Writing Wrongs

September 09, 2006

Anno was ruminating on the local Oktoberfest, which made me think of the one and only time I went to the Oktoberfest in Munich. We decided to go the night before. When you decide the night before, chances are there will be nowhere to sleep, except the car. Why we decided my friend’s Ford Escort was the best choice for this is beyond me.

We found a cozy beer tent to sit in for a while and a table with some old German officers. Oddly enough, old German officers often took to the young American ones. Or maybe it isn’t so odd. And they always got a kick out of young, female American officers. They would do that old man flirting thing, and buy us beer, and try to figure out the curiosity before them. A female officer? Who ever heard of that?

But then, we had to move, not for any real reason, a change of scenery maybe, although why you’d want to push through the mass of tourists and Germans and risk someone dumping large glasses of beer on you is, again, beyond me.

And in this mass of drunken humanity, what are the odds of running into someone you know? Not great, right? What are the odds of running into one of the last human beings you want to see? Cosmically impossible.

Or freakishly good, as it turns out. In the middle of Oktoberfest in Munich, where I’m hanging out with my friend and her new boyfriend, we run into her ex-fiancé.

My friend had been drinking. No, actually, she was drunk. Me, not so much. We weren’t driving that night, but someone needed to remember where we left the car. She’s a silly drunk and thought it would be grand if everyone--her, me, boyfriend, ex-fiancé, assorted Germans--simply loved one another. Isn’t that what Oktoberfest is all about?

And if that wasn’t going to work out, then it was perfectly fine if these two Ranger-qualified, infantry officers circled each other, fists clenched, each considering throwing the first punch. The only reason they didn’t was I was standing between them, keeping them double-arm length apart.

Let’s recap:

  1. Sleeping in the Ford Escort.

  2. Massive amounts of walking simply to get to the main Oktoberfest area, then massive amounts of walking when not in a beer tent.

  3. Keeping apart two angry, drunk infantrymen.

Did I mention I was doing all this with a cast on my foot? And it wasn’t a walking cast either. I was hobbling around Oktoberfest on crutches. Before we left, it sounded perfectly doable, if not totally sane. And when else would I get to go to Oktoberfest in Munich if not then? As it turned out, I could have lived a happy life without ever experience Oktoberfest in Munich, especially on crutches.

I would like to report that there was a spectacular fight, the German police called in, blood and beer flying. What actually happened was some buddies from the ex-fiancé’s unit found him and tugged him away to drown his sorrows in a nearby beer tent.

We continued our trek to find the perfect beer tent at the opposite end of the grounds. Likely we found more old German officers to buy us beer. My friend and her boyfriend let me “stretch out” in the back of the Escort that night. Oh, yeah, there’s a lot of room in a Ford Escort, especially when you have a cast on your foot and get to snuggle up to your crutches.

We drove back the next day. My friend had a killer hangover. I did not. I felt surprisingly good, despite still reeking of beer. We stopped for brotchen and those tiny cups of strong German coffee--the uncut cocaine of the coffee world.

In the end, my friend got back together with the ex-fiancé. Then dumped him for the boyfriend. Then got upset when the ex-fiancé found someone else. I got my cast off in time to go to the field in Hohenfels and later, go dancing with the new Ranger officer assigned to our battalion who looked like John Cusack.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 10:25 a.m.