The urge to be a Good Samaritan is strong. When you see someone sticking out their thumb on the side of the road, your first instinct is to stop and help… sometimes.
Hitchhikers have a bad reputation. The practice itself is seen as unsafe all the way around. Drivers aren’t keen to stop for hitchers who look sketchy, and honestly, hitchhikers themselves aren’t all that eager to climb into some stranger’s car.
Many times, things turn out fine. The hitcher is grateful for the distance, and may even chip in for gas money. The driver pulls away with a feeling of self-satisfaction for being so charitable.
Other rides are anything but rosy. Instead, they underscore the stereotype surrounding hitchhikers. Bet all of these drivers regret the decision to stop for a thumb.
47. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I was feeling nauseous because I had a stomach bug, so I went to a nearby gas station late at night when I knew not a whole lot of people would be there so I could get some ginger ale and Gatorade. Some random guy just gets in my car with me and asks me to take him home, and I was feeling so ill, I just didn’t feel like protesting. So I took him home. On the way out, he opens up my center console and steals a watch and a pair of sunglasses that I kept in there. I didn’t notice until I got home.
46. The Loneliest Creeper
Preface: I was an 18-year-old female college student at the time. Once a homeless man in his 40s who looked a little like my dad asked me for some money, and I said no without even checking and drove away. I felt so guilty for not checking that I flipped a U, and gave the guy some change. He was so grateful that I’d turn around just to give him a couple of bucks but then asked for a ride to a plasma donation center so he could get some money, so I reluctantly agreed but maintained a cheerful attitude.
He was being creepy and hitting on me and being totally inappropriate, but nothing super terrible or physical. He kept his hands to himself. Then he told me a really sad story that he let an addicted teenager live with him because the kid had nowhere else to go, and basically sucked him dry to the point where they got evicted and now this dude’s homeless. Well, we finally get to the plasma center, and he asks me for my number. I said no, but he wouldn’t get out of the car unless I gave it to him. Getting a little nervous, I decided it wouldn’t hurt because if it became inappropriate, I could just block him.
Over the course of a month, I’d get so many calls with the saddest voicemails that made me want to cry every single time. He would just ask me why I’m not answering the phone and that he just found 20 dollars and wanted to take me out for sandwiches. Or tell me, “I know you felt that connection we had,” when in reality I was just being nice. He’d tell me he’s lonely and was really looking forward to talking to me, but I wouldn’t answer. I felt so guilty for that month, but I knew it would be terribly stupid of me to hang out with a 50-year-old homeless man who hits on me inappropriately. I couldn’t block the number because it kept coming from different pay phones… it was really sad to listen to.
45. Open Heart Vs. Open Container Laws
I use to travel by car a lot for work, didn’t mind picking up the odd hitchhiker. I picked up a guy who broke down on the highway. He grabbed his bag and a case of drinks, with maybe half a dozen left. I agree to take him to the next town, and politely decline his offer for a road pop. He had two before arriving at the next town. Departing town within a few miles, I get pulled over for speeding. “Sir, please step out of the car.” My eyes follow his flashlight revealing the case of drinks with empties beside it.
44. The Smell Lingers, The Feelings Don’t
My regret took months to get over. Was driving home and saw someone I had dated long ago walking the street on a 115-degree day. I know he had made many bad decisions and gotten involved with crime and eventually discharged from the army. I pulled over and asked where he was going, and he said the DMV, which was about eight miles away and only a few blocks out of my way.
He got in, and by the smell, I’d guess he hasn’t showered or washed his clothing in months. It being 115 outside, I couldn’t open windows, so I bee-lined it to the DMV. He left, and I immediately ran into a store to get some air freshener. Nothing got the smell out. I rented an upholstery cleaner, and still, the smell remained. After two more attempts, I had to take the seat out and have it steam-cleaned by a company that specializes in restorations from crime scenes and accidents. That nice gesture ended up costing over $400. The smell was of death and B.O. My husband refused to ride in the car before it was cleaned.
43. That’s Not What This Is About
It was super wet out one day and I saw a guy looking like he needed a lift, so I stopped and had him get in. He sks me for a smoke since his got wet, so I oblige. He asks me how much I want. I ask what he’s trying to sell and he proceeds to pull illegal substances out of his pockets, setting them on display in his lap. I let him know I just thought he was hitchhiking and he freaks out at me and demands I take him back to his corner. I was a bit sketched out so I took him back.
