Gayest Day Ever!

Gayest Day

Gayest Day

Words By Jay Riggio

Recently a friend of mine was doing a rounding up a group of 10 or so skateboarders as a favor, to take part in some feature photo shoot for some Italian Fashion Magazine. It already sounded lame, but I was sold at the promise of 50 bucks at the end of the day.  Plus, I’m Italian so I thought I’d give my people a little support, despite their European fashion handicap. I really didn’t expect much.  We’d all skate some bullshit ledge, do a couple 50-50’s while wearing some whack European gear, strike our best Macy’s catalog poses, get a free lunch, a check and whistle sweet fucking dixie straight to the bank.  But this shoot would be anything but typical………….in fact, it would be a day that would go down in skateboard history as the gayest day ever.

We arrived at 8:00 sharp near the Brooklyn, . There we met up with some other NY skaters who were invited to the shoot. As we indulged in complimentary coffee and donuts, the photographer prepped us on what the day would entail. “You see,” he said confidently, “We’re going specifically for a sort of an Urban Cowboy theme.”

“No shit,” I mumbled while slowly nodding and grinning like I understood.  “That’s kinda cool, we skateboarders are kind of like urban cowboys,” I thought.  But I am a self-proclaimed asshole. Possibly the biggest in the entire world.  That’s why my first impression of many things was as wrong as ass cheeks on a puppies face.
Gayest Day

I wandered over to a side street where an impromptu dressing area was already erected. Clotheslines, boxes and crates were filled with what I assumed was clothing. As the area suddenly worked itself into focus, an initial cowboy connection was made. Spurs, cowboy hats, leather chaps, boots, scarves and a shitload of garments that sure as shit had no business anywhere near skateboarding.

I began to ponder the many possibilities that were sadistically taunting this very situation. “What the fuck was going on?  Is this a joke? Am I alone in this goddamned world? And do they have any ass-less leather chaps I could try on?”  But there was no time for questions.  I had to either thoroughly document this event or be die someday, with others never knowing that I was once a lil’ gay skateboard cowboy.
Gayest Day

I decided to impress the cowboy motif and quickly launch myself into character. Like Pacino on an improv rant, I grabbed a cowboy hat out of a box and skated home to grab my camera. I was by no means suited up fully, but I had to make do with the circumstances. As I kicked through the streets traffic, I pretended that my board was an iron-spirited mustang, my dirt spitting wheels where horse hooves involved in heavy strides, discarded coffee cups were my tumbleweed, the congested Brooklyn streets were my vast frontier and the heavy traffic was the scattered grazing of long horn cattle. I searched for a theme song to sing to myself as I galloped (skated) home. Failing to evoke the Bonanza song from my memory bank, I settled for the Different Strokes intro instead.

When I arrived back to the “set,” some of my fellow models were already fully donned in cowboy get-up.  I became jealous of my peers and wanted desperately to be a full-fledged cowboy man as well.  I began to hound the “stylist” who was dressing another skater up like a Young Guns extra.  “Put me in fucking chaps!, Do you have anything crotchless!,” I impatiently taunted her. She was a short, “gremlin-like” woman and she quickly snapped at me (in a very stylish English accent) “piss off… can’t you see I’m working here!  I’ll get you dressed in a minute!” Dressing someone up like a complete retard didn’t really seem like work to me. Plus, she had an extremely thick mustache. It didn’t seem right to me for someone so involved in the field of “style” to overlook the female waxing process. But like most cowboys before my time, I would be patient (I’d like to believe that cowboys were very patient people). As I waited, one skater put on a pair of tight, white briefs over his pants. “Ha Ha, you look like a dick!” one of us shouted.  Then the stylist interrupted our laughter by blurting out, “Leave it like that, it’s fucking brilliant!”  At that moment, I shut my eyes, buried my face in my buckskin gloves and mourned for humanity.

Summoned by the gremlin-faced stylist, I slipped back into character. I suggested I put on a leather-soldering apron over my western print shirt.

The thing must have weighed 10 pounds.  It had straps that wrapped around each leg and would be almost physically impossible to skate in.
Gayest Day

Once fully geared up, I took my getup to the street.  I hopped on my board and tried to pop a kickflip. The aprons straps ripped off my legs, causing the apron to fly up and completely obstruct my vision.  I landed primo, and flipped onto my back. The similarity between my slam, and being tossed off a bucking bronco was extraordinary.

Gayest Day

I roamed around the “set” in order to break in my gear. I approached a woman who was dressed very silly, or good depending upon which fashion magazines one reads. Her name was Edina Sutanik.  She worked for International Sportswear Magazine and her title there was Bureau Chief. Wammo! Suddenly this thing was coming together. In typical Cowboy and Indian fashion, this woman was The Chief, the leader and confidant of our nemesis.  She wore a giant poncho, tight jeans, and greco roman wrestling boots. She was a fashion indian.  A Findian.

She arrogantly paced around the “set,” dressed like a jackass but to my amazement, carried herself like some god.  It was ok though.  Because history always repeats itself.  And in due time, us cowboys would reign supreme over these stupid Findians.  We would back The “Findian Removal Act, exploit them, steal there land (soho lofts), and give them Louis Vuitton scarves smothered in smallpox. By all means we would reduce them, one by one.
Gayest Day

The day was progressing and so was the ridiculousness of our costumes.  Some assemblages combined the characteristics of a cowboy, an exiled pirate and an eccentric flamenco dancer. At one point I found myself wearing an oversized striped button down, accented with ruffles, white, skin tight pants and bedazzled cowboy boots. The finale came as the Findian photo man plotted his last shot of the day, and from the look of his concentration, grand vision. All of us Cowboys were to skate in a flock, uphill with the Williamsburg Bridge in the background.  Ten of us started a couple blocks away in order to practice our Cowboy mannerisms.   As we struggled to push uphill, imaginary lassos were tossed, high pitched yelps were uttered and invisible whips were cracked.  The scene was absolutely preposterous and I felt like an exploding douchebag.

When all was said and done, we changed and waited around to get our checks. It’s funny because us were participating in the shoot for an easy 50 bucks. Most of us needed the money to eat that week.  Being the focus of this shoot, you’d think that payment would be a bit better. Some of the daily salaries for those who worked for the magazine was in the thousands. I couldn’t help but feel a bit exploited. Had the Findians won? I wasn’t sure. But then I watched the faces of my fellow skateboarders (cowboys) as they received their checks. All of them were overjoyed to get the measly fifty bucks.  And that’s when I realized that buried beneath the surface of this seemingly unjust circumstance, was the heart of what skateboarding is all about. Not giving a fuck, getting by any way you can and having fun no matter how dumb or embarrassing a situation is.

But with all seriousness aside, we were dressed like cowboys that day.  And with all joking aside, let me remind you that history will repeat itself.  And once again we will reign as the victor. Fuck the Findians.


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