So the other night I did something most of you would consider very, very dumb. In fact half way through doing it, I myself thought I was an idiot. In short, I stopped and gave a man a lift.

Wise words sign… wise words.

I was driving around Whitmore Square in Adelaide around 9:30 at night – probably not known as the friendliest of places after dark – and as I turned down my street I saw an older gentlemen pulling one of those rolling overnight cases and clearly asking someone else for directions.

I’m not sure what happened, but the next thing I know, I’ve U-turned, pulled over and yelled out to him as he was making his way across the Square and asked him if he needed a lift.

If I’m honest I thought we’d probably have had a discussion first about where he was going and what he was up to, but before you could say holy-axe-murdering-stranger he was sitting alongside me having balanced his case on the child-generated car detritus in the back seat.

It turns out he had just arrived from Ballarat and was on his way to Whyalla to visit one of his 14 siblings (apparently dad used to ride a bike and ‘got around’ a bit) and needed a lift to St Vincent de Pauls in Franklin street where they were holding a bed for him.

Unfortunately for both of us it took a while to find the building (thanks google) and when we did, it didn’t look like anyone was home.

So there I was, half past nine at night with the alarm set to go off at 4:30 for work the next morning, with a strange man in my car who was quite happily telling me that he used to live in Adelaide years ago and apparently one of his older brothers was quote unquote a ‘bit of a dickhead’.

Finally he decided it was back to the Salvation Army on Whitmore Square (near where we started) and we said our farewells.

Now I’m not telling you this for any pats on the back – far from it as frankly my mum left me in no doubt as to how stupid I had been and ‘anything could have happened’, but honestly it was quite a lovely experience.

I met someone from a completely different set of circumstances as my own, and I kind of felt selfishly good that an elderly gentlemen wasn’t wandering around the damp streets looking for somewhere to stay and that I had helped him.

Looking back, did I do the full risk assessment analysis? No, not at all. Should I have put my safety first and driven by?

Well perhaps some of you think so.

But as I climbed into bed that night I couldn’t help but feel that there must be an awful lot of good not being done anymore, because we are all so damn fearful of ‘them’ and what’s ‘out there’, seeing everyone as a potential Ivan Milat who’s out to get us.

Speak to our parents and they quite often talk about hitch-hiking around the country or even overseas and our national icon, the swagman, shows our country’s former affinity with the itinerant traveller who left their fate to luck and the kindness of strangers.

Is today’s less trusting society the price we pay for universal and sensationalised media coverage, congregating in urban areas, the breakdown of community and the speed at which we all have to get about doing our own thing.

Perhaps I was lucky, perhaps naïve, but to be honest it was nice to visit a gentler time, if only for a quick trip around our city.

And to Roy, wherever you are now, I wish you all the best and hang in there with your brother.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • jules says:

      05:05am | 10/12/12

      I was picked up nce, but wasn’t hitch hiking.  I had flown to townsville for medical treatment, and by the time I paid taxi fares, I had no money to go to the doctors office all the way across town.  Two ladies had seen my lugging my bags walking and pulled up and asked if they could give me a lift.  I graciously accepted, and they drove me all the way to my appointment.  When I got out, they were waiting, and I said “are you still here?” and they said yes, we want to take you to the airport for your flight home” I was so grateful to them, and they had to drive back to Bowen themselves that day.  I sent them a card and some scratchies in the mail to say thank you.  I appreciated what they did for me, I was in a place I didn’t know.  I often think of their kindness.  I am sure your old mate will think of you as well smile

    • acotrel says:

      05:53am | 10/12/12

      My brother in law had an epileptic fit on a train while going to work, and nobody w ould help him.  Even though he was wearing neat casual clothes, they probably thought he was a druggie.  He crawled out onto the platform when the train stopped and the station staff called an ambulance for him.  It is a sign of the times ‘the cult of the individual’ and an uncaring society - mainly in big cities. I live in Benalla, and it is impossible to walk down our main road a bit out of town, without someone stopping and offering a lift.

    • Toady says:

      06:25am | 10/12/12

      acotrel, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Benalla.  Your comment is a bit of a generalisation.  Unless, of course, you meant to say people often offer lifts to geriatric wanderers who appear to pose no threat to their safety.