42. The Cat Man
We got picked up whilst hitchhiking and the guy had about twenty cats skulls sitting on his dashboard. They were his cats, his family’s cats, and road cats. It was pretty weird, but he was so lovely and we made it to our destination.
41. The Hitchhiker’s Perspective
The scariest experience of my life was while hitchhiking in Europe. I got picked up by a young guy who was inebriated in a stolen Audi who drove faster than the speedometer could register, who threatened me with a weapon when I told him I didn’t want to continue on with him when we stopped for fuel (that he didn’t pay for).
40. One Lucky Gremlin
I hitchhiked alone down a country road at night in Russia when I was 14 (that’s where I’m from). A guy picked me up, and when it was time to go, I realized that he had no door handle inside, just a hole, so I couldn’t open it. My heart dropped into my butt. He then asked me if I wanted to go to a party with him. I was like, “No, my mom is waiting for me.” He goes, “Well, a mother is a sacred thing.” Then he got out, walked around, and opened the door for me. I was very lucky.
39. The Thoughtful Hitcher
I picked a guy up one morning after coming back from a party in Northern California. He’s very happy. I stop and he says, “Thank you, but hey, can you hold on a sec? I need to grab this deer corpse…” Uh Oh, here we go. I thought for sure he was going to put it in the back. Turns out he just wanted to move it off the side of the road so his nieces didn’t see it on the way to school from the bus.
38. Accidental Payback
I picked up a hitchhiker in Gallup and drove him to Albuquerque. He was nice and showed pictures of his family. Native American people. After I dropped him off, my serpentine belt broke and left me stranded for a day. No good deed goes unpunished.
37. I Was Kind Enough To Give You A Ride
He asked me for a lift at a service station on the M1 in England. He was a middle-aged guy with a crutch and an artificial leg. Then he spent the next 40 miles pleading with me to give him some money, claiming he had to take a train from Meadowhall to get home and couldn’t afford it.
Unimpressed, I refused. When I dropped him off at Meadowhall he swore at me for being tight, so I got out of the car and ran him off. I still pick up hitchhikers who do it the conventional way but anyone who approaches me and asks for a lift gets ignored.
36. Welcome To Conspiracy Land
I once picked up a hitchhiker and all was going well. We made small talk about the weather and nothing serious. The next thing I know, he is on this demonic rant about how Obama is an alien and that he is sending out microchips in the mail. I didn’t really mind the conspiracy theory stuff, but it was the way he said it and the look in eyes. He looked really angry and ready to lash out. I dropped him off asap.
35. What Just Happened?
My mom used to pick up hitchhikers sometimes. When she was younger, she picked up a hitchhiker and he said, “Did you know that Jesus is coming back soon?”
My mom, being a Christian, said, “Yes. I know that.”
The guy said, “Well, he’s coming back real soon.”
She looked over and he was gone.
Apparently, God has a different idea of “soon” than we do.
34. This Was Almost Bad
I was young and had recently moved out to Lino Lakes, there was a guy on the highway on-ramp. I figured what the heck, why not? As soon as the guy sat down, I remembered we were less than a mile from a correctional facility. Oops. Very nerve-racking drive for an 18-year-old. The guy was decent enough though.
33. Not Funny, Chad
A friend I knew in college picked up a hitchhiker while he was driving with another friend in the front passenger seat. Hitchhiker got in the back.
While they were talking, my friend noticed the guy was playing with something shiny in the back seat.
When they asked him about it, he reached up front towards the driver, screamed “Knife!” and then pushed the metal object into my friend’s neck.
It was a gum wrapper… I believe they both made him get out at the nearest gas station.
32. A Case Of Mistaken Identity
I had just moved to the city from the middle of nowhere and didn’t quite know my way around yet. I had just ended my workday at around 2 am. It was raining and cold. I did not know my way and ended up turning the wrong direction toward a not-so-nice area.
I saw this girl in a bright pink dress and heels walking down the street, occasionally turning around to look at the cars driving by. I had never seen a working girl before. I had no idea how to tell. To me, she looked like a younger girl who had the misfortune of walking home from a club in the rain.
At first, I passed her, then pulled a U-turn at the next light and pulled up beside her. That’s when reality set in. I go to roll down my window, and seemingly blinded by the rain, was met not by a young girl, but by a much older woman.
