H is for hitching of course. But also – of course – for haemorrhoids.
So it goes.
I wasn’t entirely sure how to prepare myself for going ‘on the road’, as they say. So last night I watched The Hitcher, the original one with Rutger Hauer as the eponymous nutbag. It’s a pretty dumb film on the whole, full of giant silly holes. But it did make me think of a few things not to do on Monday.
Another thing that made me think of things not to do was the story of Randy Kraft. (Thanks a lot, Maria in Oregon.) Randy Kraft. Great name for a porn star. Unfortunately, Randy Kraft is not a porn star. He is a serial killer. If you read about his early life on Wikipedia, however, you might as I did feel a certain sadness for him. You should. He was mentally ill. And it’s your duty as a human being to feel empathy and sympathy, otherwise you're not doing it right.
Another thing that made me think of a few more things not to do was a poem called Hitcher by Simon Armitage. (Thanks a lot, Sophie in Essex). Here, if you simply can’t be bothered to follow the link, is a brief excerpt:
I let him have it
on the top road out of Harrogate -once
with the head, then six times with the krooklok
in the face -and didn't even swerve
You know what?
I’m going to get the train.
No, not really. I joke, I joke. It’ll be fun. And what’ll make it fun is that I’ll be meeting people, and people are full of slips and slurs and twists and turns and grace and care and love and hate and voodoo. And I really, really love them. Really. Even the cunts.
A wise man once said: ‘Being is other people.’ It was me.
So I’ve made a list of Do’s and Don’ts, to help me on my way. (Was there ever a more annoying expression than ‘do’s and don’ts’? No matter how you render it…
do’s and don’ts
dos and don’ts
do’s and don’t’s
douze en danse
...it always looks wrong. But there’s no way around it. Aaaaaah, life.)
Do make a sign. Otherwise people won’t know where you want to go. Duh. I’ve made two.
Do dress like someone you might want to pick up if you were driving along the motorway and saw yourself there. Oh. Unless that is, you’re an incorrigible sex pest.
Do not dress as a French maid with a giant butt-plug round your neck, no matter what else you’ve been told.
Do smile. Smile like a man who is full of hope and dreams and excitement about his part in the endlessly emotional, eminently fascinating, predominantly enjoyable toboggan ride that is life.
Do not smile like Ted Bundy.
Do take deodorant. Apply roadside in a lull. You don’t want to be honking in someone’s private space. And it’s going to be hot. Damn hot.
Do not cover yourself in excrement before accepting a lift.
Don't smoke by the side of the road, no matter how cool you might think it looks.
Don't drink from a bottle of whiskey by the side of the road. (If there’s anybody looking.)
Don't turn to the person who has picked you up, two minutes into your journey and say, referring to the last guy who picked you up: 'I cut off his legs, and his arms, and his head, and I'm gonna do the same to you', and then start laughing maniacally. It's just rude.
Do be gracious.
Don't judge people by their appearance, but if someone looks like a psycho, make a run for it.
Don't get picked up by a serial killer. Or Simon Armitage. Neither are to be trusted.
Do the right thing.
Don’t blame it on the sunshine.
Don't blame it on the moonlight.
Don't blame it on the good times.
Do blame it on the boogie.
Actually, on second thoughts, don't blame it on the boogie. (Don’t even use that word. It’s highly offensive.)
Don’t worry. Be happy.
Do wah diddy.
Alright, I’m done. Done wah diddy.
If you have any to add, I’d be honoured to hear them. If not, wish me luck, and if I do happen to end up on the local news or God forbid, a headline in the Metro: LONDON MAN DISMEMBERED AND EATEN IN GRISLY M1 SEX MURDER – grieve not; dry your instinctive tears with the knowledge that at least a small part of me will have relished the novelty of it all.
Damn you, Maria in Oregon! Look what you’ve made me search out and devour… The Freeway Killers.
Pish. Enough of my silliness. See you in the North.