December 20, 2004

this morning at 7.41am, driving between brackley and bicester, i saw a guy hitchhiking. he was walking along the grass on the side of a country road sticking his thumb out. he was wearing a flat cap and a big coat.

i drove past, instantly feeling guilty. i reckon i hitchhiked about 10,000 miles between 1991 and 1995. if it weren't for the kindness of others, that would never have been possible.

sensible alicey kicked in at this point. "alicey, you know, you have a young daughter. do you want to get stabbed and murdered? you never know what sort of nutter you're picking up. is it really worth the risk?"

i drive through a village. there are multiple opportunities to turn round. i ignore them.

voices in my head start shouting, "alicey, for fuck's sake. it's -3 outside. it's 7.45am. people don't hitchhike in these conditions for fun, you know. remember that time in bridgnorth?"

enough's enough. i stop the car, take off my ipod headphones, throw my bag in the back, move my work stuff out of the way. i turn the car round and head back to get him.

at 7.50am i go past the section of road where i saw him. he's gone. in the last nine minutes some other kind soul has picked him up. that was a nice thought to start the day with.


Don't you dare pick up hitchhikers with you daughter in the car! The last thing I need to read is about how some crazy man killed you and your daughter. The risk is not worth the benefit.

I will pick up extra to make up for it. Just tell me every time you pass one, and I'll give one a boost to make up for it.

...and if you DO come home butally gored by a itinerant drifter, try not to bleed on the upholstery.
I'm always in 2 minds about hitchhikers. I figured I'd pick them up if they were lone women but I'd be pretty damn stupid to pick them up if it was a lone man. I mean what if something happened? Can you imagine the scene at the police station - "Well officer, there I was driving along and I stopped to pick up a complete male stranger..." The words 'serves you right' spring to mind. Dont you think 'what a stupid cow' when you hear about people who pick up hitchhikeers who turn out to be the type of person who'd brutally gore you to death without a thought to your upholstery?
And yes, I do know women areequally capable of extreme violence :-)
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