I sort of stuttered and asked if she was okay, to which she responded, “Ten bucks will get ya anything.” I politely said no, and asked if she wanted a jacket or umbrella. I gave her both, told her to stay safe and sped away. I haven’t tried to pick up people in the city since.
31. At Least You’re Still Alive
I regretted picking someone up once. I’ve picked up a few hitchhikers before, usually without any sort of issues, and most of them were actually quite pleasant. I don’t have any stories of me being attacked or kidnapped or anything dramatic or exciting like that with hitchhikers, but one time this messed up guy threw up, peed, and made a mess all over my backseat. That was a weird day.
30. The Contagious Car Companion
I was on my way to a football game after school when this kid from my English class wanted to get to the stadium too, and needed a ride. He was pretty sketchy-looking, but I remembered how once he let me borrow his notes in class and I decided I owed him one.
Halfway out of the parking lot, though, he broke into a coughing fit so loud it covered up my rock ‘n roll music, which was playing at full blast. I asked him if he was OK, he said he was fine.
Halfway through, he began coughing again, this time so hard that he began spitting up blood. I ended up having to take him to the ER. Turns out, he had whooping cough all along, and the next week I began having similar symptoms.
29. No Chance Buddy
Dude had a broken down car and being before cellphones drove him a gas station. Guy then tried to get me to drive him to his dealer’s house…. left him at the gas station
28. The Hitcher Who Came Home For Dinner
This one was due to me being young and not thinking more. I picked up a young kid (he was in his 20s, I was too) who was hitchhiking. He admitted he just got out of prison, so I was like, uh oh. But I also did not really follow societal rules in general. So he needed a place to stay, and I let him stay with me for a few months.
He was pretty chill but did not want to keep a job. I told him that he needed to get his life together and contribute to rent. Instead, he brought a bunch of random junk to the house (I didn’t ask questions) and said that was his contribution. Okay. Whatever. Fast forward to a few weeks later, it turns out he swiped my debit card and ran off to another state. I was pretty angry but learned a valuable lesson.
27. The Time-Bending Hitchhiker
It’s December 2009, I’m about to deploy, and I have to drive my car across the country to drop it off at my brother’s to look after. I picked up a guy somewhere on I-90, not sure where.
The states kind of blend together when you have to drive over 1,000 miles a day. He smelled like old wet laundry, but he didn’t try to talk, which made it bearable. I drove for a few hours and dropped him off at a truck stop he requested, right along the highway, so it’s whatever. I lose maybe 10 minutes total. Then I bought some gas and snacks and got back on the road.
I had a full tank and continued driving non-stop, passing lane the whole way, until I was almost out and had to stop for more fuel. As I enter this gas station, I see a familiar figure in this food court area and can’t believe my eyes. It’s him! It’s the hitchhiker. He looked over his shoulder at me and smiled like he knew what was going through my mind and then went back to eating without saying a word.
I was freaked out for days. Not only was the coincidence uncanny but how the heck did he beat me there?
26. Never Touch The Driver’s Radio!
I gave a 50ish-year-old man a ride down the road to a post office. I saw him thumbing while I was pulling out CVS and I had nothing else going on.
Anyways, about three minutes into the ride he changed the radio station to some oldies music station and then lit up a smoke and got ash all over the dashboard.
He did, however, thank me when we got to the post office and offered me a few bucks for gas.
25. The Flume Ride
My family lived in Africa for several years, and everyone hitch-hikes there. We had a pick-up truck, so would often pull over and people would pile in until there wasn’t any room left. Then you’d drive on your way, and people would hit the cab roof to tell you where to stop. If we were driving anywhere, you can pretty much bet we had someone in the back.
Once we were driving someplace during the rainy season. It wasn’t raining right then, but there were huge puddles all over the road. We were young kids, so my dad started driving through puddles really fast to make a huge spray, and we’d all get excited and cheer!
After about 10 minutes of splashing, we get a bang on the roof, and my dad was like, “Whoops! We had someone in the back!” He’d completely forgotten – poor guy was drenched! I had to apologize profusely!
24. What A Killer Would Say
It was Christmas Eve and I was working night shifts at the time, so it wasn’t uncommon for me to be up and driving around at 3 am. Stopped at a 7-11 and as I was leaving, a guy knocked on my window begging for a ride home. It was snowing and starting to get worse outside so I understood but was a little apprehensive.
