Friday, January 23, 2009


You know, I saw a hitchhiker today at the entrance ramp to the interstate and it got me thinking aloud to myself, "Does anyone actually pick those guys up anymore? Surely not." Picking up hitchhikers seems like one of those things that is so obviously stupidly dangerous that nobody would ever do it anymore.
But then again, you keep seeing them every so often, so the practice must pay off in rides at least sometimes.
My wife spent two years in sub-Saharan Africa and she said that hitchhiking was very common and was not stigmatized as it is here. She says that whenever a young blonde-haired white woman would stick out a hand for a lift, jeeps (or lorries as they called them) would seem to magically appear out of the bush and screech to a halt to pick her up. The drivers' first question was usually something like, "What are you doing walking? are you crazy? Get in here!"
But things are not like that here in the good ole U.S. of A. I wouldn't recommend either hitchhiking or picking hitchhikers up. Neither party can tell what kind of situation they might be getting into. The only guy I might think about picking up might be someone who looks like this.
How about y'all? What do you think about hitchhikers, hitchhiking, and people that pick them up?


  1. You mean you would not pick me up if you saw me on the side of the road in my bathrobe, barefoot, and holding a martini?

    I am hurt...

  2. Sorry Bob, I would, probably, help you out by calling the local cops so they could come protect you and serve you.

    ...or maybe I'd just call up Dojo Rat and come back by and throw a rubber chicken at you or something.

  3. According to the "Rough Guide to Traveling the World" Hitchhiking is a bad idea in the US, but relatively safe in most other parts of the world, especially westernized countries in Europe.

  4. Bob;
    It depends on wheather the Martini is mixed with Vodka or Gin.

    - we live in a very rural community where lots of people still hitchhike. In fact, about two years ago the Seattle paper did a story saying our county was the best hitchhiking in the State. No kidding.
    - Besides, I think most hitchhikers are more scared of me more than I worry about them...
    Maybe it's the rubber chickens Pat makes me throw at people...

  5. I heard Simon Calder (a travel journalist in the UK) talking about hitchiking and subsequently found this article :

    He says,
    "THE COUPLE with whom I thumbed a ride from Lake Louise to Banff were on vacation from Florida. They told me they never picked up hitch-hikers at home, on the axe-murderer principle: in the US, if the driver is not a potential killer, it is probably the person standing by the side of the road. The same rule does not apply north of the border: "We pick up anyone hitching in Canada," said the driver. Only after they had dropped me off at Banff bus station did I realise how barbed this comment was. Clearly he was not a Canadian."


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