Happy Halloween! I’ve been recounting some rather nightmarish road trip tales for you — the tour I booked not going all the way to Big Sur, the bus breaking down, not being able to stop and pick up 7 avocados for a dollar in Salinas, my road trip essentially going awry. Oh, the horror! I know, I know. White girl problems. But really it all just added up to be one semi-disastrous trip. Here’s what I didn’t tell you:
- my friend and I spoke on the phone about getting tix together, she sent me an email confirming the arrival time was okay, I booked my flight … and then she told me she wasn’t coming after all
- my other friends had planned their trip in reverse of mine, arriving the day before the wedding and then staying a few days after I left, so I didn’t get to hang out with them apart from the wedding
- the person who’s place I was supposed to crash at was sick so I had to book a last-minute hotel, which would’ve been fine except apparently there were several conferences going on that week so every hotel in the city of San Francisco was at least $400
- my connecting flight was delayed, so then the shuttle I prebooked said it would only take me if I paid more money
- the shuttle dropped me off at the hotel, sped away, and then I was left with the realization that the hotel had shut down for the night. What kind of hotel shuts down??
- I decided to take the BART on my way back to the airport at the end of my trip, drag all my luggage the 20 minutes from the hotel to the train, only to discuss mass transport doesn’t start running til 8am in SF. I will miss my flight if I wait an hour for the BART to run. I call the shuttle company; it won’t pick me up because I don’t have a reservation.
- I get a cab. The driver tells me it will cost $120 to get to the airport. It’s that or miss my flight.
- We get to the airport and can’t find my airline. For some reason, it’s in the international flight section of the airport, even though I’m flying SFO to LGA.
- I’m waiting for my flight to leave, when I get a call from my bank that they’re shutting my card down due to strange charges.
Okay, so my trip wasn’t the stuff of B horror movies. It wasn’t the opening of I Know What You Did Last Summer, when a driver hits someone on the road and dumps their body in the ocean. It wasn’t The Hitcher, where a young couple gives a ride to a hitchhiker and horror ensues. It wasn’t The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, where a group picks up a stranger on their way to gravesite and then are stalked by, well, a guy with a chainsaw and his cannibal family. And it wasn’t Urban Legends, where a college coed is driving along and suddenly a guy pops up in the back seat!
See, back when Jack Kerouac was taking road trips in the 1940s and ’50s, hitchhiking was pretty commonplace. It was never really the ideal or safest way to travel, but it wasn’t as scary as it is today. Today, horror movies are moral tales that warn drivers to always check the perimeter and interior of their car before getting in and to not pick up strangers. Parents not only forbid kids to hitchhike but also have to warn them about getting too close to cars in general. Currently in the area in which I grew up in New Jersey, there’s a man who’s been trying to lure kids into his car. There have been at least 17 luring attempts in Bergen County recently, and some New Jersey towns are considering a Halloween curfew.
Have a happy and safe Halloween! What’s your favorite horror movie road trip?