Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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A device to improve the hitchhiking experience for everybody
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
(+14, -2)
  [vote for,

In the course of having recently had a fairly disappointing experience with Hitch-Hiking, I concluded that the main reason for my not being picked up in the course of five miles of hiking was the perceived threat of picking up a young male with a shaven head holding a Harry Potter book. I had some time to devote thought to this issue, and came to a few conclusions; 1. Hitch-Hiking is typically pursued by those in possession of few funds and no vehicles. 2. Hitch-hiking saves fossil fuels. 3. Hitch-hiking saves funds

If a prudent Hitch-Hiker should decide to allow to accumulate some of the funds he has avoided spending on gasoline and vehicle maintenance costs owing to the fact that he does not possess a vehicle, he should be able, in the course of a month, to afford a Fleeb.

A Fleeb is a very small, very dangerous, domed Plexiglass trailer which can be very quickly attached to a conventional trailer hitch. The Fleeb is fixed with a disposable pressurized-air horn which can be employed periodically either to 1. Signal the Hitch-Hiker's intent to disembark 2. Remind the driver that he has consciously taken the life of a helpless individual into his hands.

The advantages of Fleebs are that they effectively isolate the driver of the vehicle from the underprivileged human beings he may now 'safely' lend aid, without fear that he shall be robbed at gunpoint, at the small cost of pulling over for a minute. That and the additional friction.

monk, Aug 30 2007

Fleebs - the movie! Fleebs
I couldn't find a link to a movie about fleebs. Sorry - will keep looking. [bungston, Sep 01 2007]

(?) Near botton of Page 3 http://www.oregon.g...s/064-0220_2006.pdf
HAVING PASSENGER IN TRAILER (811.195) [Klaatu, Sep 06 2007]

(?) California's version http://www.chp.ca.g...ml/recvehicles.html
"It is unlawful for you to tow a trailer coach or travel trailer containing any passenger (properly equipped fifth wheelers are exempted from this restriction)." [Klaatu, Sep 06 2007]


       I like this idea but for the inconvenience, to the hiker, of pedestrian fleeb-schlepping when and where no tow is available.   

       Also could you sleep inside it and, if you were sleeping outside it, how hard would it be for a less conscientious hitch-hiker to steal it while you slept?   

       For example, could you fit it through the door of the budget-priced backpackers' hovel where you might spend the night on a long-haul hitch, and might the manager of said hovel be inclined to charge you extra if you did?   

       Then there's the etymological hazard, given your invention's name, of finding that 'ag' or 'itten' has been hooked on to the back of it while your attention was elsewhere.   

       On the other hand, while waiting for a lift, you might use the Plexiglass structure to prop up a life-size cardboard cut-out of a more attractive hitch-hiker <edit> carrying a destination sign </edit>, which you could fold away when not required.
pertinax, Aug 30 2007

       So, [21 Quest], you're thinking about a system made up of one fleeb and one collapsible bike such that, at any given time,
- either the bike can tow the fleeb
- or the fleeb can contain the bike (at the same time as the rider)?
pertinax, Aug 30 2007

       Having spent a lot of time hitch hiking when I first left home I found that the best ride attractor was a sign stating my destination.
Failing that, this would be the shizzle.

       I used to hitch-hike everywhere... longest ride was from an intersection near Toledo all the way to Denver. I also hitched regularly all over the UK in all weathers.   

       It used to be a popular and great way to travel. I still pick up travellers when I see them, which is quite rare these days.   

       Buses are so cheap now, and young folk are either lazy, or have much more disposable income than we did at their age. I also think we were infected with an inventive madness that I no longer see. (sighs as annotation descends into the sermon on the mount)   

       The bottom line is that hitchers should not be segregated from drivers, but I'm sending this croissant as the idea is inventive and quite mad, with a great name. +
xenzag, Aug 30 2007

       Alternate form of attachment should be via a large suction cup, to stick it onto the rear windshield. The hiker could then communicate via hand signals when he/she wanted to alight. Still very nice.[+]
the dog's breakfast, Aug 30 2007

       I think it's just the constant decrease of trust in other human beings and the overall obsession with safety and defense that our culture welds onto the brain of the young. It's just one case out of a billion, but from then on it's "You can't go trick or treating this year because someone put razor blades in the apples and poison in the candies." It turns out this never happened. I for one spent years as a child obsessing about germs of all shapes and sizes that I was not actually avoiding by any means.
monk, Aug 31 2007

       I was a thumb gypsy from age fourteen to my early twenties. I saw much of the United States and prided myself on averaging any distance in no more than twice the time it took to drive it, and often no less.   

