The original Four Horsemen, short for Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, are archetypal representations of Death, Famine, War, and Conquest mentioned in The Book of Revelations in The New Testament. If we’re going in chronological order, the next use of The Four Horsemen moniker appeared in the eponymous song by Metallica off of their debut album Kill ‘Em All. Originally, the band wanted to title the album “Metal up Your A—,” but their label suggested distributors wouldn’t stock the album with such a provocative title. Kill ‘Em All was the response bassist Cliff Burton had with regard to said distributors. Dave Mustaine, who had written the song, had been a member of Metallica but had been fired before they recorded the album. The original version of the song had been titled Mechanix and had different lyrics. When Mustaine formed his own group, Megadeth, their debut album contained his version of the song. The Four Horsemen was also the name supplied to a group of professional wrestlers in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling. The initial group consisted of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn, and Ole Anderson. It wasn’t until I did some research for this essay, I learned that Arn and Ole Anderson were not related. In fact, both are stage names, and The Anderson Family of wrestlers is a fabrication. Only one wrestler had the legitimate surname of Anderson, and it wasn’t Arn or Ole. Finally, in 2013, I gave the moniker to a group of ex-pats I would join while teaching in Hong Kong: James, who’s been featured in other essays about gambling at the track, Barnes, and Subarashi. I shared an office with James, Subarashi was around the corner, and Barnes was further down the hall. James, Barnes, and I taught English classes, and Subarashi taught Japanese. Sometimes we would go on weekend excursions. In fact, one memory I have is of going hiking with everyone including Subarashi’s and Barnes’s wives. Hong Kong is similar to New York City in a few ways. Hong Kong Island, like Manhattan, is predominantly skyscrapers, restaurants, and businesses. Kowloon is sort of like Astoria, Queens, or Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The New Territories, where I lived, is like going deep into one of the outer boroughs. There are a few apartment buildings, but it’s nothing like Hong Kong island. It’s a lot of green, hills, and ranges. There are a few trails which are enjoyable. While we had hiked a paved, level, trail near my house, on the day in question, we hiked in Ma On Shan which is also in The New Territories. This trail was a dirt trail, and while not too difficult, wasn’t all level. At one point, in the 1970s a Trappist dairy had gone under and since then there have been feral cows in many areas of Hong Kong. One of these feral cows decided to relax in the middle of our trail. I tried Mick Dundee’s animal hypnotization from Crocodile Dundee to convince the animal to move out of the way, but it didn’t work. So, we all had to sneak by the cow, much to the chagrin of Barnes’s wife, Victoria, who thought the cow might knock her off the hillside path. Other times, The four of us played snooker or went bowling. Most of the time, though, we would go to the deli on campus, order something to eat, drink coffee, and hang out. One of my favorite quotations from the film Stand By Me is “Friends walk in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant.” However, I have become quite philosophical since my ruptured brain aneurysm, and have thought Epicurus, the Greek philosopher was correct in suggesting friendship is the most valuable currency. While I’m no longer in Hong Kong. I’m happy to know the three of them have maintained their friendship. The other day, I was able to video chat with the group over WhatsApp. They were taking a break from playing Badminton. Over the last few years, they have incorporated another member to the group of Four Horseman, which is wonderful. Members of the wrestling stable The Four Horsemen would sometimes come and go; Barry Wyndham and Lex Luger eventually became members. Metallica has changed lineups a few times as well. I’m not sure about The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse, though.
Andrew Davie has worked in theater, finance, and education. He taught English in Macau on a Fulbright Grant and has survived a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. He has published short stories at various places, a chapbook with The Daily Drunk, crime fiction novellas with All Due Respect and Close to the Bone, and an upcoming memoir. His other work can be found in links on his website https://andrew-davie.com/