The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Armageddon – By Pinchas Winston
THERE I WAS, ALL alone on the side of the road, trying to hitch a ride to Armageddon.
It must have been the wrong time of year, or maybe even the wrong time of history.
I mean, traffic was so light I thought I’d never get a lift.
Just when I was about to give up all hope, someone began to slow down.
As the driver pulled up I looked into the window of his car to see who I was dealing with.
You don’t know who you can trust these days, and I wasn’t going to get into the car with just anyone,
no matter how desperate I thought I was.
From that first moment I knew I got lucky.
He was older and he had these eyes that said, “You can trust me, really.”
So I asked him,
“Armageddon?” even though my sign already said that.
He answered me friendly-like, “You betcha.”
I smiled. “Great!” I said, as I opened the door to get in.
As he checked his mirror before pulling back onto the road, he asked me,
“So what’s a guy like you doing all the way out here hitching a ride to Armageddon,
of all places?”
I considered his question for a moment. “Ya,” I thought to myself,
“what is a guy like me doing all the way out here hitching a ride to Armageddon,
of all places?”
“I don’t know,” I started to say. “I guess it’s just the place to be at this time of history.”
He didn’t take his eyes off the road, but he smiled a knowing look.
“What brings you there?” I asked him, not sure if I was prying.
His smiled lessened as he said, “I’ve been heading there for as long as I can remember.
In fact,” he said, his smile returning, “everything I seem to do these days just points me in that direction.”
“I see.” I didn’t really, but I didn’t want to press him. We were, after all, still strangers to one another.
A few moments went by as I looked out the window at the passing scenery.
He was the first one to break the silence.
“You new at this?” he asked me.
“Ahhhh . . . wellllll . . . I guess so,” I finally admitted.
“Well then,” he said happily as he reached behind him for something as he continued to drive.
He didn’t have to look because he knew exactly where it was. “Here,” he said, passing me a book.
“What’s this?” I asked him, sincerely curious. “Ahhhhh,” he said with a sound of reverence.
“It is everything you need to know for your journey.”
I read the title out loud,
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Armageddon.”
“That’s it,” he said, looking forward the whole time.
The cover was a little intimidating, but I started to flip through the pages anyhow.
There was a lot of information and I found myself stopping and reading and stopping and reading.
I don’t know how long I did this for, but I finally asked him, “Where do you get something like this?”
He smiled. “From me,” was all he said. “How much do you sell this for?” I asked. “They’re free,” he answered.
“Then I’ll take ONE!” I said jokingly.
He smiled a wise smile and simply said, “It’s yours.”
“I don’t want to be rude,” I told him, “but would you mind if I started reading it now?”
“Not at all,” he told me. “When it comes to preparing for Armageddon,” he said, “there is no time like the present.”