Thursday, October 11, 2007

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Wurst of Times: A Novella. Part I: Prologue and Cast of Characters

Rather than keep you waiting for an entire recap (since you've already waited long enough), I figured I would build suspense by posting a day at a time. The details of my stay in Munich may be blurred, on account of dozens of liters of beer, a haze of cigarette and cigar smoke, and wurst-induced dementia. However, I will make every effort to recount it the way I remember it.

The year was 2005. It was a pleasant autumn evening in Southwestern Ohio, and Jester and I threw an Oktoberfest party, which was well-attended, despite the fact that the sons of bitches at the beer distributor gave me the wrong tap for my quarter barrel of Spaten and then closed before I could remedy the situation. Nonetheless, at that party it was decided that an Oktoberfest party was simply not good enough. It was the methadone to our china white. Like an addict chasing the dragon, we needed something more, something powerful. We needed the real shit. We needed Munich.

I had been to Munich twice before, and having suckled her sweet, malty teat, I knew that visiting her during Oktoberfest would allow me to consummate our relationship in ways most cities I've visited could only dream of.

And so it was. An Evite was sent out almost immediately, with plans to attend in 2006. Lulling myself into a false sense of security with a combination of ignorance and quaaludes, I began to look into planning the trip in early 2006. Fate's merciless hand once again slapped me in the mouth when I came to find out that a trip to Oktoberfest cannot be planned less than 11 months in advance. Undaunted, I changed the date to 2007 -- the perfect pre-30th birthday present to myself.

And so a revised Evite was sent -- the dates set 19 months in advance so as to allow for the accumulation of Deutsche marks (big mistake) and the arranging of babysitters for those with kinder. I have since concluded that the arranging of babysitters requires at least 20 months' notice.

Reaction was positive amongst the barren and sterile, however. With no hope of producing and caring for children, irreversible liver damage and the cost associated with a trip to Munich were no concern. Within months, the number was over 20, eventually reaching the final booking number of 22. In the remaining months, however, a variety of catastrophes threatened this number. Alas, the lure of lederhosen and dirndls ensured that all 22 slots would be filled.

And so it was. 22 people, loosely connected and sharing a love of self-destruction, embarked on a life-changing journey to the world capital of beer. This is their story.

Cast of Characters
Me, aka "GMYH" - You know me. I'm the asshole whose blog you're reading.

Jessie, aka "Jester" - My wife. A self-described narcoleptophile, Jester lives, breathes, and sleeps all things narcoleptic.

Ari, aka "Ari There Yet?" - Jester's twin sister. Ari's not a very good sprinter. Then again, you wouldn't be either if you were undead.

Liz, aka "The Pulverizer" - Jester and Ari's friend from the 'Noke, where she still resides, Liz is into tequila and very little else.

Leslie, aka "Dulie," aka "Du" - Dulie worked with Jester at a camp in Maine several years ago. She currently resides in Seattle, where she runs the Pike's Place Grungorium, "Your Home for All Things Grunge." This week's specials: oversized flannel shirts are 5 for 1 and framed, used syringes signed by the remaining members of Mother Love Bone are a mere $1.99 each.

Kyla, aka "Mayonnaise Face" - Friend of Ari, Jessie, me, and others. When she's not drinking, Kyla teaches retards.

Alex, aka "Grizzly Alex," aka "Who The Fuck is Alice?" - Alex is Kyla's husband and also friend of Ari, Jessie, me, and others. He grew a beard recently, perhaps to hide the syphilis-induced acne.

Reed, aka "Peed" - My brother. When he was in the womb, we called him Rolo, probably because of his odd, cylindrical shape and caramel center.

Sarah, aka "Box Crusher" - Reed's special ladyfriend. Known as a workhorse, Sarah won the award for Best Box Mover at the 2006 Help Andrew and Jessie Move In Awards. She was rewarded with a box full of anvils, which she hoisted over her head and carried home on foot.

Ben, aka "Gentle Ben" - Reed's roommate. As his nickname implies, Ben is a gentle giant. He claims to have taken German in college or maybe high school. Or maybe never.

Jim, aka "Mustache Ride," aka "Jewel" - Reed's friend. A member of the famed Spring Brothers, Jim might be one of the better yodelers I've ever met, that is, if I were to ever hear him yodel. At this point, I simply do not know.

Tyler, aka "Blue Steel" - Reed's friend. Emaciated from years of cocaine-riddled anorexia, or so I assume, Tyler is probably the best person I've ever met at styling his own hair with beer.

John, aka "Marathon Man" - Tyler's friend. In what looked to be a risky training technique, John partook in Oktoberfest a mere one week before he was to compete in the Chicago Marathon. Luckily, his longstanding -- and sometimes more than friendly -- relationship with sun god Ra worked to his advantage when it came time to run.

Nick, aka "The Jolly Green Giant" - A buddy of mine who I worked with in Dayton. He is by far the most agreeable Ohio State fan I've ever met. And I'll be damned if he won't charm the pants off you. Right before he slits your throat. With your pants. And his vomit.

Tony, aka "TG," aka "T Diddy" - A buddy of mine from college, he currently lives in Louisville, where is plotting world domination.

Jer, aka "Floppy Burrito" - A buddy of mine since second grade, Jer is spry and shifty. If pushed, he will not let things lie. He likes hats. And lions.

Greg B., aka "Bonham" - Another buddy of mine since second grade, Bonham is undeniably lovable, but highly volatile if elbow-dropped. Incapable of taking an embarrassing drunk picture, he will one day ride on a tank through the streets of a third-world country as the leader of its military junta.

Greg P., aka "Gregerson" - A buddy of mine who I met through Christoff. Gregerson has been unemployed for the past six months due to a merger, and he is one of the better smokers I know. His lifestyle is to be envied.

Chandler, aka "The Boob Monster" - Lives in the same building as Gregerson. Don't let his calm demeanor and infectious laugh fool you. Chandler is colder than dry ice, although not as cold as Oksana Baiul.

Brendan, aka "Wild Card" - Works with Chandler. Lives in NYC. Has bad dreams at inopportune times.

Sara, aka "Novocain" - Friend of Volleyball Katie (who was originally slated to go on the trip). Dentist. She had met none of us before going on this trip.

Preet, aka "The Silent Assassin" - Also a friend of Volleyball Katie. Also a dentist. She had also met none of us before going on this trip. Together with Sara, they were not once referred to as "The Only Two Dentists in the Group." Until now.

Various krauts and dagos (I'm allowed to call Italians dagos because I am half-Italian, and I'm allowed to call Germans krauts because I hate them all)

Stay tuned for the next part, entitled "Sunday 9/23"

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