       A big smile is a necessity, and the abilty to make eyecontact with a glare-spot on the windshield where the driver's eyes would be.
normzone, Aug 31 2007

       Recycled castor wheels could be used, for economy. The presence of many of them would compensate for their instability.
bungston, Aug 31 2007

       Ah! fleeb is just a shopping cart?
the dog's breakfast, Aug 31 2007

       As a young (girl) college student in Boston, I hitch-hiked a lot around town. In the *old days* there was a converted Ice Cream truck called the "Free Bus" that would pick up hitch-hikers everywhere. It was a lot of fun. There were several other times that I was picked up by dirty old men, and I had to jump out of the car. Then when I got my own car, I picked up H-H's whenever I could. Unfortunately, like [21Q] has stated, it has become increasingly unsafe and I always feel sorry when I don't pick them up. I'm going to bun this, but it needs some work.
xandram, Aug 31 2007

       In the US at least, there's the added complication that hitchhiking is now illegal in many places. So if you are going to hitch, you might not want a large fleeb with you announcing your intention. The police may very well intentionally overlook hitchhikers because they think the law is silly, but would have trouble justifying not picking up someone with a fleeb.
drememynd, Aug 31 2007

       Yes, that's why I give you the "Fleebmouflage Netting" accessory, to make it easier for them to ignore.
monk, Aug 31 2007

       Carbon fiber and titanium? Consider your target market. Consider also the security aspects of owning such an expensive item.
david_scothern, Aug 31 2007

       /Would castor wheels hold up to the rigors of being towed at highway speeds?/   

       Did I not mention that there would be many of them? A standard grocery cart is good for at least a half mile at highway speeds, and with the extra wheels this should increase by orders of magnitude. Spares could be brought with, or easy obtained from grocery carts encountered along the way.   

       Additional hitchhiking advice for [monk]   

       1: Wig. Preferably short. Preferably blond. Think Rocky - the one from Rocky Horror Picture. Washboard abs might help too. 2: Dustjacket for Harry Potter book, printed with HOLY BIBLE. 3: Go easy on the goth makeup, except where necessary to cover facial tattoos. 4: Temporarily control flinching and muttering if possible.
bungston, Aug 31 2007

       I'm not so sure about that "hitchhiking is illegal" thing. While I confess I'm not current on every law, every place, it's been my experience that the illegal part consists of how you do it.   

       It's illegal to stand in the road, it's illegal to hitch on the freeway, etc. Usually the local law will spell out the fine print for you if you ask them nicely.   

       I don't believe that it's more dangerous than it used to be. I think it's just as dangerous as it always was, and we have more press than we used to.
normzone, Aug 31 2007

       You would continue to travel in the same direction, until friction slows you to a stop, or you encounter an impediment to further motion.
bungston, Aug 31 2007

       I'm a lawyer. Anyone want to hear why this could never, ever, in a million years happen in the U.S.?   

       I didn't think so.
nomocrow, Aug 31 2007

       You would need to produce fleebs as kits. There would need to be instructions that the fleebs were not under any circumstances to be used for hitchhiking, and that you should always wear pads. Fleebs are just for looking at! You can grow plants in them - but not those plants! Just for looking at, dammit!   

       Then, underground message board will talk about how to customize your fleeb for hitchhiking. The answer to risky use is decentralization. Fleeb cells, and whatnot.   

       Put that in your briefcase and litigate it!
bungston, Sep 01 2007

       (Anathema) What was most offensive to me about the Columbine tragedy was that the warning signs were scattered far and wide, Eric and Dylan secretly hoping to be stopped before they had to do something that would ruin their lives and those of many others..And these warning signs were taken for 'teen angst.' Yep, if it were going to happen anywhere, the U.S. would be the place.
monk, Sep 01 2007

       //No one thought things like Columbine could neverr, ever, in a million years happen in the U.S. Until it did.//   

       Yes, I can see the connection between the liability for hooking a stranger's flimsy trailer to your car and a random school shooting.   

       Maybe you can give me the link between the Teletubbies and Kent State?   

       [Bungston] That would be kind of like selling lawn darts as push pins.
nomocrow, Sep 05 2007

       /That would be kind of like selling lawn darts as push pins/   

       There you go! Run with that! Because let me tell you, the other way around only works on a putting green.
bungston, Sep 05 2007

       this made me laugh and therefore i bun. also, even though it couldn't ever, never get baked here in the US of Americans, i still enjoy imagining ways in which people can safely take on hitch hikers using their hitch.   

       my especial favorite line is: A Fleeb is a very small, very dangerous, domed Plexiglass trailer which can be very quickly attached to a conventional trailer hitch.   

       i'd like a fleet of Fleebs, please.
k_sra, Sep 05 2007

       //Maybe you can give me the link between the Teletubbies and Kent State? //   

       Have you noticed [po]'s gone quiet?
pertinax, Sep 06 2007

       In the USA, it is illegal to carry a passenger in a trailer on any public road <link>. [-] I am not familiar with non-USA traffic laws, so this sounds like a great idea. [+] = net [±]   

       I always found a clean, white shirt with appropriate tie and slacks got me the most rides.
Klaatu, Sep 06 2007


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