Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Wurst of Times, Part VI: Thursday 9/27

Thursday greeted us with promise and beer. Did I mention beer?

Part of the group decided that, instead of getting drunk at beer tents at the ceremony started to honor then-Prince Ludwig's wedding, they would go see some castles built by then-crazy King Ludwig, including Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, which is what Cinderella's Castle at the Magic Kingdom is modeled after. The word for castle in German is schloss, which just begs for a shirt that says, "I got schlossed at Neuschwanstein." Puns are funny.

Heeding Rudy's well-reasoned advice, a group of us headed to the Augustiner-Festhalle tent, arriving a little bit before noon. By that time, all of the spots that were unreserved for the whole day were taken, but we did manage to find a table that wasn't reserved until 5, which meant that we had 5 hours of goodness. Present at that time were Gregerson, Kyla, Alex, Nick, and me. The night before, several of us had discussed what we thought the beer tent equivalent of 30 in 8 would be. We figured it would be 8 liters in 8 hours, assuming that a liter of German beer is equal to about 4 American light beers. It turns out to be 3.76. Here is how we arrived at that calculation: one liter is equal to 33.8 ounces. Thus, by volume, a liter is equal to 2.82 12-oz. beers. A Bud Light or Miller Lite is 4.2% ABV, while the Augustiner Edelstoff (which was served at the tent) is 5.6% ABV. Thus, Augustiner Edelstoff is 1.33 times more powerful than American light beer. Thus, when you multiply 2.82 x 1.33, you get 3.76, which, when multiplied by 8, comes to 30.08. It couldn't have been much more perfect.

Unfortunately, we only had 5 hours. Rather than go for 5 in 5, we decided that 6 in 5 would be a good idea. 6 liters is equivalent to 22.56 beers. In five hours, that's 4.512 beers per hour. Good Lord. Needless to say, over the next five hours we got bombed like Dresden.

We all stayed on pace for the first couple liters. G√ľnther, our waiter, was extremely supportive, even if he had no idea what we were doing.

Eventually, most of the non-castle-going crew showed up, and we were able to procure some spots at various tables around us.

Between the hours of noon and 5, a smattering of random events made the day a memorable one, at least for some of us.

First, at about 1, we saw Rudy walking down the main path in the tent and sitting down a few sections away from us. Alex and I quickly and remorselessly made our way over to Rudy's table and greeted him with a "Hey! Rudy! Prost!" And we clinked glasses with a very confused man. You see folks, this man was not Rudy. This man was a Rudy doppelganger. Alex and I looked at each other and said, "I don't think that's Rudy," then trucked it back to our seat before he tried to exterminate us.

Undaunted, we introduced the world to our newly created cheer (notice my serpent-like movement), this time without knocking beers out of anyone's hands.

At some point, we noticed a camera crew and some chicks -- one blonde and one brunette -- in dirndls with mics walking around the main path of the tent Our table was only 2 in from the main path, and all of a sudden, some German brunette in a dirndl is asking me questions in some weird language. I explained -- in English -- that I only spoke English. She then spoke the 7 words I was waiting to hear from Mc G and Josh Schwartz between August 5, 2003 and February 22, 2007: "Do you want to be on TV?" I think we all know the answer. Ja!

So these women in dirndls holding mics lead me by the hand to the other side of the tent (along with 2 other guys, both of whom are wearing more traditional German garb than my American blue jeans and brown long sleeve t-shirt), and on the way over there, I asked the brunette what was going on. She explained that she was with MTV Germany, and we were going to be "finding a husband" for a girl. Jessie hadn't yet arrived at the tent, so I said, "Fuck it, frau. I could use an extra wife." (Don't tell Jessie I wrote that.)

So we get to the other side of the tent, and, despite the brunette's efforts to explain to everyone that I only speak English, everyone speaks only in German (probably saying something like, "And this is the part where we make some stupid American think he's getting a hot German wife"). At first, they have me sit down at this u-shaped table that contained no fewer than 5 hot chicks. While I didn't understand what was going on, I found myself not caring. The smell of beer, dirndls, and wurst was doing nothing but arousing me. But apparently that was just a teaser, as they told us (just as I sat down) that we wouldn't be sitting there after all.

Instead, one of the frauleins at the table (in a dirndl, obviously) got up, and we went over to the main path again where taping commenced. Again, despite the repeated efforts of the hostesses to explain to everyone that I only speak English, the only English spoken during the "show" was me saying "I have no idea what's going on right now." Since Germans are efficient (and, as discussed in Part I, have very little time to devote to the inefficiencies of love), the "show" was very short -- probably less than a minute. But during that minute, a competition was held, the point of which I'm still not very clear about. The other two contestants raised their legs to show off their fine German socks, which were beige and white, respectively (read: Aryan). I stood there like an idiot drinking my beer and not understanding a damn thing. I felt like Chris Farley on that Japanese game show. So the other two guys eventually grab my leg and raise my jeans to see my sock, which was luckily also blonde. Some little kraut looked on, completely enthralled. And then the game was over.

