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Hapless Hitch Hiker Laments End Of The Free Ride era
by Mark on 10/18/2006 (0)

Thumbing a ride nowadays is a real bear!
LINCOLN, NE - Hapless hitchhiker Billy Ray Cider laments the end of an era.

Cider pulled his collar tight against the November damp and shuffled his feet uneasily.

"I-I've been out here three days now, and not one John Family even slowed down, let alone stopped to even look. I been paddin' the hoof all summer long. I been a Lizzie tramp all my 55 years, and never had it so bad. Even the Boxcar hobos are biting the grit nowadays. They got cameras on the railroads, throw ya' right off!"

That would seem to be the trend. Gone forever is the perception of the romantic, wanderlust American hobo, popularized in song by Simon and Garfunkel (It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw, I've gone to look for America) and glorified in such classic literature as Jack London's The Road, (1907) and Ethyl Lynn's The Adventures of a Woman Hobo, the first full-length book by a woman who was actually on the road in 1908.

So what happened? How have perceptions of the free-spirited wanderer changed?

Perhaps advances in criminal psychology and general heightened public opinion that typify the homeless as potential schizophrenics, alcohol and drug abusers, or even serial rapists and killers have shorn any nostalgic perceptions of hitchhikers as anything but trouble. Indeed, in today's modern, highly connected, condescending, analytical society, those without roots and established business are seen as societal failures, devoid of dignity and to be strictly regarded with contempt, fear and scorn.

Cider paused to drill a finger in his ear like a corn cob in an outhouse

"I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I got some road kill venison fer some Mulligan stew until the Cops along. Got some wild onions along the berm right there too! I supposin' they'll throw me in the booby hatch soon, and it's the black bottle for me!"

Cider's next appearance would be getting zapped with a 50,000 volt stun gun and writhing in agony like a wasted mass of jelly on the TV serial "Cops" on a special show titled "Cops: Tasered!"

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