Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Gave Into Temptation!

I was only in this country three months when hubby and I drove from Florida to Pennsylvania to visit his family in December 1977. It was my first long trip in a car. Along the way, we passed people with backpacks, holding signs, asking for rides. I asked hubby why we didn’t stop to give them rides. “This is something you have to learn in this country,” he said. “Unlike the Philippines, you just don’t go stopping and giving people rides, if you want to live.”

“What do you mean?” As na├»ve as I was, hubby had to explain to me all the dangers of giving rides to strangers.

“Oh, but they look tired, cold, and hungry. I feel sorry for them.”

“Well, you just have to feel sorry for them, Tootie, because we’re not stopping to give them rides,” hubby said. I was truly heartbroken for them. I still am when I see them out there. I’m always tempted to give those hitchhikers rides. Actually, I gave into temptation and gave a guy a ride a year and a half ago. Needless to say, hubby was not happy. I was scared to death the whole time. So, as much as I like to give them rides, I’m not going to anymore. You’ll find out why.
Anyway, I was driving up in Vedauwoo (pronounced as Vedavoo), looking for the outdoor performance by the University of Wyoming dance troupe. It’s a type of dance in which dancers are tied to long ropes as they perform their aerial dances. I couldn’t find the place, so I stopped on the side of the road to check the map again. The man I passed a while back walking from the direction of Interstate 80 (I-80), approached me, unexpectedly, in my van. He asked if I could give him a lift to his truck somewhere on the other side of the wooded park. I saw that he only had the can of gas with him and looked very tired from walking. I was reluctant to give him a ride, but he pleaded. It was just him and me out there in the boonies. I said, “I can’t because I have to be somewhere. I just can’t find the place right now.” As soon as I said that, a voice inside my head told me that perhaps I wasn’t suppose to find the place so that I could give this man a ride. The next thing I knew, I was asking him where his truck was while allowing him to get into the passenger side.

I called hubby on my cell phone right away, saying that I was going to be late meeting him for lunch because I had to give somebody a ride. I wasn’t making any sense to him. He was clearly baffled. We didn’t plan a lunch date, so why was I calling to say that? He asked where I was and what I was doing in Vedauwoo. He had forgotten about me going to the outdoor dance performance. It was my subtle way of letting the man know that I was in contact with my husband that if he had any evil purpose, that he might want to think twice before doing it. It was also my subtle way of letting hubby know the general area where to find me or my body, just in case. After driving a while and not finding his truck, I became very suspicious and very nervous. I talked to him some more. He didn’t talk very much. In the mean time, hubby had been calling me every few minutes wanting to know if I was okay. I said yes. He wanted to know if he should come over, or if he should call the police. I said no, and that we still haven’t found the guy’s truck. So far, we had been driving an hour and a half, looking for his truck. Hubby suggested taking him to the Highway Department to see if anybody there had towed his vehicle. I told that to the guy. He agreed. I also told him that I had to go to work. I was so relieved after I dropped him off at the Highway Department’s parking lot. Whether he went inside or not, I don't know. I didn't wait to see. I hurried to drive away from him incase he'd ask me to drive him around some more.

I’ll never know if the guy truly got turned around and had lost his bearing, completely, which he had claimed. Supposedly, his truck ran out of gas around 2 a.m. on the other side of Vedauwoo. He then hitched a ride with a Semi truck to Laramie, which is 15 miles west of Vedauwoo. While in Laramie, he went to a bar, which explained the strong alcohol smell in him. It could have been worse if the smell of gas didn’t dampen it. From Laramie, he hitched a ride with a semi-truck and got dropped off at the entrance of the park. From there, he walked up to where I was parked. Either that or he was running away from the law. The smell of gas was so potent that dogs would not have been able to follow his tracks.

Yes, never again will I give a stranger a ride. I was very fortunate that nothing bad happened to me.

Thanks for reading.


Lilly's Life said...

Oh Tasha, what a story. You have a very kind heart and I may have done the same thing once. So glad it turned out alright and you won't be picking up hitchhikers again.

I have this clear memory of being a child driving with my grandparents somewhere. A bikie had broken down on the side of the road. A Hells Angel my grandfather said later. My grandmother told my grandfather to stop the car because she wanted to know if the bikie was ok. She offered him a lift and when he declined she left him food. Thats the way she was all her life but she never went anywhere without my grandfather anyway.

Great post and you describe it so well, I had chills wondering what was going to happen.

By the way your husband sounds a lovely guy!

The Grandpa said...

That's a scarry story. Glad nothing bad happened.

netta said...

oh, tasha. i know your heart was in the right place, but DAY-UM. you gave me a heart attack just reading that.

i'm glad you came through okay, and i have to give you credit for being so clever and calling your husband. but darlin', better safe than sorry, you know?


tashabud said...

Hi Lilly,
I'm definitely not gonna be doing that again. Even though I tried to be calm during that time, I was terrified throughout.

It sounds like your grandmother is a softie, too. You have Hells Angels there, too? Every year, the Hells Angels and other bikers' organizations meet up in South Dakota, which is a State north of us. It's a huge gathering that gets bigger every year.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


tashabud said...

Hi The Grandpa,
It sure was for me. I don't want to be scared like that anymore.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


tashabud said...

Sorry, Netta. I didn't mean to scare you like that. It's just that he was walking under the scorching sun in July, no water with him, he looked tired, and told me where his truck was, which was quite aways for him to walk still, and that voice inside my head, talking, I just couldn't ignore him. But no more worries because it will never happen again.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jena Isle said...

he he he...I had to skim through the story very quickly to know what happened next. Obviously, it was nothing serious as you are alive today, but it still kept me on my toes. That was a scary story. Never talk to strangers Tasha, Just like what your good mother would advise you. Very nicely retold, Bravo!

