Christmas is over! So now you should watch this old, 1990 video of Hunter S. Thompson stuffing his Christmas tree into the fireplace of his Woody Creek, Colo., home and lighting it up — complete with flames coming out of the top of the chimney.
Writer Sam Allis witnessed the gonzo tomfoolery seen in the video and wrote about it for Time.
I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.
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Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.
But then the whole evening had been like this. It began in late daylight, when Hunter shot his beloved tracer pistol into the air and then started training it at passing cars. One tracer hit a tree and boomeranged back at us. Everyone thought that was really neat.
h/t to my mom who initially texted me this video on Christmas morning