Wednesday, June 11, 2003

You'll Never Take Me Alive: Hunter S. Thompson, Godfather of Gonzo, describes his first encounter with the feds.

My first face-to-face confrontation with the FBI occurred when I was nine years old. Two grim-looking Agents came to our house and terrified my parents by saying that I was a "prime suspect'' in the case of a Federal Mailbox being turned over in the path of a speeding bus. It was a Federal Offense, they said, and carried a five-year prison sentence.

"Oh no!" wailed my mother. "Not in prison! That's insane! He's only a child. How could he have known?"

"The warning is clearly printed on the Mailbox," said the agent in the gray suit. "He's old enough to read."

"Not necessarily," my father said sharply. "How do you know he's not blind, or a moron?"

"Are you a moron, son?" the agent asked me. "Are you blind? Were you just pretending to read that newspaper when we came in?" He pointed to the Louisville Courier-Journal on the couch.

"That was only the sports section," I told him. "I can't read the other stuff."

"See?" said my father. "I told you he was a moron."