      It is perfectly okay for people to ignore hitchhikers and to not intervene when they see someone behaving strangely.  Self-preservation is a basic instinct - I wouldn’t call it uncaring.  In a society where the right of an individual to take drugs and screw his/her mind up and wander around drug-f****d is defended with gusto by so many do-gooders, or to bash and rob people and be given a good behaviour bond, the chances of being a victim at the hands of some unhinged stranger is great.  I’m in my mid-forties and a few years ago I did the good samaritan thing by picking up a young hitchhiker just near Noosa.  About 30 seconds into the journey towards Coolum, I worked out he was an amphetamine user with some fairly nasty aggression issues - the sort of person I’d spent years regularly dealing with in a past life.  Never again.

    • Gregg says:

      08:18am | 10/12/12

      All’s good for acotrel is getting into the geriatric era and on self admission gets down to the local Maccas at 4 am for human contact!
      Being an ex greatest industrial chemist I am sure he would be offay with amps.
      If you see him wandering the streets early on, lets hope the light is good enough to avoid a near miss.

    • Frog says:

      08:46am | 10/12/12

      @Toady - oh, you’re so right, it’s absolutely ok to leave a person in need to suffer in front of your eyes on the off-chance that there may be some risk for you if you were to intervene and help.  You’re a true warrior, Toad.  The kind of person I’d like to have beside me in a foxhole.

    • Toady says:

      11:06am | 10/12/12

      Life’s tough, frog.  The good old days of helping everyone out - they have passed.  And that is exactly how many people want it - drug taking should be a personal choice, mental health patients should be free to wander unsupervised, violent offenders should never be imprisoned, as it just makes them worse criminals.  Tell me, how do you differentiate between a harmless person suffering a manic episode from some amped up druggie out of touch with reality, only too quick to lash out at you if you come close?  How does a taxi driver recognise beforehand that the passenger he just picked up isn’t going to slash his throat, stab or bash him after pulling up in a quiet suburban street?  Either one could be standing on the side of the road, waiting to catch a lift.  It has become too common - the risk of this type of thing happening has increased.  Do I believe the anecdote from acotrel?  It arouses suspicion in me… a train carriage full of uncaring people, too scared to help?  Not likely.

    • Toady says:

      11:23am | 10/12/12

      And frog - the fact that this article was even written indicates that it is a topic of worthy discussing, and an acknowledgment that there are risks to consider before picking up a hitckhiker, or helping out someone behaving ‘differently’.

    • TheHuntress says:

      04:34pm | 10/12/12

      Acotrel, I’ve experienced something similar. I suffer from Meniere’s disease, which effects hearing and balance. Most of the time it’s comical, but I do suffer a rare form of the disease which means I have “drop attacks”. Basically whatever I happen to be doing I will just collapse to the ground - not lose consciousness or anything, just become unable to regulate balance for that moment.

      I once suffered a drop attack on the main street of a very busy town where I went to uni. I had been on a shopping trip and I was carrying all my uni work when I suffered a drop attack. I was on the ground, my clothes ripped, bleeding, with all my uni paperwork and shopping scattered. It was humiliating enough as it was, but everyone on the street stopped and stared - nobody even asked if I was ok.

      It took me a second to gather my thoughts (not to mention my balance) and pick myself up off the ground. I then gathered all my belongings, chased my paperwork in the breeze and made my way to a chemist for dressings and a clothes shop for some new clothes. I was about 28 at the time, well dressed and obviously not a threat. I thought back to all the times I’ve called ambulances, stayed with people, helped strangers, bought a meal for those in need and blah, blah, blah. It just made me wonder why I bother. I haven’t given up on helping people out, but it still bothers me to this day that no one would even ask a young woman in need if she was ok, in the middle of the day, who obviously needed some help. Evidently it was much more fun laughing at the stupid girl on the ground with ripped attire.

    • ronny jonny says:

      05:58am | 10/12/12

      Naive, reckless, dumb all of these things. You got away with it, chances are you will get away with it again but eventually you will have a bad one. You just played Russian Roulette. It is nice when you have an interaction with a stranger from another world and it turns out positive, restores the faith in humanity and all. However, you need to be aware, there are sharks and monsters out there. I hitch hiked a fair bit as a young bloke and 99% of the time it was fine but there were some scary moments, one of them very scary indeed. Most of my mates did it too at one time or another, every one of us has frightening stories to tell and I reckon about half copped a belting. If you expose yourself to danger like this, everytime you do it the odds get better that you will eventually come unstuck. Though giving a lift isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as accepting one, I would strongly reccommend that you don’t do it again.

