There were 11 of us: A co-ed mix of mostly bartenders and bar employees and other hardcore boozer types. Our itinerary was two days in London. One day in Füssen, Germany. One day in Berchtesgaden. Then onward to Munich for the main event: two days at historic Oktoberfest.
Ever notice how alcoholics are always making drinking games out of shit you aren't supposed to drink while doing? For instance there is Sloshball and Beergammon and Beer Pong and Drink Twister and Drink Hogan's Heroes. Well, in this case we were playing Drink Europe.
The rules of Drink Europe are simple. He/she who binges the most, stays up the latest and doesn't purge in public is the one who wins. He/she who binges the least, sleeps the earliest and purges the most spectacularly-loses.
And the winner of Drink Europe is... Ausfahrt!
Ausfahrt's real name is Brian. Ausfahrt is also the German word for "exit." We call him "Ausfahrt" for his impossible flatulence. (As in, "Hey Brian, that was one disgusting fahrt that did exit from der aus.")
In the game of Drink Europe, Ausfahrt certainly lost points for his incorrigible rectal expletives. The thunderheads that emerged from his bowels were as foul as any beast that lay in a barn. However, Ausfahrt's ability to drink-to drink much, to drink often, to drink late, then to wake up early and drink more-was matched by no other on this trip. Whatever points he lost for gastrointestinal insubordination, he regained with his ability to keep the party going as hard and as long as humanly possible.
The loser of Drink Europe was Teddy, whom we now call "Sir Vomit Mouth," for staging the most spectacular puke-fest London has ever seen. Oh sure, we saw and did so many fantastic, historic, memorable things in Europe. But it is the tale of Sir Vomit Mouth that will be remembered best.
On the morning of our second day in London, we took the tubes to the Tower of London. Afterward, we crossed the Thames via the Tower Bridge, found the Tower Pub and drank pints, crossed back via London Bridge, found the Shanty Pub and drank pints, rode the London Eye, found the Sherlock Holmes Pub and drank pints, traversed Piccadilly Circus, found the Dog and Vomit and drank pints and Sambuca, sang drinking songs with some vapid twit from Ireland and her blank-faced husband, closed the bar, found a bar, closed the bar, got a bottle, drank a bottle, caused an obnoxious scene at the hotel, woke management, got scolded, crashed out and woke the next morning with the hotel staff glaring at us as if the moon(shine) had turned us into a pack of werewolves that accidentally tore apart the chambermaid last night. And there was the manager, saying something about, "The taxi is here, now get your stuff and leave!"
As soon as the taxi vans whisked us away, Teddy became pale. See, poor stupid Teddy was one of the sick souls drinking from that evil bottle until Hell:30 a.m. And now Teddy was hung. Teddy was hanging lower than I have ever seen him; hung as low as a hat rack in a midget's flat. And the motion sickness wasn't helping any.
We said, "Hang on, Teddy!" as the van swayed in and out of busy British opposite-side traffic. We said, "Almost there, Teddy, we're almost there!" as the signs for London-Heathrow appeared. We said, "You're a good boy Teddy, a good, good boy," when the driver pulled up to the departure curb of the airport and let us out.
Teddy had survived the ride.
But it was standing there, on the departure curb of the London-Heathrow International Airport, gathering payment for the taxi, saying our goodbyes to England, hoping to leave a good, last impression, when Teddy finally discharged all his toxic yestermeals.
I didn't see the first attack. All I knew was that suddenly people were screaming and stampeding from the area as though a homicide bomber had been spotted. Indeed, London has a long history with terrorism, so when everyone scattered, my first thought was, Uh-oh, here comes the explosion. And there was an explosion. A great, terrible, moist explosion.
The explosion sounded something like this: Kersplash! Kersplash!
As the people ran by, I turned in time to see Teddy, the vomicide bomber, repeatedly dressing the pavement. Kersplash! Kersplash! I, too, took to running then, grabbed my bags and began pushing the back of the small woman in front of me. Kersplash! Kersplash. More screams. "Oh, Jesus God!" they cried. Kersplash! People clambering over one another to escape. Kersplash! Cabbies, diving into their rigs. Kersplash! Kersplash! Mothers, covering their children from the rancid shrapnel. Kersplash! Teddy, staggering now from dizziness and confusion-like a bullet-ridden Godzilla, weak and stumbling, yet still splattering rank fireballs all over London. Kersplash! English sirens honking in the distance. Kersplash! Kersplash! One last time, for good measure. Kersplash!
We ducked into the airport.
Now we're standing in the Lufthansa check-in line of the London Heathrow Airport. Sir Vomit Mouth is wiping the bile and mucous from his face, looking like something the cadaver dog dug up. The rest of us, still haggard and radish-eyed fighting back a Puketoberfest of our own-and I'm thinking: This is the first leg? We haven't even been to Germany yet - when the real drinking begins.
Onward Oktoberfest! Stay tuned. ©
Less is more or less at www.edwindecker.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and cc editor@SD citybeat.com.