The Kid’s Guide to Hitchhiking (Jon’s Version)

  1. Do not tell mom you plan to hitchhike to go to Drake’s.
  2. After she spanks you, make sure to sulk in your room for a while.
  3. While you’re sulking, double-check your map and your backpack. Make sure you have a tissue box, a flashlight, three Tootsie Rolls, and Bavary. (Or whatever dumb thing you named your bear. If you don’t have a bear, make sure you bring an animal just as ferocious. If you’ve grown up too much to have a stuffed animal, bring your imaginary friend. Or your girlfriend, since those are just as scary. If you don’t have any of those things, you’re a loser.) Bring the extra keys, the really rusty ones.
  4. Sneak out the window when the sun is just over the top of the tree, the one with no leaves on the first few branches. The one that looks like it’s faking being alive.
  5. Walk to the corner. Don’t run. Remember how the neighbors called your parents when they saw you try last time?
  6. When the moon is just over the hill, three black cars will drive by. Don’t look at the drivers. After each one drives by, eat one Tootsie Roll.
  7. An old red truck will go by. Hold out your hand with your thumb up, like you saw in that movie. When the truck stops and you see the driver is crying, offer the box of tissues. If her teeth are made of peas, don’t get in the car. If her eyes are made of marbles, you should be ok.
  8. She’ll ask where you’re going. Tell her you’re going to Drake’s. When she offers to take you anywhere else, show her Bavary. He’ll protect you. She’ll laugh, but she’ll drive you. Adults are silly like that.
  9. After a while, she will try to hug you. Throw Bavary at her. When he is attacking her, jump out of the car. Don’t worry; it’s safe. Mostly.
  10. It’s dark. Turn on the flashlight, stupid.
  11. Hide in the ditch until the cops come, and the tow truck takes the lady’s car away. Don’t worry; the ambulance won’t stick around long.
  12. After everyone’s gone, it’ll be really late. Soon a chariot will come by. A man with a really big nose will tell you that you will come with if you answer his riddle. Give him the keys, and he’ll shut up.
  13. Ask to ride the horse on the right. The one on the left stinks like your mom’s cabbage soup.
  14. You will fall asleep. When you wake up, the birds will be singing one of those dumb Broadway songs your dad always sings in the car on long trips. The chariot will be gone, and you’ll wake up in a faerie circle. Don’t touch the mushrooms.
  15. Drake will be waiting on the log over the stream like always. He’ll ask for the cookies, but you forgot them. Maybe you should have put them on your list. Don’t look at me. I didn’t know either.
  16. His tail will start twitching. That’s the signal to run.
  17. Make sure to avoid the fire he breathes at you. Remember the burns from last time?
  18. When you make it to the road, take the first car you see, unless it’s one of the black ones from last night. Remember, don’t look at the driver if it’s one of those black ones.
  19. Ask to go home.
  20. Your mom will be the driver. She’ll hug you. Be thankful. Mom’s hugs protect from dragon’s fire.
  21. Next time, remember to bring cookies.

This story shouldn’t have been written…but I wrote it anyway.

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2 thoughts on “The Kid’s Guide to Hitchhiking (Jon’s Version)

  1. I love it, but I’m still left with the question – why would the kid want to go see the dragon? What’s in it for him? And why would the guide only include the reminder to bring the cookies as a contingency plan after directing the reader to make the mistake in the first place? Is this a guide to learning by experience?! Well, anyway… well done.

    1. The guide was surprised himself. 🙂 This is a more “after the fact, look what happened” set of directions, I suppose!

      As far as why he’d want to go see a dragon… wouldn’t you want to go see a dragon? I would!

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