Little Tart loves it all…most of the time

Unexpected help from the East Bay

Posted on: August 15, 2007

Earlier today I posted a Craigslist ad which reads:

I need to take a driver’s test to get a CA driver’s license. My boyfriend’s car is a manual and I can only drive automatic. I’m not from the area and do not have a network of friends who can help. Would anyone with an insured car be willing to meet me at DMV and let me drive his or her car for the Driver’s Test? I would be more than willing to pay you $50.00 for your time. If interested please email me, I will immediately schedule a DMV Test at either the Oakland/Claremont or the Oakland/Coliseum DMV (which ever is closer) and let you know when. Thanks!

The only response I received was from this gentleman:

Dear Young Lady, Duh! I guess I am just suspicious, but it would take you less than 1 day to learn to drive boyfriend’s stick shift. Sounds like a really good way to have one’s car stolen. You have a left leg and foot? That should take care of the clutching. Do you have two eyes? You can see the stick? Maybe I’m just suspicious. Stan in Richmond, Ca.

 To which I responded: 

Stan, I’m not sure why you responded if you weren’t interested in helping me. I am also not sure why you felt compelled to email a complete stranger and to slander her as a car thief simply because I do not drive stick, have not learned how to drive stick, and do not wish to learn stick. I am offering an interested party good hard American cash to perform a service. If you are not the person to perform that service why on earth are you putting in your two cents? Didn’t your mother raise you better than that? As to my stealing your precious car, I am under the impression that a police officer checks the car owner’s insurance, gets into the car and is with the driver every second the car is in motion. Unless the DMV police officer is also the sort to participate in stealing your 1985 Toyota Corolla I think there is very little chance for any theft will occur. Thanks for your message and good luck in your future endeavors Bridgitte

 To which he replied: 

Dear Bridgitte, And didn’t your mother teach you to not be so silly? Learn to drive the stick. It’s as simple as that. And Craigslist is the place where people stick their noses in wherever and whenever they feel like it. I’m not sure just how they manage the test although I was at the DMV yesterday to get my license renewed. I watched the process of testing for a little while. See, I haven’t had to take a driving test since 1951. I took it in an old plymouth with a stick. There wasn’t a whole lot else at that time. You should learn to do it just for the sake of being a whole human being and able to function in any circumstances. Do you know there are people today who don’t know how to use a dial phone? That is so stupid it’s unbelievable. You may one day be in Kansas somewhere and your boyfriend / husband may have a heart attack and the only vehicle running may be a stick shift. You don’t have any idea of what may happen to you. I can operate a ship’s engine room, a machine shop, an atomic accelerator, and just about anything you can name. I served in the Korean War and came home to tell about it. I lived in Japan and learned to speak Japanese. I’m learning Spanish now. At a campsite in the dead of winter, do you know how to trim the wick of a kerosene lamp? My grandparents taught me that. There are useful people and people who don’t know which end is up. Which do you want to be? I think we all know the answer. By the way, my wife was weaned on driving a tractor and she can drive a stick shift just fine. She is also the person who is directing the restoration of the Red Oak Victory Ship in Richmond. She is constantly called by business and government officials for her advice. What can you do? I hope a lot more soon. Bless you, Stan.

 I know that my response was curt and snide, but my ire was up.  Why does posting on Craigslist mean that you are presenting yourself for criticism from strangers?  Have you ever read the general discussion board?  So full of anonymous vitriol as to be disgusting.  That aside, I am so grateful that Stan felt compelled to explain what a useless human being I am, due to my inability to drive a car with a manual transmission.  Additionally I am so thankful that he proceeds to explain that not only was he superior to me, but his wife (whom I actually found fascinating due to my interest in living museums.  I want to restore the Red Oak Victory Ship!) is also a superior woman.  Thank you Stan. 

I refrained from further response (well except for posting it here) though my final thought on the whole thing is:  Someone as well rounded as Stan should have better things to do with his time than combing Craigslist’s General Discussion page for random an East Bayer he can encourage to become a whole person rather than the useless lump of clay I so obviously am.


4 Responses to "Unexpected help from the East Bay"

Anyway it takes a lot more than a day driving a stick to be confident enough to risk passing a driving test. Especially in San Fran, if you had to stop on a hill you’d probably fail the test . If they dont fail you for stalling then Im sure they would for rolling back into the guy behind you

Also, my cousin was once caught in the mountains one winter. He was found dead in the spring, hunched over a lantern, its untrimmed wick had never burned.


If you still need a car and are comfortable driving a big ol’ station wagon I could hook you up. Money aint important but if you could BART over to Frisco that would be much easier for me. 🙂 Just shoot me an e-mail and I can give you a call.

You might look into just getting a rental car or joining a car share program, there’s a few of them out there, and I’m pretty sure Enterprise could easily hook you up for under $50, and they’d likely be willing to give you a lift to the DMV. (Be sweet and tip them.)


Some people feel the need to voice out their opinions when no one really wants ’em sometimes. Anyway, hope you found a car that you could use for your test. Maybe I’ll check the posts after this 🙂

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