I have made at least one hundred trips to Indianapolis by taking Lake Shore Drive to Stony Island to the Skyway and have never seen a hitchhiker in the city portion of this route. Ever.
So I was truly shocked when I saw the young man above holding a sign that said “West Lafayette.” I drove past him but quickly glanced back and saw what appeared to be a second person with him. Person two also had a large backpack and was engaged in a conversation with a passerby.
Now the drive to Indianapolis — as some of you may know — is pretty dull. Additionally, some things were weighing on me so I thought maybe some on-the-road company would help. So I drove around the block to get one more reading on the duo and here’s what I concluded in a split second when I came back around to the corner and saw them again:
- They sure looked like college students
- In fact, they looked like they could be geeky Purdue engineering students (says I, the Indiana University grad!)
- They had the requisite student backpacks
- They put out a positive vibe
So in an instant — and going strictly on my gut — I honked and waved for them to get in. They looked surprised, then happy and when they got in one laughed and said, “That woman I was talking to just said we should go somewhere else to hitchhike because no one would ever pick us up here!”
But these young men were not what they appeared to be or at least, what I assumed them to be. Not by a long shot. Tomorrow: their identities revealed.