So there we were in Munich for Oktoberfest. We walked into the Lowenbrau tent and they were playing Glenn Miller. “In the Mood”. Quite a culture shock, not what I expected. When we finally found a table we were wedged between the “Italian Beer Drinking Team”, some Army tankers from Baumholder and of course some Germans. People would jump on the tables and shout a toast.
“Hier ist nach Deutschland!” [crowd roars]
“Ecco l’italia!”[crowd roars]
“Here’s to America!”[crowd roars]
At one point, I hoisted myself up and screamed:
“Here’s to daylight precision bombing!”[crowd roars]
I got back down and the German next to me, leaned over and said, “I heard that”. and winked. “PROST!”
I knew the songs and sang along. My fellow Puppies felt left out. We huddled. We then belted out the theme to “Gilligan’s Island”. The Germans loved it. We thought we were so cleaver. But the Army guys went into a huddle and then belted out theme song for “The Brady Bunch”. [crowd roars]
Thus began the Battle of the TV Show Songs. We went back at forth. “Addams Family”, “Batman”, “Super Chicken”. Google it. Even the Germans kicked in with a good rendition of “Hi,ho,hi,ho, it’s off to work we go”. In English no less. The Italian Beer Drinking Team was too busy drinking.
Mrs. 3.0 and I were talking and she said I was supposed to post this story so here goes nothing.
This is no shit. [ed. note: Certified War Story] Have you ever been to Oktoberfest? I went to Oktoberfest in 1989. In Munich. Germany. Beat that! Actually I was dragged to Oktoberfest. Mrs. 1.0 had just left me and I had a real bad depression going. To get me to pull my head out of my ass, the boys in the dorm threw me into a car and drove me to Munich. I don’t remember too much of that car ride but I do remember Oktoberfest. Like every American I had preconceived notions about what Oktoberfest would look like. Some of it didn’t disappoint. There were guys in Lederhosen and green hats. There were girls in Lederhosen skirts complete with the blonde hair in long braids. But there were some surprises too. Needless to say there were thousands of people drinking beer carrying on. Each brewery had its own tent. I’m not talking about little tents like we saw at the wine fest. These were huge circus like tents that can easily seat of thousand people with room to dance.
The first surprises were when we walked into the Lowenbrau tent. I was expecting “OOM PA OOM PA” music. The live band was playing Glenn Miller. Specifically “In the Mood”. There were tables as far as the eye could see with wide corridors running this way and that. The corridors were packed with people. It was hard to make any headway to try to find a table. Then this drunken German dude grabbed me and started dancing with me. Not the polka but the jitterbug. Every time I swung him out we were hitting people bumping them out of the way. Now we were making headway. The guys were yelling “Keep dancing Walt we’ve got a find a table.” We jitterbug our way down to where the there was a “T” in the corridor. Crowd was thinning out, so I spun my dance partner into a table of revelers and we hung a left.
We found a table and hunkered down for some serious beer drinking. In our little cluster of tables there were tables full of Germans, the “Italian Beer Drinking Team” because that’s what said on their T-shirts and some US Army tank drivers from Baumholder. Every now and again somebody would stand up on the table and offer a toast. “Here’s to Germany” and the crowd would roar. “Here’s to America” and the crowd would roar again. I stood up and yelled “Here’s to Daylight Precision Bombing” and the crowd roared. When I sat down the German sitting next to us leaned over and sternly said to me, “I heard that”. Then he winked and we clinked beer steins. “Prosit Motherfucker”.
Then there was the singing. The Germans were singing their beer drinking songs. The Italians were singing their beer drinking songs. We tried our best to sing along but since I was only one who spoke German it was pretty sad. We huddled for a conference.
We busted out with, “Well….. Sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of the fateful trip…” On a trip to Spain we had earlier determined that the only song we knew all the words to was the theme to “Gilligan’s Island”. The Germans laughed and the Italians gave us thumbs up. I looked over and saw that the Army was huddled up. Then they broke out with, “Here’s a story, of a lovely lady….” Now we’re all laughing. Not to be outdone the Italians serenaded us with the “Love Boat”. With Teutonic Pride, the Germans fired back with a rendition of “Green Acres”. In German no less.