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Headscratchers / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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  • How did Duke get an alligator tail on him if he was drunk and on drugs the whole time?
    • Same as for the half of a plastic bull with high heels in/on the toilet; it's Vegas, they have unlimited credit, so everything is a phone call away.
  • Why does Dr. Gonzo always say "As your attorney, I advise you to..." before suggesting something incredibly foolish, risky or dangerous? To keep Duke out of trouble of course, by putting the responsibility all on Gonzo who can legal-bullshit his way into and out of anything.
    • As his actual attorney he pretty much has legal say for any of Duke's actions. It's pretty much him letting Duke off the leash when he asks for advice on certain matters. He also knows the legal loopholes so he may know how to get them both out of trouble.
      • Which is remarkably true to life. Oscar Acosta's legal career was marked by a mixture of political activism and Refuge in Audacity — he supposedly set a judge's lawn on fire with kerosene the night before facing him in court, and remained confident that no one would ever believe it was him.
  • I realize I'm an idiot, but something about this bugs me. With a bit of luck, his life was ruined forever. Always thinking that just behind some narrow door in all of his favorite bars, men in red woolen shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he’ll never know. Why would his life be ruined and why does Duke consider it fortunate?
    • My guess is he means "ruined" in the same sense that people think drug users lives are ruined. Basically Duke is saying that the guy will probably start feeling like trying drugs in the future.
    • There's a period stereotype of the 60's that there was an almost impassable culture gap in the 60's between the hippie/counterculture side and the more conservative "squares", an idea that the two sides would not, could not understand each other. Duke is playing up the idea of the straight laced-businessman being confronted by something so outside his realm of experience that it would break his mind. It's also important to note this story is being told in flashback, as a precursor to the famous "wave speech" that talks up how free and unfettered the 60's are remembered as being when compared to the 70's, so the LSD story is also being told through the thickest of Nostalgia Goggles.
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    • Another note is this scene never actually happens in the book; Duke simply imagines someone walking in on him licking the guy's shirt and wonders how it would affect them.
    • To give context, Duke spilled some LSD on the sleeve of his shirt, and a musician wanders in, is told exactly what the white powder on his sleeve is, and starts sucking on it. Duke imagines what would happen if "some stockbroker type" walked in at that exact moment. And to put it simply, Duke is condemning all straight-laced conformists who would never take any kind of risk in their life, either physically or socially — by proposing a scenario where one such gets a tiny peek behind the curtain of his meaningless life and sees how intensely one's life could be lived. He's imagining that for the rest of his life, that poor sap would believe there was a world of intensity just beyond his ability to want... and he thinks it's funny as hell. In other words, "Would he dare to suck a sleeve?" Almost certainly not.
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  • Why was the encounter between Gonzalo and the waitress considered such a one-sided affair? He went WAY too far in retaliation but the waitress spit at him and called him an ethnic slur and this troper thought it wasn't a 100% certainty that he propositioned her?

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