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My fiance Miriam insists that she has to leave the...

Dear Tom and Ray:

My fiance, Miriam insists that she has to leave the transmission in third gear until she goes over 40 mph. I say that once she has reached 35 mph, it is OK to shift into fourth gear, as long as she does not need to accelerate or go up a steep hill. In fact, I say that on a straight and level road, she can even drive in fourth gear at say 30 mph. On the infrequent occasions when I have been permitted to drive her car, I have noticed no problem driving around in town like this. I have tried to explain this to her, but she just won't listen to me. You are my last hope. The whining of the transmission is starting to drive me nuts!! She has stopped listening to me. I'm sure she will see it my way after you explain it to her.

RAY: Gee, Stan, I'd lighten up if I were you. I mean, do you really want to ruin a perfectly good relationship over something as petty as this?

TOM: Yeah. What Miriam is doing isn't harming the car. The only disadvantages to shifting later are that you use a little more gas, and it makes a little more noise. So what's the big deal?

RAY: Of course, Stan, you're entirely right. Miriam COULD shift into fourth gear at 35 mph or even less, as long as the engine isn't bucking or chattering.

TOM: So we're enclosing some chocolate syrup for her, in hopes that it will make this newspaper go down a little easier. Good luck, you two love birds.
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