There was a time when hitchhiking was common and safe. I hitchhiked; my friends hitchhiked; we picked up hitchhikers, but this was the last time I had anything to do with it. This happened on a sunny day in New Jersey, almost forty years ago.
I was driving my VW moonroof bus and stopped to give a young woman a ride. I had just been to a friend's farm for goat milk and eggs. They had run out of egg cartons so I had a dozen brown eggs nestled on a towel, next to me on the front seat.
Through the open passenger side window, I asked where she needed to go. With a flash of black hair and blue eyes, she started to open the door handle, saying with a suddenly visible switchblade in her hand, "The last guy I got a ride from, I told him if he didn't give me all his money, I'd tell the police he kidnapped me."
I had pulled the bus over, halfway in the ditch, tilted towards her. She had no idea my two year old daughter was in the back, asleep with her Winnie the Pooh and her blanket. As the threatening hitchhiker opened the door; the brown eggs started rolling off the seat, breaking as they hit the road and her feet.
Simultaneously, I floored the gas and drove off, spinning gravel and rocks, shaking inside, scared and furious then laughing at how horrified the hitchhiker looked as the eggs came flying at her.