and receive no financial remuneration from any of companies/businesses mentioned.