Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

Hunter S. Thompson

Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

Thompson is just twenty miles east of Baker, California. It is hot. He says he feels like killing something—anything—maybe one of those big desert lizards. He honks his horn several times trying to attract an iguana or two. He is startled when he almost falls down, knocked off his balance by three loud shots. He is even more startled to realize he is the one who fired them. It would be a difficult thing to explain to a passing police officer. Quickly, he pitches the gun into the front seat. He concocts a story in his head to offer a cop should one happen to stop and inquire about the gunshots. He thinks he will say the gun has a hair-trigger. Furthermore, he will tell the cop he only intended to fire a single shot and, what’s more, the lizards were on the attack. Thompson pictures the incredulous look on the cop’s face. He decides this story will probably not work, especially when the officer decides to search his car. The drugs would be found and he would be locked up post-haste.

No one heard the shots, however. Thompson checks the level of supplies in the drug kit. The stash is a mess. Lots of different things have broken and the contents of the capsules are mixed together. However, some items are salvageable. Thanks to the attorney, they are completely out of reds, but there remains a good deal of speed, some opium hash, and a half a dozen amyls. All in all, the inventory is quite low but there is enough to get him and the attorney through the four-day conference if they pace themselves.

Thompson stops at a pharmacy and ponders asking the druggist for ether and nitrous oxide but thinks better of it. Instead, he picks up the paper and reads another story about someone who has gone crazy due to a drug overdose. In this story, the unfortunate victim plucked out his own eyes. The report says he did not seem to feel any pain when he did it. The drug that caused the breakdown was an animal tranquilizer known as PCP. PCP has not been sold for human consumption since 1963, but a spokesman for the company who produced the drug told the reporter it had likely entered the black market. Its effects generally wear off in about fourteen hours for humans, but the spokesman could not say what the effects of PCP might be when combined with other drugs, like acid.