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Humor from the Net #3

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          THE HUMOR OF MELVIN DURAI
            Life can be so funny!
*******************************************
      Original, thought-provoking humor
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You are receiving this weekly humor column because a kind soul
forwarded it to you.

To subscribe, please see instructions at the bottom.

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THIS WEEK'S COLUMN:
"DRIVING A STICK SHIFT ISN'T AUTOMATIC"

I tried to warn her.  I tried to tell my wife, Malathi, that
learning to drive a stick shift is much harder than an automatic,
but did she listen?  Nope, she was too busy drooling over the
burgundy Subaru Legacy wagon in a dealer's lot, convinced that
THIS was the car for her, never mind that it had an extra pedal
and a gear stick that went in more directions than Don King's
hair.

"Why is it called a manual transmission?" she asked, and I tried
to think of a simple but effective explanation:  "Because every
time you drive this car, you'll have to consult the manual.  Now
what do you say we look for an automatic?"

The salesman was no help.  He told Malathi that he once taught a
female customer to drive a stick shift in ten minutes.  Ten
minutes?  That's how long it took Malathi to realize she'd have
to use both feet.

The salesman, of course, would have said just about anything to
get Malathi to buy the car.  Considering it had power locks and
windows, I'm surprised he didn't call it a semiautomatic.  That
would have given me a great way to get rid of telemarketers:  "If
you don't stop calling me at home, I'm going to send my wife over
there with her semiautomatic.  It's got four cylinders!"

I tried to tell Malathi that it might take weeks, even months,
for her to drive the car smoothly.  "Stick shifts aren't easy," I
said.  But she had seen me handle a stick shift -- I've never
owned an automatic -- and she thought, "If clumsy can do it, why
can't I?"

She was soon signing the purchase agreement, beaming from ear to
ear, almost as thrilled as the salesman.  And so began one of the
most frustrating periods of her life, as she attempted, bravely,
to tame the stick-shift monster.  "Go!  Go!  Go!"  she would
yell, as the car jerked and shook and stalled, unable to grasp
such simple instructions.  I tried to help, of course:  "It's a
Japanese car.  What's the Japanese word for 'go'?"

Growing weary of my snide remarks, she tried to hire a
professional instructor, but couldn't find one who taught stick
shift.  She was stuck with me -- in a way that even those wedding
vows couldn't have prepared her.  I was ready to answer all her
questions, even if I had to be blunt.

Malathi:  "Why is the car making that awful grinding noise?  Did
I forget to do something?"

Me:  "Yes.  Clutch!  Clutch!  Clutch!"

Malathi (gripping steering wheel tightly):  "I'm clutching!  I'm
clutching."

Actually, she wasn't quite that bad.  I'm proud to say that my
wife improved steadily, day by day, and in just two weeks, with a
smile on her face, she was ready to try second gear.

It wasn't long before she was cruising down the road, switching
gears with ease, wondering why her husband had made such a fuss.
Then the inevitable happened:  She spotted something red in the
distance and said, "Oh no, it's a stop sign.  How do I stop this
thing?"

I had to remind her that stick shifts, just like automatic cars,
are equipped with brakes, saving her the trouble of sticking her
left foot out.  But what she really wanted to know was which gear
to stop in.  She didn't care for my answer:  "Any gear, dear.
Just make sure you stop."

----------------------------------------------------------
(c) Copyright 2003 Melvin Durai.  All Rights Reserved.
"http://MelvinDurai.com"

BLOG AND OTHER REPRINTS
The above column may be reprinted in other newsletters, blogs,
discussion groups, and joke lists, as long as the website link
and copyright information are included.  This does not apply to
print publications or commercial websites.

Melvin Durai is an Illinois-based writer and humorist.  Born in
India and raised in Zambia, he has lived in North America most of
his life.  Through the Internet, his column is read by thousands
of people in more than 90 countries.

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Bill
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