Back in 1990 when I was working as a photographic assistant in a very big studio, I was invited to a fancy dress party by the woman who used to handle all the props in our shoots. It was a really great party, and most people came in fantastic costumes.
Back in those days, I used to go picking magic mushrooms so I went to the party with my contribution of a mushroom dip. I told the hostess of the party what was in the dip and she just put it out on the table for everybody to help themselves.
Well, I guess that I don’t have to tell you that it was quite the party. My girlfriend (at the time) and I, went as hippies (strangely enough) and we spent most of the night standing out in the backyard socialising.
Also in the backyard was a young blonde woman dressed up like a cave woman (in a white fake fur bikini) accompanied by a much older man dressed up as a caveman (ala Fred Flintstones) and sporting a long, curly blond wig, and carrying a fake dinosaur bone in his hand as a club. Standing on their own, because no one was a game enough to go near them, were two huge (over six foot) scary looking guys (the ones in the photograph below). They both had the physiques of bodybuilders and the biggest scariest guy had a mohawk and was wearing jeans, no shirt and a cow skin vest. He looked like he was from another age when farmers used to go Viking after they had planted their crops.
In my altered state of consciousness, I thought it would be a good idea to try and get these guys into the swing of things so I went up to the biggest scariest guy and said to him, “gees mate! I hope that’s a costume, and you can take it off later on. You don’t go around looking like that all the time do you?”
Both of them just snorted and then smiled at me as I stuck out my hand to shake theirs. They were so bored that they were glad to have somebody who wasn’t too scared to talk to them. It wasn’t long before I found out they were from Finland and their names were Ricky and Richard. I also found out that their favourite type of holiday was to go from Finland to Sweden and pick fights with Swedes and beat the shit out of them, and that their favorite movie was The adventures of Ford Fairlane
Ricky cracked himself up when he did his impression of Ford Fairlane.
“Do I know heem?”
“Ya, I fokked heem!”
As other guests at the party realised that Ricky and Richard weren’t going to kill anyone, a few of them came over to join in the conversation. The young cave woman also came over without the guy she came to the party with.
Within about five minutes it was obvious to the five or six people in the conversational group that the cave woman was interested in Richard (the guy with the glasses). Richard wasn’t backwards about being forward, and he said to the cave woman “zo you like me eh?” To which the cave woman smiled and blushed a little and she pointedly glanced over to her date. Richard just said ” don vorry about him, we go fokk in zee tent over dare”.
Surprisingly, considering the other people witnessing what was going on, the cave woman said “no I can’t, he’ll get angry with me”, as she motioned with her head towards the older caveman.
The caveman was no dummy.
He knew what was going on, but he didn’t come within the conversational circle but, instead, he called to the cave woman that he wanted to go. The cave woman called back that she wanted to stay and that he should go home without her. To which the caveman pulled off his long curly blond wig, uncovering the grey balding pate of a man in his 60s, and threw it on the ground. The old caveman then proceeded to bang his bone (the fake plastic dinosaur one that is) on the side of the house, while pleading with the cave woman to leave with him.
Talk about a great visual metaphor.
The cave woman very casually turned around and said “no, no, it’s okay, you go home I want to stay.” Poor old Fred Flintstone just dropped his shoulders and bone, turned around dejectedly and made his exit. The old lion had been cast out of the pride.
No sooner had the old suitor left when Richard restarted his none too subtle overtures by grabbing for the cave woman’s breast in front of all of us. The cave woman stepped out of his reach, and just smiled at him. Richard countered “maybe you vould like it if we both fokked you?” Ricky who had hadn’t said very much all night, just smirked. The cave woman smiled, whilst the rest of us just didn’t know where to look.
Richard then lunged for the cave woman’s breasts again, and once again, the woman retreated. I then said to Richard, “look, mate, you’ve got it made, but you’re going to fuck it up.”
“Vott do you mean?”
“I mean that women don’t like to be treated like that”
“Vott do you mean?”
“Be nicer, show a little love”.
Richard tilted back his head as he pondered that little chestnut, and then he turned to me and looked me square in the eye and said in a booming baritone voice laced with menace,
Then he lunged at the cave woman’s breast again, and once again, the cave woman deftly dodged his grope. I guess it was getting a little bit too real for the cave woman because she just turned around and walked out of the party.
Yep Richard blew it.
Ricky wasn’t grinning any more.
Ricky didn’t say very much for the rest of the evening and consoled himself by eating most of the mushroom dip, and as a consequence, he was quite mellow by the time dawn came around.
I must have given some kind of contact details to Richard and Ricky, because a couple of months later, they turned up at the studio. It seems that Richard and Ricky had gone up north, and had been travelling all around Queensland, during which time they won the full-contact karate championship in both their weight classes. Which is saying something, because Queensland is full of hard men who like nothing else than a brawl.
We had been doing some high key photography in the studio and the lighting set up was still there. So I asked the guys, if I could take some quick photographs of them. I took mainly head shots of them, but they wanted me to take a few shots of them posing the way they wanted to (one of the shots is the picture above).
I could see that Richard and Ricky were impressed with where I was working. I could almost hear the gears of their minds, as I watched them try to figure out a way to insinuate themselves into such a scene. I made it clear to them that the was no way that they could get a job working in the studio without an education in photography. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Richard then asked me if he and Ricky could crash at my place for a little while. I told them I’d have to check with my girlfriend, so I rang her up.
“NO FUCKING WAY!”
To tell the truth I was glad that I had an out. I’ve met people like Richard and Ricky before, when I used to work in the carnival, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to control them. I’m pretty sure they had me sized up well enough to know the truth of the situation as well. If push came to shove, there was no way I could resist them. My girlfriend knew that and she saved me from them.
Every now and again I meet hard cases, like Richard and Ricky, who seem to be lost in this modern age. It was almost as though two Vikings from a thousand years ago, had somehow fallen through a rift in space and time to the other side of the world. Brisbane in the early 1990s.
I don’t think the modern civilised world needs such pure expressions of testosterone like Richard and Ricky any more. They were out of place and out of time.
As a matter of fact, I think the whole warrior ideal needs to be deleted from our culture. Popular entertainment, likes to show the warrior as a noble hero that saves the day. Truth be known though, warriors are the ones that we need to be saved from.