Goon's Guide

with or without you

Goons and the Modern Economy

by shawarmula

In today’s tough economy, the era of the average kinda-work-a-day goon may seem a bygone thing. The goon feels as though he may be witnessing the extinction of his own storied traditions and indeed his way of life. One need look no further than Greece, where teeming hoards of once peaceable goons have overwhelmed urban centres, furious at the notion they may indeed have to work past the age of 46 before they can tap their pensions, and maybe even pay a few taxes along the way.

As some quotable fellow may have once said (and I’m paraphrasing here): taxes are the price that goons pay to live in a civilized society. For, without a doubt, were it not for civilized society, goons would be a forever-wandering and displaced tribe; a forever-plummeting anchor without a society to hold back.

And just as the sun must rise every morning, so too must the goon continue to fill his goonysack with cheap beer, various saturated fats, fly hats, and ridesharefare to advance the interprovincial network of goonship. When the goon’s credit card is maxed, OSAP spent up at beertaps, and those mysterious government cheques refunding you for taxes you don’t remember paying just won’t cut it, the goon must get creative. The goon must keep the suds and gravy flowing. The goon must get paid.

The goon’s first leap into papertrails and paystubs, however, need not be taken as defeat or discouragement. Entry into the realm of professional employment does not spell the end of one’s goonhood. Au contraire, my friends. Entire tiers of the working world have become niches where goonship can persist and, indeed, thrive. Some jobs not only tolerate goonery, but are in fact active partners in its cultivation. What follows is the Goon Roll, outlining but a few options to keep paperstacks and tomfoolery hand in hand in this slave new world.

Personal injury lawyers. This is for the more audacious and/or soulless goons. Lurking in the shadows at accidents in the workplace, or strapped to the roof of ambulances on dispatch, the personal injury lawyer can bank some serious loot creating fault where there was none, fully gooning both perp and victim out of their ducats and dignity (respectively). I’m going to bring medical malpractice lawyers into the fold here as well, especially because I fully plan on cashing in on Isaac’s estate once he’s established in his practice and the opportunity presents itself. In fact, let’s all sue Isaac.

Roofers. Okay, you may have seen this one coming, but it’s a necessary nod to a few good Ottawa roofin’ lads who brought us the beer sleeve, an innovation that has advanced incalculably the science of public beer-swilling. Roofing is hard work, but the goon can get a lot of his everyday goonery out of the way from up on high: recklessly hucking dangerous objects from heights, swooping around in a harness – great stuff.  Perched at the apex of the domicile, in the sun, with a watery domestic in one hand and a pneumatic nailgun in the other, the sense washes over the goon that he truly cannot be fucked with. After twelve hours, twelve beers, and twelve bundles of shingles, the roofer might punch out, but he’s pure goon 24/7. This one’s real steady, but at its rate of remuneration, there may be better ways for the goon to make cake. Unless you’re crooked. In which case, you’re set.

Government. No one ever suspects the butterfly. If the public service was a person, it’d be the slyest goon y’ever knew. While those legions of civil servants take home high end salaries to dress up and play busy, most of them are actually reading the newspaper, writing goonblogs, or playing Facebook Scrabble and counting down the seconds till beer o’clock. This is an ideal way to finance one’s goonish tendencies while keeping up the appearance of being an honest working member of society. Municipal, provincial, federal. Take your pick, it’s all gravy. Especially in the nation’s capital. The gravy here is top notch.

Riggers. Send an ordinary goon off to some barren landscape in rural Alberta or northern Ontario, park him in a dry camp with a thousand other goons, pay him a doctor’s salary to drive trucks and turn cranks for fourteen hours a day for twenty days straight. Then send him back to civilization. Pure, concentrated goon. A goon whose deprivation has given him a penchant for depravity no longer knows boundaries. A goon whose self-righteousness is the only thing to parallel his exhaustion. A goon whose pockets are fat and whose time is limited. ‘Tis no ordinary goon who returns from camp at rotation’s end. ‘Tis a beast of a goon who breathes liquor, exhales hundreds, and eats goons smaller than he. Things can get ugly, but that sticky bitumen ain’t gonna heave itself from the ground, and the dams ain’t gonna build themselves. This goon’s gonna bring the power to the people. And lucky you if he’s buyin’ drinks tonight.


A Goon Review: TIFF 2011

by marcosandres

I recently moved to Toronto and was quite excited about the prospect of getting drunk at as many cultural events as possible. Fortunately for me, it happens that last week one of the biggest film festivals in world was taking place right here in my own city.

Some people were really excited for the chance to catch a glimpse of Brangelina or Ryan Gosling, but they’re totally lame dorks*. Though to be fair, I was pretty eager to see the latest film by esteemed Canadian director Michael Dowse (of FUBAR-fame!), so I’m not sure what that says about me. But whatever, when I heard that his latest feature was titled Goon I nearly did one of those shit/cum combos that’s so ecstatic for a second but quickly reveals itself to be rather unpleasant**.

Naturally, I didn’t buy tickets on time and the show sold out and I was left admonishing myself over the fact that I was too goon to go see Goon. Rush tickets were the only option, so I shotgunned a few beer and headed downtown for the afternoon screening***.

