Don Gogortiloz

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The pen name of an (apparently) English Armenian, with a (undoubted) grudge against the Armenian Club website.


Don Gogortiloz was born in London, England on the 14th August 1981. Throughout that summer London was subjected to heavy sun-shine, but on the morning of Don Gogortiloz's birth there was a snow storm. Although he was born with blond hair soon later it would turn brown. Don Gogortiloz attended St James primary school where at lunchtimes he would un-screw the tops of the salt and pepper pots that would be on the dinner tables. The highlight of his primary school days were the school fates. From an early age 'Gogo' loved the lucky dip stalls. Although the prizes were usually the same every time, the build up and the excitement of the dipping would excite him no end. He would spend hours at lucky dip stalls plunging his arm further and further each time. One day, in all his excitement, Gogo's woody wood-pecker wrist watch detached from his wrist and got lost amongst the colourful confetti. Years later he would recall: "That was one of the worst days of my life, that dakhdag pecker watch meant everything to me"

At his mothers request, Gogo enrolled in the schools violin classes. Although these lessons continued for 3 years, gogo never actually learnt to play a single tune. At school recitals, he would simply have his bow raised from the strings and imitate being in tune with everyone else. He would also nod his head in rhythm with his bow, to add feeling to his performances. To this day his mother doesn't know that he can't actually play the violin.

Don Gogortiloz always wanted a furry pet of some sort. His mother had previously bought him 2 gold fish "Fred and ginger", but he always wanted a fluffy mazzod animal that he could spend hours stroking in his hand. One day Don Gogortiloz took Fred out of the bowl. 5 minutes later Fred would die. Don gogortiloz recalls: "I just wanted to stroke his bocheeg, but as soon as I took him out, he slipped out my hand. He was wiggling all over the floor. I thought he was dancing, so I started dancing too. Then he just stopped. So I stopped. I guessed he must've been hoknattz." Fred was buried in a milk carton in the back garden and ginger was given to Gogo's medz-mamma.

From the age of 11, Gogo attended Christ Church secondary school. He had little interest in school work. Instead he would enjoy scribbling and drawing cartoons all over his exercise books and the school tables. He would fantasise about how one day he would own a bouncy castle and bounce on it all day long. Gogo would spend most of his latter school life sneaking into the teachers stock cupboards and stealing pencils, pens, compasses and exercise books. Soon he would have enough to start up his own stationary business. He later recalls; "My obsession with stationary started one day during a mathematics lesson. The math's teacher would always spend hours on end locked in the stock cupboard. I always dreamt of going in there. One day she had left the door open. I just sorta walked right in. It was like an Aladdin's cave of Stationary. A magical cupboard. The kind of cupboard that dreams are made of, and it was all mine"

In the summer of 1994 Don Gogortiloz along with his two neighbours; Simon and Morgan, decided to covert the top of his garden shed into a house. The shed roof was flat and easily accessible with a ladder. Carpet tiles were nailed to the floor, walls were built using card-board boxes from the local furniture shop, and brown parcel tape. "The Base" would soon attract visitors from the whole neighbor-hood. But Don gogortiloz's mother didn't take too kindly to 10-15 children running through her house every day. He recalls: "My mum never really liked Simon because he was hrrya (Jewish). His mum always use to want to borrow our cake tin. For some reason she didn't want to buy her own, and she took forever to return it. So when simple Simon started bringing his friends around to our house.., well it didn't go down too kindly. The Base was demolished later that summer.

Finally the day came when he would be able to get his hands on some furry fuzzy gentanees. Don Gogortiloz went to the local pet store with his mother and chose to buy 2 guinea piggys. As one was extremely hairy and the other was a little more bare he decided on the names "Harry & Barry". Don gogortiloz would spend hours stroking his new hairy friends. He recalls; "I used to stroke Harry the most, because he had shad nice fluffy muzz. He reminded me of me. Sometimes I used to stroke him so much that by the end, he'd be as flat as a Lekhmajoun"

Don Gogortiloz left Christ church secondary school in June 1997 with a back-pack full of stationary, some blank detention forms and a head full of dreams. On his way home, some of his class-mates involved him in an end of school graduation flour and egg throwing contest. He later recalls: "I didn't have any eggs to throw back so I went to the nearest shop to buy some. But they were sold out, so I bought some tins of baked beans instead. But then I realised I didn't have a tin opener. So I just went home and made beans on toast. I like beans on toast."

