Riga Goons (or.. Our Latvian Boy Band)

A young goon blasts past Murphy’s shoulders, half grabbing/slapping him en route and yelling about how we should follow him.  A handle of his buddies are trailing behind looking excited but a bit sheepish, the first guy is definitely the instigator of this gang.  “Come with us and we’ll take you to the best places!!”  Well fuck, now that Alex the Russian has apparently split and isn’t buying us any more beers we can’t see a reason not to do that.

Stoked we follow these guys around two corners into a dark-ish alley and head down some stairs, woooo!  The music is blaring but…  the place is basically empty except for a handful of dudes.  Well… that’s not a stellar start but let’s get some drinks.

This guy’s the ring leader, ridiculous energy, personification of a hurricane (or tigernado?)

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These boys are wound up and it’s contagious.  We head back to the streets to find a place that’s less of a sausage fest. Ringleader is there chatting up some folks on the front patio. Murphy jumps in his seat and starts grinding him a lap dance while Oog is smashing the back of the guys head against his junk from behind. His friends are loosing it, “What the fuck?! You guys are crazy. You’re crazy!” This winds up Tiger Boy even more, “Ok, we’re ready! Let’s GO!”

Strutting down the street and Tiger Boy/Ringleader keeps looking at Oog and pushing him away, “Noooo, you’re a Viking! Don’t look at me!” Then he apologizes and comes in for a hug. Then “Noooo you fucking Viking!”, “Man, this guys fucking crazy”, “Hey, I’m just a crazy guy. It’s ok. Everyone knows I’m crazy. It’s fine to be crazy”, “Yeah, we think he actually has some screws loose. He’s crazy”, “I may be fucking crazy but you’re a fucking Viking! Ahhhhhhh!” and he’s off down the street jumping off the scenery.

Everyone is going in a myriad of directions, I’m talking cars with two of the guys (big VW tuners) and completely lose Murphy and Oog, no idea where they are.  Into another bar called Limonade, this one’s actually pretty pumping, hot and packed. The guys reckon this is where the rest of the crew will eventually end up. I grab some G&Ts for me and the two guys.  Getting pretty fucking drunk at this point.

“I know her from Ninth Grade. Very nice. She will make us cheap drinks.”

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Some more of the Latvians show up, I grab another few rounds for the crew and the boys are losing their minds, “Man you must be fucking rich, you don’t give a fuck!”  Hahahah.

Murphy and a couple of the Latvians show up after a drink or two, Oogie shows up sometime after that, it’s all getting real blurry.  We’re all just kinda thrashing around in this bar and talking shit.

Telling the boys stories about traveling and they’re inspired and loving it. One of them asks how long I’m going to travel.  I crank up the douche to 11 and say “How long does the wind blow, man?”  Thankfully they pick up the intentional-douche vibe and laugh their asses off.

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Somehow we end back at the first bar again and it’s more pumping this time.  Things feel a bit aggro, me and the ringleader are roughhousing a bit, all good fun, next thing I know the guy jumps on my back and I march onto the dance floor Bushwhacker style with this guy on my shoulders, he’s pumping his fists in the air, we’re nine feet of repellent dance floor fuckuppery.  He jumps down and we keep thrashing around

Ringleader gives me a good punch to the chest, looks at Murphy and says, “This guy is like a tank”, haha.  He says, “Man, how old are you?”  “I’m thirty-eight.”  “Shit man, you’re old.”  “Yeah I know.”  “Like, you’re REALLY old.”  “Yeah, I fucking know.”  “My dad is thirty-eight, but you’re way cooler than he is.”  Hahahaha

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Back into the streets and things are wrapping up but the boys don’t want to see us go.  Countless bro hugs are thrown around, the Latvian boys are misty-eyed and can’t believe the night is coming to an end.  They’re over-the-top sentimental, hugging us and saying things like “You guys changed our lives, we’ll never forget you!”  It’s complete high-school-drunk bullshit but it’s hilarious. We joke about making a boy band, The Riga Goons. Or maybe the Latvian Dad Bod Experience.

We get some band shots

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With the reaper countdown coming on Ringleader is now getting apologetic, “I’m so sorry guys. I did not get us coke or girls. I should have gotten coke and girls”, “Wha? I didn’t know that was the gameplan”, “Isn’t that always the gameplan? Coke and girls?”, “Haha no matter dude, we had a blast with you guys. Thanks for showing us around Riga”, “Come back! Next time: Cooooooooke and Girrrrrrrrrls!”

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We stagger back towards our hostel and lose Oog on the way somehow.  We stumble out onto the balcony with a couple of frosty nightcaps and try to pull our shit together.  It’s pretty late and we’re pretty fucked.  Oog shows up with a big bag of random Hesburger and we grease up our insides and pass the fuck out in our bunkbeds.  Night night.

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