Hitchhiking — your grandmother was right

Published 10:10 am Monday, January 6, 2014

On Friday’s front for The Tidewater News, there was a story about a Drewryville man robbed at gunpoint, while presumably trying hitchhike from Franklin to his mother’s home in Courtland.

In movies, literature and TV shows, hitchhiking is a theme that comes up from time to time. It’s also something that your grandmother probably warned against, either hitching a ride yourself, or picking up a random hitchhiker.

One Tidewater News staff member spoke of a time that he picked up a hitchhiker. It was on a particular hot day, back when the staffer was headed to college, and an elderly man was walking in the sun. Feeling sorry for the man, the staff member picked up the hitchhiker and nothing bad came from it, except that he got an earful from his grandmother, which ended his Good Samaritan streak. He never picked up another hitchhiker.

Asking around the office, which is mostly female, it’s not a common pastime that people have participated in.

Thinking back to literature, with books such as “On The Road,” or most of the books by Charles Portis, and quite a number of films, such as “Into The Wild,” which was a book too, hitchhiking is something that people do. Rarely are the consequences bad, unlike the above real-life scene with the man from Drewryville.

Mostly, it is portrayed as an opportunity to meet a really interesting character or sometimes even make a new friend, while also getting where you need to go, or at the very least, a little closer to where you want to go.

Sometimes hitchhikers, or the people that pick you up, are obnoxious and the character wants to get away from them, but rarely are they dangerous.

Sure, there is certainly a lure to just letting all things go for a moment in time, perhaps before or after college, and just being free to roam and meet interesting people.

But with that, you take your life into your hand. We think it wiser to just listen to your grandmother, and only take rides from, or give rides to, people you really trust.