In summary, the basic hallmarks of Gonzo journalism are:
- First-person narration.
- Dialogue complete with vernacular.
- Lots and lots and lots of detail.
From late morning a helicopter had been flying and buzzing around in the sky. I decided to head out in the direction it was circling and see if I could find out what was going on. The helicopter would fly around the area, always seeming to return to hover in one position for several minutes before flying off again. The drone constantly audible.
It wasn’t long before I came across a weather-beaten, older man dressed in baggy grey trousers, a long sleeved, hole peppered shirt, which had probably once been white, and a worn felt wide brimmed hat. He held out his hand in greeting, his lined face turning into a multitude of ravines as he smiled at me.
“What’s happening?” I asked him.
“ The Westpac rescue helicopter flew over this morning goin’ to an accident and spotted a crop of marijuana growing in the hills. Size of a couple of football fields theys reckon. So well disguised it was theys couldn’t find it on foot and had to send in de police helicopter to find it. Would’a taken ‘im days to build them terraces they say are up there. All set up with automatic water. Ready to harvest. Couple of million dollars worth. We knew something was goin’ on there. A few people had told the local police they suspected something, but they didn’t want to know. Couldn’t ignore it when Westpac reported it.”
At that moment the man’s neighbour drove up and stopped. Everyone was buzzing with the news. “They could have caught him. All they had to do was stake out Jim’s place by watching it from my place. Every day he used to go up that mountain. They could have just watched and followed and caught him at it.” Robbie said.
© irene waters 2014