Anthologies & Hitchhiking

There are a ton of published travel anthologies. But I’m guessing there are even more that are never published.

Somebody has an idea for an anthology and they start posting a Call for Submissions in various places where travelers that think they can write hang out. They offer a $100/story and get a few submissions, maybe some decent ones, but not enough for a book. The idea dies.

Lucky me, I’ve only ever submitted to the ones that have died. In fact, I may have killed them.

Yesterdays hitchhiking post reminded me of an anthology I submitted to that was never published – “Cheap Stingy Bastards.” I sent in a short filler piece on hitchhiking. Let me search the archives for it…got it…whoa, that was all the way back in 2004. Here it is. If you want, you can send me $100 for the privilege of reading it. And, you know that you want. That’ll make up for it never being published.

Note: Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t make much since. It doesn’t make much since to me either and I wrote it, albeit three years ago. Ah, yes, an anthology killer indeed.

Zen and the Art of Hitchhiking
By Kelsey Timmerman

I hold out my hand like the grim reaper pointing out a fallen soul. If I stick my thumb up I will look a little too eager. I’m not sure if I’ll find a place to stay tonight. Who the hell knows if I’ll find a warm meal? One car has passed in the last hour, nothing about this is worthy of a thumbs-up.

Lesson #1- Look like you need a ride, but don’t really want one.

I lift up my sunglasses in case they make me look like a bad ass, unlikely, but added to the fact I haven’t shaved in eight days, who knows? I try on several different looks. No, this one is too dough-eyed, too innocent. How about now? Nope, I look afraid. Damn, this one’s too stern.

Lesson #2- Look approachable, but not abductable.

A car approaches and I’ve got my hand positioning looking cool and my face is the perfect blend of pleasant and pirate. Why aren’t they slowing down? I’m going to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. I reach for my secret weapon while still maintaining perfect hitchhiking form, of course. The car, with only one passenger and plenty of room for me, zips by. And then break lights! Sweet Buddha, break lights!

Lesson #3- To hitchhike follow lessons one and two. To hitchhike successfully, wave a bag of chocolate chip cookies as if your entire backpack is full of them.

The keys to hitchhiking are karma and cookies.

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