I ended up getting handed a few tickets while smoking darts in the rush line by some nice ladies and so I got to attend the “World Premier” – though I question how interested folks from anywhere other than Canada and perhaps, like, Minnesota are gonna be in a film that is predominantly about hockey fighting.

Michael Dowse and Jay Baruchel (the co-writer and supporting actor) were on hand to introduce their film. According to Dowse, “This film is about a goon.” I was on the edge of my seat.

What followed was the story of a Bostonian Jew Goon, (played by Sean William Scott, aka Stifler from American Pie) who was remarkably sweet though perhaps a bit retarded, working his way up the ranks to play semi-pro hockey for a fictional team in Halifax. He can’t skate, can’t talk to girls and can’t hold his own with the rest of the team when it comes time to party. But, he has a rock for a fist and an unwarranted loyalty to the team that he just joined.

And so he beats people up, on the ice, in True Goon fashion.

There are some funny parts – though my buddy and I were the only two in a theatre of one-thousand who laughed at the part about doing a line of coke along your stripper cousin’s Caesarian-section scar – no one, it seems, likes incest jokes these days.

And there is the inevitable romance of movies everywhere. The female lead (and really, the only female in the film at all) is played by Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and she does a pretty good job at being a totally sweet-hearted but alcoholic skank who is finally won over by the Goon.

Granted, a few parts of the movie rubbed me the wrong way, especially the final hockey fight scene. But otherwise, Dowse done good. It’s certainly no FUBAR, but then, how could anything rival that jewel of the Canadian silver screen?

* Ok, I admit it. I lied. I wanted to see Ryan Gosling. He’s just so handsome.

** Ok. I lied. I admit it. It was actually a fart/boner combo. Not as exciting, but not messy in the least.

*** One more confession: I was way to hungover to shotgun beers before the screening. It was early afternoon on a Saturday. I have never not been hungover at that time.

On Cartography: Goons and Maps

by marcosandres

“I have never been lost, but I will admit to being gooned for several weeks.”
– Daniel “Goon” Boone

This past weekend, I found myself in Ottawa, the Nation’s Capital, wondering if, indeed, it was the Goon’s Capital, too*.

Turns out, it’s not. But a goon’s a goon, so I did what I do and gooned.

It was the Ottawa Folk Festival. Normally, folk fests bring out hippies and old people more so than goons, but with fingers crossed and breath heavy with garlic shawarma sauce, my pals and I went there hoping for the best.

We packed our goon-sacks full of tall cans and headed for the gates.

Turns out, Ottawa actually employs security at large events such as these and said security actually frowns on goon-sacks full of beer. I mean, what else would fill a goon-sack if not tall cans and jars of whiskey? Turns out, security also frowns on being asked such tough questions.

Not knowing the area very well, and also being quite gooned already, we ducked into a nearby goon-bush, cleared a goon-hole and deposited the contents of our goon-sacks. As other goons have noted on this very blog, a true goon is never lacking in ingenuity. So as not to goon-out and lose our valuable goon-cache, which at this point was about 12 cans of PBR and a full bottle of Jameson’s finest Catholic whiskey, we made a goon-map**.

Now, I wanted to make this a lengthy diatribe about how the history of cartography is directly related to the history of goonery. In fact, most map-makers throughout history have been dedicated scientific minds with very little time for the joys of gooning around.

My research shows that the first goon-cartographer may have been Sir John Franklin, during his quest to map the Northwest Passage. Franklin and his crew of goons got so gooned-around in the Arctic that they got stuck in the ice for years, resorting to whiskey and scurvy and eating each other. A true goonable feast.

It turns out, Jesse Joice and I might be the first to successfully goon-and-map without resorting to cannibalism. Yay!

*I was sceptical, to be completely honest, because everyone (seriously, everyone) says is sucks. Also, my disdain for the Ottawa Senators makes me hate the place and the people to begin with…

**By “made,” I mean we took a map provided by the gracious promoters of Ottawa Folk Festival and drew an X to mark the spot.

A Goonable Feast

by vsimmonds

Every once in a while the goon arises, bleary eyed and beery handed, blinking into the noonday sun and realizes they have to go to work. It is a devastating realization. A total shock to the goon system and one which requires proper provisions.

Sliming out of the goon den, layered in meat sweat and butt stink it is not uncommon for the goon to be lacking in meal prep creativity. It is on a day such as this that the goon may opt for the day old pad thai they were too hammed to chomp the night before.

Now the average person would now think that  the work-place-snack-dilemma was solved but no, the work of a goon is never so simple.  It is a documented fact that goons have a long and speckled history with cutlery. Ever since the infamous goon spoon catastrophe of dickety six the goon has been weary of all main stream food tools. It is for this reason the goon may opt to snarfle the aforementioned cold asian noodleage with their grubby mit.

But a true goon is never lacking in ingenuity. Allow me to introduce the most recent breakthrough in goon technology: pen chopsticks.

First inaugurated in a goon’s bike hut in late 2011, the pen chopsticks have been proven not only to nourish the work besotten goon but also succeed in revolting any potential clientele. Two birds, one goon.

