HUNTER GOES TO THE BANK
by John A. Bielby
Christine: We did find John at last, for those who remember my plea. He was surprised to
find the story circulating. Visit his site, AuthorWorld. Ah, for our
American friends, Canada has a wonderful thing called the National
Film Board, or NFB. No doubt you've seen one of their million cartoon shorts
or works on Canadian life, such as "Forbidden Love" and "The Rise and
Fall of the Great Lakes".
There's nothing better than a cigarette in the morning. Filling your lungs
with bleak, grey smoke and
then spitting it out seems symbolic in a grand literary fashion especially
on this equally bleak, grey
dawn. Literary heroes and intellectual geniuses like myself from across the
ages have toiled in
conditions like these: as pawns to be pushed around the board by the
current matriarchs of society.
Hemingway stumbled onto the game and blew his brains out. Fitzgerald was
too drunk to notice he
was only the top hat in the Monopoly game of life but it drove his wife
Zelda bonkers and drove him
to an early grave when he rolled doubles one too many times. Christ, even
Socrates was crucified by
the powers that be when he got too uppity.
Long chains of barbed wire are strung across my window so I will not
scamper outside and into my
neighbour, the National Film Board complex. The building is a bleak pile of
bricks on the edge of a parking lot the size of an airplane field and it
has a huge smoke stack
that spews toxic fumes all night and day while guards patrol the perimeter.
I have no idea what twisted
madness goes on there. They could be forcing faded celebrities to brutally
sodomize dolphins for all I
know. What really happened to Bob Crane. It doesn't matter though, at least
not to me. I still have
lots of chilled whisky in the freezer and Jann Wenner has promised me
thousands for this garbled tale
of fear and loathing. Today I ventured into the very heart of the beast and
came out with my soul
untouched, even if my body is a shabby ruin and my credit rating has been
slashed to bits like
Alexander's knot. I've been run out of my precious farm in the United
States and have taken refuge in
some Québécois wasteland, like a dictator fleeing after the fall of his
empire. Guns, violence, drugs,
madness, pornography, gibberish and bad publicity were eventually too much
for my old neighbours
so dead animals were left impaled on my door each morning, progressively
becoming more and more
creatively skewered until I got the message and fled here to Montreal.
There are dozens of tiny banks dotting this new, great country of Canada
like zits. Apart they are
rinky dink and amateurish, easily duped for the most part and vengeful when
the realize it. They'll leave
a family homeless with the same zeal an eight year old uses in teasing a
cripple. Taken as a whole, our
banks are a dangerous mess. They have all our money. I know people who
wouldn't trust their wives
alone with a fifty dollar bill for an afternoon, yet these same people
foist all the earnings into the hands
of greedy, grey little men who then lend it back to them for an extravagant
profit. There are no
differences between the banks, as logic would dictate. They are only
twisted clones of each other,
whitewashed with different coats of paint so the layman imagines there is a
distinction. I, however,
have seen that there is no distinction. These maggots are all part of an
oligopoly whose sole purpose is
to slowly twist any blood it can from the innocent while supplying whores,
drugs, and booze to those
who run it. It is a vicious shell game they are playing and it was only
today that I burst into the temple
like Christ himself running amok, kicking over tables and whipping the
guilty. My name is Hunter S.
Thompson and today I went to the bank.
I finally ventured out of my lair around two o'clock, three hours late.
There wasä a blazing, celebrity
Sun scorching down on me when I first tried to leave around noon, and it
was too much to take so I
fled back inside and kept drinking with my friends. Stuart was trying to
sell me his 1981 Dassia, a
hulking Romanian station wagon. If anything can survive a brutal Oregon
winter and the vicious
treatment I would inflict like a cruel slave master, I figured it had to be
the Dassia. A casual look at the
thing revealed it to be a scaled down, suburbanized model of a Warsaw Pact
tank. There was only
enough room in the behemoth for four people, if they all squeezed together
like corpses in a mass
grave, because the thick, half foot frame of cheap Russian tin took up any
available space. When I
was a child, we had a contest to see who could drop an egg form the third
floor of school without
breaking. It was some asinine thing the principle thought up to try and
interest us in Physics, though it
mostly served to smash a good two hundred unborn chickens into a chunky
smear in the teacher's
parking lot. We could put the egg in any container we wanted, as if that
helped, and if I could do it
again I'd hoist that Dassia up to the roof and toss the egg in before
sending it plunging back to the
Earth. Christ, what was my point? I have no idea why the egg contest was
relevant or even what
would happen to the egg. My Physics teacher was an escaped war criminal
that I paid little attention
to. All I know was that heaving that station wagon onto my school would
have been one hell of a
spectacle and that the Dassia would have come out without so much as a
scratch on its greasy
headlight. The car was solid.
