Monday, October 5, 2009

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How to Behave in an Oktoberfest Beer Tent by Michael Corcoran

October is a kindly month, so adaptable and carefree. If you're a closet headbanger (or Jack Black), it's Rocktober. If you like to steal Snickers out of your kid's bag ("It was only a bite-sized one!"), it gives you Halloween. Leaves change colors, the World Series is played, and beer--tons and tons of frothy goodness--is consumed, sipped, drunk, chugged and downed all over the globe at Oktoberfest, a German invention that ranks right up there with bratwurst and Albert Einstein. Of course, when the order of the day is drinking beer, and then more beer, and even more beer while surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people doing the same thing at parties, local festivals, in tents, in outdoor beer gardens, at beer company promotions and ...well, you can see how it certainly demands a clever strategy to avoid being the person with vomit on their shoes or a human doppelganger for Homer Simpson. Or, as my friend Craig Dunton, who is in Munich as I type, told me on the phone yesterday, "My two rules for Oktoberfest: Never refuse a toast--ein prosit!--and don't puke." Since all of this sounds like way too much fun to resist, here's how to survive the Oktoberfest nearest you.

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