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The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales From a Strange Time, Page 1

Hunter S. Thompson




  The Great Shark Hunt

  Gonzo Papers, Vol. 1

  Strange Tales From A Strange Time

  by Hunter S. Thompson

  a.b.e-book v3.0 / Notes at EOF

  Back Cover:

  REBEL WITH A CAUSE

  From Nixon to napalm, Carter to cocaine, Hunter S. Thompson captures the crazy, hypocritical, degenerate, and worthwhile aspects of American society with razor-sharp insight and greater clarity than anyone writing today.

  Always fresh, irreverent, original, brilliant, and on-the-edge, Thompson hurls himself headfirst into each assignment and situation and comes back with a story only he could write. He aims for the naked truth and hits the nation's jugular vein. There is no one quite like Thompson; he is unique, and we are all richer for it.

  "No other reporter reveals how much we have to fear and loathe, yet does it so hilariously." -- Chicago Tribune

  THE GREAT SHARK HUNT

  This book contains the complete text of the original hardcover edition.

  Published by Fawcett Popular Library, a unit of CBS Publications, the

  Consumer Publishing Division of CBS Inc., by arrangement with Summit

  Books, a Simon & Schuster Division of Gulf & Western Corporation,

  and Rolling Stone Press

  Copyright © 1979 by Hunter S. Thompson

  Bibliography © 1979 by Kihm Winship

  All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form

  ISBN: 0-445-04596-5

  Printed in the United States of America

  First Fawcett Popular Library printing:

  September 1980

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission to reprint the articles and excerpts listed:

  BOSTON GLOBE

  "Memoirs of a Wretched Weekend in Washington" by Hunter S. Thompson, February 23, 1969; reprinted by permission of the Boston Globe.

  DOW JONES & COMPANY, INC.

  "A Footloose American in a Smugglers' Den" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1962; all rights reserved.

  "Chatty Letters During a Journey from Aruba to Rio" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1962; all rights reserved.

  "Democracy Dies in Peru, But Few Seem to Mourn Its Passing" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1962; all rights reserved.

  "Living in the Time of Alger, Greeley, Debs" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1964; all rights reserved.

  "The Catch Is Limited in Indians' 'Fish-in'" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1964; all rights reserved.

  "The Inca of the Andes" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1963; all rights reserved.

  "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1964; all rights reserved.

  "When the Beatniks Were Social Lions" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1964; all rights reserved.

  "Why Anti-Gringo Winds Often Blow South of the Border" by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The National Observer,

  © Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 1963; all rights reserved.

  THE NATION

  "The Nonstudent Left" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1965 by Hunter Thompson; originally appeared in The Nation.

  THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY, INC.

  "Fear and Loathing in the Bunker" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1974 by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The New York Times.

  "The 'Hashbury' Is the Capital of the Hippies" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1967 by Hunter Thompson; reprinted by permission of The New York Times.

  PLAYBOY PRESS

  "The Great Shark Hunt" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1974 by Hunter S. Thompson; originally appeared in Playboy magazine.

  RANDOM HOUSE, INC.

  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1972 by Hunter Thompson, reprinted with permission of Random House, Inc.

  Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1966, 1967 by Hunter S. Thompson; reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc.

  THE REPORTER

  "A Southern City with Northern Problems" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1963 by Hunter S. Thompson; originally published by The Reporter.

  ROLLING STONE

  America by Ralph Steadman,

  copyright © 1974 by Ralph Steadman; reprinted by permission of Rolling Stone Press.

  "The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1977 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "The Battle of Aspen" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1970 by Hunter S. Thompson; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Fear and Loathing in Limbo: The Scum Also Rises" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1974 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Fear and Loathing at the Superbowl: No Rest for the Wretched" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1974 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Fear and Loathing in Washington: The Boys in the Bag" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1974 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Fear and Loathing at Watergate: Mr. Nixon Has Cashed His Check" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1973 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Jimmy Carter and the Great Leap of Faith" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1976 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Last Tango in Vegas: Fear and Loathing in the Near Room" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1978 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Last Tango in Vegas: Fear and Loathing in the Far Room" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1978 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Memo from the Sports Desk: The So-called 'Jesus-Freak' Scare" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1971 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Memo from the Sports Desk & Rude Notes from a Depression Chamber in Miami" by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1973 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" by Hunter Thompson,

  copyright © 1971 by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.; originally published in Rolling Stone magazine.

