One Jalopnik reader was so upset with the death of the manual transmission he decided to preserve a 5-speed shift pattern on his back. Here's what he's got to say about his permanent move. - Eds.
I love manual transmissions SO much that in February of this year, I went to Industrial Tattoo in Berkeley, Calif., and had the artist Max tattoo a 5-speed shift pattern on my back. Like any 20-ish-year-old guy, I had kicked the idea of getting a tattoo around for years, but I knew that I should wait until I had settled on a design that I was sure that I would love forever. Last winter, that moment of certainty struck me like a bolt of lightning.
I was reading an article about Volvo accident avoidance systems when I realized that I could no longer tolerate more extensive, more comprehensive and more experientially inhibitive technology in cars. Do things like double clutch automatics, traction control, and lane departure warnings really make cars better? I suppose by some metrics they do. But for these amenities we trade character; for luxury we surrender sensory experience; for comfort, we give up romance.