In A Clutch Situation, Brother Comes to Rescue

By Evan Shertzer –

I’ve never seen my mom jump and grab hold of something so quick in my entire life.

That’s how she was when I was first learning how to drive. At every stop sign, every red light or any time I was beginning to brake, mom grabbed the door handle faster than she could drop a hot pan. I always thought she was slow too.

I guess sometimes she had her reasons for jumping, like when I almost did go off the road, or when I almost hit the other car. I guess that’s just all part of the learning experience though.

The worst part about learning how to drive wasn’t paying attention to the road, learning how to work all the gizmos and gadgets or just simply figuring out how to make the car do what you want it to do; it was learning how to drive stick.

When I first was learning how to drive, I was in my mom’s automatic SUV, but when I bought my first car it was stick or manual. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, I just thought that, “Oh, this will be easy.” But it wasn’t.

An animated picture of a student driver. Photo from

After trying to figure out how to make the car magically go forward for about an hour by using two pedals instead of one, mom was on the verge of blowing up. She showed me the hand motions one last time on how to let out the clutch as I was pushing the gas, and so I followed exactly as she explained and nothing. Still the same shuddering forward with your head flying back and forth almost giving you whiplash and then halt.

“I’m done! You’re never going to learn!”

Mom got out of the car, slammed the door, and walked inside the house.

She exploded.

During the whole operation of me trying to learn, my brother was watching in amusement, kind of hoping that the car would also blow up along with my mom. After he saw me attempt a couple of more times at trying to drive, he finally got up and came over and helped. He got in the driver’s seat and we drove down to a path of a back road. He then let me get in and showed me how to really drive stick.

After that day, I gradually learned more and more with my brother’s instructions always in the back of my mind. I don’t really know the difference between my brother’s or mom’s instructions, but for some reason his worked. Maybe it was the fact that he wasn’t on the edge of exploding and yelling at me every time I failed. Either way, sometimes mom isn’t always right and you need a brother for help.