I know. You can say these were just isolated experiences and I should not tar everyone with the same brush. But, I’m pretty impressionable, and first impressions count.
#1. I picked this guy up at the start of an 80km trip to work. Seemed okay at the start, didn’t say anything for about ten minutes, until I broke the ice by asking him where he was bound so early on a winter morning. He turned his head slowly towards me, like in the horror movies, and said he was going to a meeting of the Blue Men. That was his code name for his clandestine group of guys that were planning to invade the Houses of Parliament and hold everyone hostage with ray guns while they read their manifesto. He was serious. I dropped him off at the next stoplight.
#2. This was a fellow who worked in the same factory as did I, so I really had no excuse to shorten the trip. I didn’t know him well, so I was making small talk, when he cut me off and said he knew his family was trying to poison him. That got my attention .
I humored him and said, well, how can you be sure? He said “that’s just it, I’m not sure one hundred percent, and that’s why I went out and bought twenty mirrors the other day.” Ah Ha. What are the mirrors for? “I put them on the floor, all around my apartment, and now I will be able to see their shadows for sure”. I am not making this up.
#3. This fellow, with his little dog, I picked up in a blinding snowstorm. I mean, come on, you can’t pass anyone in that kind of situation. They got in, sat in the front seat, and said nothing. I asked where they were going. He just points straight ahead. So, I nod and keep on driving. A ways down the road, I lean over to the dog and say hey buddy, which way now? The guy must have got the drift, ’cause he hung a left with his thumb. I dropped them off at a roadside mailbox. They disappeared in the snow. Not a freaking word.
I’ve been in dire situations myself in the past, so that’s basically why I picked these guys up in the first place.
But, geez, I’m kinda getting a little old for this stuff now.