I hesitated but said sure, and he immediately flagged another guy down and I started to regret it. By this point, the first guy is already in my car while the second one is running and I’m just panicking inside. I think the guy could tell I was scared because he laughed and said, “Ha, don’t worry. We won’t kill you,” and I nervously joked back, “Yeah that’s what a killer would say.”
They didn’t kill me, obviously, and turns out after talking for a bit I found out they were distantly related to me. What made me regret the whole trip was that I got in a minor car accident that probably wouldn’t have happened had I just drove the 10 blocks home.
23. It All Turned Out OK In The End
It all turned out okay, but when I was 16 or 17 (I’m a guy if it matters to this story), my friend and I were coming home one afternoon, and a couple of slightly-older (mid-20s let’s say) dudes were thumbing a ride right across the street from a smallish private university near our home.
I decided to give them a lift, even though it would only be about a mile or two until we would be at our destination. We ask them where they are going, and they tell us they (true story, I swear) snuck out of the mental facility (Our Lady of Peace) and were going up to the store for some drinks. At first, we were kind of freaked out and hoped we weren’t about to become a statistic. THEN we got the great idea to ask these guys to buy us some drinks too, which they did!
After the transaction was made, we offered to drive them back, but they said they had other plans, so off we went with some cold ones for our time. I sure hope those guys stayed out of trouble.
22. This One Was Worse For The Hitchhiker
When I lived in Steamboat back in the ’80s, I’d hitch or drive down to Boulder for the weekend once or twice a month for a couple of years to go see my now-wife of 24 years. I had a lifted Jeep CJ5 with no top or doors, which is why I’d hitch during the winter.
One fall day I picked up a guy outside of town because he was standing where I’d always stand. Anyway, he looked like your typical from ’69. The guy never said a word. Wouldn’t tell me where he was going and you literally could see the creepy vibes emanate from him.
After two minutes, I decided to give him the ride of his life. Remember, I’m in a big Jeep, no doors, no top with a powerful V-8, so I floored it over Rabbit Ears Pass. His eyes were the size of saucers the whole way, so once we reached Kremmling and slowed down, he said, “Let me off this,” and he went on his way.
21. What A Barbarian
Nothing bad other than a guy that took off his shoes and socks and put his feet on the dash. I pulled over right away and dropped him on the shoulder.
I used to hitch, and the oddest thing was a couple that invited me over for a fun night.
20. Saying It Doesn’t Make It Better
One time I picked up a guy who looked much rougher up close than I expected, but I gave him a ride anyway. A few miles down the road, he turned to me and said, “Hey, this worked out OK. I needed a ride… and you needed someone who wasn’t going to attack you.”
And that’s the story of the last time I picked up a hitchhiker.
19. Granddad Got Lucky
Granddad used to pick up hitchhikers all the time; he was a traveling salesman selling bubble bath to shops.
One he picked up gave him the creeps; stopped off at a police station and asked the officers to give him a chat. Turned out to have escaped custody that night.
Nan didn’t let him pick anyone else up after that.
18. At Least He Got A Slushie
Picked up a guy, picked up his “girlfriend,” drop them off at a motel. He forgot his slushy, I returned it.
Got $20 out of the deal.
17. UH OH, Dave!
I picked up a hitchhiker from the motorway on-ramp. He hopped in, said hello. Asked where he wanted to go, and weirdly enough it was my destination.
He asked if he could take his socks off. Cool man, no worries.
I noticed he had many, many mobile phones on him. All were locked.
He looked at me and told me I was handsome. Uh oh.
I noticed he was heavily bandaged. Uh oh.
I asked where he came from; it turns out he just walked out of the “secure ward” at the hospital. UH OH.
For reasons unknown, he rang the police. I took the phone off him, and they went, “Oh, it’s Dave, we know Dave. Could you ask him if he is feeling violent today?” UH OH!
Dave wasn’t feeling violent today, but he didn’t want to get out of my van until he was far, far away.
I pretended that I needed to pick a parcel up near the local hospital. Dumped the van outside and locked the doors from outside (trade van, secure locks).
Dave chilled in the van, twiddling the knobs. I waved at him from outside. Dave didn’t pay much attention.
And that’s why an ambulance and the police were bribing an escapee from a secure mental ward out of my van.
