Give a guy a break: give him a lift
Hitchhiking: To travel by soliciting free rides along a road. Often
called "Thumbing a ride," since the would-be hitchhiker sticks out
his or her thumb and points it in the general direction he or she
wishes to travel. All the traveler needs is time, a thumb, and a
nice person with a car heading in the desired direction. There was
an excellent Country & Western song, two decades or so ago, called
"Riding My Thumb to Mexico," that I often remember when I see
hitchhikers on the road.
Give a guy a ride, if you can. After all, the next hitchhiker you
encounter may be YOURSELF, in need of a ride.
I have been a hitchhiker a few times, and I have picked up
scores of hitchhikers. I'd like to make some suggestions, below,
about hitchhiking. By all means accept or ignore them, as is
your predilection. Your opinions will differ.
- If you are a woman, do not pickup male hitchhikers.
I'm sorry about that, guys who may need a ride some day down
the road. Male humans are not to be trusted. This has
always been the case: it's not some new threat added to the
much-lamented "good ole days" where everyone was neighborly and
could be trusted--- those days never existed. Women have always
been preyed upon by men and boys.
- Do not pick up children hitchhikers. One would think
this is obvious, but people actually pick up children
hitchhikers. Their reasoning is "I am a decient person. Better
that I give the child a lift instead of some Roman Catholic
Priest or other pervert." Call the Highway Patrol instead:
children have no right hitchhiking, and should be prevented from
doing so. Only a stupid shit gives rides to children.
- Consider hanging a canister of mace or pepper spray from
your car's turn signal lever. Put it where hitchhikers cannot
see it, and more importantly cannot reach it. Go to your local
police department or sheriff's station for instructions on how to
use these weapons. Different States have different
laws governing the carrying and use of mace and pepper spray.
Never use mace or pepper spray on someone unless you are in
imminent danger of bodily harm. Insults or foul language are
not valid reasons for gassing someone: you can go to jail
for using mace or pepper spray inappropreately. Theft of
property is usually not crime enough for you to assault
The above being said, I suggest that you carry pepper spray
or mace for the obvious reason: no matter how well and decient
you treat people, a tiny minority will return your kindness
with violence and abuse. It is much better for you to apply
a debilitating weapon instead of a fatal one. If violence is
offered, do not hesitate to mace or pepper spray the bastard:
do not threaten: act!
With pepper spray, the violent person is usually subdued for
roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Pepper spray in the offender's face
will usually stop the most violent berserker from continuing
his violence or abuse. Most, if not all, public classes
available in the USA that teaches how to use mace and pepper
spray will include a film showing the effects of the sprays
on offenders: it isn't a pretty sight, but it's a DAMN SIGHT
better than you being killed, raped, or worse!
- Never abuse hitchhikers.
- Insist that the hitchhiker puts her or his bags in the
boot / trunk of the car, or in the back seat, where it is not
readily reachable by her or him. This is simple cover-your-ass
- When you pick up a hitchhiker, determine where you are
willing to take him or her before she or he enters your car.
Inform the hitchhiker that you retain the right to eject him
or her from your car at any time, as you wish. You need not
explain, nor justify, you decision to drop him or her off.
- Keep your sermons to yourself. Most hitchhikers very much
appreaciate the ride, but not the sermonizing. Keep your
goddamned "Witnessing For Jesus" crap to yourself. It is not
moral, nor is it ethical, to lecture / "witness" to a captured
audience who feels morally obligated to hear your insane
bullshit. Doing so is impolite, and nearly always has the
opposite effect you intend: turning people away from your point
of view. Expect nothing but gratitude from hitchhikers you
pick up. THEY OWE YOU NOTHING! If you really feel
the need to abuse him or her with your occultism, give him
or her tracts to read or discard as she or he sees fit.
- Give hitchhikers food and water, if they are hungry and
thirsty. When I was driving home from Colorado, passing through
Las Vegas Nevada, I picked up a hitchhiker who was walking down
the highway in 112 degrees (Fahrenheit), hatless and waterless,
carrying a heavy bag. He was going to Flagstaff Arizona. It was
about 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon, so I invited him to join me
for lunch. This is just common courtesy--- as you would have
people treat you, treat them as they would like to be treated:
you may never be "rewarded" or treated as well by someone else,
but kindness is its own reward. Incidentally, I drove him
all the way to Flagstaff, putting off my trip home, and after
dropping him off I had a great time visting the Grand Canyon.
- Don't be afraid of picking up hitchhikers. But do be
cautious! The vast majority of hitchhikers, male and female, are
not violent or abusive. Of the two or three score hitchhikers,
not even one has abused or attacked me. A few have been damn
odd. Some have been neurotic, psychotic, or delusional. Once
one insisted he had been to a flying saucer convention--- and I
don't mean a convention held by humans to discuss aliens from
space: I mean a convention of flying saucers!
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