A man gave a boy a lift home after the boy said he would have to walk 4-6 miles to get home. Then he freaked out, thinking he might have done something wrong. Naturally, the freaks on the internet gave him advice about what he should have done–called the police, called 911, called his parents, let him walk, etc. But what this illustrates to me is how far down the gutter this country has gone in 30 years.
When I was that age I walked all over the place. Or took my bike. And I hitch hiked. One time my grand father picked me up and did not even recognize me until I got in. Hell, I hitchhiked all the way from Michigan, up through the U.P., then into Wisconsin and Minnesota, into Canada, then all the way across Canada, then down into Washington and Oregon, and then all the way back home. And I was only 19 years old. That was the greatest adventure of my life.
In the summers I spent almost as much time camping outside as I did sleeping in my bedroom. The summer when I was eleven my routine during the day was to ride my bicycle the four miles to town. From there I would get in a bus that drove kids out to a certain lake where we would spend the day swimming and what not. The bus would take us back to town late in the day, and I would ride my bike home in the evening. My mom literally would have no clue where I was the entire day.
Sure, sometimes I would say I was doing one thing and then do another. Sometimes I would stay out all night when I said I was spending the night at a friend’s house.
When I was thirteen my two guy friends and I tried that with a twist. We got somebody to buy us a bottle of liquor (Southern Comfort–I still hate that shit), then we walked the seven miles or so to where we knew two chicks that we knew were camping out in a barn behind one of their houses. We picked up the chicks in our walk–my memory is not clear when or where–but we had five youngsters walking along rural roads at night, carrying sleeping bags and drinking whiskey.
We made it without one person stopping to pester us. The night was uneventful, until Dave C. fell through the hole in the floor of the loft. Fortunately he caught himself before falling to the floor. He suffered only scrapes and bruises. Sadly, he had an accident five years later and became a paraplegic. But that night we had fun. We all bedded down for the night.
Too bad the father came to check on his daughter, caught us, and promptly kicked our asses out of the barn at around midnight. I vividly remember being awakened by a flashlight in my face and an angry irate father telling us to get the hell out of there. He stood on Dave’s shoes and would not let him put them back on . We walked another five miles or so until we finally camped somewhere–I am unclear where. Dave, walking in just his socks, complained the entire way.
I finally arrived home the next day about the time that my father was leaving for work. He was pissed. I told him some lie that he clearly did not believe. He never followed up on it, so I got away with it. That was back in the 70s. Hippies practically took it as a badge of honor to pick up each and every hitchhiker. The father never called 911, the cops or anybody for that matter. He just never trusted his daughter ever again. Sorry about that Lydia.
Fast forward several years, multiple mass murders and enumerable missing children later. When I had kids in the late 80s, I NEVER let them hitchhike. I would not have dreamt of allowing such nonsense. They never slept outside overnight without strict adult supervision. When they went to spend the night, one of their parents took them and they only went to places where we knew the parents. Unfortunately for my kids, I knew all the tricks; hell, I may even have invented some of them.
Fortunately my son did not grow up to be a pansy–he loves camping out now with his friends. With his loaded .380 auto by his side. He he. Maybe I was a good influence after all. (Although I prefer my .357 magnum revolver. The .380 is too puny, and I’m paranoid that an auto will jam.)
Sorry, end of rant. Too long. Short version: The world has gone to hell in a hand basket since I was a kid. Damn all you perverts out there!