February 21, 2005

GOING... GOING... GONZO.

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This is proving to be an interesting year for Reaper's Delight - the celebrity dead pool I'm in - what with so many people landing huge point totals in gulps and avalanches. Participant Pat "Splat" Kane-Prescott picks up 33 with her selection of Hunter S. Thompson now that he's chosen to assume room temperature.
She does so without stooping so low as to pick a John Raitt or a Sandra Dee, both of whom bought the farm over the weekend.
Guess we all should have known what Pat obviously saw: that a guy with a propensity for alcohol, psychotropic drugs, irrational behavior and gunplay - which mixed like a cocktail in his system in various degrees at the same time - would choose a rather logical way to exit the planet. One could even go so far as to say the writing was on the wall.
Can't wait to see the autopsy report on The Smoking Gun on this one.
That was a pun even Hunter would have loved.
In somewhat of a macabre, prescient omen (Redundant repetition? But of course!), one of the last things Thompson wrote about for ESPN.com's Page 2 section was a new sport he had invented. One with a shotgun, of course.
He describes it in an insane, middle-of-the-night phone dialogue with Bill Murray, who played him in the movie "Where The Buffalo Roam") he transcribed:
HST: "I'm working on a profoundly goofy story here. It's wonderful. I've invented a new sport. It's called Shotgun Golf. We will rule the world with this thing."

BILL: "Mmhmm."

HST: "I've called you for some consulting advice on how to launch it. We've actually already launched it. Last spring, the Sheriff and I played a game outside in the yard here. He had my Ping Beryllium 9-iron, and I had his shotgun, and about 100 yards away, we had a linoleum green and a flag set up. He was pitching toward the green. And I was standing about 10 feet away from him, with the alley-sweeper. And my objective was to blow his ball off course, like a clay pigeon."

BILL: (Laughs.)

HST: "It didn't work at first. The birdshot I was using was too small. But double-aught buck finally worked for sure. And it was fun."

BILL: (Chuckles.)

HST: "OK, I didn't want to wake you up, but I knew you'd want to be in on the ground floor of this thing."

BILL: (Silence.)

HST: "Do you want to discuss this tomorrow?"

BILL: "Sure."

HST: "Excellent."

BILL: "I think I might have a queer dream about it now, but ..." (Laughs.)

HST: "This sport has a HUGE future. Golf in America will soon come to this."

BILL: "It will bring a whole new meaning to the words 'Driving Range'."

HST: "Especially when you stack them on top of each other. I've seen it in Japan."

BILL: "They definitely have multi-level driving ranges. Yes."

HST: (Laughs.) "How does that work? Do they have extremely high ceilings?"

BILL: "No. The roof above your tee only projects out about 10 feet, and they have another range right above you. It's like they took the fašade off a building. People would be hanging out of their offices."

(Jumping ahead in the story...)

HST: "Well, I'm writing a column for ESPN.com and I want to know if you like my new golf idea. A two-man team."

BILL: "Well, with all safety in mind, yes. Two-man team? Yeah! That sounds great. I think it would create a whole new look. It would create a whole new clothing line."

HST: "Absolutely. You'll need a whole new wardrobe for this game."

BILL: "Shooting glasses and everything."

HST: "We'll obviously have to make a movie. This will mushroom or mutate -- either way -- into a real craze. And given the mood of this country, being that a lot of people in the mood to play golf are also in the mood to shoot something, I think it would take off like a gigantic fad."

BILL: "I think the two-man team idea would be wonderful competition and is something the Ryder Cup would pick up on."

HST: "I was talking with the Sheriff about it earlier. But in one-man competition, I'd have to compete against you, say, in both of the arts -- the shooting AND the golfing. But if you do the Ryder Cup, you'd have to have the clothing line first. I'm going to write about this for ESPN tonight. I'm naming you and the Sheriff as the founding consultants."

BILL: "Sounds good."

HST: "OK, I'll call you tomorrow. And by the way, I'll see if I can twist some arms and get you an Oscar. But I want a Nobel Prize in return."

BILL: "Well, we can work together on this. This is definitely a team challenge." (Laughing.)

HST: "OK. We'll talk tomorrow."

BILL: "Good night."

So there it is. Shotgun Golf will soon take America by storm. I see it as the first truly violent leisure sport. Millions will crave it.

Millions? Now there'll only be 999,999.

Posted by Jeff at February 21, 2005 07:58 AM
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