The Curse of Lono - By Hunter S. Thompson

October 25, 1980

Owl Farm

Dear Ralph,

I think we have a live one this time, old sport. Some dingbat named Perry up in Oregon wants to give us a month in Hawaii for Christmas and all we have to do is cover the Honolulu Marathon for his magazine, a thing called Running. . .

Yeah, I know what you're thinking, Ralph. You're pacing around over there in the war room at the Old Loose Court

and thinking, "Why me? And why now? Just when I'm getting respectable?"

Well. . . let's face it, Ralph; anybody can be respectable, especially in England. But not everybody can get paid to run like a bastard for 26 miles in some maniac hype race called the Honolulu Marathon.

We are both entered in this event, Ralph, and I feel pretty confident about winning. We will need a bit of training, but not much.

The main thing will be to run as an entry and set a killer pace for the first three miles. These body-nazis have been training all year for the supreme effort in this Super Bowl of marathons. The promoters expect 10,000 entrants, and the course is 26 miles; which means they will all start slow. . . because 26 miles is a hell of a long way to run, for any reason at all, and all the pros in this field will start slow and pace themselves very carefully for the first 20 miles.

But not us, Ralph. We will come out of the blocks like human torpedoes and alter the whole nature of the race by sprinting the first three miles shoulder-to-shoulder in under 10 minutes.

A pace like that will crack their nuts, Ralph. These people are into running, not racing -- so our strategy will be to race like whorehounds for the first three miles. I figure we can crank ourselves up to a level of frenzy that will clock about 9:55 at the three-mile checkpoint. . . which will put us so far ahead of the field that they won't even be able to see us. We will be over the hill and all alone when we hit the stretch along Ala Moana Boulevard

still running shoulder-to-shoulder at a pace so fast and crazy that not even the judges will feel sane about it. . . and the rest of the field will be left so far behind that many will be overcome with blind rage and confusion.

I've also entered you in the Pipeline Masters, a world class surfing contest on the north shore of Oahu on Dec. 26.

You will need some work on your high-speed balance for this one, Ralph. You'll be shot through the curl at speeds up to 50 or even 75 miles an hour, and you won't want to fall.

I won't be with you in the Pipeline gig, due to serious objections raised by my attorney with regard to the urine test and other legal ramifications.

But I will enter the infamous Liston Memorial Rooster Fight, at $1,000 per unit on the universal scale -- e.g., one minute in the cage with one rooster wins $1,000. . . or five minutes with one rooster is worth $5,000. . . and two minutes with five roosters is $10,000. . . etc.

This is serious business, Ralph. These Hawaiian slashing roosters can tear a man to shreds in a matter of seconds. I am training here at home with the peacocks -- six 40-pound birds in a 6' x 6' cage, and I think I'm getting the hang of it.

The time has come to kick ass, Ralph, even if it means coming briefly out of retirement and dealing, once again, with the public. I am also in need of a rest -- for legal reasons -- so I want this gig to be easy, and I know in my heart that it will be.

Don't worry, Ralph. We will bend a few brains with this one. I have already secured the Compound: two homes with a 50-meter pool on the edge of the sea on Alii Drive

in Kona, where the sun always shines.


We were about forty minutes out of San Francisco when the crew finally decided to take action on the problem in Lavatory 1B. The door had been locked since takeoff and now the chief stewardess had summoned the copilot down from the flight deck. He appeared in the aisle right beside me, carrying a strange-looking black tool in his hand, like a flashlight with blades, or some kind of electric chisel. He nodded calmly as