Nothing wakes you up from the stupor of your evening commute than nearly having an accident while only having one leg in your car, I can tell you. The recipe is as follows:
Drive home through Toronto winter rush hour traffic - it takes twice as long as usual as it is icy and -9 degrees outside.
Get pissed off at the perpetual Bon Jovi on the radio stations (they are playing here soon, and I like Bon Jovi. I just also like variety).
Get more bored.
Eventually turn into the little back street where you park (just a few spaces down from where you parked earlier this week) and find that the front of the car loses about 2 foot of line on the shiny, solid ice.
"Caution, old son" you think to yourself.
Drive with care and smoothly around the very tight corner (the one too tight to tow my hideously massively long car around if they object to where I park) and pull into a space without slowing for fear of wheelspin and even linger to get in the, slightly uphill, space than the 25 minutes it took you to move 8 feet into the space the last time it was icy here (on Monday).
Stop and turn off the car. Try and wake up a bit. Look around for your hat. Zip your fleece up and your coat.
Start to get out of the car.
Get mostly out of car and notice the door pushing against you. Get irritated that door has shut on you and push it fully open.
Realise door IS fully open.
(fleeting moment of confusion)
Further realise that, completely smoothly and silently, the car is sliding backwards down the slight hill and THAT is why the door is pushing you. Because the car is moving. You are not, it must be mentioned, strictly speaking - or in fact at all - IN the car at this point.
(interlude: Ever since I started driving, I have had the habit of, whenever I am in the car and stationary, holding my foot on the brake. No matter how long I am sat there for, the foot goes on to stop the car and comes off only to get out. So in a left hand drive car, my last leg to remove is my right - from the brake pedal and straight out of the car. So the brakes came off as I withdrew my last leg out of the car. See how this is an issue if the car moves?)
At this point, it is best if you say, loudly, the title of this post.
leap back into the car straight onto the brake pedal and try and ram the car into Park while cursing yourself for not putting it in properly first time.
Car comes to a halt. Realise that car IS in park.
Release foot slowly.
Become amused as car slides down the hill again.
It seems that I had parked with my rear wheels on super smooth ice, and with my front wheels on snow. Hence grip at the front and none at the back. After a small period just checking that Park actually functioned, I let the car roll the rest of the way out of the space and got my (here's some I prepared earlier!) de-icing granules out of the boot and spread them over the area that my rear wheels were likely to end up. I then got a little bit of a run up and parked the car up the slope again.
There then followed a few seconds of gingerly lifting my foot off the pedal and waiting. Then jumping up and down. Then opening the door and looking at the floor to be sure. Is the car moving? Nope. Does it look like it will? Not yet.
So I ran around to the boot and got the granules back out and put loads under the rear wheels of the car in the hope that, should conditions change in some way and the friction become reduced where the car actually was, there'd be something dry behind it to stop the car from smashing into someone's garage while I sleep. The final part of the recipe:
Kick the car. Wait. Kick it again, eyeing it suspiciously. Slam the door shut and watch it again for a few seconds. Walk away wondering if it will be there in the morning.
I have, at this point, checked three times that the car is still where I left it. we'll see in the morning, I guess.