Buffalo - Copy And Excerpt

-Back cover copy of Brown Buffalo
-Oscar and Hunter's first meeting.

Back cover copy of Brown Buffalo

NOTE: This is a British edition, which may differ from subsequent American editions. The copy I own sold for 75 p, and I bought it in 1996 for $5Cdn.

The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo

Oscar Zeta Acosta

Here it is--the first "hippie" autobiography! Brown Buffalo follows Oscar Zeta Acosta's rather erratic progress through life-from his humble Chicano beginnings, through law school, a series of freaky, Californian-style trips, coincidences, calamities, and meanderings which finally throw him up against the rather sinister "Mr King", notorious journalist extraordinaire. And as a chilling reminder that old-fashioned "reason" can't be kept down, the whole loony tale is punctuated by icy comments from Dr Serbin, Buffalo's cool, humourless, Ivy-league shrink.

Currently one of Oscar Zeta Acosta's chief claims to notoriety lies in his capacity as Hunter (alias Raoul Duke) Thompson's lawyer. (Do you remember the lunatic attorney who went along for the ride in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?) And as he explores the possibilities of a new lifestyle, Buffalo's story races along with a similar speedy intensity. But now he becomes an author in his own right and this book will bring joy to the hearts of all those who despair of ever again finding a contemporary writer whose heart is where their concerns are at.

Excerpt from The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo by Oscar Zeta Acosta

This brief excerpt is from Chapter 12 of Acosta's first book, pages 136 to 140. Here, he has escaped to the town of Alpine [Aspen], Colorado, from the law. Friends connect him with the "sinister" journalist Karl King [(Dr.) Hunter S. Thompson] at the Walrus Ranch [Owl Farm]. This is how they meet at the Daisy Duck. King is described as a hillbilly from Tennessee. The Turk is the poet John Tibeau [Jack Thibeau], who was the friend described in Hell's Angels as flying off the motorcycle and landing on railroad tracks.

NOTE: The following excerpt contains certain connotations that may be offensive to some readers. While foul language has been bleeped out, the rest has not, for I do not believe in political correctness - if we cannot face the shame of how we used to call certain groups of people, we can never move forward as united society.

I also strongly urge you to go out and buy your own copies of Oscar's books. They are well worth it and I hope this excerpt will convince you of his talent for dialogue.

Bobbi introduced me to a short, stocky kid with fat boots and a kind face. There was a gentleness in Miller's green eyes, a calmness in his voice that immediately disarmed me. I gave him back his chick [Bobbi] and never again had dirty thoughts about her. The other one was tall and on the verge of losing his hair. He wore short pants, an upside-down sailor's cap from L.L. Bean and a holstered knife hung from his waist. he looked the other way when Bobbi introduced me to Miller and told him I'd been in Ketchum.

"This is King," Miller said. "He's a friend of Turk's."

Christ, I thought, another bike rider from Chicago! He turned, gave me a quick once-over and said, "You from San Francisco, too?"

"Nah, I'm from Riverbank."

"I thought Turk was in San Francisco," the short one said.

"He was the last time I saw him. Still riding his bike."

"Riding his bike? I thought the sonofabitch had a full cast. Isn't his leg broken?" King's voice was on edge. He spoke rapidly. He wanted quick information.

"It was. But somehow he manages to ride."

The tall one turned to Miller. "You know, I'll bet that bastard was lying to me. From his letter, I thought he was all f***** up."

"Oh, don't worry, King. Turk's not going to sue you . He was just kidding, I'll bet," Bobbi said to clam he man down.

I'm not worried about that. He's too strung out to even think about getting a lawyer. But he keeps writing me these long, wretched letters trying to make me feel guilty."

"If you're talking about his accident, he did go see a lawyer." I said

"Oh, he did, hey? So that's his action." His eyes narrowed and his balding head nodded. "He's going to play that game now."

"King was driving the bike when Tibeau broke his leg," Miller said to me.

"I know." Now I remembered the freak of whom John had spoken. John Tibeau had that great fault - to those of us at JJ's [Trader JJ - Oscar's bar in SF] - of talking to us of Great-Men-I-Have-Known. He kept constantly on the run between New York and San Francisco, crashing every party given by famous people in order to take the good news to the other end of the table. He pestered us with names and titles and associations. But he did it well. And so, when he showed me an autographed copy of King's book and asked me to buy him a beer while I thumbed through it, the devil was setting me up for this confrontation with the tall, baldheaded hillbilly from Tennessee.

"Tibeau told me all about the accident," I said to him.

"Is he serious about suing me?"

"I haven't filed the complaint. But if the insurance doesn't cover the medicals..."

"You haven't? What's your interest in this?" He was clearly agitated. He motioned to Phil with his index finger to serve the four of us.

"None, really. I advised him against suing you. He assume the risk when he let you drive his bike knowing you were plastered.:

Miller asked, "Are you a lawyer, Oscar?"

