For those of you who doubt the existence of heaven, I must tell you that today I discovered it is real, it is in Munich, and its name is Oktoberfest.
I came to Munich today to do job-related thangs. And on the train into Munich there were 4,003 people wearing dirndls and lederhosen. Now some of you probably think that everybody in Germany wears dirndls and lederhosen, but this is actually not true. Only people who like to pretend that they’re 18th century peasants and who also like to wear leather pants and/or corsets and bra-shirts actually wear dirndls and lederhosen. And these people only come out of the woodworks at the end of September and the beginning of October. I know. I was surprised too.
So after my heart swelled with joy and gladness from seeing all these dirndls and lederhosen, I decided it was high time for me to experience Oktoberfest for furrealz. Here is the image of Oktoberfest I had conjured up in my mind and expected to see there: every single man looking like Frodo Baggins, every single woman’s bust bustin’ out of her corset top, every single person clanging their gallon-sized beer steins together and sloshing beer everywhere, and lots of brass bands tootin’ out Bavarian musical pride.
The part about Frodo Baggins and corset tops was 95% accurate, but everything else about Oktoberfest I vastly under-estimated. Because Oktoberfest is what happens when you combine a gigantic carnival with Bavarian culture and mix in a healthy dose of spend-all-the-money capitalism. There’s music blaring, people dancing on stages, rides roaring all around you, lights blinking, and food vendors wafting out the smells of their chocolate-covered-caked-in-sugar-just-eat-me-already wares to you.
There were also feats of strength! I almost forgot about that. They had one of those giant high striker games that dudes use to show how embarrassing it is when you can’t even hit the giant lever with the giant hammer to make the giant bell ring. They also had swing sets for adults because remember when you were a kid and were always so afraid of but also kind of intrigued by the idea that maybe if you swang really high you would flip right over the top of the swing bar and glide right into the fourth dimension? These swing sets let you see what really is on the threshold between going up up up towards heaven and oh wow I really just flipped over the swing bar and hello Earth you are coming towards me really fast. And on that threshold is the face of adults realizing that maybe drinking ten beers, eating seven bags of maple-roasted almonds, and then reliving your childhood fantasy wasn’t the best combination after all.
I think I’m gonna go back about fifty more times. I’ll let you know when I drink ten beers, eat seven bags of maple-roasted almonds, and then flip over the swing bar.