16. Bad Idea, Mom And Dad
My parents picked up a hitchhiker in the middle of nowhere in Colorado. The guy said his bike broke down. It was around 11 pm. My parents are in the front seat, my sister and I are in the back, he is sitting in the trunk with his bike. My parents raised my sister and me to be paranoid about everything, so naturally, we are convinced we are going to get butchered.
Halfway through the trip he says, “I have a confession to make, my bike didn’t break down.” Then after a few seconds of silence where my sister and I are convinced its all over for us, he says, “I was just tired.” We get him back to town and everything is fine, but as soon as we drop him off, my sister and I start yelling at my parents “What were they thinking??” It turns out they were feeling equally uneasy. Will never pick up a hitchhiker again.
15. A Stinky Situation
About 10 years ago, I was hitchhiking from one town to the next and got picked up by an older gentleman.
Everything was going fine and we were having a normal conversation when suddenly he says, “Put your head out the window! Now!”
I looked at him in disbelief as he was rolling it down for me from his door (electric, obviously).
He said “I’m serious! Now!”
So I did what he asked and put my face about halfway out.
Suddenly, I was greeted by the nastiest fart smell I’d ever witnessed in my life from the inside of the car. It turns out he’d vented his colostomy bag while we were driving because it was inflated. I wasn’t aware that that happened but we continued on the drive and continued our conversation as if nothing had happened and he dropped me off.
Nice guy either way, and thanks for looking out for me, anonymous elderly ride giver!
14. Unprepared Smelliness
I picked up a couple who were hiking the Appalachian trail and headed into town. I was not prepared for how bad they smelled… They were super nice though.
13. Sure Take My Bike
A couple on a bicycle saw me getting into my truck and asked if they could buy my bike that was in the cargo-bed. I told them “no” and they asked if I could give them a lift to the homeless shelter because they wouldn’t make it there on time otherwise. I gave them a ride and they got out without giving any thanks.
12. Saved A Life
I picked up a guy who was limping down the highway in a snowstorm at 2 AM. I pulled over and got out to see if he needed a ride, as soon as I stopped he collapsed on the ground. I ran over to help him and it became apparent that he had been shot twice in the leg.
We get him into the car (I would have called 911 but we were only a couple miles from the ER and he needed to get out of the cold ASAP). He gave me his name very calmly and asked me to take him to a hotel. I told him that as much as I wanted to honor his destination, we had to go to the ER. He nodded and I drove on.
There was a surprising amount of small talk shared with the circumstances as they were and he remained calm the entire time. We got to the hospital and I helped him into the Emergency room and then never saw him again.
My two regrets:
Not staying there for the duration of his recovery–I had a final exam and full day of work and he told me to go on ahead.
Never got the stain out of the seat.
11. I’m Not Interested But He Sure Is
Accidentally picked up a working girl once. I was stopping in a gas station to pick up something and she asked for a ride down the street to the IHOP. I was going that way anyway.
So after I come back out to my Jeep, get in and let her in. Some dude who had been talking to her briefly before I came out started trying to get her out of my vehicle (I guess he was wanting to get intimate) and he opens the passenger door and she grabs onto it and yanks it from his grasp and it slams VERY hard.
I drive the heck out of there because I don’t want to get into some fight with some idiot. I am a bit shaken up by the whole ordeal and halfway to IHOP, she asks me if I wanted some company. I basically say in a slightly stressed/agitated manner, “No thanks and I just want to drop you off at IHOP and then go home.”
She said she felt bad about what happened while getting a candy bar from her purse and quickly tearing into it. I drop her off and go home. Still shaken up a bit.
I didn’t come to the realization she was a working girl until she got in my Jeep. This kind of thing is practically unheard of in my town. We just do not have working girls operating openly.
10. Where’s The Party At
Picked up this inebriated guy, on the country roads of South Wales. He got in, talked a load of gibberish as I was trying to get some sense of him. It only took 10 minutes to drive him home, but after he kept asking me “Where’s the party at?” probably about 20 times. He was still talking crazy as he fumbled out.
9. That’s How You End Up On The News
This happened back in the late 1970s. I had just gotten my first car and was still living with my parents. The rules were I couldn’t take the car out after dark on the weekend. BUT my parents were out of town.
So a friend of mine and I were out cruising, and we see these two cute girls hitchhiking. We stopped and asked them where they were headed. They said Ocean City, which was about a two-hour drive away. It was odd since it was in the fall and there isn’t much happening there. My friend and I looked at one another and said we’re going to Ocean City.
