Saturday, March 19, 2005

Hitch-Hiking Karma

I was listening to “Excess Baggage” on State Controlled Radio this morning. Only caught the end of a discussion about hitch-hiking. And some things sort of resonated.

One chap said that up to 2 out of 5 of his lifts had been ex soldiers, his theory of why being that ex soldiers often feel despised by mainstream society and hence feel affinity with hitch hikers. Perhaps I prefer the alternative theory that soldiers develop camaraderie and hence why not give a lift to a random stranger. Which sort of ties into my theory that hitch hiking today would probably be impossible without there being lots of ex hitch hikers about who therefore pick up hitch hikers on principal. I have had lifts from at least 2 members of Lilibet Windsor’s Armed Forces and lots from ex members. Cheers guys! More than happy to reciprocate when I get wheels. Goes without saying.

Back to ex hitch hikers. One of the chaps said that he acquired a car and a navigation system intending to pick up hitch hikers and take them to their exact destination. Alas, would you believe it, he didn’t find any, not even at the top notch hitch hiking spots where in the old days there would have usually have been a queue for a lift. I was hitch hiking back to Leeds from Groningen in the Netherlands late one night and got a lift up the M1 from a Post doctoral research wallah heading to Sheffield. He told me that he had been mad enough to hitch hike in Amerika and that now he always picked up hitch hikers but I was the first he had seen for 4 years. Other lifts have said the same.

Another source of lifts to the guests was born again Christians and Mormops. I once got a lift from a Mormop bishop. It was interesting to chat about our respective Churches and so on. Likesay, happy to chat to the Mormops about their theology in the alehouse or out on the road, but please not on Woodhouse Lane of an evening…..

As one lift said “Hitch-hiking Karma, nothing like it, it either confirms your faith in humanity or wrecks it completely”. So far, touch wood (or at least the melamine and chipboard of this computer room) it has done more of the former than latter. Not knowing who you are going to meet and when you are going to arrive and by what route is part of the Magick. Getting half way across Europe without a coach ticket is another (admittedly to Groningen and back I “cheated” and paid the ferry fare).

And that seminal classic, “The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy”. It is so much more when you have hitch hiked.

I believe a friend of Merrick is reported as saying that the three topics of conversation that can keep people chatting all night are hitch-hiking, dodgy landlords and acid trips. That thesis is yet to be disproved…….. I for one could continue this blog all evening but it is time I logged off.

Happy Hitching!

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