Amazing writing (voice, pace, narrative) as usual from the dear departed Gonzo.
There’s a lot more than the excerpt below from the early 2000s over at ESPN, where HST had a columnist gig for a while:
Getting weird for Devil’s Day
By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist
Hot damn, it is Halloween again, and I am ready to get weird in public. Nevermind anthrax for today. The Yankees won, but so what? That’s what I said to that fruitbag who claimed to be Sean Penn when he called earlier. “Screw you,” I said. He was drunk, so I knew right away that it wasn’t Sean Penn. “Get out of my face!” I screamed at him. “You are the same squalid freak who called here a few days ago and said he was Muhammad Ali. What’s wrong with you?”
“I need advice,” said the voice. “Should I jump into the Honolulu Marathon this year? I desperately need a Personal Challenge to conquer. My blood is filling up with some kind of poison.”
“Nonsense,” I said. “You are just another jackass looking for attention. I’ll give your lame ass a beating if I ever catch you sneaking around My house, you sleazy little Freak!”
I didn’t care who he was, by then. He was just another geek in a Halloween parade, to my way of thinking. And for all I knew he was dangerous — maybe some kind of murderous off-duty cop with two guns and a bottle of whiskey in his pocket. I wanted no part of him, especially not on a day like Halloween.
But why not humor him? I thought. Nobody needs this kind of Foul Ball drunk coming into his yard at night. So I lowered my voice and gave him a break. “OK,” I said. “I will help you, just don’t come anywhere near me.”
“I am Sean Penn,” the voice said calmly. “Should I or should I not enter the Honolulu Marathon in December? That’s all I need to know.”
“Yes,” I said. “You should definitely enter it. I will go with you, if necessary. But don’t call them today. Do it tomorrow, not today. Nobody will believe a thing you say on a horrible day like Halloween. … And don’t use the damn telephone anymore! They’ll hunt you down and dice you up like a squid — just go to bed and stay out of sight until noon. That is when the bogeyman sleeps, and so do I. So get out of my face and never call me again!” Then I howled in a low animal voice and hung up the phone.
“These freaks should all be put to sleep,” I said to Anita. “Let’s go out on the town and get weird.”
If you liked this excerpt, get a visual and quote snapshot of HST at The Selvedge Yard. Leaving you with this koan from the master:
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
- Hunter S. Thompson