Lately, the great First State has been teasing me with its weather patterns. It’ll be freezing one day, not so freezing the next and on and on the cycle goes. My personal opinion is that if it’s going to be this cold, it may as well snow. It’s just a waste of cold weather otherwise.
Recently, we’ve had these days where we’ll get a light dusting, maybe an inch if we’re lucky, and then the snow just stops. It’s really quite annoying.
My brother’s girlfriend let me drive her car home from kickboxing the other night. She drives some sort of automatic Chrysler-looking car, I drive a manual Scion xB, and while I know how to drive an automatic car (hello, I learned on one) it is, believe it or not, something that I have to re-learn every time I drive one. Sort of. It’s just that I’m so used to pushing the clutch in, shifting gears, letting the clutch out and easing on the gas, that pushing the gas pedal to make the care move just seems so….simple.
Initially, I did really well. I pulled out of the parking lot and started driving only to have to stop at a red light shortly thereafter. When the light turned green, I hit the gas and it was smooth sailing. That is of course, until the blizzard from hell (oxymoron?) fell upon us.
The snow was coming in so fast and so thick that I could barely see 10 feet in front of me. While trying to sort out my vision, I noticed an odd whining sound coming from the engine, a sound that I’m used to hearing from my manual vehicle when it’s begging me to switch gears. Turns out, I was in first gear. You know how you have the option of being in first or second gear with an automatic, right? No idea why that option is there, but it is.
Anyway, I panicked and my brain automatically shifted into manual drive mode and so there I was, on a busy road in the blizzard of the century constantly tapping the brake pedal with my left foot every 3.5 seconds, thinking that would have some sort of effect on my ability to shift the car into drive. It didn’t. But I was successful at scaring the crap out of my brother’s girlfriend because the whole time I was “tapping the clutch” she was trying not to panic over the fact that there were other cars around that could mow us over.
The blizzard continued our whole trek back to my apartment which made it very difficult to drive around a roundabout.
It of course stopped about a half hour later after it decided that a light dusting of snow was all we really needed and that no state of emergency would be necessary.
Also, I have a brand new appreciation for automatic vehicle drivers. Driving that simple requires lots of concentration.