#5 Kai - The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
Our first mention goes to the most recent hitchhiker to be in the news, Kai the hatchet wielder.
Now when you hear hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, perhaps one would assume the worst, i.e. a murdering psychopath who killed the person who picked him/her up. Not in this case! Kai actually saved several people's lives. How? Well, by hitting a man who was attempting to smother a woman by squeezing her to death. Kai, who was actually hitching a ride with the man in question, came up behind the man with his trusty hatchet and hit him so the woman could escape.
He said it best in his own words in an interview afterward: "Like a guy that big can snap a woman's neck like a pencil stick. So I fucking ran up behind him with a hatchet - smash, smash, suh-mash!" Speak softly and carry a hatchet. Check out the story here.
#4 Bono- The Humanitarian Hitchhiker
That's right! #4 is our friend from U2. When he's not winning the Nobel Peace Prize or flying hats across countries, our peace-loving pal sometimes thumbs rides!
The singer/humanitarian found himself and his assistant caught in the rain in Vancouver, Canada. Not wanting to wait it for the drizzle to subside, Bono strolled to the side of the road and stuck his thumb out.
The first person to notice him (because who wouldn't pick up Bono if they noticed him, right?) was professional hockey player, Gilbert Brule. Brule was out with his girlfriend to walk his dog. Bono rewarded the couple with tickets to his show and Brule went from picking up turds to picking up free tickets in an instant. See what can happen if you pass along a little road karma.
Bono said of the incident, at the show Brule and his girlfriend were at: "I like ice hockey because people who play ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers. I'm ever so grateful. I've decided that I want to be Gilbert Brule."
#3 Saint Paul- The Holy Hitchhiker
Our number three comes from long, long ago. Phillip may not be as popular as say Paul or Jesus or any of the Disciples, but many people know about him, though maybe not so many know that he was a hitchhiker.
Phil was walking along the road one day, like just about everybody back in the early A.D.'s when along comes a chariot with an Ethiopian in it. Well, the patron saint of pastry chefs (all cooks actually and there's no patron saint of hitchhiking... but I think we have a likely candidate - someone call the Vatican) heard the Spirit telling him to hitch a ride on the chariot and so Phil did just that. The Ethiopian and Phil talked for hours before he got dropped off at the local watering hole and as soon as he did the Spirit whisked him away. Two rides, one right after the other - lucky day! It's all there, I promise, hand to God.
#2 Chris McCandless- The Hardy Hitchhiker
Many people are familiar with our #2. Chris McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp.
Made famous by the Jon Krakauer book, Into the Wild and a movie by the same name, Chris gave up everything to explore the country. Upon graduating college, he donated the $24,000 law school fund his family had given him to an anti-hunger organization and set off. He felt a pining to explore terra incognita (undiscovered land) and after many years of traveling the USA, mostly by hitchhiking, he found himself out in the Alaskan wilderness.
He hiked over 24 miles before coming upon bus #142 - the abandoned bus where he lived for the next 113. Unfortunately McCandless did not have the food, tools, or know how to survive the Alaskan wilderness and perished by starvation or the ingesting of a poisonous plant. Today McCandless remains a polarizing figure and one of the most famous contemporary hitchhikers.
#1 Jack Kerouac- The Hedonistic Hitchhiker
(Alright, the title's a little weird. I guess 'hedonistic' because he wrote about himself and there were always crazy adventures... I was trying to keep with the 'h' theme. Any better suggestions let me know.)
Our #1 famous hitchhiker, the beat poet himself, Jack Kerouac.
Kerouac is practically synonymous with the open road and travelers everywhere partake his book, On The Road, as one of the ultimate stories of freedom. Not surprisingly the story is loosely memoiric and involves copious amounts of back and forth across the USA, mostly through hitchhiking.
There's not a lot I can say about him that you don't already know, but I'll share a quote that's worth repeating. It embodies Kerouac.
“Sal, we gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.'
'Where we going, man?'
'I don't know but we gotta go.”
Like it? Hate it? Think we missed someone? Let me know.
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