The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hitchhiking

Nitzan Ben Ari, Staff Writer

Hitchhiking in the teacher lot (Ally Yamamoto)

Preface: This is not a parody of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it is a correction. 


Preface ll: This is not meant to be a diss article on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but I think my good friend and future colleague (once he reads this), Adam Douglas, is over complicating the situation. To be frank, a hitchhiker should write a guide to hitchhiking, not the galaxy. 


For those of you who felt a gaping hole in your heart after reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and not learning anything about hitchhiking, fret no more. Though I have never hitchhiked before (I am a woman), I have picked up a hitchhiker before, so I can give you a general overview of the art of hitchhiking. 


Let me start by telling you a story. 


I was 8. It was the dead of winter, and I was on the way to Stratton Mountain. My dad was driving. The Vermont winter is none to mess with – it will eat you alive if you aren’t careful, and won’t be charged on any accounts of murder or cannibalism, common knowledge to any eastern skier. So when we saw a man with his thumb stuck out towards the road, we picked him up. (This was in 2013, when everyone was still kind, the sky was still blue, and what “does the fox say” defined pop culture.) Life was good, and the hitchhiker didn’t subtract from that. 


He told us about his life. I don’t remember any of it. There is a higher than normal chance that he was a wizard who hexxed me, because the thing he did next was magic. He stuck his hand in his pocket, extracting a piece of paper which he then handed to me. It was a coupon. 





My experience with coupons has led me to believe that there are three tiers of coupons. Tier three coupons are the ones that suck. For example, the ones that offer you 50 cents off a rotisserie chicken in a bag, maybe a free solar panel consultant meeting, or even free gutter cleaning if you spend over $2000 on new windows (riveting!). Tier three coupons are slightly nauseating. Tier three coupons are insults on a paper. Tier three coupons would probably have been dumped into the Boston harbor during the Boston tea party if they existed during the 1770’s.


Tier two coupons simply exist. They don’t warrant any respect or joy, but they don’t deserve any hatred either. Honestly, they don’t really deserve anything, including this space on the page, but not in a disrespectful way. 


Tier one coupons are the equivalent of park place in monopoly (best of the best, cream of the crop, etc). This is the type of coupon that motivates coupon fraud.* 


*Coupon fraud is a real thing. I watched a “based on real events” movie about it on Netflix once. 



The coupon that this man handed me was tier one. I could not believe my eyes, for this man had just given me a coupon for a free waffle from the waffle cabin. Needless to say, it was the best waffle I ever had. And just like that, he left, never to be seen again.


This is where my story ends and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hitchhiking begins. 


There are four elements in the art of hitchhiking that will produce the best and most efficient hitchhiker. 


  1. Do not get into a suspicious car. There’s a difference between the classic suburban family van and a kidnapper van. 
  2. Form. You MUST hold your arm out in the right direction, so people see your thumb. Your thumb must be at the correct angle, as well. If theta is off, just start walking. People will think you’re a lunatic if you give them a thumbs-up from the side of the road. 
  3. Do not go to Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, or Wyoming. Hitchhiking is illegal in these states. If you are a Wyoming denier – you have one less state to worry about. 
  4. Sacrifice. *If you have followed the steps correctly, this should NOT be a human sacrifice* Gift your host drivers something. For example, you could give them a free waffle coupon. 


Now, I know you might still be confused. What I have given you above is a very holistic view of the art of hitchhiking. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking right now, you would be thinking: “I can’t paint Starry Night”. And you’re right. To paint Starry Night you would need to know exactly how to move the brush and which colors to use. So now, we must get into the intricacies of hitchhiking. 




Ugh, capitalism creates monsters! I’m starting to look more like the red devil emoji every day. (You may request a picture of my transformation via email* –


*responses are not guaranteed. 

I also offer hitchhiking tutoring for only $50 per hour. This is much more valuable than SAT or ACT tutoring, and not a waste of money. With these gas prices?! Trust me, you’ll want to know how to hitchhike. Please direct yourself to for more information.

This is a tier one coupon by the way (Nitzan Ben Ari)