In that dim and distant past it really mattered if you could fashion some sort of edge over your competitors. As I mentioned then… if you planned getting to go 1000 miles (1600 kms) in two directions during the few hours of a long weekend then every detail helped!
OK… back to the tricks of the road. I’ll never forget the tale told by a kind driver. You’d often find the drivers giving you a good once over, checking out their prospects in the rearview mirror as you approached. They have good reason to vet the recipients of their kindness. The driver shared the tale of him stopping for a rather bedraggled looking hitchhiker who’d been standing out in the open, wearing his trench coat as protection. Those were still in the days when the coats were made of wool.
Apparently the grateful hitcher soon dozed off in the comfort of the warm, dry car. That was all good and well for the driver understood that the hitchers had often been out all night waiting. On this occasion the diver soon noticed the smell of the wet coat. The further he drove the worse it became. He hatched a plan. At the next village along the route he pulled up at the first filling station.
He woke the lad in the coat and handed him a bank-note, asking him to go into the shop to get a few cans of soft drink. The groggy lad willingly obliged. The driver waited until the lad was well into the shop before unloading the lad’s bag next to one of the pumps and disappearing into the distance. Yes, he felt sorry for the lad but he also had to do what he had to do. In any case, the hitcher was a few cents better off and a little further down the road.
Smells, they can work against you, so they can. A driver once stopped for me and as I approached the passenger side (window open, door locked) he asked if I smoked. Yes, said I… sorry said he… he wouldn’t have smokers in the car. Lesson learned. I’d wear fresh clothes and not smoke until I was picked up. That way, if the driver asked if I smoked I say no and just suffer in silence but often they smoked so soon you’d have your reward.
As they taught in the Boy Scouts… Be Prepared!! There is nothing as frustrating or disappointing than to be told you couldn’t get a ride home because you’d slipped up by smoking or by being smelly!
Thanks to GLW and JS for stopping to let me take a pic… the lengths my beloved family will go to to appease their pappy!