I was in a taxi the other day and the driver and I were talking about cars. Him going on about this and that and me valiantly* trying to keep up my end of the conversation.
[Which reminds me of the time a girl I knew came to a party of ours and, being on the look out for a new special friend, tried chatting to Grumpy's mate Country Boy - he being single and eligible** and, well, breathing. I kept a bit of an eye on them. She seemed to be maintaining a bright and breezy air and Country Boy was employing his usual combination of facial expressions - entertained and stunned - so I assumed things were going pretty well. After about 40 minutes she came staggering over and said, "I've exhausted every possible thing I can say about rugby. Is there anything else he can talk about??" Unfortunately the only answer to that was: cars.]
Anyway, the taxi driver. He was asking me all about the kind of car I drive and we talked about the relative merits of the Outback versus the Forester. Then, somehow, it transpired that I drove a manual, not an automatic. At this, the taximan was indignant. Didn't I know that 9 out of 10 cars on Australian roads are automatic? What would possess me to drive a manual? Where did I get the hide? I like it, I told him. I just like changing gears and I like having control over the car via something other then the brake. He spluttered. But, but but. "But," he said, "there's so much going on when you're driving a manual. You have too much to think about."
And there, dear reader, I had him. Because as anyone who has been in a car with me behind the wheel can tell you, the last thing I do when I'm driving is think.
** Actually, not so eligible. Country Boy tends to confine his conquests to married women. He's a bit of a dickhead.