Stuart only wanted three hundred and fifty dollars for the that scary tank.
It would be easily worth
that, even if the engine shuddered and blew into a fiery death trap by
March. When you're in
journalism events can quickly cross the line over into Twilight Zone
fantasy, only there's no pale
mortician in a bad suit and stuffed on downers telling you where the story
ends: you have to figure that
out for yourself. A battletruck would be useful for plunging into crowds of
degenerates and protecting
myself from any crazed felons I've crossed over the years. We live in
uncertain times and sealing
myself into a massive, mobile bunker would be comforting.
My bold, clever plan was to get a short term loan from the bank so I would
be able to afford the car,
pay my rent before Gerry , our cheap swindler landlord who has chains
dripping down to his bare
navel, threw me into the street like the impotent nazi be thatä he is, and
still remain pumped up on the
finest whisky and speed available to modern man. I didn't actually have an
account anywhere. I like to
deal in cool, crumpled bills that I can use to wipe sweat from my forehead
and fondle for cheap thrills.
Booklets with numbers interest me about as much as the 1940 economics of
Namimbia. My wife
made an appointment for me at eleven o'clock and anyone who hadn't
forecasted Mondale for
President could have told you I would be late but she didn't listen and
went ahead anyways.
In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to have done the acid. My friend
Tanjir, a wild drummer
and spiritualist had advised me that a half hit would prod me into the
proper state of being, and he
knows what he's talking about. Two and a half hits had put me on edge and
the speed had just
whipped me into a tense frenzy so my neck was twisting back and forth from
side to side in weird
spasms. I pumped back a half bottle of Wild Turkey to calm me down and
straighten up my vision,
maybe even make my hair grow back, but it hadn't helped. Neither did the
second half I guzzled after
running from the late morning Sun.
The guards in the bank, usually laborious in looking unconcerned, eyed me
with a zealous worry
when I stumbled in about two thirty. I had changed back into my peppermint
shorts and bright yellow t-shirt while chug-a-lugging the booze and the
uncultured louts seemed to be
eyeing my progressive fashion sense with a combination of envy and fear.
turned away from me as I waltzed across the lobby, no doubt shy about
meeting such a famous and
talented journalist as myself. Buck toothed rug rats pointed and gaped.
Surely they had heard their
fathers recount the grand tales I had published. Bats. Nixon. Ibogaine.
Fear and Loathing. It wasn't so
long ago. Hell, there were swooping bats right there in the bank.
I had always had bad luck in banks. Whenever I tried to cash my cheques
they took a piss, fucking
long time to pass me the money. They lingered over their work as they tap
tap tapped on their
computers and gazed like retarded monkeys at the monitor. My signature had
never remained the
same for more than a few weeks in my life so whenever I would saunter in
and scrawl whatever
fanciful loops I fancied at the time, they would always give it a hard look
and then berate me like a
child writing in pencil instead of pen on an exam. Jesus, didn't they know
who I was? I was allowed to
do that sort of thing! I was Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
One on occasion I had swindled a welfare check from some reprobate in a
weekend long poker
tournament. I needed the money for a run of mescaline just in from the
coast and they gave me the
most persistent, circular argument I've every encountered in my life. By
the time the manager had
cooly strutted over to me, informing me the money had to remain in an
account for three days before I
could see any lettuce, I was so pumped up by my own anger that I would
have fucked Richard
Nixon a dozen times over had he been there. I whipped my zippo out and lit
a cigarette (strictly
verboten) before setting my bankbook blazing and tossing it down on a stack
of deposit forms only
people like Gandhi and Sinead O'Connor really know.
Sinead O'Connor is remarkable. To see her on tv bombasting whoever she
feels like brings a magical
flowing to my veins in this generation of doomed ingrates. Fuck her career.
Fuck everybody. She had
enough money to live like a rational woman for the rest of her life so
screw them all. So do I for that
matter, but I digress. The speed is wearing off now and I can feel
exhaustion and the idea of rest
rearing its ugly head in the back of my mind, I have to finish this tale
before I collapse in a heap for
I ended up doing pirouettes around a pillar of aluminum used to keep the
herd in line before someone
finally noticed me and ushered me into the loan officer's office. She was a
svelte thing whose hairdo
would have fallen like a cake in a drum factory without all the hairspray.
Her office - really a cubicle
with cardboard walls and a picture of the President - was tiny, as if mice
were the usually customers
who came begging for some cheese. She pored over a thin file in front of
her before looking up with a
greedy, politician smile. "So what can we do for you Mr. Thompson?"
