Living on an island, there is a phenomenon that is much more prevalent here than in other places I have lived.
It's not just the casual "hey can you give me a lift?" individuals. There are people who come here on vacation, or live here full time, who choose to hitchhike as their method of transportation. It is not always a financial decision, either. Some of these people don't want to be tied down, man. Or they don't want to contribute to destroying the environment.
But mostly they just don't want to pay for gas. And at almost $5 a gallon, I get that. But I don't have the luxury of sitting on the side of the road with somewhere between 1 and three children, 2 carseats, a cooler, a bag of snacks, and some books to pass the time.
Other people do.
You would be amazed at the shit peple will expect you to transport for free. I pass people on the side of the road that look for all the world like they are moving house. And so I have established some guidelines for people looking for a lift. This may help you to understand why it is taking so long for anyone to pick you up.
Dogs. You may not understand this, because I get it - you love your dog. Your dog is like your kid, and goes everywhere with you. But he's not going anywhere with me. A dog will exponentially decrease any chance you have of getting a ride. Lap dogs are actually even less desirable - if that is possible. And I couldn't care less if it's a service animal. That dog should come with a car service.
Surfboards. I guess if I had a pickup it wouldn't be that big a deal, except for my not-unreasonable fear that a stiff breeze could pick up a board and catapult it out of the back and, you know, kill someone. Like in the Lethal Weapon movie. But I don't have a pickup. So, no.
Hula Hoops. Because really? Really? This whole hula hoop phenomenon is bewildering to me, but okay. However, an adult with a hula hoop and no method of transportation = serious issues. I don't want to get involved.
40 oz of Mickey's. Unless you have one for me too. I'm Kidding. No I'm not, Yes I am. I'm conflicted. But still, you might spill it in my car, so no.
Huge Backpack. You could have anything in that bag. But usually it is your filthy stinky laundry. And the occasional cane spider or ants. And also, that backpack means you are a hiker, right? So get to it. You don't need me.
Attitude fucking problem. Yeah. You. The one who glares at me as I drive by.
Fuck You and your eye contact and judgement. Are you seriously trying to make me feel bad for not giving you a ride? Get your own car.
And after all of this, if you drive past someone who seems normal, is just carrying a small bag, has a pleasant expression and continues to walk while waiting for a ride, well. I'll consider it. But I have to weigh the relative threat of BO. Because the very worst time I ever had with a hitch hiker was a lovely young woman who smiled as I approached and held out a friendly hand more like a wave than a request for transport. And then she got in the car and immediately lifted her arms over her head to begin putting her hair in a ponytail and I almost ran off the road.
So really, you probably don't want to ride with me anyway.
1 hour ago