Page 2 columnist
Holy Moley! It's Thanksgiving again, just like that, and the air is crisp with young footballs. There will be NFL games on TV every day from now until Christmas -- and, after that, March of next year, which is a long way off.
The Gods of Sport are always Hungry in the winter. They feed twice a day, and they don't take no for an answer.
I was brooding on this last night, when the phone rang and jerked me back to reality. It was my old friend John Wilbur, calling from Honolulu with a frog in his throat. I could barely hear his voice.
"Speak up!" I said sharply. "I thought I told you never to call me on a cell phone. You sound like some kind of Eskimo whore."
"Sorry," he whispered. "I'll call you back on a land line." Then I thought I heard him laugh, just before the phone went dead again.
"Are you drunk?" I asked when he called back.
"No," he replied. "I am high on life. Good things are happening out here. Jack Nicholson wants to run in the Marathon this year, along with Naomi Watts and that other girl from 'Mulholland Drive.' I forget her name ... "
"Laura," I said. "Her name is Laura Harring. I remember her well."
"Exactly!" he croaked. "That love scene with Naomi almost drove me crazy. That's why I'm feeling so high. I can hardly wait to get my hands on her. She is impossibly beautiful." And then he moaned.
"Calm down!" I warned him. "Don't embarrass yourself in public. People will lose all respect for you."
"Public?" he said nervously. "What do you mean, public? We are talking on a secure land line. I would never talk like that in a public place. So you think I am stupid?"
"Of course not," I told him. "You are nowhere near stupid. You are smart as a whip. Nothing stupid will ever come between us -- at least not in public."
"What are you trying to tell me?" he snapped. "Are you already jealous of me?"
"No," I said. "I am jealous of Jack. Both of those girls are staying with him in Honolulu, so you will never get your filthy Spanish hands on either one of them. They are locked in with Jack for the whole week. He will have you killed if you mess with his women."
He laughed. "Jack would never have me killed," he said. "I am very valuable to him."
"That's what Keyshawn Johnson said," I told him with a sneer in my voice. "And look what happened to him: Chopped down like a weed, dismissed, de-activated, kicked out of Tampa forever!"
"Good riddance," he snarled. "I never really liked that loopy bastard, anyway. He is chicken-crap. His career should have been put to sleep a long time ago. I hate that swine!"
I cursed and hung up the phone. I was tired of his crazy gibberish -- particularly when he talked about "getting his hands on that girl from 'Mulholland Drive'." It almost made me sick to listen to him jabber. Just because he played for the Dallas Cowboys in the now-legendary "Ice Bowl" doesn't means he's not a pervert.
So I called him back and got snide with him.
"You worthless pervert," I said. "You are a disgrace to everything you touch. Just because you played football doesn't give you the right to look down on normal people. When I get to Hawaii, I'm going to kick the snot out of your lame ass."
He giggled and hung up on me.
"So what?" I said to Anita. "Let's put another log on the fire and go swimming."
"Do you realize that it is two degrees above zero outside?"
"Wonderful," I replied. "The cold will only make us stronger."
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville, Ky. His books include "Hell's Angels," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72," "The Great Shark Hunt," "The Curse of Lono," "Generation of Swine," "Songs of the Doomed," "Screwjack," "Better Than Sex," "The Proud Highway," "The Rum Diary," and "Fear and Loathing in America." His latest book, "Kingdom of Fear," has just been released. A regular contributor to various national and international publications, Thompson now lives in a fortified compound near Aspen, Colo. His column, "Hey, Rube," appears regularly on Page 2.