Yesterday was Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday: July 18th. Growing up, my father, Signore Mallow, quoted the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas incessantly and he did so with great vigor. When a good song came on the radio, or a vinyl was playing off their surround sound system, I could hear him yelling in happiness so loud the room would reverberate, “Volume! Clarity! Bass!” Turning up the dials to make the music amplify. Rockin’ out. As time went by, when he shouted these three words aloud: I knew it was my cue to amp up the sound.
Before I was born, he was a drag racer, motorcyclist, and played the drums in a band for 20 years. That intensity never faded. (He raced Austin Healey’s and drag raced vintage Mustang’s that were all amped up.)
As a kid, my dad was a little different than the other dads at school. I also recall him saying things to me any time he had advice, yet was being playful, such as, “Nickie. As your attorney, I advise you to take this $5 to go eat a chocolate sundae, and I advise you to put hot fudge on it.” Or. “Nickie. As your attorney, I advise you and your brother to tell your father goodnight and let him rest.” Other times, I recall when a food was so ridiculously delicious, I remember him saying it was so good there was heroin in it, and he couldn’t stop eating it before eating the rest. A spin-off from a quote in the book… Not only am I a writer that loves good literature, but this one book is one of endless books and movies I grew up around that were quoted continuously by my father, integrated into daily conversation.