A disorderly display of debauchery dedicated to the divine, delectable, dipsomania-inducing drinks for the decadent desires dogging the diverse denizens of drunkenness—I speak of an event none other than the cheerfully tipsy celebration known as Oktoberfest.
Originating in Munich, millions flock to Oktoberfest from all around the world for 16 spirited days of steins, sausages and St. Pauli girls. This year, guests consumed a dizzying 1.8 million gallons of beer; consequentially the festival saw a 20 percent increase in the number of people drinking themselves into unconsciousness, known in Germany as “Bierleichen,” or “beer corpses.” It’s not a place likely to find too many ascetics.
This last weekend, Ocean Beach held its own German-themed booze-fest. The city’s streets were packed with corset and lederhosen-clad OBialites getting sauced to the sound of German oompah music, bellowing out the toast “Ein prosit, ein prosit, der gemütlichkeit”—a cheers to friendship, hospitality, happiness and frivolity. And that it was, with emphasis on the latter.
Vulgar vocalist and entertainer Jose Sinatra hosted the bash, complete with gold chains, slicked- back hair and tight leather pants stuffed with raunchy, oversized faux genitalia. With his singing of everything from “Eat Me” to his own guttural version of “Lovin’ You,” onlookers didn’t stand a chance. The carnal creature also performed with his saucy band, Jose Sinatra and the Jagerettes. As Sinatra tells his audiences, “My music turns up my own pent- up anger about worldwide hatred into a missile of love, penetrating the moist darkness and planting a cogent seed of caring, of kindness, of Jose Sinatra.”
In what seemed an attempt to break the world record for irony, Sinatra also conducted for the festivity’s sausage-eating competition. Participants were pitted against one another in a race to see who could wolf down 10 wieners the fastest, while striving to retain both their stomachs and their dignity. The “winner” of the contest declined an interview in a kindhearted tone as he struggled with his new battle of avoiding cardiac arrest.
Other Oktoberfest competitions included the sausage toss, the stein-holding competition, the Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest contest and the Brat Trot, a five- kilometer beach race in which runners are hindered by pork-link adornments. Live bands played throughout the weekend while the ale and Jägermeister flowed out of the beer garden like a ruptured fire hydrant.
One of the attendees, University of California, San Diego student Michael Berkebile, talked about his experience at the event.
“We meandered down into the hordes of Oktoberfesters to a spectacle that was right on par with what we had expected. Lederhosen and dirndls were aplenty, as was booze-breath and sausage grease,” he said. “Oral expulsion didn’t actually occur until when the all-women stein chugging contest was onstage. It seemed most of the competitors were sufficiently inebriated before starting, but this hardly slowed them down.”
He continued, “Besides such festivities, the food smelled amazing and the atmosphere was beautiful. All the traditional tenets of the Oktoberfest culture being worn and eaten meshed nicely with the typical Ocean Beach steez in a thoroughly entertaining fashion.”
To sum up the experience, Oktoberfest turned out to be a raucous, yet easygoing celebration not to be forgotten. The only condition, however, is to make sure when the morning comes, you’ll be able to remember it.