    • Richard says:

      10:33am | 10/12/12

      What a horrible comment, ronny! You are a nasty and fearful person apparently.

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:45pm | 10/12/12

      Thoroughly agree with ronny jonny

    • Rebecca says:

      02:23pm | 10/12/12

      Ronny jonny’s comment isn’t horrible or nasty, it’s sensible. What IS horrible and nasty is the fact that there are people out there who have no objections to raping, robbing, assaulting or even killing others and that it happens on a daily basis.

    • Rossco says:

      06:43am | 10/12/12

      “But as I climbed into bed that night I couldn’t help but feel that there must be an awful lot of good not being done anymore, because we are all so damn fearful of ‘them’ and what’s ‘out there’”

      You mean the fear of men in society Ali? That is really the bigger picture here, and yes this ‘fear’ in society has never been stronger. It pays to exercise due diligence and caution in situations like this but the ignorance in society of men and the fear of them in general is largely unwarranted. Now many men are treated in society like potential predators or criminals. It’s bloody sad when you think about it, but then it is largely a product of the media.

      I applaud you for helping the gentleman out.

    • Paul says:

      07:31am | 10/12/12

      “It’s bloody sad when you think about it, but then it is largely a product of the media.”

      Agreed Rossco, but I would add much of the fear is engendered by certain rabid, man hating feminists too.

      Back in the 70’s hitchhiking and giving hikers a lift was much more common than it is now. I have done both many times and would often give complete strangers rides (I didn’t feel the need to write a full page article telling everyone about it though).

      Travelling in Cuba a few years ago I was told it’s actually compulsory to pick up hitch hikers. All part of the solidarity and socialism of that country you see.

    • marley says:

      08:26am | 10/12/12

      Let’s see if I’ve got this right.  I’m willing to bet that you’d be critical of a woman who walks down a dark city street in a very short skirt, after having a few too many drinks. Just asking for it, you’d say.  There are predators out there and women have a responsibility to be careful. 

      But when it comes to girls getting into cars with complete strangers, only “man hating feminists” could possibly see an issue. Right?

    • egg says:

      08:47am | 10/12/12

      Curse those women and their… uhhh… caution? Yeah, I see your point, guys.

    • bec says:

      10:03am | 10/12/12

      About a year ago, I was home alone during the day and a man knocked on my door, saying his car had broken down and he needed to use my phone. He wasn’t dirty or dishevelled (he was only in his thirties and looked like any office employee might), but because of a spate of break-ins in my street I said I would make a call for him inside my house, and that he should give me any RACQ information. He left instantly, declining further help.

      About forty minutes later, he tried to get in through my back door (fortunately locked and deadbolted). I have since then declined to open my (locked whenever home) screen doors to any unsolicited man on my property. It’s precisely the same policy my husband has also.

      You might think of me as a ‘manhater’, but I think of myself as someone who isn’t buried in a shallow grave in a national park. Slight difference.

    • Philosopher says:

      10:36am | 10/12/12

      bec - nasty story, well done for staying calm and using your wits. I hope you gave a description of him to the police? No man should need to make a phone call that desperately smile

    • Rossco says:

      12:10pm | 10/12/12

      Congratulations to Marley, Egg and Bec for completely misconstruing the point that was made.

      I said that it pays to exercise caution and due diligence, however men in general are treated automatically like potential predators and criminals in society.

      I have been given weird looks by strangers for taking photos of my nieces/nephews in public for crying out loud.

      In Ali’s case, the gentleman was nice and she assisted him without any issues or did you all miss that one?

      Sure every situation should be treated differently.  Yes Bec I agree that I would not let someone into my house and what you did was great (I would never let any stranger into my house, regardless of gender).

      But to place this blanket on all men and to automatically treat them with fear, hatred and suspicion just seems to be to be an utter shameful way that this society conducts itself.

      Did any of you in your youth ever have a friendly neighbourhood bloke you used to hang out with around the neighbourhood because they toiled in their workshop/garage next door or had kids of their own you used to play with? me and my brother used to hang out with a couple of older blokes around the block, one had kids, the other one next door didnt. He had a motorcycle and we were obsessed with them in our younger age. They all turned out to be decent blokes you used to say hi to, have a conversation with…talk about relating hobbies, and were quite friendly.  We were about 7-12 at the time from memory. They were all decent people and never touched/harmed me or anyone else.

      So I think it is a shame, that society is now like this.

    • Paul says:

      12:19pm | 10/12/12

      @marley,  No you’ve completely misunderstood my point. How did you extrapolate my post to, “Let’s see if I’ve got this right. I bet that you’d be critical of a woman who walks down a dark city street in a very short skirt”? Huh? You need your head examined.

      My point is to do with most men being feared for no good reason.
      Example, a man wanting to help a lost child. In Australia it’s almost impossible for a man to help a young lost child without being suspected… or indeed accused of having evil intent toward the child.

      @bec Sorry you experienced that. And I do understand that. I had something similar happen at home but with a woman and a man at my door together. Never again will I leave doors open at home. In future, I will have a fence and gate that locks so that no scumbags (male or female) can even knock on my door. However it doesn’t make me a hater of all men and women.

    • marley says:

      12:25pm | 10/12/12

      @Rossco - I didn’t miss your point. I disagreed with it.  Being cautious about picking up hitchhikers is not evidence that there is a general fear of men, or a widespread belief that all men are potential predators or criminals.  It is a common sense response to the realisation that we can’t tell who’s a predator and who is not, and it’s better not to take the chance of making a mistake.  It has damn all to do with radical feminism and everything to do with situational awareness.

    • bec says:

      12:27pm | 10/12/12

      Rossco, you are asking me to apply some sort of faulty risk assessment that equates your hurt feelings with the very real potential of physical injury and death - no matter how minor you perceive the risk.

      There are lots of perfectly normal men who have normal lives and who conduct themselves appropriately in public (including - believe it or not - with children!). I don’t side-eye a guy out in public with children who is obviously acting in their best interests. I am, however, going to evaluate the veracity of explanations given by people who want to enter my personal space - be it my car or my home. It’s not ‘woman’s intuition’; it is a rational exercise in applying my knowledge of body language and harm avoidance.

      I don’t particularly care if I seem bitchy, but I don’t have any way of guaranteeing that the friendly Mormon at my door, or the guy who volunteers to carry my bags to the car, or the person asking me for my phone details, is not going to harm me. I don’t mind taking children or women in my car because the likelihood that they can outdo me strength-wise is very low. I am most certainly likely to have lower strength than an adult male. The risk might be low for you, but it is unacceptably high to me.

    • Rebecca says:

      12:30pm | 10/12/12

      Rossco, unfortunately young girls have to treat strange men as potential predators because of the actions of a small minority. We know most men are trustworthy, but some aren’t and it’s not worth risking our lives to be more trusting so as not to offend you.

    • marley says:

      01:39pm | 10/12/12

      @Paul - no, again I didn’t misunderstand you;  I disagreed with you.  You said “much of the fear is engendered by certain rabid, man hating feminists.”  Yet it’s very often men who criticise women for taking chances of the type I described.  Does that mean the men are rabid man-haters for saying that women have to be careful?  Obviously not.  So why do women who suggest caution have to be rabid man-haters?  How does that compute?

    • Gregg says:

      06:48am | 10/12/12

      I have hitched over many years from when a school kid right through to not so many years ago and I still pick up the occasional hitcher or offer a ride to a walker a few km. out of town and seemingly headed there.
      Ali did her risk assessment without it really dawning on her so much for she had appraised the situation and an old guy looked like a bit of a traveller.

      It’s the same out on the open road and you can usually get a good idea of who is a traveller and who might be a local drunk looking for a quicker free way to the pub, a guy with a travelling kit being an obvious give away.

    • ramases says:

      07:15am | 10/12/12

      Hmmm, maybe not a good idea but i would think that person would have greatly appreciated the help. I have found that this “stranger danger” thing that is pushed has had a detrimental effect on people helping other people. I saw a young lady with a baby in her car the other day with a flat tire, on the Bruce highway and she looked like she had no idea of how to fix it.
        I stopped and offered assistance and she was even reticent to accept until she saw my other half sitting in the passenger seat of my vehicle. I changed the tire and got her on her way but couldn’t help thinking what a bloody mess we have made of trust in this country when a kind gesture is looked upon as a possible threat.
        We often give lifts to people we see on the highway and a lot of them are hitch-hikers from overseas and they comment on the number of cars that pass and completely ignore them like their poison or serial killers. Weeven take them into our house and give them a meal and a shower and a place to sleep before giving them a lift to the nearest transit centre so they can catch a bus or train.
        I might be old fashioned but a person in need should be able to accept help from a stranger without that nagging feeling that they may be mugged and murdered and those offering to help should not be made to feel like they are Bundy in disguise.
        Its a sad indictment of today when everyone and everything is looked at as some kind of threat that needs to be avoided at all costs. At this rate how much longer will it be before we all keep to ourselves and have no interaction with others than with technology just in case their is danger of some kind. It starts in the schools where it is taught that each and every person you meet is a potential danger and should be avoided at all costs , sad isn’t it?

