Goon of Fortune… only in Australia

goon2paper“Goon of Fortune” is an Australian drinking game between any number of individual people. The name of the game is a spoof on the TV show “Wheel of Fortune”.

“One or more goonsacks [plastic bladders full of wine, taken from a cardboard wine cask] are pegged to a Hills Hoist [rotary clothes line] and players sit under the perimeter of the clothes line… A player spins the Hills Hoist to start the game and when the clothesline comes to rest the player/s under where the goonbag stopped must drink an amount of goon [cask wine] agreed upon before the commencement of the spin. Players are forbidden to impede the natural spin of the clothesline in any way. Penalties vary… ”

goon3-hills-hoistA Hills Hoist is a height-adjustable rotary clothes line, manufactured in Adelaide, South Australia by Lance Hill since 1945. The Hills Hoist and similar rotary clothes hoists remain a common fixture in many backyards in Australia and New Zealand. They are considered one of Australia’s most recognisable icons, and are used frequently by artists as a metaphor for Australian suburbia in the 1950s and 1960s…

Cask wine in Australia is colloquially referred to as “goon” which is a term derived from the word “flagon” meaning a large vessel used for drink, or “boxy”, in reference to its low price and high alcohol content. (Wikipedia) [Surely “boxy” refers to the cardboard box the wine comes in, nicht wahr? I have heard it referred to as “Chateau Cardboard”. JT]

goon1kidsThe process for packaging “cask wine” (box wine) was invented by Thomas Angove of Angove’s, a winemaker from Renmark, South Australia, and patented by the company on April 20, 1965. Polyethelene bladders of 1 gallon (3.78 litres) were placed in corrugated boxes for retail sale. The original design required that the consumer cut the corner off the bladder, pour out the serving of wine and then reseal it with a special peg… In 1967 Charles Henry Malpas and Penfolds Wines patented a plastic, air-tight tap welded to a metallised bladder, making storage more convenient. All modern wine casks now use some sort of plastic tap, which is exposed by tearing away a perforated panel on the box. (Wikipedia)

“In 1973, before wine casks really took off, each Australian was only drinking 9.8 litres of wine per year. Wine had a “special occasion only” image. After ten years of cask presence, per capita consumption rose to 19.3 litres.” (Drew Lambert at