Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dave and I had an interesting experience driving home from Manzanita over the weekend. We were just a mile or two from the beach house, and had just come from breakfast. As we drove down the road, we saw an old lady with lots of parcels strapped to a roller cart. She had on lots of clothes. She could have been homeless, or just eccentric. Then we saw she had her thumb out and was waving it around vigorously. We laughed a little out of shock. You don't usually see hitch hikers in the forms of old women with zebra-print parcels and hot pink scarves. Now, my mother has drilled some things into my head that, if I live to be 300, I will never forget. Like don't do drugs. (I never did.) Like get your pets from the pound. (Check.) AND NEVER PICK UP HITCH HIKERS! Thus no part of me gave even a moment's consideration to actually hitching this elderly hiker.

"Should we get her?" Dave asked as we drove by. I stared at him like he was crazy.

"Are you crazy?!" I asked. "She's a hitch hiker! She could kill us! She could have a gun and force us to go to an ATM! She could take all our money!" Since she was a woman, I did not enlighten him to the prospects of rape and kidnapping (adultnapping) that I might have if it had been a man. Dave drove on quietly.

"Well," I relented doubtfully when he didn't say anything, "I mean, it's up to you, I guess. If you feel good about it..." Dave kept driving.

"Never mind. I just feel bad for her," he said.

"Yeah," I agreed, closing my eyes for a quick nap. A few minutes later I opened them. The road was quite familiar. Except now we were going the other way.

"Uh, where are we going?" I asked warily.

"We're picking up that woman," Dave said decisively. My mouth fell open. My heart beat faster in fear. "And it'll be okay because I know Kung Fu," he said, elbowing me. In a moment we came upon her again. She was trudging up a hill with her load of stuff. As we pulled up to her she glared deep into Dave's eyes and stared him down.

"Uh-oh," said Dave, talking out of the side of his mouth so she couldn't read his lips. "She looks... scary up-close!" I could barely look. "Oh boy," he murmured in his Pop-Eye voice before hopping out of the car.

Dave put her stuff in the trunk and asked her where she was going. He said later that her whiskers and warts frightened him and also that he'd mentally prepared himself to take her hours out of our way if need be. (Whaaa?) She said it was to her house a few miles up the road, that she was coming from church. We related to each other afterwards that she seemed to have brought an awful lot of stuff for a church service. Church was good though. Surely someone worshipping God a few minutes before wouldn't desire to end our lives, right?

She got in and sat behind me in the car. It was very silent and awkward. My window was cracked open.

"Is it too windy?" I asked, just to be polite and because I couldn't think of anything else to say.

"Yes!" she admonished me. I shut the window. We tried to make conversation. It was hard. She was quite grouchy-seeming. In my head I had a mental conversation with Dave where I put the kabosh on future hitch hikers. My imagination ran away with me and I pictured a scenario where we already had the baby and had picked up this lady and she was trying to steal it. My imaginary self was screaming and violent and deadly.

In a little while, we reached her destination.

"I'm right up there," she said, pointing to the driveway of some business that had a big sign saying DO NOT ENTER. "Right there at the sign." Dave thought she meant to turn at the sign. He began to turn.

"NO!" she shouted. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! The sign says you can't enter! DON'T ENTER!" With wide eyes Dave slammed on the brakes. She huffed out of the car and mumbled a grumpy 'thank you' over her shoulder. We drove away in a daze of gratitude for our safety and weirded-out-ness at our former passenger.

"No more hitch hikers," I managed politely.

"No. No more," Dave agreed.

11 comments:

Emily said...

wonderful story - oh my... how far did you actually drive her? like 2 miles? i love how you tell stories! ha!

Cooper Family said...

What a grumpy lady. All the hitch hickers my family have picked up have been really nice and grateful. But I would never pick one up myself.

Will and Sandy said...

Wow. That's all I've got. Speechless and that says a lot coming from me.

Jen said...

Okay, I had just written a whole novel about recent events in the news involving a prego and a CRAZY woman selling stuff on Craig's list. I admit that it was too graphic so for your sake and the others reading I erased it. But to be a mother (that you don't need) DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!!!!!!!!! I think I had a heart attack just thinking of what could have happened.....AAAAAAAHHHHHHH....I totally just fell off my soap box. You're a grown up but you had better take Dave DOWN the next time he thinks of doing something like that!!!!

Jessica said...

Jen S.- if my own mother reads this her comments would echo yours exactly. I am actually afraid she will read this and I will be in big trouble. Also, that Craigslist lady that killed the pregnant lady was like one mile away from us.

Em- we probably drove her 5 miles? Not much further, if any.

Jen C.- I can't believe your fam picked up hitch hikers. I didn't know people actually did that!

Dave Fuhriman said...

"Hey, it's a life experience!"

I think I'm turning into my dad.

Staci said...

I love that Dave went out of his way to help someone. Good job Dave!

Great story, too!

It's like the fun just never stops with you guys.

Emily said...

Wow. Delori told me about that craigslist lady, and I didn't even realize that happened in Portland. That is horrifying. I mean, it was horrifying if it happened anywhere in the world, but it is even more horrifying.... please don't pick up any more hitchhikers. Terrifying. I mean, I feel bad for people too, but you just never know!

Robyn said...

I personally love the part where Dave talked out of the side of his mouth like Popeye. Hilariousness. Thanks for making me laugh:)

nicole said...

You guys are crazy... in a good way, of course.

Courtney said...

I love that it was the warts and whiskers that scared Dave, and not the actual act of picking up that vagrant.

Freaky experience!