Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single... Six Hour Wait


"Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious."
~ Rumi ~


Misconceptions in Milpitas: After a weekend of rugged couch surfing in San Francisco and going to see some sexy sequoia trees, I got dropped off in Milpitas. I was quite eager to get on the road, catch a few long rides, and hopefully be out of California by nightfall. Little did I know that my dreams of a quick trip to Colorado would be dashed against the proverbial rocks. It was around 8:30 am that morning when I stuck my thumb out and started watching the cars go by on the highway on-ramp. The prospect of getting a ride seemed very likely, as there was plenty of traffic going my way. After the first hour, I was pretty sure that a lot of these people were just on their way to work, and it probably didn't make sense for them to stop and offer a ride. After the third hour, I had begun to notice a trend in the type of cars in this area; they were all very expensive. Now I know that correlation does not imply causation, but when you're sitting on the side of the road and you keep seeing luxury car after luxury car pass you by, you start to wonder. When I called one of my friends and told her about my situation, she proposed that it was because my hair was rather long and that I probably looked like a hippie. And as we all know, wealthy people and hippies are natural enemies.

Here is a dramatic reenactment of what I looked like that morning.



Luckily, I had come prepared for this possibility. I quickly stripped down to my Spaceman Spiff undies, cut my own hair (like a boss), pulled out my three piece, custom tailored Giorgio Armani suit, retrieved my top hat, and brandished my cane.

I also made sure Batman's adornments of wealth and affluence were properly in place.


My foresight had also lead me to bring along a leather armchair and two copies of the Wall Street Journal. Batman and I made quite the dashing pair of industrious young chaps, and it wasn't long until a limousine pulled over on the side of the road and offered us a ride (I'm not making this part up. An actual limo stopped to give a hitch hiker and his pitbull a lift). Unfortunately, I had to turn down the driver's offer as he was only going about ten miles north and I was still optimistic about catching a ride with someone going a good, long distance. Looking back, I should have taken the limo, even if it had been going in the wrong direction, it would have been an awesome story. Oh well, live and learn I suppose.
My optimism about catching a ride slowly diminished as the hours continued to crawl by. Time moves at a snail's pace when you have nothing to do but watch cars pass you by and try to keep the fire of hope alive in a dog who is slowly dying of boredom. After five hours, I began to wonder if I was going to have to call a friend and stay another night in the Bay. I really didn't like the idea, so decided I would stick it out until midnight if need be. Luckily for us, another generous soul pulled over and after six hours of waiting, Batman and I were finally on the road.

John & Jon: The first two rides on my trek back to Colorado were so similar that it is hard for me to distinguish them in my mind. Batman agrees, and confesses that these two gentlemen even smelled oddly familiar. In spite of having my notes here in front of me, I still feel as though I'm confusing all the details concerning these two guys.


John (Jim): Jim was a carpenter, who drove a truck with tons of tools in the back. He was an overweight white guy in his late thirties, early forties. This was a pretty short ride up to Dublin CA. and after the initial introductions and telling him a bit about myself, we didn't really talk much. Honestly there isn't much to say about Ol' Jimbo. He did brag about how many girls his nephew had slept with, and then he asked about my exploits with the female persuasion. I informed him that I was in fact a virgin and inquired if he would be so kind as to enlighten me on the basics of the birds and the bees. He proceeded to show me several diagrams and illustrations, all of which were very strange and confusing. I began to wonder if he wasn't really a carpenter at all, but actually a closet middle school teacher. I could imagine his life-long struggle perfectly in my mind's eye. The way the children had ostracized him when they discovered his love for giving out busy-work, and writing on overhead projectors. The silent uncomfortable dinners after his mother had found the lesson plans hidden under his mattress. What is it going to take for us as a society to learn that middle school teachers are people too?

...Hey, stop your shoving! Okay okay, I admit it, none of that sex education or middle school stuff actually happened. I just ended up telling him that the girls in California were very beautiful and then we barely talked the rest of the way...so...yeah...now you know the real story.... I was just trying to liven things up a bit. No need to get so violent...Does picking on people smaller than you make you feel good about yourself?... (shakes head)... You're a real class act, you know that?

(Anyways... On with the story!) I had another two hours wait in Dublin, CA. before I was struck with a severe case of Déjà vu.


Jon (Steve): Steve was a plumber who drove a truck with tons of tools in the back. He was an overweight white guy in his late thirties, early forties. One thing I noticed that did set him apart from John, I mean Jim, was that he seemed to know the lyrics to a lot of the top forty type songs that were playing on the radio. The sort of songs I would expect a college freshman girl to enjoy listening to. He must have noticed the quizzical look on my face as I watched him sing along with Lady Gaga. All of a sudden, magically, he had a "daughter" who was always leaving "her station" on in "his car". Sure Steve...sure...we all believe you buddy.


Steve would end up dropping me off at a rest stop on Highway 5. Having never tried to hitch a ride from a rest stop before, I hoped that there would be a good amount of in and out traffic (sexual innuendo?) and that someone would see me upon exiting the highway, have some time to consider the awesome karmic rewards they would reap for helping a wayward traveler, and then invite me to join them on their way to Southern California. Unfortunately, this would not be the way things ended up...


Next time on Wondergasm!...

Mayhem! Men and dogs standing on the side of the road as equals! Chaos! Lots of people not picking us up! Anarchy! Even more hot, gratuitous waiting on the side of the road action! Mild feelings of malcontent! Sex, drugs and tax evasion! And so so so much more!

Also: The Wondergasm! Project has been accepted by Kickstarter.com and launched on Dec. 9th, 2011. We have a limited time frame to fund the project, so please check it out.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexcanby/wondergasm-hitch-hiking-and-couch-surfing-across-a
  

1 comment:

  1. Haha, you're hilarious! Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget