When my father taught me how to drive he insisted that I learn to master a manual shift. "You never want to be stuck in a situation where you need to go somewhere, but the only car available is a stick you can't drive. What if it was an emergency?," he said.
Plus, the little economy car he was handing down to me had a stick shift, so better sooner than later. Anyway, I just write this to say that I am very happy that I know how to drive a manual transmission. Every car I've gotten since then has been a stick. Good gas mileage, fun to drive, cheaper vehicles--all these attributes are what make a manual transmission my first choice.
Thanks, Dad. If it hadn't been for you I wouldn't experience the thrill of tooling around in my new little five-speed. It's pure joy.