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Authors: James Kahn

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BOOK: The Goonies
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So by Labor Day we knew for sure that we were going to be thrown out and would all have to scatter to the winds like dandelions
and never see each other again.

Well, the eviction notice came. October 25, we had to be out. I thought of running away, but it didn't seem right to dump
that on my parents too. Mouth was sort of inclined to trash the country club, and I admitted the idea had a ring to it. But
somehow, the weeks passed, and we didn't get around to much of anything, and then suddenly October 24 was here, and I mean
to tell you, I was really down. And I mean the pits.

But then that weird October wind blew in through the attic window, and I suddenly knew something was going to happen. And
it did.

So this is the story of what happened that one long day last fall, the day before our eviction. And I know a lot of it's gonna
sound hard to swallow, but swear to God, every word is true.

It started with me and Brand sitting in the living room, staring out the window. Actually
I
was sitting. Brand was hanging from his ankles by the chinning bar. Brand could always find something to do, but I was so
bored, I was ticked off.

“Nothin' exciting ever happens around here,” I said. Brand didn't answer, he was having too good a time swingin' by his heels.
But I was serious. This place was dead. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all to leave. I mean, all these other kids had
adventures, like Tom Sawyer and Luke Skywalker and Jim Hawkins. And what did I have? Orthodontist appointments.

“Who needs the Goon Docks, who needs this house, I
can't wait to get outta here,” I griped, and this time it got Brand's attention.

“Really?”

He just kept on hangin' there, but he knew what was what—he could see through me like lemon Jell-O, and just the way he said
“Really?” made me see through myself the same way.

“No way,” I told him, “I was just tryin' to make myself feel better. Tryin' to dilute myself.”

“Delude yourself,” he said. I told you he knew stuff.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Well, I know how you feel, wimp. I sure am gonna miss this place,” he admitted.

No doubt about it, so was I. I gave myself a puff on the Promotene Mist Inhaler for my asthma—my chest was feeling a little
tight—and started to wander around the house.

Kitchen. Nothin' goin' on. Dining room. Definitely nothin'. Rec room. I turned on the TV, but it was Saturday morning, which
means kiddie cartoons, which means nothin'.

There was a
Mad
magazine on the couch, so I sat down and picked it up. On the back was this thing called a “fold-in,” which is like a fold-out
in a skin mag, only the opposite. What it is, is this picture with words, which says something like “Nuke the Reds,” but then
you fold the page in on itself and it suddenly makes this different picture totally, and says “Ban the Bomb,” or something.
It's like a secret message sort of buried in the original. You probably don't know exactly what I'm talkin' about if you've
never seen it, but you probably get the idea. Anyway, if you know what the deal is, you can look at the back cover and sometimes
figure out what the secret picture and message is gonna be when the page is folded in.

So I figured this one out. Boring.

There was a half-finished jigsaw puzzle on the table, which I'm definitely good at. I can sort of “see” where pieces go, without
really tryin' to figure it out. Like some people put all the blue pieces in one pile, and all the flowers in one pile, and
do it scientifically like that. Not me. I just look it over, and it's like I can almost feel where a piece fits. It's instinctive.

My guidance counselor in the eighth grade told me I “scored high in analysis of visual relationships” but read below my level.
It's not that I don't like to read. I do. It's just that as soon as I start reading, I see it all in my mind's eye and it's
like a movie in my head, and I get sorta lost in those “visual relationships,” and my mind wanders a little and then I lose
my place.

Anyway, I picked up a piece of jigsaw puzzle and sort of squinted my eyes and turned it around… and fit it snug into the piece
it belonged next to. All instinct. And if there's one thing I learned from Obi-Wan Kenobi, it's to trust your instincts.

Then Mouth came over. It didn't take a genius to see that me and Brand were depressed, and Mouth was no genius, so he dove
right in trying to cheer us up.

“Wait—what's this, Finklestein's Funeral Parlor? Lookit you guys lyin' around like it was Nuclear Saturday. C'mon, dudes!
This is our last weekend together! The last Goony weekend! We should be goin' out in style—cruisin' the coast, sniffin' some
lace, downin' the brews…” Without his mouth missing a step he slapped Brand in the belly and shifted into his
Saturday Night Live
John Belushi imitation: “But
noooooo! You
had to screw it up.
You
had to go and flunk your driving test….”

