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The "critter" on the shifter is a puff-toy stick-on placed by one of Dave's daughters as a reminder to "stay calm." And, in Dave's words, "... is meant to lighten the driver's touch and sooth his nerves during shifting operations when the 'good-humored' expostulations of exasperation are common."
The puff-toy is one of a myriad of "child-touches" to the car. Colorful kid ornaments are placed and plastered on windows, doors, and floors like rainbow barnacles on the hull of a rotting ship. As a passenger, every movement of the foot threatens a childs beloved toy.
A careful observer will note the small "throwaway" camera placed in the depression just forward of the shifter.
Dave: "My daughter Adrianne was taking her own still-shots of favorite scenes in the film, Spice World, from the 12" TV screen in our home that I am so proud of. She placed the completed-camera where she did as a vivid reminder to Dad to get the pictures developed."
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