By Hunter S. Thompson
Page 2 columnist

"Yo, little Suzie -- how's about me and you hookin' up for some naked bowling tonight?"

"Say WHAT? Get out of my face!"

Naked Bowling was once a sinister sport in America, but today it is making a strong comeback, very strong. Nobody except Waterheads will deny that the recent craze for bowling naked in public makes it one of the fastest growing sports in the free world.

Wonderful. It came in the nick of time. The whole nation was getting jittery from too much war news, and the sporting public was demanding wilder and wilder government-sponsored Sport spectacles, to blot out the grim horizon ... and then it happened everywhere, all at once -- The Great Cheerful Naked Bowling Boom of 2003.

My friend Omar, from up the road, is opening a national chain of bowling alleys where house rules require that all human clothing be checked at the door. "It keeps them from stealing," he told me. "A naked person is an honest person. We have very low operating costs -- free labor, no taxes, new friends in strange places and extremely addictive behavior five times a week." Hundreds of thousands of otherwise decent people are already hopelessly addicted to naked bowling, which renders them all but useless for normal military work.

These Losers are like a plague of leeches on the body politic. They dim the brain as well as the body, and eventually the victim gets sucked dry and dies. That is very dead weight, which is fatal to a fast-moving army of tanks. I have always hated bowling, and I don't mind admitting it. I can't even tolerate naked bowling, because of the tragic encounters with the "SPORT" and everything it stands for. The sound of a heavy black ball crashing down on anything made of wood makes me sick.

There would, of course, be no need to haggle about bowling at all -- except that it is a recognized sport in this country, and I am a professional sportswriter, and I am watching a real-life naked bowling contest on my TV screen right now as I write this page. I see a team of extremely naked women with huge breast implants and fake lips going head-to-head with another naked team that would no doubt be wearing Hooters T-shirts if this were anything but a pure naked bowling contest -- and let me tell you for sure, sports fans, that these women are really going at it. They are locked in a scoreless tie after 13 frames of pretty frantic bowling.

Sounds just about right, eh? Let's all get naked and go bowling. Why not? Where can I watch this stuff?

The Answer is: On the Canadian Playboy channel, which presents a few problems in itself. It is costly, for one, and two is that a subscription to Canadian Playboy almost always causes trouble in families with underage children. Any child who can multiply 5 times 6 will also understand quickly how to cut right through any of the so-called Parental Controls or sex-blockers or anti-porno devices. These are standard procedures and therefore penetrable by any half-bright low-tech yoyo in the neighborhood. Your children will soon become sex addicts.

We had a minor scandal in Woody Creek not long ago that involved a network of pampered children ranging in age from 16 down to 9. They not only copied sex films from their parents' TV, for sale at school, but made their own videotapes of each other having random public sex at home and at school and on pool tables with multiple partners, which they either sold or traded around the school like baseball cards.

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"We haven't seen a local girl turn up on the Orgy TV channel," said the Coroner, "but it's bound to happen sooner or later. These sex channels pay good money for explicit underage sex movies."

Which somehow brings us back to bowling. All you have to do is cruise into your favorite local bowling alley, and watch a while -- and then smoke some fine hashish and think heavily about what kind of shuffling, screeching, hideous vision your favorite bowling alley would be, if all those people were stark raving naked.

OK, thank you for thinking. Are we clear on that?

Upon further study, I have concluded that Naked Bowling is not, in fact, a direct threat to the military security of the U.S.A. But is should be restricted to Canada. Mahalo.

* * * * *
In other sports news last week -- The Los Angeles Lakers vaporized the Minnesota Timberwolves in a terrifying warmup for their next foe in the NBA playoffs, 117-98. ... My man Allen Iverson went wild and scored 55 beautiful points against New Orleans and single-handedly made me a winner, 98-90, just barely covering the foolish seven-point spread that I had given in a moment of weakness, while Anita and I were watching the Naked News from Canada that comes in on a different signal-receiver on the same big screen ABC broadcast of the NBA games.

Frankly, I am having a hard time staying constantly on top of the latest sporting action, mainly because ESPN has not yet delivered my up-graded HD-TV equipment for watching the basketball games. ... I try to watch Baseball, but the hard little white ball keeps disappearing in the ever-changing maze of action between naked people dancing and small men running desperately between bases.

Weak broadband signals are to blame for my failing TV reception, and my signals are getting weaker and weaker by the day. Is it even possible for the Pentagon to occupy half of all available Bandwidth in the stratosphere?

You bet it is, bubba. Everything in what the Brits and the Yanks call the "Free Western World" has been "freed up" for military purposes, with no explanation, due to the Military Emergency. Is this a great country, or what?

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.




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