A rusted out, beat up 1982 Chevrolet Acadian pulls into a parking lot in what appears to be a commercial plaza, however none of the storefronts are clearly visible – almost as if it’s either a new development, or an old one that fell on hard times and was spruced up to attract new buyers. As its rough running engine sputters to a stop, a small puff of blackish smoke emanates from the tailpipe. The car seems out of place amongst the dozen late model vans and SUVs dotting the lot, all shiny, smooth lined, and with the same coloured panels; the Acadian’s shape could only be described as a work by Picasso himself: ugly, blocky, and multicoloured. The car shakes to and fro momentarily as a little as movement is seen through the windshield inside.
The scene cuts to inside what can only be presumed to be the Acadian judging by the plain, 80s style interior. The camera is angled from the passenger side dashboard showing Rick Dickulous, comically scrunched in the driver’s seat. He wears a tan safari shirt and a fairly terrible blonde semi-mullet wig which contrasts with his short auburn beard. As he begins speaking in an excited tone, his terrible Australian accent sets the tone:
“G’day, everyone. Today we’re on a very important mission. Today we’re on a hunt for information about Australia’s Greatest Wrestler, Buck Yates, and I’ve come here to one of the best sources of information about Australia anywhere in the United States of America…”
The camera cuts to the outside view of a beige stucco covered facade, the neon lights casting a pastel glow against the wall. The sign shines into the night as Rick’s voice drops to almost a whisper.
“…Outback Steakhouse! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is most definitely the best source of information about Australia I can think of – just look at the name! Outback. Steakhouse. Let’s go inside and check it out!”
Rick enters the shot from the bottom left, heading towards the doors. He sports black boots which extend halfway up his shin with grey wool socks puffing out at the top, and his lumberjack tartaned kilt on the bottom. He gently pulls the door open and steps inside.
The shot fades to just inside the doorway. Rick stands in front of the doors smiling, looking absolutely ridiculous in what can only be called a Steve Irwin cosplay.
“Here’s where I can get some authentic Australian food, and finally get to speak to some real life Australians…”
A clearly American young lady’s voice can be heard from off camera, causing Rick to look over quickly, seemingly confused.
“Welcome to Outback Steakhouse? Is it just yourself this evening?”
“Now wait just a bloomin’ second here, this Shiela can’t be from Australia.”
She laughs a little before continuing:
“Just follow me this way…”
Rick shrugs and walks off camera to the right of the screen. The camera slowly pans to the right showing Rick’s massive frame slowly walking off into a crowded dining room – as he walks past, a few look him up and down trying to figure out what they just witnessed before turning back to their meals or chattering amongst themselves.
Again Rick’s commentary can be heard via voiceover:
“I was a little puzzled on my way to the table. It seems I may have made a little mistake in my quest for information, but I still had hope for the waitstaff as I sat down. Thankfully I wouldn’t die of thirst in the Outback either, as Jennifer took my drink order before she left.”
The shot hard cuts to tableside, the wider angled shot allowing good view of anyone approaching the table. Rick again begins commentating over the din of conversation and the clanking of silverware:
“So, I’ve been told my server is a legend at this location and likely is going to be my best source of information on Buck Yates. With any luck, this sheila will not only be a beaut, but she’ll be a wealth of knowledge too!”
As if on cue, from the right of the screen a middle-aged, heavyset server steps to the table carrying a glass of cola and a straw in one hand, and a bottle of Foster’s Lager in the other. She drops a coaster on the table beside Rick and sets the beer on it, setting the glass of cola and straw next to it. As she sets the drinks down she greets Rick, her voice also notably American:
“Hi there, dear! I’m Nicole, and I’ll be your server tonight. Didja want to know about the specials?”
Rick nods to himself for a moment, clearly trying to digest his misjudgement before turning to Nicole and continuing in his butchered accent:
“I’d love to hear about your specials, Nicole! Do you have some Koala flambé? Maybe Kangaroo fricasée? This is authentic Australian cuisine, right?”
Nicole looks oddly at Rick for a moment, nervously laughing.
“Sweetie, this is Outback. There ain’t no Australian food on the menu here! It’s steaks, ribs, chicken, and some fish…definitely no kangaroo or koala – I don’t even know where you’d get any of that around here…”
Rick freezes in place, blinking his eyes repeatedly, his broad smile quivers just a little bit before he exasperatedly whispered:
“Nicole, love…would I be wrong in assuming you also know nothing of Australia’s Greatest Wrestler, Buck Yates? I mean, I might be a little chuffed if you don’t.”
