I feel that I need to preface this post with an important announcement.
Hitch hiking is maybe the coolest thing you can ever do in your life. If you have children, I strongly encourage you to get them hitch hiking as early as possible. Obviously not too young, because they’re going to have to be able to articulate their intended destination to any prospective drivers who happen to see your precious child alone on the street and think, “Mmmm, I’m taking that kid.” So they should probably be at least four or five before you let them thumb.

But the benefits to both you and them are countless. They never need you to take them anywhere so you’ll have a whole bunch of free time. You deserve it, you look like you could use a nap. You can send them to the store for stuff like booze and smokes, just make sure you give them a note. Plus they’ll just seem like a cooler person to their peers. Which makes you a cooler parent. I know this might come as a shock to some people, but it’s true.

The real life lessons a child learns whilst hitchhiking are immeasurable on their development. It’s just them and the road, man. Planning out routes and destinations in their head using basic geometry and advanced quantum physics, on the fly. Running from the fuzz equals physical education. They learn Criminal Law by coming into close , hopefully not too close, physical contact with serial killers, and even just some first time impulse killers who’ve never even thought of murdering somebody before, until they had them trapped in their car. That’s what power locks are for, bitches. You would learn that in Auto Shop.

Hitchhiking was a right of passage back in the days of transistor radios and Rubik’s cubes. Sometimes you’d need to get somewhere, like a party or a court hearing or a Faster Pussycat concert, but didn’t have a ride. So you did what any teenager did back then. You would offer your nubile young body up to the untold anonymous commuters going in your general direction. What’s the worst that could happen?

I did this numerous times in my life, and I only tell you that because I want you to think I’m brave. I want you to come to depend on me when the lights go out and the phone call comes from inside the house. I want us to have that kind of relationship. I want you to need me, as Cheap Trick kinda said. So before I continue, I just really need you to know how wonderfully brave I am. Okay? Thanks, pal.

When I used to be a beautiful younger boy with long hair and a jean jacket with a Mötley Crüe back patch and I had to get somewhere, I’d just stick out my thumb and get it done. Hopefully a carload of sweet beautiful baby ladies would pick me up and show me what’s what, but that usually didn’t happen ever even once. It was predominately hippies in vans. Hippies love to pick up hitch hikers and kidnap them and make them go to Hootie and the Blowfish concerts. They’re like a cult.

The thing about hitch hiking is that it needs to be done in a particular way. Safety is paramount when trying to get from point A to point B without getting sexed up and left for dead in that pre dug pit in the woods. Hypothetically speaking of course, you’ll probably be fully dead when they dump you.. The important thing to remember is that when you are in some random car, you are off the grid, so to speak. You could wake up and find yourself an indentured servant in a Bangladeshi whorehouse if you don’t play your cards right. So I want to help you achieve your goal of getting there without paying any travel expenses.

Hitch hiking guidelines
When choosing to hitch for the first time, it’s important to do it right. How you present yourself to a potential ride goes a long way towards securing a ride. Always walk backwards to show off your beautiful face and/or body for the people. They want to know that you’re not some psychotic lunatic hellbent on killing them and taking their 2002 Kia Sorento that they only owe fourteen payments on. It would have been less, but the credit union offers skip a payment options and they went to Disney that time, and who makes a car payment at Christmas? So show them your face. Don’t do that, “I’m walking, but I’m sticking my left thumb out without looking because I don’t really even care enough about getting a ride to do my due diligence and turn around and give the people a look-see” thing. It’s annoying.

When somebody does stop, approach the situation cautiously. The best thing to do is creep up on the driver’s side while repeatedly shouting, “Driver, show me your hands!” This lets them know that not only might you be a cop, but that you also have a sense of humor and would probably be fun on a long car ride.

Hopefully it’s only one person in the car, because not only will it be theoretically easier for you to fight off any unwanted sexual advances, but you also get to ride shotgun. That is a sweet deal right there. Mom always told me, “The front seats for big boys.” So if anyone is already occupying the front seat, you need to call “shotgun” right away. It should work if the occupants have even the most basic understanding of the Geneva Convention. If they refuse, you should still accept the ride, but you should also get the people’s names and social security numbers and file a complaint with the UN or whichever governing body has arbitration control over shotgun disputes. Maybe it’s NASCAR.
During the car ride you should drop hints about how important of a person you are. This will make them think twice about abducting you. Say things like, “Oh my father would never let anyone hurt me. He’s so rich, and he loves me so much, that he wouldn’t rest until my kidnappers were brought to justice. He owns a helicopter, so I’m not even worried about anything like that ever happening to someone like me. Plus I’m trained in like every form of martial arts known to man, plus a couple I invented by myself in my dojo on my downtime”. This will let your prospective tormentor/ best friend know that you can handle yourself when the proverbial shit goes down.

