Friday, August 18, 2006

Y's After the Event

A campaign has been launched, based on supposed evidence that if men wear more brightly coloured underpants, it will help prevent accidents.

At one point I find myself somewhere somewhere Newcastle. I am looking out over a low-lying and marshy river estuary; I can see several large, rusting mechanical pylons. I realise that they are remnants of the ones which feature in the brutal denoument of 'Get Carter'.

An elderly Geordie local explains to me that his father used to tell him that the pylons were once painted a vivid red, and that this ensured there were less of a danger to shipping and air traffic.

Later, I discover that the bright-coloured-underpants campaign appears to have been largely created by Marks and Spencer - their stores are full of promotional graphics urging customers to follow this offical advice (like eating five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables per day), and I surmise that the whole campaign is nothing more than a cynical plot to sell more men's garments.

Thinking about it now, the pylon-vista was very reminiscent of Kincardine Bridge (on the River Forth).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Breakfast with Hunter

I visit the home of Hunter S Thompson (the outlaw journalist), about whom I have been obsessing a good deal recently. He is still alive, naturally. Rather than his famous Owl Farm compound, I find he is living in an architecturally unique structure in a desert. It's a very organic-looking building, mainly composed of curved sheets of yellow sandstone with stout, dull steel pillars. It has hot tubs and bedrooms and enclosed areas hung with white sheets, all overlain slightly with wind-blown dust.

The great man seems tolerant of my company, although not overjoyed. I leave him fiddling around with some handguns and climb stairs to a high, amoebic tower (with flagpole) to survey the arid wastes around. It's very hot; I am wearing my old, distressed black jesus sandals. Later, in what seems like the dining area of the house, I reflect that I never checked if a flag was flying - and if one was, would it carry his famous double-thumbed Gonzo fist emblem?