I was thinking back to my Charlie Sheen encounters in LA. When I worked for Dennis Hopper as his assistant for a while, Charlie was a regular visitor to the compound. One day we were watching Dennis do his barbecue trick with a flamethrower he had purloined from some movie.
We all stand back while he sets the whole barbecue on fire. At this moment, we hear a smash in the front yard. Charlie has arrived with his usual inimitable parking style and taken out the whole front fence. He wanders through to the backyard and announces he wants to wrestle. Charlie is a force of nature and when he is with someone like Dennis, you don’t argue.
Within five minutes, all 20 of us in the back yard are naked and being greased down with barbecue oil, which makes us stink. Nobody explains what rules we are going to grapple by and I soon realise why. We seem to be involved in a version of “Total Backyard Wrestling” in which rules are for pussies. In one corner, two guys are lamping each other with garden chairs while another guy has somebody trapped under a large statue and is jumping up and down on it.
Charlie, meanwhile, is not actually wrestling. He has decided the barbecue is an ideal way of giving himself some tribal scar. He stares me straight in the eye as he puts his forearm on the grill and holds it there, not even blinking as the flesh is seared. That’s all I can remember as someone then knocked me out. Good times. Cooper out.