So I drove them out to the ocean. The one girl was occasionally crying, and the other seemed to be making all the decisions and started making out with my friend in the back seat. About 3/4 of the way there, they admitted they were running away from home to live with friends.
So, we get to Ocean City. I drive to the place they wanted to go, and it was dark and closed up. They insisted on getting out. It was cold, and they didn’t have coats, but they insisted they could get in.
We made the return trip and just wrote it off as an adventure.
So later that week, I’m reading the newspaper, and there was a story about two girls who were kidnapped and driven to Ocean City and forced out of the car by two males. They even gave a description of my car, which was pretty unusual at that time since it was a bright yellow Datsun 510 with chrome wheels.
Their runaway plan didn’t work out, so they told everyone we kidnapped them!
8. What’s Deodorant?
I gave a ride to an older fellow, regretted my decision instantly. My car smelled like his BO for a week from just a 2-mile ride.
7. Please Don’t Light Up
I was coming to a stop at an intersection. Dude walks up like he just needs directions or something with a cup in his hand. Asks for a ride and says it’s just up the road. Before I could give my answer dude just up and gets in. That quick.
I always have a gun in the car in reach, for safety. So I figured what the heck. Dude was a functioning drinker and after a second of him sitting there the smell of drink made it my nose, from him and his cup. I figured it would be quick so whatever, didn’t like it but I’d deal with it.
He tried making small talk but kept slurring his words and then proceeds to try and light up in the car. NO! Instant bad mood. I told him that stuff doesn’t fly. It’s my wife’s car and even if it was my car I wouldn’t allow it. He thankfully complied and put the smokes away.
I sped up and dropped him off in the rough part of a small town, where he requested. This was after 15 miles of the supposed, “It’s only up here, it’ll be real quick,” comments. Never again.
6. What’s In The Bag?!
I was with my brother when we stopped to pick up this guy. He had a big black duffle bag with him, so we assumed he was traveling.
Fast forward 10 min or so and my brother asks him what’s in the bag. The hitchhiker said, “None of your business.” I looked at my brother like, what the heck, and again my brother said: “What’s in the bag.” Again the hitchhiker said, “None of your business!” At this point, my brother and I were getting mad at this guy’s attitude, so I asked him yet again, “Dude, just tell us what’s in the bag.” Again he yelled, “None of your business! Pull over and let me out!”
So I pulled over and the dude got out and slammed my door. We took off as fast as we could leaving the guy on the side of the highway. It was only a mile or so down the road when my brother told me he had left the bag in the back seat!
There was nothing inside. Absolutely nothing.
5. Sleeping In A Lot
So at one point I was working two jobs and going to university full time. I had just gotten off the night shift at my 1 job at 3:00 am and had class at 8:30 am. So instead of driving home and sleeping at home, I decided to sleep in the parking lot of the school.
It was normal for me to see my friends in the school parking lot after a long night of partying, people would park their cars there and then go taxi to the bars.
Sleeping in my chair I hear a bang on my window.
Tired and without even thinking, I open my door, There stands a homeless man.
The homeless man was holding my door open now and occupying most of my door jam, he seemed to be a little on edge and possibly on some uppers, jittery, and aggressive.
“Hey man I need some help, can you give me a ride?”
I look at him with confusion and frustration.
“Dude I was sleeping and it’s like 4:30.”
“It’s only like 2 miles down the road.”
Reluctant and half asleep, I made the stupid decision of saying yes, but I felt like if I said no, he might get more aggressive with me.
He shuts my door, and come to the passenger side. Any smart person would have locked the doors and sped off, but not me.
He gets in the car and immediately asks me if I want to have a smoke with him later after he drops me off. I politely decline and try and keep him from getting more aggressive.
Bad scenarios are running through my head and I think that this guy could easily whip out a weapon and do what he wants with me.
He starts talking “Bro you gotta check out some of this stuff I just came up on.”
He reaches into his jacket pocket as I look intently to see if it’s a weapon.
He whips out some gift cards, “Bro do you think these will still work if I took them from a store?”
“Yeah, man, of course,” I try and reassure him so he stays calm.
“Bro I also got this other cool stuff.” He pulls into his jacket again and pulls out a bunch of gum packets, this guy clearly robbed a grocery or convenience store and now he’s showing me all his loot like a 5-year-old.