Nicole shook her head side to side with an apologetic look, her voice soft and reassuring.
“No, honey. I don’t have any idea who that guy is. I don’t follow that rasslin’ stuff, that’s more my boys; I haven’t ever heard them say anythin’ about Buck Yates though.”
Rick breathes in deeply, exhaling sharply, clearly defeated. He reaches up and dejectedly removes his wig, revealing his stubbly, shaven head, unceremoniously plopping it down beside him. He looks at Nicole and for the first time speaks normally.
“Man, here I thought I’d get a leg up. I mean, how can you have Outback in your name and not be a fuckin’ Australian joint? I gotta get some intel on this guy so I don’t step into this tournament and look like an idiot! Hey, at least I don’t have a championship belt to leave at the table while I take a piss, right?”
“What tournament, hun?”
“The Lee Best Invitational. High Octane Wrestling? Ever heard of it?”
Nicole holds up a finger with a smile, her eyes light up and she seems to bounce with excitement.
“Hold on! I think the manager on shift right now was mentionin’ somethin’ about that earlier in the kitchen! I didn’t pay much attention, I just assumed it was some UFC thing – they’re always talkin’ about that stuff while they work!”
As she disappears, Rick picks up a menu and begins looking it over.
“Wait a tick. Bloomin’ Onion…Bloomin’ Chicken…no WONDER Jennifer laughed when I told her to wait a bloomin’ second. Fuck am I an idiot!”
As Rick takes a sip of his Foster’s Lager his face distorts in disgust. Seconds later, he gingerly spits the beer back into the bottle and pushes it away from him. Reaching for the paper wrapped straw, Rick gently bangs the bottom against the table, breaking it free from its cocoon before inspecting it and slipping it into his cup of cola. He lifts the glass and takes a sip, swishing the liquid around in his mouth. Looking left and right, presumably for somewhere to spit it out, he remembers his wig beside him and comically spits the mouthful of soda into it, setting it back down on the bench.
A tall, gaunt man approaches Rick’s table, excitement written all over his face like a cheap harlequin paperback. He looks at Rick, almost starstruck and awkwardly extends a hand.
“H-hi! How are you this evening, sir? My name’s Paul, and I’m the kitchen manager…and you’re…you’re Rick Dickulous, right?”
Rick shakes the man’s hand and offers him a seat. Paul’s hand looks like a baby’s next to Rick’s massive hand.
“Paul, I have two questions for you,” Rick says as Paul sits down. “Question one, do you know anything about Buck Yates? I need to get the scoop on this guy before my first round matchup with him, but it seems like everyone looks at me like I farted in church when I ask about him!”
Paul smiles – the kind of smile only a manager has; the smile of someone about to drop a knowledge bomb of epic proportions.
“Just Rick, Paul. Just Rick.”
“R-rick…I know everything you need to know about Buck Yates. I mean, I’m not a Buck Yates fan, but I definitely know what he does. He does this thing where he–”
Rick presses a finger to Paul’s lips to shush him, closing his eyes, holding up a finger as if asking for a moment. Removing his finger from Paul’s lips, Rick opens his eyes and looks at Paul intently.
“What’s the chances of you maybe chilling out here while I eat? You can tell me all about Buck Yates while I pretend that whatever I’m eating is kangaroo. Sound like a deal?”
Paul nods emphatically, Rick continues speaking.
“Awesome, guy. So, Paul. About this menu…I noticed you don’t serve breakfast. You know it’s the most profitable meal for any restaurant, right?”
Again, Paul nods.
“Well, yes, Mr. Di–I mean Rick, but I don’t have any control over the menu. That’s all head office.”
“I get you, Paul. You got any contacts up the chain? Anyone who can make a difference? Enact change? I’ve got the perfect product to pair with an Outback breakfast…and I think you know what it is…”
“You mean Tree Blood?!”
Rick nods sagely.
“I like you, kid…now how’s about you tell me what’s good in the back and then you can tell me all about Buck Yates…”
The shot cuts to the front facade of the restaurant again, the din of conversation and the clinking of silverware and glasses fading along with the picture to silence and darkness.