Lessons

  • Keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open. You’ll learn more. When people start to realize that you don’t shoot your mouth off over a free lunch and a cup of coffee they’ll eventually tell you anything and everything.
  • Listen. People like to talk about themselves. If you don’t interrupt, they’ll go on forever. Eventually they will tell you almost anything.
  • Ask questions, but don’t make it sound like the third degree. Keep it simple: “How did that happen?” “What did you do then?” “Why do you think he did that?”
  • When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Most people are full of hot air and can’t be depended upon to do what they say they’re going to do.
  • If it starts to feel like it’s time to go, it probably is. I can’t emphasize that enough. Trust your instincts and get the hell out, no matter what situation you’re in.
  • Three can keep a secret if two are dead. This quote is first attributed to Ben Franklin. A little harsh, to be sure. I make mention of it only to provide an example of how some do business.

Road rules

  • Never eat at a place called Mom’s.
  • Never ride close to a cage that advertises the driver’s name as Sixpack.
  • Never pull into an unlit, isolated interstate rest stop after dark.
  • Never walk into a bar where the half-tons in the parking lot have rifle racks in the rear window-especially if there are rifles hanging off the racks.
  • If the dancer says she needs a ride home, be generous, but watch your back on the way to the door.
  • Watch your back in the parking lot.
  • If you pick up a hitchhiker named Angel on an interstate on-ramp near Deming, beware that she doesn’t talk you into taking her to a non-existent music festival on a back road off of Highway 666.
  • If it feels like it’s time to leave, go with your gut instinct. It’s usually right.
  • When you wake up and find yourself alive and riding on the wrong side of the yellow line, stop and take a break to live a little longer.

And finally,

  • when you wake up and find yourself alive and riding on the wrong side of the yellow line for the second time, stop and take a break. You’ll definitely live longer.
  • Never eat at a place called Mom’s.

  • Never ride close to a cage that advertises the driver’s name as Sixpack.

  • Never pull into an unlit, isolated interstate rest stop after dark.

  • Never walk into a bar where the half-ton trucks parked on the lot have rifle racks mounted in the rear window-especially if there are rifles hanging off the racks.

  • If the dancer says she needs a ride home, be generous, but watch your back on the way to the door.

  • Watch your back in a parking lot.

  • If you pick up a hitchhiker named Angel on an on-ramp on the interstate near Deming, beware that she doesn’t talk you into taking her to a folk festival on a back road off of highway 666*.

  • If it feels as though it might be time to leave, go with your instinct. It’s usually right.

  • When you wake up and find yourself alive and riding on the wrong side of the yellow line, stop and take a break to live a little longer.

And finally,

  • when you wake up and find yourself alive and riding on the wrong side of the yellow line for the second time, stop and take a break. You’ll definitely live longer.