Let's say you have just parked your rental car. It's nothing fancy, just a Chevy Malibu, with an emergency brake on the floor. On the floor? How quaint. Let's just put the gear shift back on the steering column, shall we, and I'll buzz for the car-hop.
As you crush it to the floor, you notice there is no lever to pull it back up.
Let's just say that happened.
And after you look for the manual in the glove compartment, and try every button in obvious reach of the driver's seat (popping the hood, the trunk, and the gas door in the process), and after you call the rental desk ... The rental agent says, "There should be a release lever right above it." The only answer to that, even in the South is, "Yes, there really should be, shouldn't there?"
You, Dear Reader, might have other resources to draw from. You might call your partner in life -- the person you don't mind feeling completely ignorant in front of and can say anything.
The well-heeled spinster knows she must be willing to look ignorant in front of anyone. This is why the salesmen at Berglund Chevrolet will get a nice thank-you note, and Alamo rental will not.
Right foot on the main brake; step on the parking brake again.