Monday, February 10, 2014

Do You Pick Up Hitchhikers?

"Don't mind the axe. I'm a lumberjack!"
Back in high school, I was riding with a couple of friends of mine to a school event.  We're going up the interstate when up ahead there was a guy sitting down with his thumb out.  Now, hitchhiking may have been big in the 60's and 70's, but in the late 80's, it was the first 5 minutes of a slasher movie.

I was sitting in the backseat and I sat up and directed my attention out the front window once the driver, Greg, started to slow down.  "Greg, what are you doing, man?" I inquired as I wondered if he was pranking the hitchhiker or actually stopping.

"I'm going to give this guy a lift," he replied.  "He looks cool."

"What do you mean he looks cool?" I started.  "How do you know he's cool?"

"I mean, he looks like he needs a ride," Greg responded looking in the rear view mirror at me.

The passenger, Henry, said nothing as he sat in the front seat.  By this time, we're about 50 yards away and the hitchhiker notices that we're slowing down so he starts to stand up.  "Greg, don't pick this dude up, man!" I said getting more nervous.  "He could be crazy!"

"Chill, Q," Greg started,  "we're only a couple of exits from the school, so at least that will help him out a bit."

Now I'm really nervous.  This fool is going to actually pull over and pick up Charles Manson on the side of the road.  Since I'm in the backseat alone, this psycho will probably end up sitting next to me which isn't cool.  Why?  Because I'm the only black guy in the car!  And we all know that the black guy is always the first to die!

Desperate times calls for desperate measures.  "Greg, if you pull over I will punch you in the back of the head!"

"What?" he replied not sure if I'm kidding or not.

"I'm not playing, Greg!" I said with a quiver in my voice.  "I will punch you in the back of the head!"

Evidently, Greg could hear the fear and seriousness in my voice and see it in my eyes in the mirror.  I was a man trapped in the back seat of a car with very few options.  I was going to punch him in his head.  He increased his speed and we blew right past the confused hitchhiker.  "Lighten up, Q," he replied.  "That guy might have really needed a ride."

I didn't reply as I sat back in my seat.  I could hear my heartbeat in my head.  I really was going to punch Greg in the back of the head... repeatedly.  He has no idea to this day that as he was slowing down the car that he was just 5 mph away from getting punched in the back of the head.

I don't take chances with my life, but I was going to risk an accident over having Jason Vorhees in the backseat with me.  Unfortunately for hitchhikers in need, axe murderers have messed the game up for them as far as I'm concerned.  I don't stop for hitchhikers.  Period.  I don't care if it's a woman and she looks like Tika Sumpter.  The moral of the story is: if you pick up hitchhikers then you'll get punched in the back of the head.  Don't get punched in the back of the head.

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker or have been a hitchhiker?


  1. Nope, not happening. There are just too many things that can go wrong in that scenario especially with me because I'm female (rape being the main concern there), but of course anyone male or female can be murdered so it's just not a good thing to let a stranger into your vehicle.

    My mom once picked up a hitch hiker, but she had me and my two brothers in the car, one of my brothers being over 6 feet tall and pretty strong. We also had another man in the car, a friend of my mom's. This hitch hiker had been biking and had a flat on a very hilly road and he was far from the town so it would have been rough to carry his bike. Clean cut looking guy, super friendly, we drove him into town and that was that. Still though, wouldn't recommend that as a general thing.

    1. Sounds like your experience was a good one since the guy didn't look crazy. I can see someone with a bike appearing safe, too. However, long gone are the days people could pick up a hitchhiker and not wind up dismembered in his duffle bag.

  2. Once when I was in college, after a big ice storm, I was getting in my car at my apartment. This lady who was probably in her 40's flagged me down in the parking lot. I rolled my window down and she said that she had just fallen on the ice and hurt her hip. She asked if I would give her a ride "down the street." She looked a little haggard, but not exactly like she was a homeless person. Just someone who probably lived a rough life. I didn't even think twice - mostly because I was young and dumb and invited her into my car after "Ohmygoshing!" at how she had fallen on the ice (it was pretty nasty out). I drove her about five miles "down the street" and let her out at a house she pointed to. She wasn't limping when she got out (like she was when she flagged me down). So, even though she wasn't technically a "hitch hiker," she was a complete stranger who I let in my car and drove somewhere. I don't know if she just snookered me into a free ride or if she was really hurt, but I didn't think about how dangerous it could have been until someone I told the story to pointed that out to me later. Yep...young and dumb. I wouldn't pick up a hitch hiker now, but if someone looked like they were in trouble (like their car broke down), I would probably pull over and ask if they were okay. I'm always the one who jumps out of my car if I see an accident.

    1. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside just from seeing your comment! She still reads my blog! * blush * :) Reck, I'm skeptical about people who are pulled over as well. I've heard stories of guys pulling over for young ladies only to have some guys hop out of the bushes and rob him. So, I'll call 911 for someone, but I'll probably keep rolling if it's not in a well-lit and public place! Good to see you!


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