Another problem was [artist Ralph Steadman's] habit of sketching people he met in the various social situations I dragged him into - then giving them the sketches. The results were always unfortunate. I warned him several times about letting the subjects see his foul renderings, but for some perverse reason he kept doing it. Consequently, he was regarded with fear and loathing by nearly everyone who'd seen or even heard about his work. He couldn't understand it. "It's sort of a joke," he kept saying. "Why, in England it's quite normal. People don't take offense. They understand that I'm just putting them on a bit."
"Fuck England," I said. "This is Middle America. These people regard what you're doing to them as a brutal, bilious insult. Look what happened last night. I thought my brother was going to tear your head off."
Steadman shook his head sadly. "But I liked him. He struck me as a very decent, straightforward sort."
"Look, Ralph," I said. "Let's not kid ourselves. That was a very horrible drawing you gave him. It was the face of a monster. It got on his nerves very badly." I shrugged. "Why in hell do you think we left the restaurant so fast?"
"I thought it was because of the mace," he said.
He grinned. "When you shot it at the headwaiter, don't you remember?"
"Hell, that was nothing," I said. "I missed him... and we were leaving, anyway."
"But it got all over us," he said. "The room was full of that damn gas. Your brother was sneezing and his wife was crying. My eyes hurt for two hours. I couldn't see to draw when we got back to the motel."
"That's right," I said. "The stuff got on her leg, didn't it?"
"She was angry," he said.
"Yeah... well, okay... Let's just figure we fucked up about equally on that one," I said. "But from now on let's try to be careful when we're around people I know. You won't sketch them and I won't mace them. We'll just try to relax and get drunk."
"Right," he said. "We'll go native."