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We Were Somewhere Around Barstow

Hello.  I hope you’re having a better day than I am.  I’ve spent hours and hours killing time: re-writing, writing, editing, re-editing, and re-writing again several interview transcripts from around the country.  Going around in circles sometimes ending the hours exactly where I started them.  I am WAY behind deadline to finish the birthday edition of the Woody Creeker, and way behind in my housing search, and financing search for Columbia.  I have not touched the Gonzo Way manuscript in a week, and I’m feeling the fear.  Jesus.  Now it’s really hitting me.  Send help!

One thing that cheered me up immensely was a passage that I came across while I was writing an introduction to and editing the interview with Hunter’s star criminal lawyer.  It brought such a smile to my face to compare Hunter’s first attorney to his last. Both were Hunter’s guardian angels and political consultants, but the latter was the polar opposite of Oscar Zeta Acosta in the gonzo factor.  Yes, Hunter sure knew how to spot excellence in people on both ends of the spectrum.

            If you’ve ever paid attention to Hunter’s circle of friends you will find that they are usually at the top of their profession.  Acosta/Haddon, Ralph Steadman, Ed Bradley, Tom Wolfe, George Plimpton, Doug Brinkley, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Marilyn Manson, Will Hearst, Terry McDonell, Jann Wenner, Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, George Tobia, Lynn Goldsmith, Walter Isaacson, G. Stranahan, Benicio Del Toro,  Madeleine Albright, Gerry Goldstein, Shelby Sadler, Tim Ferris and Bob Dylan…  The snow leopards, as it were.  The list goes on and on…

So, what got me on that tangent I don’t know except maybe fatigue?  I’m tired and stressed out.  I have such a great double issue coming, the material is fantastic, but I’m late, and it stresses me out.  Without further ado, here is the passage that cheered me up despite the fact that we have all read it a hundred times:


           We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.  I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive….” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas.  And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”

            Then it was quiet again.  My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process.  “What the hell are you yelling about?” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses.  “Never mind,” I said.  “It’s your turn to drive.”  I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway.  No point mentioning those bats, I thought.  The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1971


Until next time, Your friend,

Anita Thompson

Owl Farm



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