    • Bob Stewart, the Elder says:

      07:27am | 10/12/12

      We do not teach community values and the role of law to children in the education system. It is not being taught at home either. For the parents themselves are a bit short on values if there are now 20,00o calls to Drug Help Line, over 3000 cases through the Juvenile Court, a 10 Yr old holding up a bus driver with a knife and a little 9 Yr old boy dies from the neglect of drug addict parents while under the watch of Families SA. Nobody cares any more and those who do care are often “interfering”

    • Sloan says:

      08:12am | 10/12/12

      I foolishly picked up someone once at Cooma on way to snow a few years back. Usually no issue but this guy was a psychopath. One minute into the trip he criticised the music I had playing and went on from their to ask my wife if she wanted a drink in Jindabyne later than night with him.
      At this point I pulled over and said, “mate, get out please, your trip ends here.”
      He refused to get out so I was forced to pull him out of the car and toss his board into the bush at the side of road. I used to pick up people needing a lift in Cooma or Jindabyne to the snow, but never again. Some real scum bags with a huge sense of self entitlement these days.

    • Schmavo says:

      08:14am | 10/12/12

      I’ve sometimes seen people that looked a bit stranded and thought about offering a lift, only to convince myself that they would think I was a looney, crazed, serial killer. So I agree, there’s a bunch of nice not happening.

    • andrew says:

      10:55am | 10/12/12

      maybe next time take the shovel and bag of lime out of the back seat wink

    • Bane says:

      08:18am | 10/12/12

      I admit I’ve picked up hitchhikers on 3 occassions. All middle aged men quite fond of chatting. I do understand it’s a risk but in all cases they seemed like they were in genuine need of the lift. How I assesed that I don’t know really.
      I’ve also stopped to assist a lady and child with a flat tyre in the pouring rain once. Everyone felt good after that deed grin

    • gobsmack says:

      08:38am | 10/12/12

      The hitchhiker is more at risk than the person giving the lift.

      And in the above example, it would be a strange modus operandi for a serial killer to rely on unsolicited lifts from women.

    • Colin says:

      10:25am | 10/12/12

      Humans are the most dangerous, unpredictable, and violent animal there is. Never, ever pick up a hitch-hiker. You are a complete idiot if you do.

    • Richard says:

      10:44am | 10/12/12

      Jeez Colin, I resent that comment. I have often tried to hitch hike, and almost never get picked up, except in Northern NSW and on the way to the Snow Fields, but everywhere else its impossible these days to hitch a ride. Why? I’ve never committed a crime, I’ve never perpetrated an assault, nor will I ever. I’ve never struck someone with my fists in anger, or produced a weapon to threaten someone, or coerced someone to do my will.

      I’m just a nice, happy, friendly guy who sometimes runs out of petrol and needs a lift to the next servo, or who is trying to travel a long distance without a car. The long, long, looooong number of hours I’ve trudged alongside the road, vainly haling each passing car, when they could have given me a lift with hardly no extra effort are some of the saddest and most disheartening hours of my life.

      Therefore, I *ALWAYS pick up hitch hikers when I see them. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’ve done it dozens of times and its always been a positive encounter everytime.

      Come now Colin, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Civil society and community spirit and good samaritan neighbourlyness is breaking down! We need to turn that around, and a good place to start would be to pick up hitch-hikers whenever you have the chance.

    • andrew says:

      11:05am | 10/12/12

      I’m far more likely to offer someone a lift if as Richard says they are putting in the leg work and will be walking to their destination otherwise, this has also been the circumstances in which I have been offered lifts. If someone just holds up a sign and sits in the shade that’s where they will stay.

