I’ll Just Hitchhike

hitchhikerThe frozen vapor exploded from his nose with every frenzied shovelful of dirt. He was working furiously in an attempt to stay ahead of the night’s chill. I smiled to myself, content in my choice. He was an excellent care taker, and his, ah, gardening skills were top notch.
“I don’t think it’s quite deep enough, sir. The wolves will dig him up as sure as if the devil himself handed them the extra claws to do so, if you’ll pardon the expression, sir.”
He was wiping a bead of sweat off his brow, and there was a shadow of a dirt smudge on his cheek, barely visible in the moonlight.
“You are doing a fine job, Alfred, as always. But I don’t think even the wolves will go near this gluttonous fat boy. Oh my, but he did love my special tonic. A bit too much it turns out”
I turned my back to the scene, and headed toward the shadow of the house on the hill above us, back-lit by countless pinpricks of light in the stary sky.
It had been an interesting turn of events. I thought it strange to see the fat man, hitchhiking on the side of the road. One usually sees long haired skinny  kids with backpacks. Of course I stopped to pick him up. I always pick up hitchhikers.
He said he and his wife had a huge argument on the way home from bingo. He said, and I won’t repeat what he called his wife, that she had kicked him out of the car, and took off without him. Apparently she is bigger than he is, and she literally kicked him to the street and took off. I was delighted to offer him a good stiff drink, and he was delighted to accept. Now, I’m afraid the only thing stiff is him. Oh well, these things happen. I mean, nobody ever drank the whole darn glass in one gulp before. They usually pass out long before the second or third sip.
That’s when Alfred and I take them down stairs to the lab. It usually only takes a few days for the neurotoxins to get flushed from the body, and then I can continue my experiments with a healthy, live specimen. It would have been a job getting this one down the two stories without bruising him a bit. We weren’t so careful getting him down the hill to the garden though, after he guzzled the whole glass of tonic. Well greedy guts got just what he deserved. At least my other specimens never suffered like this poor slob at the end. I got fourteen glorious weeks out of the last one. She was so pretty. I guessed her to be about sixteen or seventeen. She had an absolutely perfect liver. Not a spot or deviation, I completed many tests and experiments with that one. She was a run-away, hiking in the rain. Of course, with my generous nature, I had to offer her a lift and a nice warm cup of tonic.
I wonder who will be hitchhiking tomorrow. Male, female, young or old, I get them all here. I am not a fussy scientist. I have too much work to do to be fussy or picky. I think I’ll cruise the bus stop again. I’ve been lucky there, in the past.

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