Monday, February 21, 2005

Good-bye, Hunter S. Thompson

No doubt you know Hunter S. Thompson is dead by his own hand. I learned on Reason's Hit and Run that his essay "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" is available online. I first encountered it in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century — the twentieth century, that is — an anthology that for the most part suffers, as sports writing often does, from an ill-advised portentousness. Thompson just suffers.

"I thought it was because of the Mace," he said.
"What Mace?"
He grinned. "When you shot it at the headwaiter, don't you remember?"
"Hell, that was nothing," I said. "I missed him...and we were leaving, anyway."
"But it got all over us," he said. "The room was full of that damn gas. Your brother was sneezing was and his wife was crying. My eyes hurt for two hours. I couldn't see to draw when we got back to the motel."



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