So I am stuck with the dilemma of "Do I make an expensive repair on a twelve-year-old car with 250,000 miles on it?" versus "Do I want the expense and the hassle of a new car?" Which, don't get me wrong, is a heckuva better predicament than "Do I eat this month or pay the electric bill?" But as someone who HATES CHANGE, I do not want a new car. Especially since nowadays, if I want a manual transmission (and I do), I will probably have to special order it.
So like any dutiful child, I unload my burdens on my Favorite Parents. (Some may call it "whining", but I digress. Besides, Mojo is so neglectful a child my Favorite Parents treat my whining as a Special Privilege they occasionally enjoy, since usually our conversations are more along the lines of "How are you?" with me just sort of grunting at them.)
Mind you, these are the people who TAUGHT me how to drive a standard transmission, filled me with tales of just how easy it is to DIE with an automatic, and they OWNED nothing but manuals until about twenty years ago, when my Favorite Father got over his general prejudice of the automatic transmission ("It's just one more thing to go wrong with the car") and now embraces them as an intergral part of his existence. My Favorite Mother, too, not ONLY went through much of her adult life driving a manual, but this HONKIN' BIG ORANGE VAN with three-on-the-tree which was our primary school bus-esque conveyance for us in high school when WE learned how to drive and got to occasionally borrow The Van and offer rides to our scores of worthless, shiftless, carless friends. In the eyes of her peers she was a freakin' TRUCK DRIVER with this MONSTROUS HULK that dwarfed their tiny insignificant four-passenger vehicles. But again, I digress.