Saying you're an automotive journalist who doesn't drive a stick shift is like calling yourself a doctor if you don't have a medical school degree: Your credibility is seriously in doubt. No matter that your job involves consumer advice (like mine does) instead of testing cars. Or that the percentage of vehicles sold in the U.S. with manual transmissions has declined from 22.4 percent in 1985 to 6.5 percent in 2007 according to J.D. Power. If you're going to write about cars at all, you'd better know how to drive a stick. Otherwise, your opinion holds no weight.