When I was 5 years old the family moved to a new house so I cannot tell you how old I was when this happened but I was big enough to sit behind the wheel and reach the shifter on the column.
Well, not shifter. Selector. You know what I mean. It was an automatic. It was also red, a Plymouth, and when you used the turn signals little lights out on the hood of the car blinked back at you, the driver, to indicate to you that your signals were on. Fancy shit.
It had hubcaps. I know this as going around a turn while standing in the rear seats looking out the back window (lol seatbelts) we went around a turn and the hub cap kept on going straight like it missed the memo. I hollered and my mom went back and found it.
We lived on a hill. Not a large one. Large enough, however, that when you’re sitting up front pretending you’re driving and moving the wheel around and moving the gear selector all over like a real driver, eventually you find neutral.
My mother worries about shit that makes no sense. She can’t imagine why I’d want to live in a hell hole like California where it’s all MS-13 and homeless people and immigrant tent cities. Going to Paris she warned me about they hate us. Fox News has done a number on her.
However, as a younger woman, she didn’t worry about shit. So she stood on the front stairs of our house watching me play car driver in the driveway.
I remember her face when the car began to roll backwards down the hill, and I remember fear as it got faster.
My memories fade here, as I was 5 at most but I think I remember my mother frantically trying to catch up to the car. What I know for fact is that I crossed the street, hopped the curb, and hit a structure made out of logs that the local Boy Scouts used. Some kind of cabin. I have no idea if there was any damage.
I think I can trace me being a car guy back to that day specifically and that Plymouth more generally.
You might not understand the reason your car comes with a parking brake when you already have a Park position for your shifter.
I am that reason.