#197 – Bonus Friday Post: Toolies

26 11 2010

Seeing as the venerable Schoolies Week ends tomorrow, this seems fitting. We haven’t even had time to discuss Warnie’s new show. The bogan surge is never-ending.

Schoolies Week began in Queensland almost 40 years ago, and has become Australia’s closest approximation of “Spring Break” in the United States. Schoolies is now a truly national phenomenon, a migration of tens of thousands of young Australians to coastal regions for 168 hours of binge drinking, sunburn, and dodgy sexual antics. For many of the attendees, it’s their first real opportunity as an adult to get truly maxtreme. Some of these people grow out of their maxtremity months or years later, others do not. Indeed, it’s often too early in the piece to determine whether or not a schoolies attendee will go on to be a lifelong bogan.

But like blowflies to a particularly succulent turd, this event for 17 and 18 year olds also attracts older, card-carrying bogans. For wherever large numbers of young, drunk Australians gather to be maxtreme, you will find the bogan. “Toolies”, as they are known, can be as old as their early 30s, seeking to impress rookie bogans with their advanced levels of tribal tattooing, shinier vehicles, and superior access to last year’s designer drug. Indeed, Schoolies Week fills an important gap in the bogan calendar, following on from the footy trip and Melbourne Cup Day, but prior to New Years Eve and Australia Day. The Toolie is often a local resident to the Schoolies venue in question, and one whose concept of achievement has completely failed to evolve since it itself was in high school. In a bogan-declared incident of political correctness going mad, around 500 Toolies have been arrested in Surfers Paradise in the past two years. All of them were bogans.

The Toolie bogan generally commences its day in the mid afternoon, forming a small pack with other Toolies, and driving to the café strip near the foreshore. The Toolie will drive past the same set of outdoor tables approximately 15 times whilst playing its Ministry of Sound preliminary mating call at spoiler-rattling levels. Its reconnaissance complete, it will park its car in a foreshore carpark, and spend the time until dusk variously leaning on its vehicle’s bonnet, or strutting nearby.

It is not known what the Toolie does between dusk and 11pm. Shortly before midnight, the Toolie pack re-emerges onto the scene, moderately intoxicated, and efficiently scanning the foreshore for a cluster of drunk 18 year old females who do not already have other Toolies hovering. The Toolie pack will spend the next two to five hours ensuring that it is more maxtreme than any of the genuine Schoolies, and therefore highly suitable for impromptu coitus.

If a Toolie is able to avoid fists, the police, and unconsciousness for the evening, it will employ the skill that it hones on Melbourne Cup Day – intercepting a nubile (and younger, in this instance) female during the narrow, morally murky time window between “hammered” and “will press rape charges”. If this quest is unsuccessful, the evening will end with the Toolie performing the stranger on itself prior to passing out alone in its bed. It will then wake in the early afternoon and form a small pack with other Toolies, driving to the café strip near the foreshore. And for any Toolie bogan who doesn’t meet its self-set KPIs for the week, well, there’s always next year.