The hitchhiker


Baldwin is hitchhiking on a Sunday night on an isolated stretch of highway in Arkansas.


His car had broken down, his cell phone was out of battery, and he was hoping for a ride to the nearest town or to a telephone. After a few hours of walking and thumbing for a ride, a car finally pulls over and lets him in.

Upon climbing into the car, Baldwin realizes the driver is deaf. But this doesn’t bother either of them and they gesture back and forth with one another. After a few minutes the deaf driver decides to fully depress the gas pedal and speed. Baldwin sees the gauges on the dashboard steadily rising and is actually a bit frightened.

Suddenly, as if from nowhere, red and blue lights can be seen in the rear-view mirror; as they pull over, the deaf man puts one finger over his lips, looks at Baldwin and signals “Shhhh.”

When the police officer approaches the driver’s side of the car and asks for the driver’s license, the deaf man gestures to the police officer that he can’t hear or understand him. Baldwin follows suit. The police officer nods his head, looks around, then over-enunciates the words, “S L O W   D O W N !” The deaf man nods his head innocently in agreement.

As they continue on their way, the deaf man becomes tired and gestures to Baldwin to switch places. Baldwin agrees and sets off. After a few minutes, the deaf man is fast asleep in the passenger’s seat and Baldwin is feeling adventurous. Assuming that the chances of them getting pulled over again are pretty slim, he presses the pedal to the metal and is rocketing ahead.

As luck would have it though, he too is soon pulled over and a police officer steps up around the side of the car. The officer says, “I need your license and registration please…” Baldwin has a quick brainstorm and feigns being deaf. He gestures to his ears then motions that he doesn’t understand. The police officer smiles and signs, “OH YOU’RE DEAF? MY PARENTS ARE DEAF TOO, WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?”

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