Beer Goggles

Beer goggles for beginners.
Have you ever wondered what some people are thinking? They somehow manage to open their mouths and nothing but stupid falls out. No, I’m not talking about Hank Williams, Jr., a man of whom Deadspin said “exists solely to remind us that genius skips a generation.” No, instead I thought I’d mention Jeff Smith. You may not know him but he was big news in Missouri. He was imprisoned for a year for violating Federal election laws and being a jerk. Well, maybe not the jerk part, but they should have tossed that in. Anyway, now free to roam among us he has, naturally, started a blog. Does he talk about redeeming his place in society? No. Does he talk about the dangers of breaking the law? Nope, no that either. Does he warn children of the horrors that a life of crime can present? Of course not.

So what does he talk about?

Prison sex.

A Missouri state senator who spent a year in federal prison for breaking election laws in 2004 has an account on The Recovering Politician blog all about what his fellow attendees at a Brooklyn cocktail party were too afraid to ask: prison sex. Jeff Smith says he didn’t see any acts of rape, but sex was never very far from anyone’s mind, apparently:

As you might imagine, things can get pretty nasty when several hundred guys are confined in a small area without the benefit of female interaction, other than a pair of (arguably) female prison administrators. Outside muscle-building substances, pornography was perhaps the most prized possession on the compound.

Click over to Smith’s blog for the more logistical details, including a device known as a “gunslinger” that involved a toilet paper roll, some kind of lubricant, and a string.

You know what? On the list of things I’m willing to put on my penis, this isn’t one of them, thank you very much.

But I don’t want to leave you needing therapy. So, instead, I’ll take us across the mighty Atlantic to Munich, Germany to enjoy the public recounts of Oktoberfest. According to Madeline Chambers, this year’s fest featured more beer and less brawls.

Revelers at Germany’s Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival, consumed a record 7.5 million liters of beer during the 17-day party which ended on Monday in blazing sunshine.

Despite gloom in Germany about the spiralling debt crisis, the festival drew some 6.9 million visitors, many clad in traditional Bavarian lederhosen or dirndls, said the organizers.

Although most visitors come from Bavaria, home of the Oktoberfest, over a million travel to Munich from abroad, mostly from Italy, the United States and Australia.

To the rousing strains of oompah bands, partygoers devoured 118 oxen and 53 calves. But, as usual, the most popular fare to help soak up a “Mass,” or liter mug, of beer was roast chicken — hundreds of thousands of which were consumed, along with pork sausages.

“The atmosphere at the Oktoberfest was, until the last day, absolutely excellent,” said Munich mayor Christian Ude, who described it as a “Dream Oktoberfest.”

The organizers were particularly pleased that there were only 58 brawls in which drinkers used their “Masskrug,” or heavy liter beer mugs, as a weapon, said police.

In true Teutonic tradition, the clear-up is already well under way and the Lost and Found office is sifting through its collection of curiosities. This year they include an 8-centimetre long live grasshopper, a Viking helmet, a walking frame, two crutches and a set of dentures.

A total of 4,750 items were handed in, including 1,045 passports and 390 mobile telephones, said the office. The 48 children who were lost have all been claimed.

Although the strong, specially brewed beer is probably the main draw, especially for tourists from abroad, the festival’s organizers have tried to restore a more traditional feel to the celebrations with folk music and historic funfair rides.

The Oktoberfest was first celebrated 201 years ago when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and invited Munich’s citizens to join the party on the Theresienwiesen, a patch of green just outside the city center.

Nowadays the tents get so full, especially at weekends, that burly officials have to close the doors. Local firms often book out whole benches for corporate entertainment.

And the guy who lost his passport, cell phone and kid is still trying to get his wife to let him in the house. Having been to Oktoberfest before I can attest that it’s a lot of fun. The people are friendly – well, they’re drunk and happy – and there is enough food to satisfy any appetite. And, yes, after a couple of those Mass beers lederhosen do seem like a very good fashion choice.

But, not once, did I ever consider making my own “gunslinger.”


Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!


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