Freaking out with Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper


For a time in the late 60s, myself, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper were inseparable. The Three Amigos. Nobody called us that, which always surprised me. The Two Amigos would probably have been more accurate anyway, because we really didn’t see that much of Dennis. Or Jack, for that matter.

I recall one particular eventful night The Three Amigos spent in Jack's pad, around 1967. No sooner had we stripped to our Y-fronts when Jack disappeared into the depths of his lair, mumbling about a surprise. Having never been comfortable alone in each other's company, myself and Dennis sat in a silence so dense it could have been used as grout.

Jack returned several long, long minutes later pushing a wheelbarrow sloshing with a lime green substance that transpired to be LSD. I present now a transcript of the emergency call that soon followed.

Operator: Hello, 911?
Me: Yes, hello?
Operator: What is the nature of your emergency?
Me: Hello?
Operator: Yes hello?
Me: Lady, you’ve got to help us.
Operator: What's the nature of your emergency?
Me: We’re freakin out, man. We’re freakin out.

Operator: You’ll need to be more specific. Do you require police, ambulance or fire department?
Me: Yes, a bit of everything please.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled, in the background) What’s she sayin, man? Did you tell her we're freakin out?
Me: Shut up, I’m dealing with this.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) I’m freakin out, man. I’m freakin out.
Operator: Sir, who are you talking to?
Me: Jack Nicholson.

Operator: Sir…sir I need you focus here. What exactly is the emergency?
Me: (starting to cry) It’s just…Dennis…
Operator: Dennis?
Me: Dennis Hopper. He says that he can see our outsides, but he’s 100% positive that our insides aren’t there any more.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) Tell her about the insides.
Me: (hysterically crying) I’m telling her, I’m telling her. Mam? Mam?
Operator: Yes?
Me: Are we the same person? I don’t mean now, but before?

Operator: Sir, we really can’t help you. I think you just need to calm down and…
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) Tell her about the knife.
Me: He has a knife.
Operator: Who?
Me: Dennis Hopper. He wants to cut us open, so our insides can get back in when they get back from Reno. We’re inclined to let him, but we fear the reaper, man. We fear the reaper.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) I’m freakin out.
Me: We’re freakin out, lady. Throw us a bone here, hah?

Operator: Sir, I’m sending a car over. Please hold he line. Where is Mr Hopper now?
Me: He’s standing beside me.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) I’m freakin out, man. I’m freakin out here.
Operator: Beside you? Could you put him on.
Dennis Hopper: Hello, this is Dennis Hopper. To whom am I speaking?
Operator: Sir, this is the emergency services. Is it true that you have a knife in your possession?
Dennis Hopper: Yes, that’s correct.
Operator:…and….and what are your intentions sir?
Dennis Hopper: I’m going to gut these two hollow gentlemen like fish, and refill them with some insulation I found in the attic.

Operator: Could you hand the phone back to the other gentleman?
Jack Nicholson: (not muffled) I’m freakin out, man.
Operator: No, not you…sir, could you pass the phone back to the first gentleman.
Dennis Hopper: Hello?
Operator: No…sir, could you pass the phone, not to Jack Nicholson, but to the man who called originally?
Me: Hello?
Operator: Sir?
Me: Yes?
Operator: Without being confrontational, would it be possible to take the knife from Mr Hopper?
Me: Yes, I’m holding the knife now.
Operator: You are? Mr Hopper didn’t resist?
Me: No, he’s busy filling a chain-saw with petrol.
Jack Nicholson: (muffled) Hey, I’m not freaked out any more. I’m ok! I’m ok! Oh, oh no…there it goes, I’m freaking out again.

The call ended to the sound of a chain-saw spluttering to life. None of us remember much after that, although virtually everything Jack owned — including his cat — was cut in two by the time the pigs arrived. A bad day at the office.

Old Rants

Rant by www.rant.ie is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright © 2009 Flann O'Coonassa