One day, veteran filmmaker John Waters parked himself on the side of the road, displaying a sign that read “I’m not psycho.” He was beginning what would be a successful quest to hitchhike across the United States, from his native Baltimore to San Francisco, which would be the premise of his latest book, “Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America.” The book is structured as two parts novella, as Waters imagines the best and worst case scenarios for his journey, then reports on what actually happened.
Waters told Indiewire of the project, “I thought hitchhiking was about fantasy. It’s about danger. So I thought that imagining before I went. Everyone would say, ‘What do you think it will be like?’ And I had no idea.” During his unique trip, the “Hairspray” writer/director encountered an array of characters who just can’t be made up, from a touring indie-rock band to a young Republican in a Corvette.
In this excerpt from the audio book, Waters reports on something as trivial as breakfast, and something as eventful a tornado which inspires a slew of “The Wizard of Oz” allusions. The only question is, is this segment from his dream, nightmare or the true-to-life section?