Chapter 40: Stick Shift

If there is one thing my momma never taught me, it would be to drive a stick shift. Granted, she never taught me that because my mother doesn't drive. Instead, my sister had to show me the many perils of driving. Prior to joining the Marine Corps, she tried to teach me how to drive a stick while driving down the hill. Let's just say, it wasn't the best lesson. After that I day, I made a promise to myself that I would never drive a stick shift. And wouldn't you know it, the Marine Corps made me break that promise.
Since I was in admin, we were responsible in obtaining the mail for the squadron. No problem, right? Everyone borrowed my car, drove up to the Post Office and picked up the mail. Little did we know that personal vehicles were not authorized to transport mail. Since our squadron didn't have its own government vehicle, we were forced to to either a) look like Santa and haul a big ass bag o' mail back to the squadron, which was only about a mile away or b) drive a tug. Of course, we were admin people, so we chose the tug.
It was hard to borrow the tug. The Flightline people weren't that willing to give up their little toys, especially to the arrogant, admin people. So of course, they had to make it hard for us. We had to get Might Mite licenses. For real. To drive a small little tug took more than just your standard driver's license.
As the small group of us POG's wandered off shore to MWSS for Might Mite School, we sat in thw boring class to learn how to operate the Mighty Mite. The class was a joke. A young Corporal, who you would swear was on restricted duty,  was forced to give this class. He basically gave us the answer for the test (yes, I was given a test), and was about to send us on his way. As we all got our licenses, he asked, "Marines, I forgot to ask an important question. Who here doesn't know how to drive a stick shift or a standard vehicle?" I looked around. No one had their hand up. Beet red, I raised my hand. In a matter of seconds, he ripped my Mighty Mite license from my hand and told me, "Come back after you learn how."
I wasn't heart broken, more embarrassed, because of my lack of knowing how to drive a stick shift, got me out of picking up the mail or doing the daily runs to the MAG. But of course, once one person complained about Lance Corporal Cox not doing the runs, my cover was blown. I was forced to learn how to drive a stick shift.
I was afraid to ask anyone from my squadron to teach me how to drive one, so I found a barracks friend who drove a piece of crap stick shift truck. He enthusiastically said that he would teach me, and so the lesson began.
He had one an old truck, so when I hopped in, I wasn't sure if I should be afraid that half the floor was missing or that there was a huge hole in the seat. I didn't care. I had to learn. He decided to have me drive around the flight line. And so our journey began.
I somehow made it down the street and started to round the corner. I think I grinded the gears with every shift, and I could just feel him cringe with terror. Then the most unfortunate thing happened. I somehow broke the clutch. Don't ask me how I did it, but where there is a will, there is a way!
As we walked back to the barracks, I kept apologizing, but all I got was a hand to the face. Damn, I got face-palmed! How sad is that?
When we got back to the barracks, I was still on mission to learn how to drive a stick, but I guess my reputation beat me to the punch. No one would teach me how to drive a stick. And I am sad to say, that to this day, I still do not know how to drive a stick shift. Oh, and my plan backfired on me too. I had to have someone drive me to pick up the mail. Seriously, I had to use the buddy system to go to Disbursing and the Post Office. If I had any cool points then, they were certainly ripped away by my lack of handling my gears correctly.


  1. You should have told me :) I drive stick and could have taught you. Much too late to pick up mail, but still, it's a useful skill to have. ~ Alisa

  2. I should put "Learning how to drive a stick shift" on my bucket list. Instructor: Ms. Alisa


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