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Losing Touch

Losing Touch

I always loved stick shift (manual transmission) driving. Real sports cars had only manual transmissions. But when Ferrari gave them up, I gave up on Ferraris. Anyone can simply push the pedal to the floor, and tapping paddle shifters is embarrassing (like people who drive convertibles with the windows up and a windscreen behind them—amateurs). I drive a 2016 Corvette ZO6 because it has seven manual gears and feels like a true sports car, especially with 650 horsepower.

I learned to drive in New Jersey, so I learned to parallel park. No one born in Rhode Island knows how to parallel park. They pull in front first, and by the time they’re done you have to take a taxi to the curb. But now I have two cars the can park themselves, perfectly, no hands on the wheel. I refuse to use the feature, just as I haven’t used cruise control  in probably 30 years, even though it’s included on all our vehicles, even the pickup truck.

And now they’re trying to convince us that driverless cars will be the new thing. So I’ll sit there doing nothing except plug it into the wall when we go home again? I’m going to be doing that right after they convince me to eat pre-chewed food. Climate change may be uncomfortable, but boredom will kill you.

And yes, if I can’t see a car for a mile in either direction, and it’s 90 degrees, I cross the street, no matter what the stupid sign says. “Don’t walk” is subordinate to “don’t die on this corner.”

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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