A glass of wine or two, and a muck around in the dress up box has led to two Pongakawa ladies ending up with some likeable larrikin alter egos…
You may be familiar with these characters too. Vanessa Reid and Hayley Whistler have become Te Puke’s very own ‘Ken and Ken’ –the iconic characters of a Kiwi Bloke and townie created by New Zealand’s beloved Topp Twins.
Yet Vanessa and Hayley have taken their own twist on Ken and Ken – strutting around as a pair of rural stock agents ready to hand out cheek and tasteful sleaze at their leisure.
“Dress up and be stupid”
The two fell into their alter egos last year when their friend Kim Cawte, and organiser of the Te Puke A&P Show asked if Vanessa and Hayley could work the crowds at the event.
“We were like: ‘Oh yeah –only if we can dress up and be stupid,” says Vanessa.
“So we just started dressing up in some stupid old suits, put wigs on and we just couldn't stop laughing.”
It also helps that Hayley has her own costume hire business –Costume Call!
“We'd had a few wines…then I put on the wig and Vanessa goes: ‘Oh my god that's brilliant, and you look like Ken!” says Hayley.
“We've always liked the Topp Twins,” says Vanessa.
Unleashing their own unruly, heckling Kens at TePuke’s last A&P show, the pair of mates say they had the best time.
“It was so funny and the crowd really got into it and the kids loved it,” says Vanessa.
“We just cruised around and we did a shout out to everyone and talked to the shearers about how we used to be sheep shaggers –oops –I mean sheep shearers back in the day.”
“We both egg each other on as much as possible.”
Hold onto to your wives too because these Ken’s know how to flirt.
“[As Ken] you can be subtly a little bit sleazy like that uncle that every family has, but everyone goes: ‘Oh they can get away with it,’” says Hayley.
Te Puke’s Ken and Ken – Hayley Whistler (left), and Vanessa Reid strut around the Te Puke A & P show as rural stock agents. Photo: John Borren.
Laugh at yourself
A recipe for fun, these lovable ladies in their early 50’s have been mates for yonks are all about enjoying life with a grin and a laugh.
“We both see the funny side of everything in life you know, because life can be hard…even if it's a tragedy, we're like: ‘Right, we have to see the good side and we have to see the funny side and we are just good at laughing at ourselves,” says Vanessa.
And their friends and family’s thoughts on their shenani’Kens’?
“They just shake their heads like: ‘Oh god what’s next?’,” says Hayley.
The Sun then asked if Hayley and Vanessa relate to the characters of Ken as their real selves.
“Um as idiots? Yes,” says Hayley.
“We're so immature. It's ridiculous…we kind of act like we're 18…we’re just a couple of mates that like being silly,” says Vanessa.
Catch Te Puke’s Ken and Ken for yourself this weekend at the Te Puke 118th A & P Lifestyle Show starting at 7am on Saturday, February 10.