Don gogortiloz loved to scratch himself, notably his back. One day he found an antique wooden back scratcher in his grandma's basement. Miss scratchy would provide hours of pleasure for Don gogortiloz. The two were inseparable. One winter afternoon Miss scratchy snapped. Don gogortiloz recalls; "I was angry because I couldn't find my favorite snoopy socks. So I took my anger out on miss scratchy and started banging her against the washing machine. She broke in 3 places. We tried everything in our power to repair the damage, but there was nothing we could do. I didn't scratch my back for 2 whole days after the incident, out of respect for the late miss scratchy."

In September 1997, Don Gogortiloz enrolled at Barnet College to study Art & Design. One day during a still life lesson, Don Gogortiloz had to paint a picture of a naked lady. This had a rather disturbing effect on Don Gogortiloz which would haunt him for the rest of his adolescence. He recalls: "This still life model had hairier arm-pits than my dad. I'd never seen a woman with that much hair under her arms before. I didn't know what to do. I just couldn't get that image of her arm-pits out of my head for weeks after that. I used to have nightmares about how these big strands of thick muzz would come and cook me dinner and stuff." Don Gogortiloz completed this one year course and then went onto the 2 year 'Graphic Design' course also at the same college. He then went onto Middlesex University but left in the spring of 2002 claiming he knew everything already.

Don Gogortiloz loved football. He would often skip lessons just to play. Sometimes the teachers would confiscate his ball. He recalls: teachers would just grab my balls. "So I would just bring more balls to school, Up to 5 balls every day. I would have trouble fitting them all in my back-pack, so I would just de-flate them all and pump them up with my bicycle pump as and when I needed them."

Don Gogortiloz spent the next 6 months in hibernation. He preferred not to be in the limelight unless absolutely necessary. In March 2003 he made the long awaited return stating: "I am here to observe, analyse and clarify" The Gogortiloz Foundation was born.


Advice from The Godfather Don Gogortiloz:

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, figrolls would be it. The long term benefits of fig rolls have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your eyebrows. oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your eyebrows until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous your honk's really looked….They're not as thick and bushy as you imagined.

Don’t worry about what you're going to wear to church on Sunday; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to convince an Armenian that LESS is MORE. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 9pm at a disorganised Armenian Barahantess.

Do one thing everyday that scares your mother.

Listen to The Beatles

Don’t be reckless with other people’s DVD's, video's, CD's and Records, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Return them in the condition they were recieved.

Smell your armpits.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you think you're ahead, but really you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only against a bunch of stupid Armo's.

Remember the insults you receive, forget the compliments. Revenge is as sweet as pakhlava.

Keep your nail clippings, throw away your designer clothes.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, so they locked their mum in the basement to make things easier.

Eat plenty of Dolma

Be kind to your pets and other furry friends, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll have an arranged marriage, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you'll marry an Armenian but find that you prefer the company of a lemon…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are always over-ruled by your parents, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your hairy chest, use it every way you can (as a rug, or to grow some watercress in)…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

DON'T Dance. Don't attempt to woo members of the opposite sex with stupid pelvic movements.

Read the directions, even if you're illiterate. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you spend money on clothes that make you look like a slut.

Get to know your parents, but don't listen to the advice they give you. They have little or no understanding of the real world.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to lend you money when you need to buy a new BMW.

Understand that Armenian friends come and go (as and when it suits them) ,but for the precious few you should hold on.

Live in Yerevan once, but leave before it turns you into a crook; live in Antarctica once, but leave before you get cold.


Accept certain inalienable truths, Armenians will lie, organisations will continue being corrupt, you too will get old, wear a yelleg and play tav-lee, and when you do you’ll fantasise that when you were young; cartoons were better, Armenians were noble and people didn't listen to (c)rap.

Respect yourself.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have filthy rich parents who buy you everything, maybe you own an illegal business; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t put too much gel in your hair, or by the time you're 20, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the figrolls....

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