I heard on the news this morning that with the prices of petrol soaring through the roof, more and more people are turning to hitch-hiking.
This sent a shiver down my spine. I mean, has nobody seen C. Thomas Howell‘s movie, ‘The Hitcher’? No? How about the remake with Sean Bean?
If you haven’t, then you should.
I remember back in 1980, I was holidaying with my family in California. My parents, who are supposed to know better, picked up not one, but two hitch-hikers. Together! What was they thinking? They’re parents. They’re supposed to know better. Luckily, these two men were not psychotic serial killers and we lived to tell another day. In fact one looked like David Soul… Maybe that right there should have convinced my dad not to stop and to drive straight past them.
Would you trust this man?
I pass many people, usually always men, thumbing for a lift along the motorways. Do I stop? Never. Do I feel guilty? Yes, of course. Especially if it’s hammering down with rain. But, here’s the thing. I write gore and creepy for a living. My imagination on the scare factor scale is right up there with Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino. Between me first seeing the hitch-hiker, and the hundred yards it takes to reach him, I’ve already played out the scene where he gets in the car, drugs me, and I wake up, hands and feet tied, in the boot. Believe me when I say you really don’t want to know what happens after that!
When you pick up a hitch-hiker, you are putting a lot of trust in your judgement. Contrary to popular belief, not all hikers look like killers. Some actually look like nice, normal, trustworthy fathers and boyfriends.
Just look at Ted Bundy’s high school Yearbook Picture.
A few years back, I lived in Drymen, Scotland. To get there, I had to drive through a remote, barren area where there were no houses and I had no phone signal. One night, I had to stop on this dark, country lane, at a temporary traffic light. I saw no workmen, no ongoing road works. I was surrounded by thick, dense wood, with no cars in front of me, and no cars behind me. I was all alone. My headlights lit up little of the road in front of me but everywhere else was pitch black. What did I do? Started thinking about the movie, Urban Legend.
I just cannot help myself. I am my own worse enemy. Half the time it’s not my surrounding that make me nervous. It’s my own imagination!
We’ve all heard the legend. A driver is made to stop her car. While the car is stationary, an axe murderer climbs onto the back seat. Waits for her to drive off and then WHAM! Slaughter and blood on the wind-shield … I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait and see if my future ended with me being gook on my window, I can tell you.
Nope, I keep my doors locked and my eyes peeled. I’m afraid when it comes to hitch-hikers, there is no way in hell I would ever pick one up. Male or female. Those crazy killers can stay where they belong… on the road and in my rear-view mirror.
Although, I did pass a woman once by a broken down car. I pulled over and asked (through a slightly wound down window) if she needed me to phone someone for her. She thanked me and said someone was already on their way. Phew. Total relief.
So, now it’s over to you guys. Would you ever pick up a hitch-hiker? Have you ever picked up a hitcher? Have you ever hitch-hiked yourself? Do you have good experiences, or bad? Maybe you hitch-hiked and it was the driver who was creepy. Let me know. You know how I love a good story… funny or scary