  STRAIGHT ARROW BOOKS

  Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson,

  copyright © 1973 by Hunter S. Thompson; originally published by Straight Arrow Books.

  "To Juan and. . ."

  "To Richard Milhous Nixon,
<
br />   who never let me down."

  H.S.T.

  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

  -- Raoul Duke

  Contents

  PART ONE

  Author's Note

  Fear and Loathing in the Bunker

  The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

  A Southern City with Northern Problems

  Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl

  The Temptations of Jean-Claude Killy

  The Ultimate Free Lancer

  Collect Telegram from a Mad Dog

  "Genius 'Round the World Stands Hand in Hand, and One Shock of Recognition Runs the Whole Circle 'Round" -- ART LINKLETTER

  Jacket Copy for Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

  A Conversation on Ralph Steadman and His Book, America, with Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

  Strange Rumblings in Aztlan

  Freak Power in the Rockies

  Memo from the Sports Desk: The So-Called "Jesus Freak" Scare

  Memoirs of a Wretched Weekend in Washington

  PART TWO

  Presenting: The Richard Nixon Doll (Overhauled 1968 Model)

  Author's Note

  June, 1972: The McGovern Juggernaut Rolls On

  Later in June

  September

  October

  Epitaph

  Memo from the Sports Desk & Rude Notes from a Decompression Chamber in Miami

  Fear and Loathing at the Watergate: Mr. Nixon Has Cashed His Check

  Fear and Loathing in Washington: The Boys in the Bag

  Fear and Loathing in Limbo: The Scum Also Rises

  PART THREE

  Traveler Hears Mountain Music Where It's Sung

  A Footloose American in a Smugglers' Den

  Why Anti-Gringo Winds Often Blow South of the Border

  Democracy Dies in Peru, but Few Seem to Mourn Its Passing

  The Inca of the Andes: He Haunts the Ruins of His Once-Great Empire

  Brazilshooting

  Chatty Letters During a Journey from Aruba to Rio

  What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum?

  Living in the Tune of Alger, Greeley, Debs

  Marlon Brando and the Indian Fish-In

  The "Hashbury" Is the Capital of the Hippies

  When the Beatniks Were Social Lions

  The Nonstudent Left

  Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines. . .

  Ain't What They Used to Be!

  The Police Chief

  PART FOUR

  The Great Shark Hunt

  Jimmy Carter and the Great Leap of Faith

  Address by Jimmy Carter on Law Day: University of Georgia, Athens, GA

  The Banshee Screams for Buffalo Meat

  The Hoodlum Circus and the Statutory Rape of Bass Lake

  Ashes to Ashes & Dust to Dust: The Funeral of Mother Miles

  Welcome to Las Vegas: When the Going Gets Weird the Weird Turn Pro

  Last Tango in Vegas: Fear and Loathing in the Near Room

  Last Tango in Vegas: Fear and Loathing in the Far Room

  Bibliography of Works by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, by Kihm Winship

  Bibliography of Works on Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, by Kihm Winship

  NEWS RELEASE

  AIR PROVING GROUND COMMAND

  EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA

  OFFICE OF INFORMATION SERVICES

  Telephone 26111-2622

  EGLIN AFB, FLORIDA-(Nov8)-S/Sgt. Manmountain Dense, a novice Air Policeman, was severely injured here today, when a wine bottle exploded inside the AP gatehouse at the west entrance to the base. Dense was incoherent for several hours after the disaster, but managed to make a statement which led investigators to believe the bottle was hurled from a speeding car which approached the gatehouse on the wrong side of the road, coming from the general direction of the SEPARATION CENTER.

  Further investigation revealed that, only minutes before the incident at the gatehouse, a reportedly "fanatical" airman had received his separation papers and was rumored to have set out in the direction of the gatehouse at a high speed in a mufflerless car with no brakes. An immediate search was begun for Hunter S. Thompson, one-time sports editor of the base newspaper and well-known "morale problem." Thompson was known to have a sometimes over-powering affinity for wine and was described by a recent arrival in the base sanatorium as "just the type of bastard who would do a thing like that."

  An apparently uncontrollable iconoclast, Thompson was discharged today after one of the most hectic and unusual Air Force careers in recent history. According to Captain Munnington Thurd, who was relieved of his duties as base classification officer yesterday and admitted to the neuropsychological section of the base hospital, Thompson was "totally unclassifiable" and "one of the most savage and unnatural airmen I've ever come up against."

