12 Blogs of Christmas: Hunter S. Thompson sets his tree on fire (w/ video)
Maybe you're feeling down on Christmas, or maybe you just want to see a famous writer start a giant fire in their living room.
All of these are good reasons to watch this 1990 video of Hunter S. Thompson setting his Christmas tree on fire at his Colorado cabin known as the Owl Ranch. Apparently, burning the Christmas tree was something of a tradition for Thompson, and watching this video of him doing it has become something of a holiday tradition for me since it surfaced on YouTube a few years back. It's a tiny glimpse into a chaotic and fascinating life.
According to this recounting by Wayne Ewing, who hung out with Thompson and directed documentaries about him, the author set this particular Christmas tree on fire to impress a visiting journalist from Time magazine. You can see Thompson holding a can of lighter fluid, and person screaming "Hunter, dont' do it!" is his longtime secretary Deborah Fuller. Ewing says a manuscript for Thompson's next book was on the coffee table, and that he spent the rest of the night re-watching the VHS tape of the inferno.
The 12 Blogs of Christmas, featuring stocking stuffer-sized holiday stories about pop culture and beyond will run each weekday leading up to Christmas Eve. You can find all of them on The Feed blog.