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Tombaugh Quits: A Blow for Science

Hitchhikers and Hoboes

If I had a dollar for every mile I hitchhiked, said the old guy, I wouldn’t be working.

Used to be if you wanted to go anywhere, you hitchhiked. Perfectly acceptable, cheap, safe way to get yourself around. You met people. Sometimes you made lasting friendships. The old guy still gets Christmas cards from the person who drove him cross country after his Navy discharge. A complete stranger from whom he‘d hitched a ride.

It’s good to remember things like this, because with some people you cannot make the point stick that our surroundings continue to deteriorate. “Not at all,” they flick back cheerily, “it’s just that we hear about bad things more! Better news media, you know, more outlets and they all thrive on bad news. If it bleeds, it leads!"

This is exasperating, because we know full well things are worse. Not that we’re “wet blanket” people, of course, but worsening world conditions are a Biblical sign of where we are in the stream of time. So you don’t obsess about them, but you ought not put blinders on either. Yet people only remember what’s gone down in their lifetime and young people haven’t lived long, don’t read much, and don’t believe geezers. So you have to tell them about hitchhikers.

Nobody hitchhikes today. You’re risking your neck. And if you try, no one will pick you up. They’re risking their neck. Time was when we saw a stranger and were naturally hospitable. Now we’re naturally cautious.

and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off.          (Matt 24:3)                     

And what about hoboes? They’re as good as hitchhikers to make your point.

Keep away from hoboes, Gram told Dad as a kid. They’re shiftless. Consequently, every chance he got, he would run off and hang with the hoboes. And they were shiftless, but they were also harmless. Not drug addled crazies, like today. Not desperate characters who’ve fallen thorough cracks and social nets. Times were simpler. They were educated men, often, who simply chose not to mesh with society. They were  friendly, harmless, camping out in the woods. And when it was time to move on, they’d hitch a ride on a freight train.

A days work would carry them awhile. They’d  rap on the door, ask for a meal, sit on the back step and dine, thank you very pleasantly, then make a mark on the house so others would know where they could get  a free meal. Don’t leave anything unlocked, of course, but if you did, they wouldn’t clean you out. They’d just take enough for a day or so.

Trailer for sale or rent
Rooms to let...fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but..two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination...Bangor, Maine.
Old worn out clothes and shoes,
I don't pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked
When no one's around.

I sing,
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Lyrics by Roger Miller

Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the ebook ‘Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia’ (free).... and in the West, with the ebook ‘TrueTom vs the Apostates!’ (free)

Comments

Romulus Crowe

I still hold to my non-religious stance, but admit to being disturbed by some passages in the Bible.

II Timothy chapter 3, in particular - it wouldn't have fit the world when I was young, but it certainly fits now! Just watch people on the street. Every one of them - with very few exceptions - believe themselves to be the centre of all things, and massively important components of the universe. These people really need a lesson in scale.

As a youngster, I did hitch lifts once in a while, but now I'd neither hitch nor stop for anyone who was hitching. Too many dangerous lunatics out there.

Things are certainly getting worse. I used to laugh at those with 'The end is nigh' placards. I don't laugh now. Sometimes I wonder if it might not be such a bad thing.

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