  "I'll never understand how he got this discharge," Thurd went on to say. "I almost had a stroke yesterday when I heard he was being given an honorable discharge. It's terrifying -- simply terrifying."

  And then Thurd sank into a delerium.

  HEADQUARTERS

  AIR PROVING GROUND COMMAND

  UNITED STATES AIR FORCE

  Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

  ADDRESS REPLY

  ATTN: Base Staff Personnel Officer

  Personnel Report: A/2C Hunter S. Thompson

  23 Aug 57

  1. A/2C Hunter S. Thompson, AF15546879, has worked in the Internal Information Section, OIS, for nearly one year. During this time he has done some outstanding sports writing, but ignored APGC-OIS policy.

  2. Airman Thompson possesses outstanding talent in writing. He has imagination, good use of English, and can express his thoughts in a manner that makes interesting reading.

  3. However, in spite of frequent counseling with explanation of the reasons for the conservative policy on an AF base newspaper, Airman Thompson has consistently written controversial material and leans so strongly to critical editorializing that it was necessary to require that all his writing be thoroughly edited before release.

  4. The first article that called attention to the writing noted above was a story very critical of Base Special Services. Others that were stopped before they were printed were pieces that severely criticized Arthur Godfrey and Ted Williams that Airman Thompson extracted from national media releases and added his flair for the innuendo and exaggeration.

  5. This Airman has indicated poor judgment from other standpoints by releasing Air Force information to the Playground News himself, with no consideration for other papers in the area, or the fact that only official releases, carefully censored by competent OIS staff members, are allowed.

  6. In summary, this Airman, although talented, will not be guided by policy or personal advice and guidance. Sometimes his rebel and superior attitude seems to rub off on other airmen staff members. He has little consideration for military bearing or dress and seems to dislike the service and want out as soon as possible.

  7. Consequently, it is requested that Airman Thompson be assigned to other duties immediately, and it is recommended that he be earnestly considered under the early release program.

  8. It is also requested that Airman Thompson be officially advised that he is to do no writing of any kind for internal or external publication unless such writing is edited by the OIS staff, and that he is not to accept outside employment with any of the local media.

  W. S. EVANS, Colonel, USAF

  Chief, Office of Information Services

  PART 1

  Author's Note

  "Art is long and life is short,

  and success is very far off."

  -- J. Conrad

  Well. . . yes, and here we go again.

  But before we get to The Work, as it were, I want to make sure I know how to cope with this elegant typewriter -- (and, yes, it appears that I do) -- so why not make this
quick list of my life's work and then get the hell out of town on the 11:05 to Denver? Indeed. Why not?

  But for just a moment I'd like to say, for the permanent record, that it is a very strange feeling to be a 40-year-old American writer in this century and sitting alone in this huge building on Fifth Avenue in New York at one o'clock in the morning on the night before Christmas Eve, 2000 miles from home, and compiling a table of contents for a book of my own Collected Works in an office with a tall glass door that leads out to a big terrace looking down on The Plaza Fountain.

  Very strange.

  I feel like I might as well be sitting up here carving the words for my own tombstone. . . and when I finish, the only fitting exit will be right straight off this fucking terrace and into The Fountain, 28 stories below and at least 200 yards out in the air and across Fifth Avenue.

  Nobody could follow that act.

  Not even me. . . and in fact the only way I can deal with this eerie situation at all is to make a conscious decision that I have already lived and finished the life I planned to live -- (13 years longer, in fact) -- and everything from now on will be A New Life, a different thing, a gig that ends tonight and starts tomorrow morning.

  So if I decided to leap for The Fountain when I finish this memo, I want to make one thing perfectly clear -- I would genuinely love to make that leap, and if I don't I will always consider it a mistake and a failed opportunity, one of the very few serious mistakes of my First Life that is now ending.

  But what the hell? I probably won't do it (for all the wrong reasons), and I'll probably finish this table of contents and go home for Christmas and then have to live for 100 more years with all this goddamn gibberish I'm lashing together.

  But, Jesus, it would be a wonderful way to go out. . . and if I do you bastards are going to owe me a king-hell 44-gun salutr (that word is "salute," goddamnit -- and I guess I can't work this elegant typewriter as well as I thought I could). . .