Yes, it's a little soon for another Call Me Kitty installment, but again the season dictates. So if you enjoy the adventures of Dave, crack open a cold one and read on. If you don't, then crack open a cold one and go look at some porn or something.
“One can drink too much, but one never drinks enough."
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Gotthold rocks for an old German dead guy. Bet his drinking buddies made fun of his name. In any case, Gotthold has been brought forth from his old days writing dark comedic drama in the 18th century as he is hereby deemed the patron saint for the day. The final day of Oktoberfest. Why did Dave wait so long? Did the dark German beers frighten him? I think not. Did images of Chevy Chase in European Vacation flash through his mind? Of course not. Was it an irrational fear of being clubbed with a bratwurst and having the dark, spicy mustard splatter and stain his favorite white T-shirt? No. Through intensive psychotherapy he had overcome that fear many years before.
Nobody knows what made him wait until the last day, but it was clear from the yodels coming from the shower and the feather in his hat that today would be the day he would gather up his woman Iguacu and hit the annual fest. Iguacu was new to the country from her homeland of Brazil. Sue, as she liked to be called, had come to America to study dam building with the Army Corps of Engineers after her father was swept away in the currents of the river for which she was named and was tossed over the Iguacu Falls to his wet, messy death. She was distracted from her studies by our wide selection of single barrel bourbons and instead met Dave while sampling some at a local watering hole. Today, she would sample other beverages at another typical suburban homage to the great German festival running concurrently across the Atlantic....
Hoping to get an early start, as they had later commitments, they arrived for the 11 a.m. opening, only to find that it was really a noon opening. Explains the good parking spot. No problem - within eyeshot, a neighboring restaurant that should be open for lunch. Bonus points for knowing the local barkeep that can supply discounted screwdrivers before local ordinance allows. Rock on.
Before they know it, noon rolls around and with it another round before closing out the tab. Amazing how they add up. A generous tip for their old friend and a slightly lubed walk across the street into suburbia’s version of Bavaria.
Only a quick glance to the booths hawking food, drink, and wares was permitted as the first stop would be the ticket booth. Thirty samoleans for the first drop - again, time considerations, you know. Direct shot to the best beer tent - slightly off the beaten track to avoid imminent lines. Overly friendly banter with the staff to ensure they remember you when the amateur crowds begin growing. A quick mention that you are sure that your personal friend Dr. Peter Hellich, brewmaster of the Paulaner brewery in Munich, would be proud of the service and selection found today. After all it is his mastery of the Bavarian summer barleys and wheat grains, carefully malted and roasted, fermenting in the Alps water with the choicest of Hallertau hops is what you will be drinking today. Careful to leave the out the brewmasters exclusive yeast strains - the chicks just don’t dig that word. Tough enough as it is to get them to down a cold one.
Dave then impresses with his own mastery - choosing his beer much like a fine wine. Taking into consideration not only time, but the season, weather, time of day, and food, he requested a Hefe-Weizen. It was the obvious choice given that it was the only working tap at the tent. Add in the .5 l souvenir glass with discounted refills and the party continued. Armed with fresh beer, it was time to attack the midway. Nothing like being flung around the twisted arms and metal platforms of hastily set up carnival rides.
The red pods of the Tilt-A-Whirl beckoned first. The music at the rides that were childhood favorites were always more laid back than the metal tune streaming from wilder rides. Some cool blues, maybe Luther Allison, stung the air as they sipped and strutted their way to the spinning orbs. Can’t leave a beer one sitting out while one rides (could be hazardous to any unattended passing tots), so the remaining contents had to be dumped. Not on the ground, but into their guts. Quickly and efficiently. Tickets pass hands and a good car strategically chosen. With the German beer glass safely on the sideline, the debate begins... will a wilder ride be achieved with their own bony asses in the car or with a load of lard asses? Dave’s brief and unsuccessful study of theoretical and applied mechanics proved useless as the debate wound down and the ride wound up. Trying to throw your weight in the direction of the ever changing slope is part of the fun, and most of the ride was spent trying to coordinate their uncoordinated efforts. As soon as they thought they had it figured out, the ride slowed and their pod came to a pendular stop. They hopped out and found their beer glasses waiting patiently, yet empty, on the sideline. Rewarding them for their patience with another long pour of the Hefe, it become clear more tickets would be required.
With another $30 in pocket, it was back to the midway to the Vishnu-like arms that attracted them to the next ride. Although the beer level had gone well below the .5 l line on the glass, the remaining again had to be dumped to the gut as they approached the line. They set the empties to the sideline again, this time searching for a car on Vishnu’s arm of Padma and the glorious existence and hoping the punishing gada cars would not be running that day. The ride rocked and they didn’t hurl. Good sign, eh? The October sun couldn’t have been warmer, and the same wind that had given their hair a new texture brought the ever increasing smells of the fired up food tents.
But first a refill. The friendly vendor seemed to enjoy watching the couple’s itinerary for the fest develop as he poured another Hefe. Dave exchanged some tickets for the fresh brews and walked off with a loud, “Prost!” to anyone in the vicinity of the tent.
Silver foil trays of brats were the obvious choice for Dave, but Sue wanted to search around. Although she was enjoying the beers that day, brats did not appeal to her despite her increasingly numbed senses. In fact she was even more adamant about finding something more to her liking. A less traditional booth served up some french fries more to her liking as Dave shook his head and went for the condiments. Setting down his beer and shades, he made sure the brat was evenly covered with the spicy mustard and sauerkraut. Sue caught up and got a good supply of ketchup before he was finished and led the way toward the sounds of a nearby tuba. She disappeared into the main tent followed by Dave and together they grabbed a table near the dance floor. Several families polkaed - odd combinations of three generations did their version of the traditional dance. It provided excellent entertainment while face stuffing, and Dave was wishing he had worn his lederhosen. His mind drifted to his fantasy trip to the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and the words of America’s polka king Frankie Yankovic... “Polkas make you forget your troubles... it’s the happiest music this side of heaven.” Not being of Slavonic heritage, Dave had always kept this secret obsession to himself. Dave had not noticed that Sue had wandered off and wasn’t sure if it was her return or the chill that came over him as he imagined a young Walter Ostanek listening to the old Yankovic records as he began his journey to becoming Canada’s own polka king. In any case, the food was finished and Sue was ready to drag him back out to the midway. Today he would not dance. But after grabbing the fresh beer Sue had just returned with, he raised his glass to the band with a knowing glance and ventured back into the bright September Sunday. Only the shock of the sun brought him back to reality as he searched his head for his sunglasses.....