Happy blogging

Eric S. said...

It is tough making that decision. You know many of the people are just innocent persons wondering through life. Unfortunately in this day and age you do have to be very careful. I have given rides to many a person, but that is a little different. I would not recommend doing that again. Back home, even in the small town setting, we still have two unsolved murders of hitchhiking women. I know that is the other way around, but who knows what can happen.

tashabud said...

Hi Jena,
I sure learned my lesson during that incident. I still feel sorry for them, I'm just too scared to give them rides.

I'm okay. Thanks for reading and commenting.


tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
Glad you were able to visit from your busy hunting schedule. Good to know also that you've got your 7-point buck. That's awesome.

During your past life ss a police man, you must had given lots of people rides, huh? It sure was a difficult decision for me. It definitely is a scary thought to what could have had happened. It's so tragic news about those 2 women you've mentioned. I hope their murderers will be found.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Lilly's Life said...

Tasha, you won the Thai silk scarf on the giveaway on my blog. Email me at lilly@lillyslife.com with the address I should send it to. Woo Hoo!!

Goddess said...

You have been awarded at our site. Congratulations!

Abid said...

Good that everything is fine. Forget about the US. In India, I know of family friend who never made it giving a ride to a stranger. Maybe not the best thing to say here. The point is that it is becoming more and more difficult to help anyone anymore.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

That is scary! It is hard to pass people by who need a ride, but it's just dangerous, especially for a woman driving alone. I'm glad nothing bad happened to you, but wasting an hour and half of your time. I'm sure your husband was frantic!

redchair said...

Hi Tasha,
It's sad comment on our society, but your husband is right. If someone is not actually standing directly near their car- never stop or pick up a lone hitchhiker- male of female. You just don't know.

I was going home one night from work -middle of Hollywood. (It was quite late- maybe 10 pm) I simply stopped at a red light and a man jumped from the curb and opened the passenger side of my car. I instintively hit the excellerator before he could get into my car- and made a quick right turn to keep from being hit by oncoming traffic. I could hear him yell out as he went sailing into the street. I drove several block before I stopped to close the door. He was definitely up to 'no good.'
Another good safety lesson: Make sure all your doors are locked sweetfirl.

Pearl said...

I hitchhiked quite a bit in the late 70s and early 80s. Not very smart, I know. I stopped doing that when a man who picked me up spent the full time telling me how I should NEVER get into a car with out-of-state plates, how if I did, I should look at the door handles before I got inside the car (to make sure they were there) and that I was pretty and what time were people expecting me?


Tina said...

all sounds rather scary! you just never know if anyone is genuine enough these days unfortunately.

better to be safe then sorry i guess :)

thanks for adding me to your blogroll. i have added you to mine too and following you

LarryG said...

what a title!
glad it turned out ok!

attygnorris said...

What's wrong with picking up hitch-hikers?

Bad joke. Yes, you are very lucky that nothing happened to you. You better listen to your husband and NEVER do that again!


Matt said...

Tasha, we all do something very much like that at one time or other in our lives. Luckily for you it ended well. These days, however, I would suggest calling for help for the person and that is all. Unfortunately, that is all the help one can afford to give these days, for their own sake.

But it does show what a kind heart you have, and also how smart you are for the way you kept in touch with your husband and let the stranger know you were not going to put up with any funny business. Good for you.

tashabud said...

@ Hi Lilly,
Thanks so much for my Thai silk prize. Now I have something to indulge myself with when I feel like the queen of Tetons. Hehe.

@ Hi Goddess,
Much surprised to get an award from you. I shall come by soon to receive it. Thanks so much.

@ Hi Abid,
You're right, not just in the U.S. Even in my native land of the Philippines is like that now, too. Each time my sister and I go there, our relatives tell us of the dangers of it, too, especially if they know that you come from the abroad. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Karen,
So hard not to feel sorry for them. But I suppose I have to put my security first and foremost. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Vikki,
Now, that one is scary. I would have done the same thing. You're right, that guy was on to no good for him to just open your door, without being invited in. I've been locking my car doors, too, since hearing about car knappings happening a few years back. I wish I can convince my family to do the same. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Pearl,
Now, that is something that I could not do at all. I thought I was brave, you're insanely braver! I'm glad nothing bad happened to you, too. As old as I am, I'm still learning everyday. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Tina,
Good to see you here again. It sure was scary, and I don't recommend anybody to do. You're very welcome to the link. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Larry,
Good to see you here again. Glad that the title piqued your curiousity! LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting

@ Hi Davida,
Nice to make your acquaintance here. There's nothing wrong with picking up hitchhikers if all people in the world are saints. Unfortunately this is not the case in our world, huh? Unfortunately, seeing them out there in the elements just tugs at my heart strings to the point that I made a bad decision of giving one of them a ride. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Hi Matt,
Yep, that sure was one of my bad decisions. God must have been watching over me that day, for my hitchhiker didn't do anything bad to me. The man just left me with a van that reeked with gas odor for months long after that. However, the experience taught me a valuable lesson. And yep, not doing that again. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@ Thanks everbody for your visits and comments.


Duni said...

Hello Tasha.
I just read this post with interest. We don't get many hitchhikers over here in Germany. It's just not the done thing!
However, out here, in the country where I live, a few young guys hitch a ride into the next town. They are normally picked up by truck drivers going that way anyway. My hubby would never allow me to pick them up, yet I hate to think of our society as suspicious people...

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