Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vielen Dank für alle Präservative!

I am well aware that when there is some sort of an event somewhere and then somewhere else tries to replicate the event that was a hit in the place where it started, it's just not the same. I get that. But listen, "just not the same" is a whole lot different than "My God! That didn't happen where I went! What the hell is going on over there anyway?" I am naturally speaking of Oktoberfest.

Now granted, most of the Oktoberfest festivals that I've attended were in Utah (oh, stop your snickering), not exactly a state that is known for it's wild partying ways. But in my defense, they were in Park City, which is in Utah, but not of it. But still. Just let me give you a few of the statistics from this year's Oktoberfest and you just tell me if it's like any of the Oktoberfest fests that you have ever attended (provided they were NOT in Germany). Ready? Here we go...

According to the fest-y folks over there at The Local - Germany's News In English there were some six million fest-goers this year at Oktoberfest in Munich. Six freaking million. Those six million sucked down 6.6 million liters of beer. OK, that's only 1 point something small liter per goer. I'm a little disappointed by the individual stat there (aren't you guys supposed to be big drinkers? Doesn't seem like it. I'm just sayin'.), but I am still marvelling at the over all figure of six million liters. And if you're drinking all that beer, you're naturally going to get hungry. That explains how the revellers managed to consume 104 whole oxen. Now, there's not a lot of oxen consumption here in the states. In fact, there's nearly none. Actually, there IS none where ever I am. I steer clear of the oxen eating crowd. 104 whole oxen. Amazing. (I don't think I've ever had oxen. Well, I've had oxtail, does that count? As I recall, it tasted like beef. That led me to believe that it's just another one of those things that sounds funky when you tell someone you've eaten it.)

And while I'm a bit disappointed by the individual beer consumption, the weather kind of sucked. It was raining and the temperature hovered around 11 degrees. Oh, wait. Celsius. Stupid metric system. OK, so that', really cold degrees Fahrenheit? No, wait, it's 52. 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, that's a bit chilly to be outside drinking beer. So, as it would turn out, beer drinking was actually down about 5 percent from the year before. So I'm OK with it. Really. But it gets better.

The Local tells us, in English, "According to daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday, the chilly weather inspired lots of Wiesn visitors to huddle closer together for warmth - which seems to have had wider repercussions." Oh, really? Such as? "The paper reported that Munich pharmacies sold record amounts of condoms during the 16-day beer festival." Well, well, well. How you doin'?

Some were doin' pretty well, thank. "Some store inventories were completely cleared out of prophylactics. Condom maker Durex said they sold 1.5 million rubbers during the last fortnight – 21 percent more than the entire month of August." My God, Germany! You people are like rabbits, constantly fornicating at your beer fests amongst the carcasses of whole oxen! And all for the sake of trying to stay warm! Wow. 21 percent more. That's impressive. And 1.5 million during the last fortnight? Again, impressive. (For those of you unfamiliar with the term "fortnight", it refers to the last day of the festival that you can do it in a fort.)

I do love the way that The Local doesn't try to fluff this story up at all. Nope, they mentioned that Durex made condoms, but after that they just jumped right into calling them "rubbers". Way to class it up there, Local!

But seriously, are we really supposed to believe that it was the cold weather that caused all of the coital interaction amongst the drunken masses? Because if I'm just cold and huddled up with people in general, that's one thing. But have you seen some of the folk that are attending these beer fests? It's like a drunken leper colony. I'm going to need a bit more than simply "I wish I'd brought a sweater" to convince me to pay a visit to the Durex condom booth. (And for those of you who know me personally, you know it would take an awful lot more than even that. I mean a LOT.) So as much as they'd like to blame it on the weather, we all know the truth. It's the beer. How do you think half of those people at the leper colony are getting together in the first place? That's right. Alcohol.

The makers of the Durex condom were understandably thrilled and offered their own colorful commentary. "Gerald Schreiber, a marketing manager for Durex, expressed his excitement over the potential synergies of the world’s largest beer orgy and his company’s prophylactics: “With that kind of turnover maybe we should think about developing a special Wiesn condom!” Do you guys really need anymore people over there "expressing their excitement"? For cryin' out loud, you just went through millions of condoms! There seems to be plenty of excitement without Gerald throwing his into the "world's largest beer orgy". (God, I love the foreign press.)

And just one more reason why I love the foreign press: This is the photo that accompanied this story:

So, just like the title of this post says, thanks for all the condoms!

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