Brand reached out to swat him royally, but Mouth jumped back—his feet were even faster than his mouth.
Still, Brand would've caught him if the bell hadn't rung at the front gate and stopped things short.

“Jerk alert!” shouted Mouth.

We all looked out the window and saw Chunk standing at the front gate, wearing his absolutely dumbest Hawaiian shirt, plaid
pants, and black socks. If Chunk hadn't been a Goony, he'd have been in serious trouble with clothes like that.

He was shouting now. “Hey, guys, ya gotta lemme in! I just saw the most amazing thing….”

Mouth called back, “First you gotta do the Truffle Shuffle.”

Chunk's face fell, but he sighed and lifted his shirt to show his pudge, and then he did the Twist, so it all jiggled around.
This cracked Mouth up like it always did, but it just depressed me even more. I mean, Chunk was a stand-up kind of guy, and
it wasn't like Mouth didn't have stuff we could laugh at. Or me, for that matter.

“Cut it out, Mouth,” I said, and walked to the window. We have this rigged-up way of opening the gate from the window, so
I dropped this rod from the sill onto the porch onto a bowling ball that rolled down a track and fell into a bucket that pulled
down on a string that closed a bellows that blew up a balloon into a pin that popped it, and the noise scared our pet rabbit,
Felix, who started running on the treadmill in his cage, and the revolving treadmill opened the valve that turned on the hose
to the sprinkler in the front yard, and the blades of the rotating sprinkler were tied to another string, which was fastened
to the gate and pulled the gate open when the sprinkler turned.

Goonies are into stuff like that. I think it's because we can't control anything else about our lives, or the world, like
nuclear war or famine or toxic dumps or where we might be living next week or what's for supper, but we can
control every last detail about some contraption we build or joke we tell or between-meal snack we snatch.

Anyway, I opened the gate the way that
I
wanted to, and Chunk came in.

I hadn't seen him, so excited… since the Burger King Sweepstakes.

“You guys shoulda' seen it!” he said. He could hardly wait to get inside. “Cop cars chasin' this four-wheel deal! It was the
most amazing thing I ever saw!”

“More amazing than the time Michael Jackson came over to your house to use the bathroom?” I said.

Mouth said, “More amazing than the time you ate your weight in Straw Hat Pizza?”

“More amazing than the time you saved those old people from that nursing home fire?” chipped in Brand.

Like I said, Chunk tended to lie like a rug, so none of us believed him.

“Honest, you guys, this time it's for real. I was in Maloney's playin'
Star Wars
and—”

“Did you blast all the Towers?”

“No, I was just startin' when this car drives by,
riddled
with bullet holes—”

“Riddled? Where'd you hear that word—Dick Tracy?”

“No, man, it's the truth, and the cops were chasin' it, and they were all shooting—”

“So you turned your
Star Wars
guns toward the bad guys and vaporized 'em.”

“No, really—”

“Chunk, did you happen to be drinkin' Maloney's new double chocolate shake at the time?”

“Yeah, so what.”

Mouth nodded. “It's the sugar rush. Makes some people wacky. I remember once—”

Before Mouth could mouth off any more, or any of us
could put down Chunk's tall one again, we suddenly heard the James Bond Theme song blaring from just outside. Well, I knew
what that meant. I stood up and pulled the big side window open wide.

It was Data, flying in the window. Well, not flying, exactly. See, we had this two-hundred-pound-test nylon clothesline strung
between his second-story bedroom and our first-floor den, so whenever he wanted to do it right, he'd signal with some 007
music on his cassette, then I'd open the window, then he'd hang onto this pulley contraption and ride it down the rope right
into our house.

So that's what he did this time, only he was closer than I expected and I didn't get out of the way in time, and he shot right
into me. We both tumbled, and I rolled into Brand, who clunked into Chunk. Chunk was not the swiftest guy ever assembled,
so he fell flat-footed backward into this statue on the coffee table, knocking it solid to the floor—statue of this naked
guy named David done by this big-shot artist Michelangelo, who painted the Sistine Chapel for the pope and then did part of
Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, I think. Anyway, Mom loved this statue.

