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Hitchhiker with his dog on U.S. 66 (1972)

This is the third post in the series on U.S. Route 28, road of the lost and damned. Like the other random tables in the series, these are intended to reflect a mid-60s to mid-70s America where the all the urban legends are true – and the crazy preacher on the radio might just be right to believe Satan has taken over the P.T.A.!

The 60s and 70s were, of course, the Golden Age of hitchhiking in America, when almost every stretch of roadway would feature someone trying to thumb a ride. Naturally, U.S. Route 28 has its fair share of hitchhikers – not all of whom completely qualify as human beings!

d20

On the side of the road is what appears to be…

1 – 4

1d4 hippies (Flip coin for gender. Ages are d12+13.)

5 – 7

1d4 backpacking college student(s). (Flip coin for gender. Ages are d4+17.)

8 – 10

1d4 ordinary High School students (Flip coins for genders. Ages are d4+13.)

11

a biker next to a broken down motorcycle. (50% chance the encounter is with what appears to be a male biker, and either his “Old Lady” or one of his club’s “Mamas”. If the driver is a biker, there is a 25% chance the stranded biker is from a rival club. Bikers will almost always refuse to abandon their bikes, and usually only flag down drivers in pickup trucks or vans.)

12

a couple next to a broken down car.

13

a family next to a broken-down car.

14

a group of musicians next to a broken-down van.

15

a policeman next to his broken-down car.

16

a soldier.

17

a lone man.

18

a lone woman.

19

a man and a dog.

20

a woman and a dog.

d100

The apparent ethnic origin of the hitchhiker(s) is/are…

1 – 80

“White” American (d12: 1 – 5 = No distinct ethnicity. 6 – 7 = German-American. 8 – 9 = Irish-American. 10 = Italian-American. 11 = Polish-American. 12 = Jewish American [Jewish Americans of the 1960s and 70s were overwhelmingly Ashkenazi].)

81 – 94

African American (Black)

95

Hispanic or West Indian (d6: 1 – 2 = Mexican-American. 2 = Puerto Rican. 3 = Cuban. 4 = Brazilian or South American. 6 = Jamaican-American, or other black West Indian ethnicity.)

96

Asian American (d6: 1 = Filipino-American. 2 = Chinese-American. 3 = Japanese-American. 4 = Korean-American. 5 = Vietnamese-American or Southeast Asian. 6 = Indian-American or Pakistani-American.)

97

Middle-Eastern (d4: 1 = Lebanese-American. 2 = Armenian-American. 3 = Turkish-American. 4 = Palestinian-American.)

98

Native American (d10: 1 = Navaho. 2 = Cherokee. 3 = Apache. 4 = Sioux. 5 = Iroquois. 6 = Chocktaw. 7 = Chippewa. 8 = Cree. 9 = Blackfoot. 10 = Pueblo.)

99 – 100

Foreign. (d20: 1 = Canadian [25% chance to be French-Canadian]. 2 = English. 3 = Scottish. 5 – 6 = Irish. 7 = Australian. 8 – 11 = Continental European. 12 = Middle Eastern. 13 = Indian or Pakistani. 14 – 15 = East Asian. 16 = Pacific Islander. 17 = Sub-Saharan African. 18 = Mexican. 19 = Central American [other than Mexican]. 20 = South American.)

Naturally, the above table is weighted towards the demographics of the United States in the period from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s.

d12

They want to be taken…

1 – 2

to the nearest motel.

3 – 4

to the nearest gas station / truck stop.

5

to the nearest eatery.

6

to the nearest intersection.

7

to the nearest town.

8

to the nearest city.

9

anywhere you’re going.

10

across the county line.

11

across the state line.

12

someplace inexplicable.

d12

In return for the ride, the driver will be offered

1 – 4

only thanks.

5

their favorite songs.

6

sexual favors. (Roll again if a child is present.)

7

drugs.

8

money for gas.

