Question of The Day January 18, 2013 ~ Hitchhikers

If you stop for hitch-hikers, which would be the most interesting one you’ve picked up?

Impossible question.

I have picked up thousands of hitchhikers over the last 40 years I have had my licence.

One day I picked up 3 patched Mongrel Mob bikers, and gave them a lift about 40 miles. They smelled bad, but were otherwise pleasant, and very pleased (and surprised) to get a lift from a white boy.

Another day I stopped to pick up a guy on the side of the motorway just south of Auckland and noticed he was quite tall (about 7ft, and heavy set). He bent down slowly and put his head in the car, and he had the smallest, closest set eyes I have ever seen on anyone. He asked in a slow drawl “Are you going to Kingseat?” (which is the largest mental institution in New Zealand – where all the really tough cases go).

I said “No, but I can drop you at the turn off”. He said “Oooh – Uuuh – All right then.” and got in the car. Not much was said as we drove to the turn off and he got out, but a lot of thoughts were running through my head. Even at 6’2″ I think he could have easily picked me up with one hand.

One guy we picked up spun a story about losing all his money at a hostel and needing to get back home to Northland – so we dropped him at the Ferry terminal, and gave him enough money for a ferry ticket, and he promised to send us money when he got home. We never got the money. Strange things was, that over the next 10 years we must have seen that guy about 6 times, at various places around the country. Each time we would stop and ask him if he had our ticket money, and each time he would pretend he didn’t know us. We never did get our money out of him, and we certainly got some entertainment value out of him over the years. Watching him squirm behind the eyes.

Once picked up a guy who was broken down on the road side, and gave him a ride home on my motorbike. Went back next day (about 20 miles) with dad’s car, and towed his old model A back to our place, where I fixed it over the next couple of days. Vic ended up staying a couple of weeks, and would call in every year or two and stay a while for about 15 years, until we lost touch with him. He used to write a Biology cartoon for the NZ herald, which may have had international syndication.

One day coming home from a trip in our camper van we ended up with 8 hitchhikers in the back of the camper, and all of them stayed the night, and left next morning.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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