Chunk got kind of nervous and picked himself up and picked the statue up and started to put it back when we both noticed something
at the same time—the statue's you-know-what was broken off. I mean, I don't want to sound gross, but like I said, it was a
statue of a naked guy, so I think you know what I'm talkin' about.

So this was really bad news, and Mom was gonna have a cow when she found out. It made me a little wheezy just to think about,
so I took a hit on the Promotene Inhaler. Chunk put the statue back in place, then I found the you-know-what under the table
and held it up to the statue.

“This is my mom's favorite piece,” I said.

“You wouldn't be here if it wasn't,” cracked Mouth. Always wisin' off.

Data pulled a map of the U.S. out of the backpack he always wore, and opened it up on the floor. “Any you guys ever heard
of Detroit?” he asked. He still had a little Chinese accent—his parents hardly spoke American at all. They ran a restaurant
over on Algonquin Avenue that Mom said was good because it didn't use much MSG.

“Detroit—great place,” Mouth said. “It's where Motown started. Also got the highest murder rate in the country. They sing
the blues, cement shoes, bad news.”

Data looked kind of lost. “My father has brothers there with a big fancy restaurant they want him to help run. That's where
we're moving when we lose our house tomorrow.”

“You shut up about that stuff,” I told him. I'd put that all out of my mind for a while, and I didn't want to think about
it now. “It'll never happen. Dad'll fix it.”

“Not unless he gets his next four hundred paychecks by tomorrow afternoon,” said Brand. He wasn't one for living in any fairyland,
which is what he said I did sometimes. But I figure, sometimes there's no reason not to, reality is so messed up. Once I saw
some graffiti in a stall in the boys' locker room john that said, “There is no gravity, the earth just sucks.” Well, there's
times when that's about right. And like he was tryin' to prove it just then, Brand walked over to the front window and motioned
us. “C'mere. Check this out.”

We joined him and looked.

Three guys in leisure suits were standing out front, looking our house up and down. Our house. One of them was talking, sweeping
his arm out across the lay of the land like he was an explorer or some damn thing, claiming it all for his country. I expected
him to plant a flag any
second. The guy next to him had one of those surveyor's deals like a telescope on a compass and three legs, and he was aiming
down our driveway. Then he pointed and said something, and the three of them laughed. Then the third guy picked a straight
branch off the ground and imitated a golf swing with it, and then they all laughed again. It made me sick.

“Look at 'em. Smilin',” said Brand.

“Practically droolin',” said Mouth.

“They just can't wait until tomorrow when they foreclose on all the foreclosures,” said Data.

“And trash the Goon Docks,” Mouth added. “Money talks, Goony walks.”

Brand said, “When they wreck our house, I hope they make it the sand trap….”

“And they never get their balls out.” I sort of laughed a thin kind of laugh.

“This is war,” said Data. He looked real angry. I knew what was coming. “Go on, Mikey, open that window, I'll get 'em. I got
my special-agent assault options all rigged.” He opened his jacket and removed the cassette player that was hanging around
his neck. Tied across his chest was this homemade box-thing with cords sticking out of it, and small plastic rings at the
end of each cord, like the thing you pull at the back of a Chatty Cathy when you want to make her talk.

So then he whips a pair of aviator shades out of his backpack and puts them on and plugs them into the box on his chest with
a sort of adapter plug and shouts, “Glasses of Death!” out the window and pulls the yellow ring on the box.

We all stood back, 'cause you could never tell what was going to happen when Data jerked his chain. What happened this time
was too little suction darts shot out of the sides of
his sunglasses and stuck to the window, pulling the glasses off with them.

I wasn't sure if that was what was supposed to happen or not, but Data didn't seem too pleased with the results. He screamed
even louder, stepping back, “Pinchers of Peril!” We stepped back even farther. He pulled another cord.

A set of mechanical chatterbox teeth shot out of his chest on the end of a thick metal coil, sort of like a Slinky, only more.
The teeth chattered away across the room, on a super-spring, so they sounded like a machine gun until they bit onto our front
curtains and just hung there, clamped down like a junkyard dog on a dead rat.

BOOK: The Goonies
4.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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