There really is a first time for everything! This is not something I have avoided, I just haven’t had the opportunity to do it. In fact, I have always wanted to do this. I am talking about giving a hitchhiker a ride!!! There is something cool and exciting about letting a complete stranger into your car. This was not your typical hitchhiker. He wasnt standing on the side of a two lane highway with a backpack, and sticking his thumb out in traffic. I was actually low on gas, and decided to go grab gas at night, so that I don’t have to do it early in the morning. For some reason, I find it really unsafe to get gas between 4-5 am.
As I am filling up, a man starts walking toward me. He’s about my height, and a bit bulkier. I was waiting for the “excuse me, can I talk to you for a minute”, followed by a story of how his family is stranded a mile away and he needs like $20 dollars to save the day. As he got closer, I noticed he was holding a red gas can. First though was, “this guy is going to ask me to put some gas into his can”. I would rather do that any day. We made eye contact, which invited him to come directly to me. The guy at the station next to me avoided the eye contact with him like a champion. The man walked up to the front of my car and in a cool African accent said, “can you take me to my car?” I must have given him a puzzled look because he quickly added, “I can pay you.”
This is where one has to make a choice. Is this man up to no good? He looks clean-cut, he seemed nice, I don’t think he has a mean bone in his body. Or is he really just looking for a ride. I mean, he did have a can of gas ready to go. So I said sure. I figured his car would not be far. I finish filling up my car, and we get going. First few seconds were awkward. He told me his name was Prince, and that he had just bought his car, and it was on the side of the road because he ran out of gas. Problem: someone had given him a ride, and he did not remember where his car was. That made a red flag go up. How does he not remember where his car is. He just told me it was on a freeway, and he gave me a vicinity, and the road he was driving on when he got on the highway. Now, I have to play the game. If some sort of bad thing may happen, I need to establish my manliness. He asked what I was up to. I was actually at home dancing to the Taylor Swift album with Cason and Chloe, but I decided to tell him that I had just finished some serious brazilian jujitsu training with some crazy big guys. I was giving him all kinds of BS. I told him I had also done tactical training. He bought it. I was listening to a news station, and they started talking about home invasions. Worst possible thing to come on, while two strangers are driving around looking for a car. We both stopped talking, except for the occasional, “so its pretty cold out there right now.”
After getting stuck in some horrible traffic because of construction, we reached the first highway… 30 minutes later… Luckily, his eyes got wide, and he said, “this is it!” Now, the weird feeling in my stomach that had me thinking I was going to be abducted went away. Traffic on the highway was horrible! It should not have been. It was after rush hour. He calmly says, “it’s probably because of my car.” How could a car on the side of the highway cause so much traffic. After another 15 minutes in bumper to bumper, I notice lights flashing up ahead. There are 3 police cars, and what appeared to be a truck. I couldn’t tell if it was a fire engine, ambulance, or tow truck until we got closer. It was a tow truck. The man had parked his car in the slow lane. IN THE SLOW LANE! There was a perfectly good emergency lane next to it. His car was, in fact, causing the worst traffic. As we get closer, he noticed that his car was already on the tow truck. The three cops directed traffic and did not look happy, so I went around and told him that I would go infront of the tow truck… He then starts pounding on my window saying “put my car down!!!”, and out of the blue, he opens the door and jumps out. We were going about 10-15 miles an hour, and he was not fleet of foot because he fell, did a weird roll, popped up, and ran towards the tow truck driver as I drove away. He didn’t even give me a chance to pull in front of the truck. He just jumped out. It must have looked like I pushed him out of the car. Then I noticed that the tow truck was moving, and ended up right behind me… which made me wonder: did homeboy get stranded on the freeway? He did have an awesome ninja roll. Hopefully the cops hooked him up with a ride.
With that said, I am pleased with my first ever hitchhiker experience, but I wont do it again… it was whooping and took too long. When I got home Kinsey said, “you said you were just getting gas… I thought you walked out on our family.” hahaha.