I have no idea if I won, or if I'm now legally married under German law, but some chick named Greta keeps sending me terse, cold "love" letters that say stuff like "I invite you to procreate with me," "your socks make me want to work even more efficiently than I already do," and "give me back my necklace, asshole."

Here's a fairly accurate portrayal of my experience.
I returned to my table confused and oddly gratified. Then Jester and Du showed up in newly purchased dirndls of their own.
I highly encourage all women who have the means to purchase dirndls and wear them indiscriminately. (Note: I will have an extensive dirndl-related pictorial celebration at a later date.)

Back to the quest for 6 liters in 5 hours. I ended up getting 5 in 5 hours, and I felt pretty good about it. Gregerson had put down 5 in a little more than 4 hours and then disappeared. It turns out that he was stumbling around the Oktoberfest grounds when a security guard grabbed him and said, "you must go to the hospital." Gregerson didn't resist. There is an infirmary on the Oktoberfest grounds (Gregerson swears that the absence of an emergency room made it an infirmary rather than a hospital. I don't really think it matters.) He was diagnosed with Class 2 Intoxication and given an IV and a €100 bill. He also alleges that the krauts at the infirmary tried to steal his watch. If you're curious as to what constitutes Class 2 Intoxication, a visual aid is probably the best way to show you:

By the way, in case you're wondering, the German word for "booze hound" is "schnapshund." The next time he was seen was at the hotel later that night, with a sack of 14 -- yes, 14 -- cheeseburgers from McDonald's. He claims to have only ordered 10.

Meanwhile Nick tossed back 7 liters. He was the Danny Bonaduce to their Jonny Fairplay. It was impressive.

Kyla tried, unsuccessfully, to smoke.
Here are some other random pics from the day.

Unfortunately, five o'clock rolled around and some bastard Germans who had reserved our table at 5 showed up, so we had to leave. Some people stayed at the tent because they were in non-reserved spots.

Jer, TG, Bonham, Nick, Alex, Kyla, and I (maybe more, maybe less) went back to the Augustiner restaurant to get some more beer (because that's what we needed). In addition to muscling down a couple more beers, we all came to learn a lot about Jer's irrationalities.

About an hour or so after we got there, a group of dudes sit down at the table behind us and hang a small red and white flag on the wall next to them. Then they start doing some soccer cheers. Then Jer starts to get pissed. Granted, it was fairly annoying, but it was a beer hall, so boisterous cheering is somewhat expected and encouraged.

Then Jer found out they were Swiss. I've never met a single person who hates the Swiss. That's kind of their thing -- they don't piss people off. Except Jer, that is. He went into an uncomfortably profane diatribe for what seemed like days about how much he hates the Swiss. Profiting from Nazi gold was mentioned. General neutrality was mocked. Cheese was lambasted. It was a sight. All the rest of us could do was sit there and laugh. But Jer was not joking.

Given Jer's instability, it was unsafe for us (and the Swiss) to remain at the Augustiner. Thus, we went to Der Pschorr (where we ate our first meal in Munich several days earlier). Most, if not all, of the group (including the castle goers) joined us. We ate some dinner and had some more beer because we were way too sober.

Upon exiting Der Pschorr, Bonham pointed out that Jer's watch was manufactured by none other than the Swiss Army itself. Shame washed over Jer's face. And then anger. Der Pschorr is probably about 50-60 feet tall. I didn't think Jer could throw his watch onto the roof. I expressed that thought verbally. I was right. Jer took off his watch and winged it towards the slate roof of Der Pschorr. It came about 8 feet short, hitting the wall and falling violently to the sidewalk below, where it shattered into many little, neutral pieces. Jer was indifferent. I'm just glad we didn't encounter Roger Federer.

After that, I went to bed, but I think some people went to one of those underground concrete rave discos that Munich is so famous for, where you either have to wear a dirndl, wear stripes, or dance while sleeping.

Then they drank in a mall again.

When "Summer Girls" came on, Ari flipped out and cleared the dance floor, but by the time the song ended, at least two others had joined her. Chinese food makes me sick.


RDC said...

So class 2 intoxication makes you look like a confused old man?

gregerson said...

Yes. It also makes you look like a sucker who is ripe for a 100 euro fleecing and a potential watch-theft victim. There is no debate about the attempted thievery. Those krauts tried to make off with my watch, assuming I was too drunk to notice (maybe if I was class 1 it would have worked). They probably gave it back because it, like Jeremy's, was made by the Swiss.

I hate you Kyla.

Jeremy said...

The so-called "neutral" Swiss started it with their anti-American comments and boos (and not their only mildly annoying songs). I thought to myself - are we really getting guff from a table of SWISS just for being American? Where is a Swiss Miss packet to rip in half when you need one???

Kyla said...

That video really never does get old, does it? 6 in 5 was pure brilliance. Sorry Greg.