Friday, June 27, 2008

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I got a ride out to the middle of nowhere again and sat in the grass by the ramp while the brutal Kansas sun silently burned my arms. The sunscreen that I had purchased earlier that week had opened in my pack and so I was exposed to every UV ray in the universe that day.

A man with long red hair and shiny metal beads hanging on the rear view mirror, stopped his big red pickup in the dust.

"Damn,'re gettin' good and burned!" declared the man.

"Yeah, well, I need to get some quick, long rides out of this State!" I replied and put my face against the AC vents.

"I can get ya to Salina," he offered.

"Great," I replied and sat back in the comfortable seat and fell asleep.

The man woke me up when we got to Salina and dropped me off at a Flying J truck stop.

I got out, thanked the man, washed my face and arms off with cold water in the ladies room and then headed out to the ramp.

A grizzled, old hitchhiker with a cardboard sign and a dog, sat by the on ramp sign.

"Oh great," I thought and trudged right past him to a post farther up the ramp.

I sat down on my pack and drank some cold tap water from a recycled Dasani bottle.

The old man got up and walked up to me.

"Ya have to come back down by me, girlie," said the man.

"Go back down to your spot, Sir, and leave me alone," I directed.

"No, you listen to me...ya can't hitch up here...the cops'll get ya and then they'll hassle me!" the man said, in a louder voice.

I got up and glared at him. Then I put both hands on my hips and walked right into his personal space.

"Mind your own business, old man and get back down where YOU belong!" I said.

"Never mess with what you don't know," I warned him.

"If you don't get away from me right NOW, I'll call the police, myself!" I declared, and pulled my cell phone out of my purse.

The man looked at my face, then at my phone and finally walked back down to the entrance to the ramp.

I sat back down and then three young people in an SUV pulled up by the man.

"Yeah, do me a favor and get that old fart out of here," I mumbled.

After a few minutes of conversation, the SUV pulled up by me.

"We're going to Hays if that will help you," The driver said.

"You've got yourself a deal!" I said and watched the old man get up and shake his fist at me.

"Serves you right, dum ass, I thought, and climbed into the back seat of the rig.

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