Raoul Duke on Shotgun Cleaning...D'oh!
Was it paranoia, a trip gone terribly wrong, or did HST really decide he'd had enough?
The first time I ever heard of Hunter S. Thompson was in 1984 when I was Freshman at American University in D.C.. My roomate was reading the back cover of "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas", he had hardly gotten past the first sentence when I grabbed the well worn paperback from his hands and continued reading aloud. I couldn't even finish reading I was laughing so hard. In the next hour and a half I read the book in one sitting.
Since then I have endevored to read as many of his his works as possible including, "the Great Shark Hunt; Fear and Loathing on The Campaing Trail '72", "Generation of Swine", "The Curse of Lono", "Songs of the Doomed", "Hells Angels", and "Better Than Sex" and his ESPN Column "Hey Rube". Reading HST is like drinking way too much coffee; after several chapters your pulse quickens, you begin to feel anxious even slightly nauseated, you may even begin to sweat but you cannot stop reading, laughing out loud or re-stating a sentence you have just read to noone in particular. HST was that damn good. I feel sorry that he has chosen to leave us.
Below are some of my favorite quotes from Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas:
"We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of uppers, downers, laughers, screamers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the ether. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. "
"One thing I've learned over my years of dealing with drug people. You can turn your back on a person... but NEVER turn your back on a drug. Especially, when it's waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your face."
"Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Normal speeders will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow."
"We need to arm ourselves to the teeth."
"Don't fuck with me now, man. I am Ahab."
"Know your dope fiend! Your life may depend on it! You will not be able to see his eyes because of Tea-Shades, but his knuckles will be white from inner tension... and his pants will be crusted with semen from constantly jacking off when he can't find a rape victim."
"Anything worth doing is worth doing right. This is the American Dream in action. We would be fools not to ride this strange torpedeo all the way to to end."
I guess HST decided it was his time to jump off of the torpedo.