Make sure you keep a couple of gallons of water with you at all times just in case you do get abducted and locked away somewhere. Hydration is going to be very important to your survival. Plus if you don’t get abducted, you’ll have the precious life saving water that you would need to get somehow anyway. You’re already ahead of the game.

Most of all, just have fun when you’re out on the road. Enjoy the experience and try not to get all mutilated and skullfucked.

And get me some smokes on your way back.

20 responses »

  1. mairedubhtx says:

    The only time I ever hitch-hiked was in college with a bunch of my girlfriends a couple of times when we didn’t want to take a cab because we had no money. We always got picked up and taken to our dorm in town safely by a very nice person who obviously felt sorry for the 4 or 5 of us. We didn’t feel it was dangerous because there were so many of us, intoxicated though we were. I tried hitch-hiking with a boy I was out with once by no one picked us up. I wouldn’t have picked us up either.

    • Group hitch hiking was always an adventure. When there were a bunch of us, we would have the girl or girls thumb while we hid behind a bush or something. When the car stopped we would all come out and usually watch the car drive off. Hahaha, I don’t blame them.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow. I’m amazed you haven’t been asked to write a chapter for a pediatric safety brochure. Your hitchhiking advice is so sound… 😉

  3. I wanted to read this the minute I saw the title in my in-box, but then I threw up a little in my mouth and had to go to the store to buy Listerine. Now that I’m back and have seriously sweet breath, I’m printing this primer out in triplicate for my kids. The sooner the get on the road the better.

    • With the price of gas, it’s ridiculous that every child in America isn’t trained from the get go to thumb. Sorry you puked in your mouth Stacie. Was it from me or is it the damn flu that’s sweeping the nation?

  4. iRuniBreathe says:

    I hitchhiked across Europe when I was 16 with my slightly older cousin and some random (male) friend of hers. He came along to be the token guy. Now that I’m a parent I look at my mom and wonder WTF she was thinking letting me go.
    Those were different days.

    • That sounds like a fantastic experience. How long did it take you? They were different days indeed. Shit, now I sound like my fucking father. Hahaha.

      • iRuniBreathe says:

        We were traveling from the Czech Republic through Germany, Italy and France, with destinations in each. Actual travel time was pretty quick — no more than a day when we had to get somewhere. Those autobahns with no speed limits are pretty quick!
        Ha ha.. just like Dad!

  5. vyvacious says:

    Great connection to getting a call from inside your house 😛

    Fantastic tips. I shall be sure to put them to good use. I clearly didn’t flaunt my shit, my family’s riches, or my knowledge of martial arts the last (and only) time I hitchhiked in Seal Beach, CA.

  6. This post would have been really helpful when I was hitchhiking back in the day. I used to just dress in my flimsiest outfits, and when people pulled over I’d just tell them I had no friends or family, had no idea where I was going and no real destination in mind. I didn’t think to bring water with me, so when I was abducted and left for dead, I got really thirsty. Next time I’ll know better. Thank you so much for this very valuable information.

  7. brainsnorts says:

    I hitchhiked once when I was about 18 and running from a party At the house of someone I barely knew. Apparently there were too many people showing up, And the host spread the rumor that the cops were coming. Being young and stupid, I and everyone else started to run.

    First problem was I could not find the person who had driven me to the party. Second problem was, I had no idea where I was. I work for a while and eventually reach a highway I recognized, so I put my thumb out. Hey rusty and crusty been pulled over, the side door slid open, and I entered without thinking. Not until the van was moving did I realize I was sitting face to face with a disheveled man who seemed very drunk. Then I realized he was sitting amidst a pile of men’s magazines then I realized one of his hands was actually a hook.

    The first and only question I remember was, ” you got any money?” I explained that I had lost my wallet when the cops broke up the party. We did not drive much further before they pulled over and let me out without me having asked.

    Looking back, I am pretty sure that was a good thing.

    • This is a story in and of itself. I had a few creepy encounters.
      One night I was driving around and saw this dude thumbing. Being a nice guy, and also kind of drunk, I decided to give him a ride.
      He gets in the car, and I start driving. I ask him where he’s going. He asks me if he can touch me. I say, “Excuse me?”
      I pull the car over and he said, “I’ll get out here”.
      He got out there.

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