9

the story (or stories) of the hitchhiker’s (or lives).

10

a strange trinket.

11

the good news of Jesus Christ.

12

the teachings of the hitchhiker’s Guru.

d20

Their actual intent is…

1 – 10

just to get where they say they are going.

11

recruitment into a cult. (10% chance the cult is murderous, or otherwise criminal in its behavior.)

12

robbery.

13

assault.

14

murder. (5% chance the hitchhiker is a Vampyre or Werewolf.)

15

to surreptitiously drug people as part of a CIA mind-control experiment.

16

to pass on their magical power.

17

to free themselves of a curse.

18

to make a human sacrifice to Satan (or some other power of evil).

19

to reveal a disturbing prophesy. (10% chance to be a “phantom hitchhiker” – or a group of phantom hitchhikers – who will disappear once they arrive at their stated destination.)

20

to conduct bizarre experiments on human beings, because they are actually a disguised extraterrestrial (or group of extraterrestrials).

d100

Notably, this hitchhiker…

1 – 4

is a natural blonde. (Or, has straightened hair, if African American.)

5 – 8

wears glasses.

9 – 10

is a natural redhead (Or, has an “afro”, if African American.)

11 – 12

is strikingly attractive.

13 – 14

is very muscular (or buxom). (Roll again if a child.)

15 – 16

has extremely long hair. (If a male policeman or soldier, they have a prominent mustache.)

17 – 18

is unusually pale for their apparent ethnicity.

19 – 20

is very unkempt.

21 – 22

looks younger than their stated age.

23 – 24

looks older than their stated age.

25 – 26

smells unusually good.

27 – 28

has a foul body odor.

29 – 30

has a smooth, velvety voice.

31 – 32

has a rough, gruff voice.

33 – 34

speaks crudely.

35 – 36

speaks eloquently.

37 – 38

is very rude (or brazen).

39 – 40

is extremely polite.

41 – 42

speaks pretentiously. (Or precociously, if a child.)

43 – 44

is seemingly overdressed for the weather.

45 – 46

is wearing a lot of jewelry.

47 – 48

is wearing a strange amulet or religious medal.

49 – 50

is heavily tattooed. (Note: it is rare for women not associated with bikers to have obvious tattoos in the 1960s and 70s.)

51 – 52

matches the description of a wanted criminal. (The person is wanted for: 1 = murder. 2 = bank robbery. 3 = sex offenses. 4 = kidnapping. Roll again if a child.)

53 – 54

is wearing a suit / formal attire.

55 – 56

looks exactly like someone famous. (5% chance they actually are that person)

57 – 58

appears to be very nervous.

59 – 60

is very standoffish.

61 – 62

has no concept of personal space.

63 – 64

avoids all questions about their past. (Roll again if they have offered to tell the story of their life in return for the ride!)

65 – 66

is wearing as little clothing as possible.

67 – 68

won’t look at you when they speak.

69 – 70

stares right into your eyes when they speak.

71 – 72

is wearing what looks like a Halloween costume. (If the hitchhiker is in uniform, they are wearing a Halloween mask.)

73 – 74

has horrible teeth.

75 – 76

is wearing clothing that seems a size too small.

77 – 78

is wearing very loose clothing.

79 – 80

is very fashionable.

81 – 82

is wearing a fashion (or a hairstyle) that seems at least a decade out of date.

83 – 84

claims to have had an encounter with a UFO.

85 – 86

is very bigoted.

87 – 88

is extraordinarily tolerant and liberal in their views.

89 – 90

is outspokenly in favor of the Vietnam War (Roll again if a Hippie.)

91 – 92

is outspokenly opposed to the Vietnam War.

93 – 94

constantly claims to see things no one else notices.

95

has two different color eyes.

96

is on crutches

97

has only one eye.

98

is missing a hand.

99

is missing an arm.

100

is completely bald. (90% likely to be wearing a wig.)