The last time we checked in with his hitchhiking adventure, John Waters was hanging out in the back of an indie rock band’s van in rural Ohio. Now, a few days later, we’re happy to report that he’s made it across Kansas, thanks to a middle-aged couple from Illinois. Waters has hitched halfway across the country over the past week — yes, he started out in Baltimore — and, last we heard, is currently somewhere in Colorado.
The Illinois couple, Laura Broviac and Michael McHaney, spent their time with Waters listening to his Faye Dunaway stories and apologizing for being boring, which was probably just the kind of Midwestern sincerity that the director was hoping for. After making it to Denver, Waters treated the pair to lunch, and then took them dumpster diving to find cardboard for his next sign. So far, Waters’s iconic mustache has served him well — both the band and the Illinois couple recognized the director before stopping for him. It probably also helped that his sign assures passers-by that he’s “safe.”
What spurred this cross-country jaunt? Nothing other than plain old wanderlust, according to Jen Turner, one of Waters’s hosts through Ohio. “He just wanted an adventure,” Turner said. “Imagine!”
We suspect that Waters’s Kansas hosts may have been less hip to his work than the indie band was, but they still knew they had a national treasure in the car. “Of course his type of work isn’t for everyone, but chances are you’ve seen Hairspray or seen the Simpsons and maybe the episode he narrated,” Broviac said. She’s right; it’s not every day that you get to share a car with someone who appeared on the Simpsons (or directed a zillion amazing movies). So if you’re in Colorado, heading west and in the mood for stories, be on the lookout; you, too, might get to be a character in the book that Waters plans to pen about his adventure.