And then once again “Oh dude dude dude, check out this GUN I just got.”
And my heart sank, it was thumping in my chest and I look over.
The homeless man whips out a grocery store inventory scanner gun. “Bro you can do so many things with this, you can make phone calls, you can scan stuff, it’s like a computer.”
I thought I was finished, but luckily this guy only took a scanner gun.
Long story short: I was uneasy the whole time and then when I dropped him off at his destination he invited me to have a smoke with him again. After he left I realized he stole my sunglasses.
4. Just Curious
The first time I picked up a hitchhiker, I had just gotten off work and it was pouring rain and cold. This younger guy asked me for a lift right down the road, I didn’t catch a bad vibe.
We drive a few minutes and he says he has to get his key from his aunt’s house, which turned out to be I drove him to meet his dealer. Makes the deal then I drive him home, he lets me try some ( I was curious) and we play Madden for hours. I never tried anything like this before this time, and I always said I’d try something twice to know for myself.
Turned out to be a nice dude with a problem (I know how it is). I will never do it again and now know what to look for. Thankfully I didn’t get in trouble.
3. A Helping Hand
Female here. I was driving back down to California from Montana by myself, a straight shot with no stopping overnight. About 9 hours into the drive and seriously kicking myself for not putting more music on my phone since service was shotty so I couldn’t play Pandora or whatnot… I was growing increasingly bored.
It was still light out and about 90 degrees outside when I saw this younger guy, probably 20’s to mid 20’s walking on what I knew was a very long stretch between towns since I’ve driven this route about a dozen times. Call this my exhausted brain or perhaps me wanting to live whimsically for once but I thought why not?
I had my dog with me in the back seat who doesn’t take kindly to strangers trying to touch or pet her so I felt pretty safe. Also since the guy was around my age, I don’t know why but it made me feel better about my decision to give him a lift. He seemed pretty shocked when I pulled over probably seeing as I was a college-aged female offering a ride to a guy, but he seemed grateful too.
At that moment I was more surprised by my behavior. I was shaking a little, in my voice and my hands. I became nervous and kind of questioning if this was a good decision or not. I should mention, I do shake sometimes when speaking in front of people or in a class but I try and keep those moments from happening by not bringing too much attention to myself. One on one I’m normally fine which was why I was a little surprised with my behavior. Once he got in the car and we took off I found out his name and where he was headed. Not far just about an hour or two in the same direction I was going.
I introduced him to my dog which he didn’t even realize was there and warned him not to reach back and try to pet her. This wasn’t to make him feel more nervous but I just didn’t want her to snap at him for invading her space. He was really sweaty and I was worried about him stinking up my car but then felt bad for thinking that. He was wearing really worn carharts and had a backpack as well which I later saw was filled with Gatorade and granola bars (he graciously gave me one).
Anyway, I found out more about the guy and the conversation was nice. My nerves calmed down while I was talking to him after a while and he just seemed like an ok guy. Found out he had a girlfriend and was working on the oil rigs out in North Dakota and was just hitching it back to Utah. All in all, it turned out fine. I know there are crazies out there and maybe I got lucky. I don’t know… I only did it once and probably will never do it again but it felt good to help someone out.
2. Big Bruce Lee
Big Bruce Lee. At least that what he called himself. My brother and I had a decent buzz going and we saw this really big dude with his thumb in the air. We figured why not help a brother out. So he got his 400-pound+ self in my 87 Camry. Front seat mind you, he wasn’t gonna get his big butt in the back seat.
We got going and we could hear my little car struggling to get through the gears. He starts going on about how he was one of the greatest kung fu masters. That he taught Bruce Lee how to fight. How he did the choreography of Enter The Dragon. And then he started horking up loogies and spitting them out the window.
This lasted about three-quarters of an hour when my brother gave a desperate look from the rearview. I dropped off the hitchhiker with an excuse that I had to head back and make sure my oven was off. After my brother got back in the front seat and we had gotten down the road a bit he told me how some of that guy’s spit was sprinkling him from time to time.
So yeah. I met the guy that trained Bruce Lee…
1. That’s None Of Your Business
He was in his early twenties and (I’m convinced) had some kind of a problem. He thought it was appropriate to ask semi-personal questions and then berate me for being single. It was a very bizarre conversation.