[lit-ideas] Re: Whatever Happened to Hunter Thompson?

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 21:50:14 -0500

Ritchie wrote:
>> As I say, it was then that I thought I caught
a brief glimpse of Hunter Thompson, scribbling tales of gonzo life out west,
of sick degeneration, and fumbling for succor in his handy medicine bag.<<

Well, I for one definitely prefer Ritchie to Thompson any day of the week.
Except for "No offal on offer" -- that was pretty awful.  I thoroughly
appreciate and sympathize with Ritchie's need to find some clever tie-in -- 
it's there, you know it is.  Ferreting it out is the problem.  I've sold my
soul many times in such bargains with the devil, almost always I've found
that I've been sold road kill and that no amount of sauce will hide the
tired tracks.

Mike Geary
a great admirer of Ritchie's writings
who couldn't resist this



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Ritchie" <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 7:04 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Whatever Happened to Hunter Thompson?


>
> It's possible I had dinner with Hunter S. Thompson on Saturday night, in a
> "genuine Mayan restaurant" near Salt Lake City, Utah.  The meal was
exactly
> as the fliers for the restaurant promised, "a most uncommon experience."
>
> We gave our names to the guy at the cash register in the giant
> souvenir-selling dungeon, and stood aside to let others do the same.  For
a
> while we browsed like earnest heifers, loosed among the stuffed "Bobs."
> There was Bob, the bobbing iguana, and Bob, the bobbing toucan wearing a
> beret, and Bob, some other kind of jungle bird...There were also plastic
> rattlesnakes and spiders, and t-shirts with the restaurant logo on them,
> and...a thousand square feet or more of stacked kitsch.
>
> The maitre d' guy was in a chipper mood.  He came over to tell us he had
> show business ancestry; he said his grandfather had been a jazz musician
on
> Groucho Marx's, "You Bet Your Life."  I was about to ask him who really is
> buried in Grant's tomb, when he launched into a joke about a cop pulling
> over a van which was loaded with penguins.  "You can't drive around with
> penguins.  Take them to the zoo."  The next day the cop pulls the same van
> over.  Same penguins, now wearing sunglasses.  "I'm taking them to the
beach
> today."
>
> We laughed.  He announced we could be seated right away...at the table
> usually reserved for Larry Miller.
> "Who's he?" we chorused thickly, out-of-towners almost blowing it.
> Miller owns the Utah Jazz.
>
> It was a climb of three storeys.  On ramps that wound their way up through
> plastic cliffs, we passed among echoes of recordings of jungle noises, and
> fresh choruses of waiters singing the restaurant's happy birthday song, "I
> don't know, but I've been told"--other waitpersons respond with same line,
> and then-- "something, something, something old."
>
> I looked to the source of the song.  The birthday person was standing on
her
> chair and holding a perspex fan, covered with Ostrich feathers.  "Sound
off,
> one two, three four..."  Across the way others began with a shout,"Hey
> everybody, Mary's got a birthday."  Shrieks and cheers.  "I don't know but
I
> been told..."  A hot zone of birthdays.
>
> We eventually came out on a platform in a plastic tree top, beside three
> waterfalls that dropped to a small pool below.  Right away I spied Bob the
> toucan and Bob the iguana and all his animatronic friends, latent in the
> semi-darkness.  Lights came on.  Jerky motions began.  The animals talked.
> I couldn't decipher the words, but I did note that the one with the beret
> talked with the kind of French accent people sometimes affect.  Very "ooh
la
> la."  The skit built to a climax.  All the jungle's beasts sang the song
> from "Bend it like Beckham,"...you know the one..."Oh lay, oh lay, oh lay,
> oh lay, oh lay, oh lay, oh lay, feeling hot, hot, hot..."
>
> The climb gave me time to wonder what exactly Mayans used to eat, other
than
> the living hearts of their enemies.  Or was that the Aztecs?  Chocolate
> maybe?  The waitress handed out menus.  No offal on offer.  It turns out
> Mayans ate burritos and tacos and guacamole and refried beans and that
sort
> of thing.  Very like Mexican food, really.  And they drank a brownish
liquid
> that the waitress said was "Sonoran" beer.
> "A choice location for a brewery, the Sonoran desert," I muttered.  "It's
> the water, you know."
> I asked if they had a local brew, Dead Horse Ale (slogan: "You can't beat
a
> Dead Horse").
>
> Suddenly there was a thunderclap from large, Mayan loudspeakers.
Theatrical
> Mayan lights played over the plastic Mayan cliff face.  Someone increased
> the waterfalls' throughput, and out onto tiny platforms stepped buff guys
in
> Mayan Speedos: sacrificial divers from the local university team.  Morman
> Mayans maybe?  In round one, they plummeted one by one.  In round two,
they
> did it in concert.  One then made a dive after climbing into the lighting
> struts and hanging upside down.  Another did a handstand on the ledge
right
> beside our table.  Impressive.  I briefly wondered about etiquette.
Should
> I have tried to tuck a bill into the fellow's trunks as he passed me by?
>
> The food arrived, stone cold.  As I say, it was then that I thought I
caught
> a brief glimpse of Hunter Thompson, scribbling tales of gonzo life out
west,
> of sick degeneration, and fumbling for succor in his handy medicine bag.
>
> David Ritchie
> Portland, Oregon
>
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