John Waters's Carsick: a memoir of hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco


National treasure John "Pink Flamingos" Waters just published Carsick, a book about his adventures hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco (readers will remember that he got picked up by an indie band on the road). The Baltimore Sun interview with him about the book is a mix of heartwarming tales about how good Americans are to weirdo hitchhikers, depressing ruminations on why he won't be making any more movies anytime soon (Hollywood only wants $300M "tentpole movies" with a lot of explosions), and hilarity from the road. This looks like a hell of a book.

They stopped me a couple times and checked to see if I had warrants, but [his assistant] Susan had prepared for me a "Fame Kit." My favorite thing was pulling out my Directors Guild of America card. Or, better yet, my Academy of Arts and Sciences card. "Look here, I vote for the Oscars! Will this get me out of prison?"

One cop gave me some trouble, but it was the end of the day, I could tell he just wanted to go home. I said, "I'm writing a book," and he just wasn't expecting that. He said, "All right, all right."

Then, the second one, I kept seeing while I was there stuck in Ohio. And finally, he pulled over, checked my warrants, did the whole thing. I gave him the "Fame Kit," … and he said, "Doesn't say anything on here about being a professional hitchhiker." And then I knew he was on my side. I said, "Could you give me a ride," and he said, "Get in."

He was great. He gave me grief for not getting a ride later, he said I wasn't shaking the sign enough. It was so embarrassing, to have a cop give you a bad review of how you were hitchhiking.

John Waters hitches a ride in 'Carsick' [Chris Kaltenbach/Baltimore Sun]

(via The Awl)

Notable Replies

  1. John Waters directing a $300 million tentpole feature with a lot of explosions sounds like it would be the best thing ever. Maybe with Laverne Cox as the lead.

  2. I don't normally go for audiobooks, but the only thing that could make this better would be to hear it in Waters' voice.

  3. Old says:

    John Waters is a national treasure and ought to be granted some sort of position laureate.

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