I have a pretty good grip upon writing, but the one thing that sometimes trips me up is Were vs. Was, when not referring to time. I understand: You were sick, and simple things like that. It is this type of sentence that makes me wonder if Was or Were is appropriate. "James drove down Main Street and watched the birds stare at the running car as though it were alien in these parts." Were sounds right, but is it wrong to have Was in that statement? If any of you can explain why this sounds better or what the difference truly is, it would be appreciated. Thank you.