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What Would Bukowski Do? Life Lessons As Told By America’s Greatest Authors

We’ve gushed over them, sang praises to their name and title. They are the golden boys of the era of experimentation in American literature and even those that have never read Thompson, Bukowski or Burroughs, seem to love them.

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Sure, they never wrote the last great American novel, never had much to say about morals and had no desire to change the world. But the beauty of their prose lies in their pragmatic attitude towards the environment they grew up, developed alcoholism and/or drug abuse, and died in.

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Because of this I feel that, while they may not have been your first choice of baby sitter, they’d certainly offer up some good, honest, gin-soaked on life and life’s dilemmas.

So, what would Bukowski, Thompson, Burroughs do when:


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 We’ve all been there. You’re working a job that barely makes ends meet. You haven’t enjoyed any form of pleasure for a while and you feel that your life has become a big old hamster wheel. Punch in, punch out, rinse and repeat.

Thompson: Call your editor and pitch a feature on police brutality, the flavor of the month.

Use the hefty advance to take a trip to Vegas in a whale of a car and copious amounts of drugs in the boot.

Take copious amounts of said copious amounts of drugs and forget you even had a landlord.


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Bukowski: Quit your job for the umpteenth time and hit the track. You have a system now and could probably turn your remaining $40 into at least double that.

Leave the track empty-handed.

Swill a pint of scotch.

Wait till your landlord’s wife is home alone and call her up for a “few beers”.

You know how to do the rest.

Burroughs: Cheat the landlord if you can but never your muse.


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 Never an easy situation to be in, especially when the only exercise you’ve had in years has been banging on typewriter keys or lifting your scotch on the rocks.

Burroughs: Blame your aggression on unresolved PTSD from the war and split a rock with them.

No, don’t split. Babble with rage until they back off and leave you with the single tablet you have in your pocket that you’ll cook up and are too afraid to shoot up.

Thompson: Write a book about them and claim that their symbols of hierarchy are based on menstruation sex and anal. Cop the beating.


Bukowski: Spend a childhood having the hide of your ass toughened up by your father’s leather shaving strap.

Pick a fight.

Wait for the moment your opponent becomes tired from beating you and move to strike.

Laugh as his pretty boy mates drag his disfigured face back to his soft top.


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 Bukowski: masturbate.


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Thompson: Call them out on it. Know every move they make and every scandal they’d love to cover up. Conspiracy who? Men in black suits where?

Make sure you’re that extra bit difficult by asking your editors to fund a new piece of technology that will greatly assist you in your research that you’ll refer to as the “mojo wire.”

Bukowski: Masturbate.

Burroughs: Your so-called freedoms have not been present since the 18th century. Your government tells you what to eat, where you can live and how many times you can shit.

Face it, kid, there is simply no room left for ‘freedom from the tyranny of government.

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