Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bier Hier, Bier Hier, Oder Ich Fall Üm!

It is September, and that can mean only one thing: Oktoberfest.

"But, doesn't Oktoberfest happen in October?" you may ask.

Well, yes, but only if you live in Bavaria. Due to some eternally-mysterious, archaic and poorly-understood international rules (like the offside rule in soccer), Oktoberfest must occur in September anywhere outside of Southern Germany.

The beautiful Willamette Valley, being roughly 4,800 miles from Bavaria as the crow flies, is clearly in the September category.

Which brings us to a breathtaking church on a bluff, built by monks, but shared with nuns. The Mt. Angel Abbey stands vigil over the creepily-idyllic community of Mt. Angel, Oregon. White picket fences, clean streets, and toothy neighbors who say "mornin" with a smile (and mean it).

There is a certain northern European flair to the town. The lederhosen runs deep though, and every September, the tidy little town tips the scales with drunken gluttonous revelry. Polka music and Oompa Bands weave in and out of the maze of deep-fried fair food. Sausages stand erect on skewers, and someone, somewhere is always singing something from the sound of music.

And then, of course, there are the beer gardens.

The first time I went, back in 1994, I drank a gallon and a half of beer. 6 quarts to be precise. I was trucked in on a school bus, chartered by the law school, and deposited on the outskirts of the orgy-engorged village. All of the access streets remain closed for the weekend, and we had to wander, like refugees, in search of food and drink.

Once in, it didn't take long to survey the scene, and make a bee-line for the converted warehouse beer garden. The chaotic cacophony of rural hedonism stunned me, but I soldiered on. I closed ranks with my sturdy roommate, Mike, and my future Viking-like roommate, Lars.

Drunken women whirled in circuits around the dance floor, over the dancing tables, and around the beer counter. The attractive people in the crowd were covered in sexually-implicit meat market stickers that said such things as "Fresh meat," "Hot and Tender," and "spicy." The less-attractive people had less stickers. It was a game. That much was obvious.

I got drunk fast and stayed that way. I remember dancing the polka with a lovely girl from Latvia. I recall Lars pissing on my shoes. I'm pretty sure someone fell off the roof of the bus on the way home.

The following years were less adventurous. Well, with the exception of the second year I suppose. I do recall a foxy Indian (dot, not feather) girl sitting on my lap on the bus, pouring a bottle of tequila over both of us. I don't think I kissed her, but I'm confident that I groped her sticky brown boobsies.

In the years since school, I managed to make it to Mt. Angel just a couple of times. Once during the day for the family-friendly festivities, which I shan't bore you with. The second, only a few years ago.

Gone are the stickers in the beer garden. They are replaced now, by design, with Mardi Gras beads. And that can mean only one thing...

The missus and I went with another duo, who shall remain un-identified. The duo are long since done, and certain halves have gone off and married others. All of the interested parties are readers. So, suffice to say, at the time, everyone was drinking beer.

Through a series of never-fully-understood events, my missus and the Mister of the mystery duo decided to sit for a spell and rest. The young Miss was feeling it, however, and co-opted me to escort her on quest to earn beads.

A pimp was what I was, and earn beads, she did. A lot of beads. In addition to beads, I was also able to negotiate a bonus $5 gratuity from a crew of beadless perverts. By the end, we left laden with baubles, victorious and inebriated.

The Mt. Angel Oktoberfest is ALWAYS a good time. I want to go this year, and I'm looking for a crew. I've tried to raise the rabble rousers at work, but alas, no takers. So, now I take it to the Lounge. Oktoberfest or Bust! Any takers?

Reading for Comprehension:
1. So, what are you doing September 15th?
2. Can you dance the Polka?
3. What would you do for a cheap string of flashy plastic beads?


  1. Dear Mom and Dad,
    My first two years of Law School were very difficult. I have met some nice friends and we have joined a book club. When we are not studying, we engage in arts and crafts and make bead necklaces. I have met some people from different cultures. I met a nice Indian girl on a bus and told her about Jesus. School is stressful and it is difficult to find ways to relieve the stress other then praying. I hope to see you all soon.
    Your loving son, Brian

  2. I get back from <*random odd far off location*> on the 16th.

    If there is anything going down after then, let me know.

  3. My favorite "drunk with Bri at lawschool" moment was sitting next to him on the couch at Big Bear's. Because ALL the parties were at Big Bear's. Three other guys lived in that lovely house at the end of a cul de sac, but everyone called it Big Bear's. I can only imagine the charges those boys incurred when they moved out, what with the wall where all party goers would mark their height (as if we were in kindergarten, which, lets face it, is how we acted most of the time) and using every floor surface as a putting green. The house even had a huge brick BBQ pit out back. I cannot imagine what the neighbors thought.

    Anyhow, Bri and I were sitting there, drunk to the point of hardly being conscious, and we were totally mesmerized by a beer cup floating over our heads. There was a ceiling fan, and since it was a flat surface, someone had placed a beer cup on it. Oddly, it didn't fall off.

    Obviously there were more interesting drunken nights. Amy + Leah + whipped cream at the Cheer Jason Up For Getting Kicked Out of Lawschool Party. Any of the Law Revue dances. And of course, Mrs. Gin and Tonic getting drunk by drinking about a fifth of brandy through a licorice straw at the re-release of Grease. Hi Sweetie! But I'll never forget that damn floating beer cup.

  4. Drunken farmers square dancing in pig shit. Your fancy words can't hide the truth.

    Those pussy Germans have to hold a festival to justify public drunkenness. Jesus and Mary, it sounds like a typical Thursday afternoon at my house.

  5. inog&#39;s wife1:10 PM

    I think I shall have a private kegger in my own backyard with chilled glasses and the Rogue to keep me company. inog will surely be out of the country so all the beer is MINE.

    That, or I will be at the law library at some odd hour of the day.

  6. I like inog's wife's new keggerator. I pick up a pint everytime I walk around the block. Beer pit stops are refreshing. Octoberfest at Inog's house!!!

    BTW even in Bavaria Octoberfest is in September. The celebration is for the anticipated harvest in October.

  7. Only if Ryan will agree to flash for beads!

  8. Ahhhh... I remember (most of) Octoberfest fondly. I remember going to the local un-Safeway, and asking for stickers from the deli department. I remember the bus driver that I think already had a few, and for some reason was driving us to Canada (needed some directions). I recall losing (and finding) friends in the crowds. And oddly, I don't recall getting BACK to Salem - but I do know that night, several folks took advantage of the 24 hr access to the buildings of the law school, and some folks spending the night in the library (or lobby) couches.

    mmmm... bier.....

  9. Sept 15 = STS9 at First Ave.

    So hopefully, I'll be doing copious amounts of drugs and dancing like a jackass


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