All In The Family... Life In Missouri...
During our second residence in Missouri (1982-1986), Dennis and I owned a couple of VW Beetles. Our old yellow Beetle had formerly belonged to my mother-in-law. In fact, it was the car in which she learned to drive after all the kids grew up and left home.
It had an Autostick, a curious semi-automatic transmission. The gear shifter was on the floor in the usual place between driver and passenger. As I recall, the shifter had five possible positions, all in a straight line:
One thing you had to remember was to apply the parking brake when you left the driver's seat. The transmission didn't have a Park position, and the car would roll in any gear.
One afternoon, I came home from shopping with our friend Brent. I parked the yellow Bug in the driveway, and we got out. As we stood on the front step unlocking the door, I heard a crunch of gravel. The car was rolling. I had forgotten to set the brake.
Our driveway had only a slight incline -- until it curved around behind our house. Then the backyard took a definite downhill slant. So the car rolled slowly at first, but it picked up speed as I ran after it.
I caught up with the car as it left the driveway and started downhill across the lawn, and I finally got the door open as it went under the clothesline.
By the time I got inside the car enough to get my foot on the brake, it had crossed the alley and was headed for someone's back porch.
I backed the Bug out of the flower bed where it had finally stopped, drove out of the alley, parked again in the driveway and APPLIED THE PARKING BRAKE!
Brent had been watching all of this with a mixture of awed amazement and amusement.
"Do that often?" he asked.