"I was until a few days ago."

"You mean you were disbarred?" the hillbilly smiled.

"Well...I hung it up."

"Then you were just putting me on?"

"About what?"

"I mean, you don't have any Goddamn subpoena fro me or anything like that?"

"Jesus, King you're so paranoid," Miller cut in.

"Well, Christ, how do I know? Guy walks in and tells me he's Turk's lawyer...from Riverbank, you say?"

I sipped my beer and let it hang for a moment. "You weren't listening. I don't represent Tibeau. I just gave him some advice."

"Where the hell is Riverbank. Isn't that down by LA?"

"Nah, it's close to Oakdale."

"What's Tibeau doing down there?"

"Like I said, man, you're not listening. I didn't say Tibeau was down in Riverbank."

"Yeh, King, he said he said was from Riverbank." Miller explained.

"Jesus, somebody's got their head twisted here. and you, you f*****," he shouted at the bartender, "let us have some more whiskey here."

I switched to scotch and we were silent for a minute. I warmed up and started in again. "Tibeau said you were a Hell's Angel."

"I hung up my license, too."

"You mean they booted you out," Miller said.

"Are you a professional writer?" I asked.

"You got it all wrong, Oscar," Miller said, "King's a farmer. He raises Dobermans. Didn't you see the jacket of his book?"

"No, I don't read too much."

"You probably couldn't get it in Riverbank. The book's in English," the hillbilly said.

"Say, tell me," I said, "do the Hell's Angels really carry chains and bullwhips?"

"When they're on a rumble they do," he said.

"Is that what you and Turk were doing when he busted his leg?"

King gave me a thin-lipped smile and looked me straight in the eye. "No...we were out looking for greasers."

"I take it you didn't find any."

Miller said, "Hell, they wouldn't know what to do with them if they did find any. King would probably just interview them while they cut his balls off."

"Yeh," he nodded, "I probably would, if I had an interpreter."

"Then you really are a professional writer?" I asked.

"He's just a hack," Miller said.

"Oh, come on you guys," Bobbi said, "I think King's a good writer."

We all laughed. "Go ahead and laugh, you bastards! I guess I'm about as much a writer as you are a lawyer," he said to me.

The three of them laughed at me. Miller changed sides with a smile. "Hey, man. I've heard of shyster lawyers, but what's a Mexican lawyer do?"

"They slide into court on their grease," King said with a straight face.

"Grease?" Bobbi asked. "What are you guys talking about?"

"Yeh. Grease. That's what Mexicans use to cook gringos," I said.

"Boy, you guys are really something else," Bobbi said.

"They got lot of gringos in Riverbank, Oscar?" Miller asked.

"They used to. I haven't been there in fifteen years."

"I'll bet the town's just full of Mexicans now the way those bastards multiply," the King said.

"Have you been there, King?" Miller asked.

"We don't allow hillbillies on motorcycles," I said.

"They've just got dirt roads for their burros there," the King said.

"And lot of restaurants," I said.

"Why's that?" Miller assisted.

"In case we catch a gringo...we like to eat them while the blood's still warm," I said.

"You Aztecs still practice those native rites?" the King asked.

"Are you an Aztec?" Bobbi asked.

"For Christ sake, Bobbi, just look at him," Miller said.

The young chick observed my entire body. "Oh, you're putting me on . He doesn't look like an Aztec."

"Sure I do," I protested. "Take a good look."

"I thought they were all dead," she said.

"I'm the last one. My family's the last of the Aztecs."

"I don't believe you," she said. "Besides, I thought you said you were a Mexican."

"No, he said he was a fry cook," the King said.

"Oh, you guys are getting smashed!" She got up and went to wait on several customers that had walked in.

We began to down the drinks with the bravado of men in a race, a challenge of the cup, a penny for each spoonful of chili. The hour was drawing near. The music blared rock and roll as we continued.

King asked me, "You just passing through? Or what?"

"Probably just the weekend. I'm waiting for a telegram."

"You don't by any chance know a lawyer named Pierce, do you? He's a friend of Tibeau's. From Richmond."

"I'm not sure. Tibeau brought some famous people in, but I don't know."

"He's the ex-mayor of Richmond," Miller said..

"He's about our age," the King said. "He dropped out, too."

"The last I heard he was on his way to Tibet," Miller said.

"He's going to be a monk," the King added.

"Oh, f***, I can't take anymore of this!" King stood up and swallowed his drink. "Well, just see to it you're out of town by Monday morning. I'll see you freaks later."

He scrambled out the door and left me alone with Miller.

"He's a pretty good dude," Miller said. "He's just paranoid because all his friends come by here and get all f***** up when they're on the run. He says it interferes with his writing."

"Yeh, he seemed okay to me. Looks like he's on speed."

"God is he...By the way, are you into any dope?"