Have No Small Wrecks – Hunter S Thompson’s Rules for Driving Fast

Quoted from Kingdom of Fear:

Speedism can be Fatal when mixed with high-speed automobiles & whiskey. It is wrong & I condemn it, but some dingbats will do it anyway…. And not All will survive, but so what?

For the others, the Living, here are some basic rules.

No 1 – Make sure yr. Car is Functioning on all Mechanical & Electrical levels. Do not go out on any road to drive Fast unless all yr. Exterior lights are working perfectly.

There is only failure & jail very soon for anybody who tries to drive fast with a one headlight or a broken taillight. This is automatic, unarguable Probable Cause for a cop to pull you over and check everything in yr. car. You do not want to give them Probable Cause. Check yr. lights, gas gauge, & tire pressure before you drive Anywhere.

No 2 – Get familiar with Brake pressures on yr. machine before you drive any faster than 10 mph. A brake drum that locks up the instant you touch the pedal will throw you sideways off the road & put you into a fatal eggbeater, which means you will Go To Trial if it happens. Be very aware of yr. brakes.

No 3 – Have no small wrecks. If you are going to loop out & hit something, hit it hard. Never mind that old-school Physics bullshit about the Irresistible Force & the Immovable Object. The main rule of the Highway is that some Objects are more Movable than Others. This occurs, for instance, when a speeding car goes straight through a plywood billboard, but not when one goes through a concrete wall. In most cases, the car going fastest sustains less damage than the slower-moving vehicle.

A Small Wreck is almost always both Costly and Embarrassing. I talked to a man tonight who said he had been demoted from Head waiter to Salad Boy when he had a small wreck in the restaurant parking lot and lost all respect from his fellow workers. “They laughed at me & called me an Ass”, he said. “I should have hit the fucker at seventy-five, instead of just five,” he whined. “It cost me $6800 anyway. I would have been maitre d’ by now if I’d screwed it on and just Mashed the bastard. These turds have made me an outcast.”

No. 4 – (This is one of the more Advanced rules, but lets pop it in here while we have the space.) Avoid, at all costs, the use of Any drug or drink or Hubris or even Boredom that might cause you to Steal a car and crash it into a concrete wall just to get the Rush of the airbags exploding on you. This new fad among rich teenagers in L.A. is an extremely Advanced Technique that only pure Amateurs should try, and it should never be done Twice. Take my word for it.

No 5 – The eating schedule should be as follows: Hot fresh spinach, Wellfleet oysters, and thick slabs of Sourdough garlic toast with salt & black pepper. Eat this two hours before departure, in quantities as needed. The drink should be Grolsch green beer, a dry oaken-flavored white wine & a tall glass of ice cubes & Royal Salute scotch whiskey, for the supercharge factor.

Strong black coffee should also be sipped while eating, with dark chocolate cake soaked in Grand Mariner for dessert. The smoking of oily hashish is optional, and in truth Not Recommended for use before driving at speeds up to 150 mph in residential districts. The smoking of powerful hashish should be saved until after yr. return from the drive, when the nerve ends are crazy and raw.


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