So last weekend I learned how to drive a stick shift. My husband took me out to the nearly deserted parking lot of his workplace and taught me the ins and outs of the manual transmission. And, according to him, I did fairly well. So I am now almost competent in driving with a stick.

This same night we went to some friends’ house to watch 24 and considering it was 11 pm when we left, I figured it would be a good chance for me to practice my stick skills when there weren’t many people on the road. And I did alright, after the initial killing of the engine about 10 times when first starting out. Unfortunately, when we reached the bypass, we also reached the realm of the Richland Police Department.

Our car, while for the most part dependable, isn’t much to look at. The driver’s side front bumper is constructed out of duct tape. There isn’t a side mirror on the passenger side. And we have a short somewhere in the electrical system which randomly causes some lights to go out.

So inevitably, with me driving, a cop happens upon us. And being bored as the RPD’s finest usually are, he forgoes pulling over the miata which went speeding past and opts to pull me over. I almost killed it going through an intersection and did kill it when trying my very best to pull over. I honestly think the officer felt bad for me, because I must have looked very very frightened. I’m not on our insurance yet. Lucky for us, I have a clean record, my only speeding ticket having been dropped off my record last year. So we got off with a warning about our license plate light being out. (We’re pretty sure they can’t even ticket you for that…although they can ticket you for your license plate being too dirty. I don’t understand it either.)

All in all, it wasn’t that bad of an experience. And it does make a good story for our kids someday when we’re drilling it into their minds that they need to learn to drive a manual. If they even have manuals around then.

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