SELF HELP: Ask A Werewolf “Any Advice on Hitchhiking and Train Hopping?”

Illustration by Helena Garcia.

Dear Werewolf,
Any advice on hitchhiking and train hopping? (BTW – one of the best tips I heard was “Never slam the door, and always fasten your seatbelt.”) -Anonymous

Human: As a safety precaution, keep a charged cell phone on you at all times. Even the cheapest cell phones are usually equipped with a camera these days. This will enable you to immediately address the usual elephant in the room when you’re trapped in an enclosed space with a stranger and neither of you know if you should be terrified of each other or not.

Typically, when a car stops to pick you up, it’ll pull over to the shoulder of the road just ahead of you, which is an ideal position to snap a quick picture of the rear license plate.

As you enter the car, cheerfully say “Hello! My name is _____, and I’m definitely, absolutely not an axe murderer! Not even as a hobby! What’s your name? Are youuuuuu an axe murderer?” Whether the driver claims that they are an axe murderer, a florist or a baker, congratulate them on their chosen vocation and let them know you’ve just texted a picture of their license plate to your friends at home to keep the authorities informed of your whereabouts, just in case anything happens to you. Giggle hysterically at this point, for exactly five seconds.

To diffuse any remaining tension for the rest of the ride, start a polite conversation by asking them what their favorite Morgan Freeman movie is. Everybody except ax murderers find comfort in the existence of Morgan Freeman.

Wolf: My friend Sam was once hiking a mountain range and stopped in a small town to buy supplies. He decided to hitchhike back to the trailhead at night. The driver who picked him up, however, turned his car in the opposite direction from the trail. Several tense seconds passed.

“I thought you said you’d take me to the trailhead,” said Sam.

“I did, but I changed my mind” the driver replied. “I know somewhere else we could go.”

Sam felt sour fear in his stomach.

Another long, awkward silence crept by. Sam knew he didn’t have any cell signal, so he removed a large hunting knife from his pack and calmly placed it on his lap.

“You’re going to take me back to the trailhead now.” He said this to the driver quietly, as a fact.

The driver turned around and drove him back to the trailhead.

Be honest with yourself. If you’re not willing to carry a knife or have either of the above conversations, you have no fucking business hitchhiking.

The same mentality is necessary for train hopping, but in addition to a knife you will also need good boots to run in, warmer clothes than you’ll think you need for the night air and enough booze to share.

P.S. Do not grab the ladder on the side of a moving train from the bottom rung. Run quickly in the same direction the train is traveling and grab the rungs up above your head, and immediately pull your legs up as you do. This way, the lower rungs will prevent your body and legs from swinging into the path of the wheels.

Do you have a question? Feel free to discuss any topic at all, and please don’t be afraid of sounding weird. Actually, the stranger the better–would you like to know what goes into hosting a successful orgy? Curious about the benefits of doing ketamine with your dad? Want to know the best way to dispose of your abusive boss’s corpse after you’ve impulsively ripped his still-beating heart from his shattered rib cage and taken a big ol’ bite out of it? Anonymity is guaranteed. Just write “Dear Werewolf” at the beginning of your question and send it with the alias of your choice to

I’m all ears. My, what big, big ears I have.

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This particular nocturnal critter currently resides in the Appalachian mountains, where he occasionally engages in various weird ritualistic practices without actually believing in any of them. Belief is a funny thing. He can often be found writing songs, forging custom knives, and cooking brunch naked for his friends while listening to heavy metal, like any well adjusted person.

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