By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

My mood is foul today, so I will try to keep this short. I must keep this short, in fact, because I can barely see the page I'm working on.

My left eye is swollen shut, and my mouth is so crooked that I lisp & spit when I talk. My phone rings constantly, but I can't answer it, and football games are meaningless.

On Friday (or maybe it was Thursday or Saturday), I was bitten on the cheek by a Brown Recluse spider & my face swelled up like a Blowfish. My eyes are like slits and my nose has disappeared. I am Diss-Figured, in a word, and my sense of humor is cruel.

This is an ugly way to live, but at least it has given me time to brood & bitch & fondle my crystal ball for the Meaning of Life in this rotten little year 2001.

The rest of the year will be marked by three distinct trends -- or Drifts, or Developments, Plagues, Fads, Fashions & certainly inescapable Realities: LARGE BREASTS, THIN WALLETS and ENORMOUS FEAR of BILL COLLECTORS. These will be the Primary Drive -- energies behind everything else that happens in 2001. This is all Ye know & all Ye need know.

Click here to buy Hunter S. Thompson's new book, Fear and Loathing in America : The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist.

People scoff at the notion that naked women will soon be delivering the news on TV -- but it is True, and it will happen very soon, for good or ill. Naked women Already deliver almost everything Else on TV, from sitcoms in prime time to Miller Lite & Magnavox & goofy little orgies on the Playboy channel at dawn. So why should the News or the Weather or SportsCenter be any different?

You don't need a crystal ball or the bite of a poison spider to see these things coming. All you have to do is read the newspapers or watch the TV News to see the stock markets staggering, and the current craze for quick-fix "breast enhancements" is swirling all around us on every street-corner. The breasts of Britney Spears are the hottest topic in Web chat rooms all over the world. The Implant industry is cranking up for a record-setting year & the Santa Claus factory will look a lot different next Christmas than it ever has in the past.

The gift that every young woman in America will be demanding this year is a top of the line Boob Job, and millions will get their wish.

This is not a cheap gift ($5,000 or so is said to be a Reasonable figure -- which it is, compared to a new BMW convertible or a chain of Kasmir diamonds), and if you don't give her new breasts for Xmas you will Never hear the end of it. You will be Blamed, from now on, for every Wrong thing that happens in her life -- from bad grades & pimples to evil boyfriends & nervous breakdowns & Failed marriages & finally Insane Asylums.

It is already a truism in high schools that large breasts are absolutely Necessary if a girl wants to be successful in this world, and even bigger breasts can make you a Billionaire. Look at Anna Nicole Smith on the cover of Playboy -- all she needed to pocket a quick $450,000,000 was one (1) smart idea & a gigantic pair of breasts. Is this a Great Country, or what?

Life will get meaner & dumber, and greedheads like Alex Rodriguez & Shaq & the hideous Daniel Snyder will have to drive around town in Armored cars.

OK, OK, that's it for boob jobs. Let's get back to the Stock Market & the coming Crash. There will be a definite shrinkage of the Money Supply, and that is always bad news for the Disposable Income crowd. Lifestyles will be greatly diminished & many unpayable debts will be run up on Cancelled credit cards. Half the people you know will declare Bankruptcy or turn to Prostitution for rent money. That is what they mean by "Crash."

Life will get meaner & dumber, and greedheads like Alex Rodriguez & Shaq & the hideous Daniel Snyder will have to drive around town in Armored cars. The crime rate will skyrocket & violent burglaries will be commonplace.

The parking lot at Yankee Stadium will become a savage No Man's Land, like it was in the Good Old days of the 1970s. A nice club seat at Mile High Stadium will cost Ten dollars & Fifty cents & Junk Sex will be available Night & Day at every Quick-Mart.

Major sports markets will go belly-up & high-end teams like the Forty-Niners & the Celtics will wallow and crash into Bankruptcy. "Fans" will prey on each other like vultures in public Restrooms at The Garden & the SuperDome. Your home will be Burglarized & you will suspect your Neighbors of doing it. Sales of canned Dog food will soar, water will cost more than gasoline & Airports will be like War Zones.

(Whoops! Get a grip on yourself, Doc. This is supposed to be a harmless little Sports column. Let's not scare the children.)

OK, I told you I was in a foulhead -- so we'll save that riff on Fear & Failure & Off-Duty Cops working as Armed Debt Collectors for next week. My face is swelling again & I have to call the Nurse.


Dr. Hunter S. Thompson's books include Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, The Proud Highway, Better Than Sex and The Rum Diary. His new book, Fear and Loathing in America, 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 each Monday on Page 2.