I have adjustable speeds

When I first started to drive at the age of 14, I had to learn on an automatic car. I quickly learned how to do that, and I got bored. In an automatic, all you have to do is push the gas occasionally and the shifting is done for you. I started doing stupid things like putting my foot out the window(I was more flexible back then) and other things to occupy my boredness. I knew at some point I would need to learn to drive a stick shift, or I would end up driving over people and possibly getting in trouble.

My younger brother and I begged to be able to get a stick shift car to learn on. My dad had one, but it was far too valuable to be used on our teenage recklessness. So eventually, we found a $700 Volkswagen Beetle to practice on, and he taught us how to use a stick shift in a parking lot. We learned how to shift and clutch and avoid almost running over people. We had fun terrorizing people, (and my dad) by grinding gears, and popping clutches and making all kinds of scary sounds, that those things made.

Eventually, I got good at shifting gears without dropping the engine. As we we do in the writing business, this is a metaphor, or a simile or a parable, or the segue in the radio business(or mall cop business).

Anyways, similar to my ability to shift in a car, I am also able to shift speed in life. Let’s take a project at school. Say it is supposed to be done tomorrow and I’ve only just started it. I have this amazing ability to shift from first to sixth gear (I’m no Lamborghini, but I like to act like one sometimes) and I get it done. So it isn’t a DaVinci (he was a good writer right?) but it gets something on someone’s table. If they give me a C, I just like to say that it was a masterpiece in progress, and you didn’t give me enough time to get it done (even though they gave us six weeks).

On the other hand, if something is due in six weeks, I have the ability to shift to shift from sixth to first really fast. I can fill time like nobody’s business. The one thing you will never hear me say out loud is, “I’m bored.” Number 1, because as soon as you say that, your wife/mom/boss will find you way too many things to do that you won’t want to do, but also because I have an unlimited list of things that I would do in my free time (read a book, play a video game, watch a TV show, view a YouTube video, imagine a world where I was in charge, blog, make a video).

Saying I’m bored is an extrovert millennial thing to say, or a kid with a death wish.

Another example of my adjustable speeds is when food is involved. I’m 44 years old now, so I don’t get around as easily as I used to. I walk up steps at a sloth like pace and am heavier of breath than a baby who held their breath underwater for 5 minutes. But if I ever hear over a loudspeaker, “Pizza is in the kitchen”, I all of a sudden become Usain Bolt with two boosts of NOS installed.

Did somebody say PIZZA?!


When I’m on my way to work, I am a law abiding citizen that makes sure he is following the speed minimums to the T and my breaks get a work out. On the way home from work, my gas pedal gets the workout and often gets pushed through the floor.

When I am on vacation, I am frantically trying to get every possible thing squeezed into a week, and time speeds up to bunny being chased by a cheetah levels, where when I am working a four day work week, and I’m trying to do as little as possible, it is a sloth trying to chase a 100 year old tortoise.

As a 44 year old, I may have slowed down to tortoise levels, but when motivated enough, I have a sixth gear to get me to pizza faster than any of you.


Bitter Stick Shifty Ben


24 thoughts on “I have adjustable speeds

  1. Nice post. Having learned on a gearstick car, the first time I drove an automatic my left foot kept jamming down on the brake because it mistook it for the clutch and was trying to stop the car from stalling. It was like riding a bucking bronco. Soon learned just to use the right foot …


  2. Bored. Been there and done that. I guess that is why I blog. Boring is golf. More boring is baseball. I just had a triple by pass two months ago and there are now things I can not do. But being bored is not one of them. Now I count each day as a given and being bored is not as horrible as it used to be. I am seventy one and time has gone by quickly. But being bored is part of the mix. As far as pizza is concerned it is now a no no for my diet. Favor, eat a piece for me. What is your take on the Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Is it a scam or should I give it a shot ? I Would appreciate a response. There seems to be so many excuses to part me with my money and I wonder if this is one of them. Actually I am bored with the scams. I honor your opinion and hopefully you will give it. Thanks in advance, Barry


    • I think if they ask you for money it is a scam. If they really want you, they would ask you for free. As far as eating pizza, I will do my best to eat at least a pizza a week in your honor.


  3. This is sooo me. I think in another lifetime, a former life perhaps, you were my father or something related. The only difference is what you do for pizza, I do for coke and good looking men.


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