John Waters gave an interview to GQ magazine about his latest book, Carsick, inspired by stories of his hitchhiking adventure from Baltimore to San Francisco. He got rides with octogenarian farmers, indie rockers, acid-heads, Republican politicians and a cop — and he lived to tell.
On being John Waters vs a 67-year-old homeless man: They didn’t see “John Waters.” They saw a 67-year-old homeless man. Some of them tried to give me money! Even though in the beginning I said, “Oh, I hope I don’t get recognized,” in the ten minutes when I didn’t get a ride, well, I was praying to be recognized.
On hitchhiking in the 1960s: We’d be high, and we would have definitely done stuff like that, pretended to be other people and switched identities. But today, I was on a mission — I was trying to get to California . . . [In the ’60s it was] much more sexual. But hitchhiking is sexual. I have so many porn books I collect with hitchhiking covers.
On whether he’s ever hooked up with someone who gave him a ride: Of course! Are you kidding? Yes! Everybody I know did.
On the danger of hitchhiking: You know, I think it’s dangerous to stay home all the time. I think there’s worse danger in that, because then nothing happens in your life.