The Afternoon-After Goon

by shawarmula

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Afternoon-After Goon, a distinct manoeuvre by which a local goon creeps back into your apartment, tears off their sweaty tee, settles into last night’s perch, and picks up where they left off by sipping the fruitfly-infested beer they left half-consumed on your bookshelf.

Approximations of a Goon

by shawarmula

Goons. Hired Goons.

It was perhaps a year ago that some lads and I were happily wetting our beaks on some dollar cans of beer and musing on the finer points of contemporary goonery in the fine borough of Brooklyn when we reached a curious realization. Discussing the recent goonish exploits of a local buffoon, one of these dear old friends of mine emptied his beer and declared, authoritatively, ‘that guy is a fucking goon.’

A moment passed, while we in our circle chortled and considered, before I offered to my friend that, frankly, he himself was also a goon of more than illustrious repute. His expression instantly turned, unable to betray what was a very obvious sense of inner torment and perplexity. ‘But do not misunderstand me,’ I continued. ‘We’re all fucking goons.’

Such is the nature of a nebulous and often ill-connoted term as goon that, until recent times, was one bestowed almost exclusively upon frat boys in striped polos, fourth line enforcers in NHL hockey, or generalized goons of the hired variety, with very few exceptions. But in this day and age, what does it mean to be a goon?*

 Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister/goon of Italy.
Where to even begin with this guy.

In order to answer this question, however, I ask you to consider the current phenomenon of the hipster. The features, tendencies and demeanours of the hipster are indeed quite well-known. However, no amount of negotiation and identification of plain facts will ever sway a hipster to self-identify as one. Hipsters see other hipsters and disparage their hipsterdom. They pass one another in the street with the disdain and loathe of tourists who go to exotic places only to return home complaining about all the tourists there.

When the goon, on the other hand, encounters another goon, their mutual recognition is instant. And it is glorious, not unlike that scene in Braveheart when the Irish and Scottish goons greet each other on the battlefield to the dismay of their teetotalling English opponents.

Chris Neil, left. Soft-spoken husband and father of one;
hardened goon the moment you give him skates and a stick.
Chris Neil represents a sort of opportunistic variety of goon.
Although his goonish exploits take up less than a few hours a week,
it is largely by these exploits that he may be defined.

In fact, when it comes to goonship, recognition may very well be nine tenths of the law. It is the acknowledgement and appreciation of reciprocal goondom that brings us together. More than any static or immediately identifiable quality, a goon is identified in and by the moment – that magnificent, ephemeral moment – when an act so vivaciously goonish is committed, and several divergent voices harmonize in the deep, concordant appraisal: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Greg Woolner, obviously raised in rural Goonsylvania,
is seen here gobbling pickles and indulging himself
in a pitcher of jungle-juice a la fourchette.
Actually, he could be drinking pickle brine for all I know.
Either way, commence slow-clapping.

So, if you feel like you know what a goon is already but don’t mind someone like me giving you ambiguous and indefinite suggestions as to what it means, come here – you’re my kind of goon. If you laced up your kicks before putting your pants on this morning, you’re my kind of goon.  If the dollar amount you paid for that case of beer is equal to or less than the number of beers in it, you’re definitely my kind of goon.

* This article neither proposes nor pretends to actually answer this question.

Drinking and Biking: A Swerving Ride Through Goon History

by isaacsiemens

Goons need to stay busy in their own way and, as a goon, I’m always on the lookout for ways to fill a lazy afternoon. Biking home drunk early in the morning is one thing, but this time honored goon pilgrimage can be a blast at any time of day.

Biking and drinking fits with the goon ethos as well as or better than jumping from heights into unfamiliar water or accidental tattooing. Furthermore,  it can be accomplished much more easily than these other, more advanced, goon activities. Just grab your favorite beverage and hop on your beater and you’ll be having a time just like that.

It turns out that gnarled goons have been biking and drinking for decades. Some of the most ambitious drinking and biking can be dated back to the first Tour de France in 1903.

The First Tour de France

Witness these bad-ass characters Leon Georget and Maurice Garin in the foreground. The man pounding the bottle in the background is clearly a card-carrying goon. (Paris, 1903)

For true goons, any biking pit stop involves pounding a bottle of wine.

Fueling up for a nice ride.

The whole gang can enjoy this activity.

For the beer loving goon, what better way to load up on some carbs?

Beers, buds and bikes

These beer swilling lads look onward to their next adventure.

Why bother stopping if you have the skills to pound and pedal?

pass the bottle

These overheated goons share a bottle while rolling.

Drinking and biking is so popular in the Tour de France that the leader going into Paris must kill a bottle of champagne on the final stage in order to win. This year, Cadel Evans, despite being from a country of alcoholic assholes, barely manned up enough to complete the task that others would find enjoyable.

Final Stage

Evans begrudgingly sipping his Champers.

In short, the history of biking and drinking runs parallel to the history of goon-dom itself. While drinking and completing a stage of the famous french tour might be beyond the average goon, you can always get your kicks by riding out into the world and seeing where your gooned-out haze will take you.