When we left off last week, Sir Vomit Mouth was the runaway loser of the London leg of our wildcat game of Drink Europe. He earned his dubious title for staging one of the most spectacular public pukefests the world has ever seen on the departure curb of the London Heathrow International Airport.
Poor Sir Vomit Mouth. Throughout the ensuing flight to Munich; throughout our six-hour road trip from Munich to Füssen; throughout dinner that night-we rejoiced and sang songs commemorating his most inglorious, historic moment:
"Bravely bold Sir Vomit/Came forth from Camelot / He was not afraid to hurl / Oh brave Sir Vomit / With his neck so taut and eyeballs bulged and his torso bent and his throat all burnt / Brave brave brave brave Sir Vomit..."
Naturally, VM didn't appreciate the singing. VM wished everyone would stop laughing and singing at his expense. He knew the only way the group would stop laughing and singing at his expense was if somebody else bungled in an even more spectacular manner than he did. He also realized the odds were highly unlikely-unless he interfered-which certainly would explain his blatant attempt to sabotage me.
That same night, we checked into Suzanne's Bed and Breakfast at about 10 p.m., and then walked down the hill to the village of Füssen, found a bar and commenced drinking. It was a grand evening-a good time was had by all. But by about 1 a.m., I was done. It had been a long day of travel. VM wanted to leave also, as he was still suffering from his Incident at London Heathrow earlier that morning. So we said goodnight to the group and walked up the hill back to Suzanne's B&B.
It wasn't until we reached Suzanne's that I realized my wallet was missing. I panicked and told VM I was going to run back down the hill and search the bar. "Just borrow a bike," he said, pointing to a rack-full of unlocked bicycles outside a nearby apartment complex.
"No way," I said.
"Who's gonna know?" he chided. "Everyone's sleeping, and you'll have it back in 10 minutes."
"You're crazy," I said. "I can't risk a German jailhouse. I only know four German words, and none of them are, "Please, Gustav, be gentle.'"
"I would do it," he bragged. "Guess I'm just more daring than you."
Vomit Mouth had played me perfectly-a testament to his evil cunning. I walked over to the rack, selected what looked to be the best machine, mounted and coasted down the hill, passing VM, whose dastardly grin shined as brightly as any streetlight they didn't have on this cave-black Bavarian road.
Thankfully, I found my wallet. But on the return trip up the hill I got lost. I suddenly found myself biking in and out of residential cul-de-sacs, lost and confused and beginning to panic-when from behind me came the flashing lights of the green and white van of the German Polizei.
The van pulled alongside of me. Riding shotgun was a female. Driving was a male. "Eichen reichen steechen steichen?" he asked. My heart raged in my chest, screaming and rattling the bars of my ribcage like a spiked-up lab monkey trying to get out.
"Huh?" I said.
"Aye-ken. Rye-ken. Stee-ken. Sty-ken," he slowly, clearly, loudly repeated.
"Um, spekenze englisch?" I responded.
"Eichen reichen steechen steichen?" he answered.
"Yeah, well, OK, here's the deal," I said, wired on fear and adrenaline. "See I left my wallet at the bar and so borrowed-just borrowed, now-this bike, but now I'm bringing it back and, well, I got lost and..."
And he didn't understand a word. To him, it all probably sounded like the untranslatable ranting of a drug-crazed drug druggy who stole this bike to score a vile of Bavarian crank. He turned to the female cop and said, "Eichen Reichen Steechen Steichen?"
The female cop-who looked exactly like The Rock but without the soft, womanly contours-turned to me and said "Eichen Reichen Steechen Steichen!"
"I lost my wallet," I responded.
"Eichen?" she asked. "No, it's borrowed," I replied, "I'm returning it now."
"Reichen!?" she shouted. "No, I never planned on keeping it. I promise."
"Steechen!" she demanded. "I'm an American," I say, "Does that work in my favor?"
"Steichen?" she blurted. "No, no-I'm just trying to find my bed and breakfast," I moan.
A light of understanding then: "Bett und Frühstück?" she said excitedly.
"Yes, yes," I said, nearly shouting, "Bett und Frühstück! Do you know where is Suzanne's Bett und Frühstück?"
"Ya, ya," said the male, angry glare falling off his face. "You follow." They escorted me to Suzanne's Bett und Frühstück, watched as I returned the bicycle to the rack and waved goodbye as they drove away.
I don't know why they let me go. Perhaps they couldn't bear the idea of a filing a cross-language police report. There are other theories. Whatever. The important thing is, VM's desperate attempt at sabotage had failed. Maybe if I were carted off to jail and fondled by Gustav the Conqueror, maybe then I could be considered as the new loser of Drink Europe. But I wasn't. Which makes VM still the frontrunner-thanks to his staging the most spectacular public retchfest Europe has seen since the Crown Prince Ludwig lost his regal lunch on that very first Oktoberfest of 1810.
Speaking of Oktoberfest: Onward.
Eichen reichen steechen steichen to firstname.lastname@example.org and editor@SDcity beat.com.