ConstantCommentary® Vol. IX, No. 166, November 17, 2005
by Mike Jasper
NOTE: It's Feb. 26, about 4 a.m. and I'm writing this obit frantically against deadline. It's possible I could be late posting this, so please bear with me.
In a move that surprised
everyone except me and Stephen Cook of Seattle, Hunter S. Thompson blew
his brains out at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado, just a stone's
throw from white powder hills of Aspen -- where the big ones are always
Although excellent fodder for spontaneous obituaries that sprouted up in print and across the Internet, Thompson's untimely death could have been much funnier if the writer of such classics as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas had just given it a little more thought.
"I don't understand this," said writer Marty Beckerman, who first informed this writer of Thompson's death via email. "When I saw him last year, he seemed in great spirits."
Beckerman, clearly the cause of Thompson's suicide, tried to downplay his role in the death of the creator of Gonzo Journalism.
"So," Beckerman said after his third Guinness. "How much time do you figure Kurt Vonnegut's got left?"
Beckerman added, "You gonna eat that?"
Thompson, who was already halfway to hell before the bullet took effect, had been talking to his wife on the phone just minutes before he allegedly shot himself. As with all suicides that involve gunplay, the local constabulary traditionally take a long, suspicious look at the surviving spouse.
However, in the months before his demise, Thompson had been drinking heavily, smoking profusely, and taking prescription pain pills gladly to mask the effects of chronic back pain. There was also a negative side.
"Thompson was an inspiration to more than one generation of writers, as well as a general trend setter, so it's possible others will aspire to end their careers on the same high note," Beckerman said. "Tucker Max is pretty trendy. One can only hope."
Beckerman added in his corpulent tenor, "Seriously, you gonna finish that?"
Thompson is survived by his son Juan, his grandson Will, and 40,000 or so Uncle Duke wannabes.
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STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This column aims to be funny. If you can read anything else into it, you're on your own.
Jasper is a writer and musician living in Austin, Texas. Originally
from the San Francisco Bay Area, he has strong ties to Seattle, St.
Petersburg, Florida and North Platte, Nebraska. He can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 91174, Austin TX, 78709 or 24-hour
voice mail at 512-916-3727. Accessible? I think so.
© 2005 by Mike Jasper, All Rights Reserved. ConstantCommentary® is published whenever Mike Jasper feels like it. All material is the responsibility of the author. Special thanks to those who helped along the way: Jeff Cox, Susan Maxey, Catherine Clay, Cathleen Cole, Valerie Sprague, Ian Wolff, Laura Martin and Karin Stephenson. (You may download this article, print it out for personal use and e-mail it to your friends. But you must never, ever give Kurt Vonnegut the credit.)