Hitchhikers Guide, Vol 6, June 1968 issue


Contrary to uninformed opinion among Brothers of the Road, it is not all blue skies and easy riding out there. There are occupational hazards to being on the road that are not obvious.

For one, there are the “sky pilots”, They are religious people who pick you up and, somewhere in the ride, ask if you’d mind praying with them or if you’d like to go to a church supper. Depending on how soft or hard the pitch was and how much of a hurry I was in, I attended many suppers, met some fantastic people, and said my share of prayers with them. As the Bible says, no vital work should be entered without prayer’s benefit. And a trek of a thousand miles can use as much grace as possible. So as long as no one was trying to forcibly baptize me, convince me of the impurity of my beliefs or exorcise my demons, I was more than pleased to cooperate. As soon as my digestion settles, I am on the road again.

I like my demons…I’ve had them since they were pups, and I’ve got them well trained.

One of the other issues was well-intentioned Townies. You’d stop someplace interesting and get offered a job for a day or two, and before you’d know it, the decision had been made that you were a pretty clean-cut guy, and Jack could fix you up with an excellent job at the mill. About that time, Velma, Todd’s sister, would decide that you were a worthwhile project. Sometime that night, you’d be checking the straps on your pack and practicing putting your thumb out – as soon as twilight hit, you’d be on the highway. Maybe officer Opie would offer a ride to the municipal border?

These are just two less obvious, unusual, but perilous hazards to travel by thumb. So take care unless you want to wake up some morning and find that you are a church deacon or in a “for better or much worse” marriage to Velma.

It’s dangerous out there, Brother!

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