"Doctor Thompson,"I corrected her in a dull mumble. I told her the tale of
the Dassia, briefly in a
Reader's Digest style since I wasn't being paid by the word like I am here.
She assured me there
would be no problems, in the same somber tone of voice an old girlfriend
once told me she was
pregnant: sad, sad, sorry but true.
She started to fill out a form and looked awkwardly in the air. "What's the
She gave me a puzzled glare before I caught myself and tossed off the
current date. We hammered
out a few details of when I would pay the money back and insurance and so
on. She filled out a long,
typed form as she went along asking questions and I wasn't terribly
offended - even if she hadn't
complimented me on my last book. I doubt that such a prissy little loans
manager (I say as if loan
manager were synonymous with cancerous sores) would be involved in fine
literature like mine. In
fact, there seem to be fewer and fewer people delving into my continuing
chronicle of the American
Dream. I wondered if she could see the purple time whirlpool slowly
beginning to spin and blow
"I need two references, please,"she said and then looked up. "Doctor
Thompson, are you all right?"
I figure a tab of acid had lodged itself in my throat or lungs or
oesophagus and only now had dissolved
into my bloodstream, like mercury in a stream serving as fodder for the
tiny fish. A deep crimson haze
suddenly paled over the room and a dark alarm began sounding like a
soundtrack faint in the
"References?"I screamed. "You don't trust me?"
She stammered and leaned forward, waiting for a punch line. "Excuse me?"
"I am Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson!" I bellowed and jammed a cigarette into
my slick, black
holder. "I don't need to give references for a measly three hundred and
fifty dollars! I am a spokesman
of my generation! A man of letters!"
She stood up and the blood dropped down to her feet, leaving the rest of
her pale and confused. I
could tell, had she half the courage of a crippled gnat that she would have
spit out, "I'm sorry, Doctor.
I was just so overwhelmed by your presence. I didn't want to fawn like the
rest of those fools! Here
let me make it up to you..." but instead she had finally bolstered the
courage to bolt for the phone. If
only I had mace.
Then it hit me: the car. Jesus, I'm not going to get the loan if these
keeps up. "Fine!"I howled and tore
my wallet out. I started launching tiny business cards around the room as
if they were kites with
invisible strings. "I'll give you references! How about Jann Wenner!
Anthony Burgess! Richard
Fucking Milhouse Nixon! How's that for references!"
"Mr. Thompson, please--"she cried.
"DOCTOR! DOCTOR, GODAMMIT!"
I swooped down on her desk and swooped her papers to the floor in a heap. I
started screaming in
tongues and waving my arms like a scarecrow that had been bitten a by crows
once too often. I spun
about like a weather vane in a hurricane and burst out of her cubicle into
the main lobby of the bank.
"Get your money!"I roared. "The bank's folding! Get your money!"
The customers glanced back in terror, rather than the expected curiosity
and odd envy. Two hired
guns suddenly lunged at me so I grabbed a silver guard rail and began
wildly swinging it around me,
yelling over and over about Nixon, Reagan, and Chinese domestic food
consumption. The memories
are hazy at this point. The whirling roar of the time whirlpool, as it grew
and sucked up everything in
its path including the two guards was too loud for me to hear anything
being said. Under the cover of
the howling wind and tiny, fuzzy dragons I stormed out of the bank and
leapt into a passing cab.
The driver seemed flustered and nervous, what with the approaching sirens,
the berserk fashion I burst
into his car, and the yelping dinosaur that had stomped out of the bank
after me but a twenty dollar bill
silenced him and I headed home. I had to phone Wenner and get a check from
him before I wrote this
down. After all, when the going gets weird the weird go pro. What an
The banking regulations rolled back by that senile loon Reagan have set up
a silver pair of tongs aimed
right at the balls of America. Those cold demigods that hoard our money and
dole it out to us as if we
were children on an allowance should be toppled to the ground like a
cigarette lit at the wrong end. If
there was ever a real revolution needed, it is now in a society where you
can't buy a car without giving
blood to a bunch of forty story leeches. I urge everyone to go and find
their bankers' car. Look for the
gaudy foreign made giants with cheap Korean cellular phones. Sneak back in
the heart of darkness
and use a jagged stiletto to carve "WHITE POWER" on both sides. When they
drive to work the next
day they will be attacked by hoards of marauding blacks, rightly outraged
at such a brazen display of
bourgeoisie. Riots will break out and fire will engulf our cities like
those vicious images in Revelations
and only then, out of the destruction of these institutions will be able to
build a better world where
children go to bed full of candy, husbands enjoy sex with their wives, and
a gram of weed really
weighs a gram.