    • Colin says:

      11:05am | 10/12/12

      @ Richard

      That was a looong (and suspect) sermon on the reasons to pick up hitch-hikers, Richard; do you have some nefarious underlying intent to lull people into a false sense of security..? You seem to be trying very hard to tell everyone just how wonderful, friendly, and safe your average hitch-hiker is, which makes me very suspicious…

      “...pick up hitch-hikers whenever you have the chance”

      Hmm, I don’t think so. As Sartre said, “Hell is other people”

    • ronny jonny says:

      01:40pm | 10/12/12

      @Andrew and Richard,
      I don’t know about these days but when I was a regular hitch hiker one of the golden rules was to never walk. The popular wisdom was that you were less likely to get a lift walking than if you stand still and stick your thumb out. Not sure of the reason or even if it’s true but it seemed true.

    • Anjuli says:

      10:28am | 10/12/12

      In 1960 walking home did not have a car at that time, one dark night (no moonlight) , I knew I was being followed I was near houses thought if I could make it there I would be OK unfortunately I wasn’t ,afterwards even when in my own home I would lock even the room door .  Later having a car I would not drive at night still won’t. In my older years I have asked people who were infirm one who had a wheel chair was struggling to get it out of the back of his I asked if he needed help I was told in a terse manner ” No”. Just last eek a old guy as old as me ,struggling to get a package from the top shelf as he only had one arm I asked could I help .He also replied the same way NO after a few seconds he must have thought how he sounded he then said no thank you .So no wonder people some times stop helping.

    • Bane says:

      10:40am | 10/12/12

      Thanks for that hot tip. Very uplifting.
      For an idiot like me.

    • andrew says:

      10:49am | 10/12/12

      Surely the biggest risk of hitch-hiking would be undertaking the car journey with a driver of unknown ability and impairment status? Far more chance of ending up in a car crash than them doing anything malicious surely. For the record I’ve given a few strangers lifts, and accepted a few in return.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:17am | 10/12/12

      twenty years ago I hitched virtually around the country. No bad experiences; you can always say no to a lift if you don’t like the look of them. However I acknowledge I was pretty lucky.

    • Colin says:

      01:15pm | 10/12/12

      @ Philosopher

      “...twenty years ago I hitched virtually around the country….”

      Wow, you must have been an early adopter! The technology to travel virtually is only just coming to the fore now…  tongue laugh

    • Duane says:

      11:45am | 10/12/12

      I’ve hitched a ride once in my life, well over 20 years ago after a car break down. The bloke who pulled over on Main North Road opened the car door saying ‘No one should have to walk anywhere in rain like this.” - it was raiing steadily, about 10:00pm. He gave me a lift to where I needed to be, and I’m stil greatful.

    • Matthais says:

      12:54pm | 10/12/12

      I have accepted lifts as a hitcher and given lifts to those doing the same on many occasions.

      I have met some nutcases and some lovely people as well.

      I have even ended up in a police holding cell for several hours as a result of picking up a shabby looking fellow who was carrying a very large bag on a very hot summer day.

      The bag ended up being full of the fruits of a hard days break and entering, and I was initially viewed as an accomplice.

      As several people have mentioned, the spirit of kindness to strangers in need in our society, seems to have wizened and dried up like the fig tree that Jesus cursed for failing to bear fruit out of season.

      Personally, I believe that our culture of instant gratification via the narcissistic medium of the internet, Facebook and Twitter in particular, has a lot to answer for in this regard.

      As a society, we have become obsessed with the alleged importance our own lives and would probably rather take a picture of the fitting epileptic and post it to twitter with a droll caption, rather than stop to help her.

      Perhaps we may even think that a fitting epileptic is just ROFLing.

    • Dave says:

      02:06pm | 10/12/12

      I hitch-hiked a lot as a kid growing up in a country town.Once I was with my brother and another young bloke and we hitched a ride…poor Italian bloke that pulled up was very frightened to say the least when the others stood up and walked towards the car with shotguns (in their cases/covers)! Poor bloke wasn’t harmed of course but probably never picked anyone up again.I also used to hitch a ride home from work when I was an apprentice, usually got a lift, with some regulars quite a few times.A bloke on a motorbike picked me up once which was a bit of a novelty.Another time there was a motorbike cop on the other side of the divided highway and he pointed to me, gesturing to come and talk to him.About that time a car pulled up so I was off!

    • Zonker says:

      04:43pm | 10/12/12

      I hitched rides in the sixties and seventies without a problem but then i was six two and a front rower in rude health.  When I owned a car I freeely gave rides to all and sundry and never had a bad experience.  A few were scared of me however.  A good friend of mine hitched all over Australia in those days untill he was picked on by some louts going the other way who beat him into a pulp,I do think it was a gentler kinder era


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter