Joey Pants and I were talking this morning about a guy in New Jersey who was teaching his 16 year old daughter to drive a stick shift. She hit the gas instead of the brakes and slammed into several gas meters outside an apartment building. Residents were evacuated. Not pretty.

The story reminded me of learning to drive a manual transmission with my dad. There was a lot of yelling, from both of us (I know, it's hard to believe that I grew up in a family of people who yell to communicate). The car was a light blue Chevy Citation (check out the vingate commercial). I don't know how or why it replaced the late 70s Monte Carlo that came before it, but my parents apparently liked the Citation so much, they bought two of them. I only crashed the orange one, not the blue one. No one was injured.

Joey's dad taught him on a Blazer; Duran Martinez says he learned to operate a manual from Les LeMonde, the manager of the Lansing print shop that employed him in the early 1980s.