“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” ― Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson, the iconic journalist and author who founded the gonzo journalism movement, conjured up a typically fascinating remedy to survive excessive indulgence.
Thompson, famed for works such as Hell’s Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and more, developed a prolific reputation for his mindbending routine of drug and alcohol consumption while creating some of his most thought-provoking pieces. “The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy—five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high—powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multicoloured uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls,” Thompson wrote in the opening lines of Fear and Loathing.
He continued in an eye-opening representation of his mind: “All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of high—speed driving all over Los Angeles County—from Topanga to Watts, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”
While the book, which is rooted in autobiographical incidents, offered an insight into the thought process of a creative genius who often managed to bizarrely blend fact and fiction with bleary results. Having triumphed the legalisation of drugs for large portions of his life, saying that drugs should be decriminalised “across the board.”
He added: “It might be a little rough on some people for a while, but I think it’s the only way to deal with drugs. Look at Prohibition: all it did was make a lot of criminals rich.”
Given his free-willed approach to drugs, it should come as little surprise that a man with his intemperance with narcotics led to a typically creative method to deal with the after-effects. In 2011, Playboy Magazine published its entire correspondence with the late journalist which unearthed a number of different and fascinating ideas—one of which appeared to be his guaranteed hangover cure:
P.S. — inre: Oui’s request for “my hangover cure” — it’s 12 Amyl nitrite (one box), in conjunction with as many beers as necessary. OK H
Amyl nitrite, for those unaware, is a chemical compound which has commonly been employed medically to treat heart diseases as well as angina. See the handwritten letter, below.