Monday, January 26, 2009

Stephen Colbert Was Right!

It started off like a normal Saturday night. My husband and I went to a bar on the east side of Milwaukee for a birthday party of a friend of mine. We had a couple beers and some good food but we didn't know a lot of people there. So, we were making our own fun.

My husband had "cruised" this area 20 years ago and we (other authors of this blog included) used to play there 10 years ago. We were exchanging stories and remembering good times. With our hectic life, we don't get to just sit and enjoy each other's company like this very often. It was really nice.

Then, a younger friend showed up. She is the sweetest thing and I really enjoyed talk to her. She took her coat off to stay a while and there they were...her boobs. They were young and perky and cute and saluting. As she went to grab a drink, I whispered to my husband, "I used to have boobs like that". As the mammalian nostalgia was setting in, the biggest freak show in the world walked in the door!!

It started out as just one guy. He was wearing a suit that was covered in little wood planks that were lined up like shingles such that when he jumped up and down, the planks slapped together. He also had on the creepiest (think witch from Snow White) mask. He proceeded to parade around the party...not speaking a word. Just frickin weird but that's not all...

There was like 30 of them! They were all in costumes, all in freaky masks, all walking around and all making weird cooing noises!! I swear to God I am not making this up! It was like a group hallucination! (Note to self: Stay away from the humus next time:-) The girls that we were with were getting really freaked out. So, I switched into mother-mode. I kept telling the freaks to leave the girls alone. I was sitting on a stool and I assured them that I was at "ball height"and could take a shot if need be. Well, need be...check this out:

As the promenade worked its way through the party, a HUGE man in a bear costume filed in. He wasn't a cute and cuddly bear. He was mean looking and he kept bugging the girls. So, I told him to leave the girls alone. That's when he turned on me! First I pushed him with my hands and when that didn't work, I resorted to the crotch kick. It worked but still really frickin freaky.

When things calmed down, I asked the hostess of the party if she had invited them. She is the type of person who knows everyone so I thought maybe it was part of the party. She said that they were uninvited but she also had the answer as to who they were. Apparently, they were celebrating a German Mardi Gras-type holiday called Fastnacht or Fasching. I would love the have Brenda's take on this. Are there customarily bears who attack during this holiday?

So the morals of the story are:

1. The last time I partied on the east side was 10 years ago when my boobs stood at attention.

2. In the event of Fasching, I will turn into a mother hen.

3. And yes, Stephen Colbert, bears do attack!!


  1. That is absolutely the freakiest thing I've ever heard of...I would have run out there screaming my head off!! That's too much!!

  2. Ah, yes, you were accosted by a group of Fasching fanatics apparently. Where were you - Von Trier's? In any case, Fasching (as it's known in southern Germany), or "Karneval" (its name in northern Germany where my roots hail from), is the German Mardi Gras. Celebrations start in November, but the real kick-off is usually January 31st. So, the revelers you met were a bit early, but, hey, it's hard to wait for an opportunity to get a little crazy, I guess. :-) Fasching/Karneval is a HUGE celebration in Germany with a lot of partying, street parades, pub-hopping, all while typically dressed in crazy costumes (think Mardi Gras in New Orleans). Religiously speaking, Fasching is a way for people (specifically Catholics) to whoop it up in the days before Lent. It really hails back to pagan times, when people used to say their goodbyes to winter and welcome spring; wearing creepy masks and costumes was common to chase away the nasty spirits of winter.

    Fasching is the one holiday season I never experienced during my year abroad studying in Germany. I was there during the first Gulf War, and when it broke out in January, the German government decided to CANCEL all Karneval celebrations in reverence of all of the soldiers and civilians whose lives were in danger. I fully understand that reasoning, but I was still disappointed. I had been looking forward to my favorite part of Karneval that I had learned about in school over the years. Check this out: On January 31st, women have their own day as part of the Fasching celebrations, called Weiberfastnacht (women's night of fasting). It's anything but that, though. Ladies can go out (typically to bars and there is a lot of street revelling too) and kiss any man they like! Also - even better - ladies can carry around a pair of scissors and cut off the tie of any man, too. Oh yeah, ya' gotta love the symbolic meaning of that, huh? Pretty crazy. I had been so looking forward to cutting off a whole bunch of ties but never had my chance. :0( There are all sorts of strange cultural practices like that associated with Fasching. It gets really wild.

    In any case, if you by chance return to that bar any time soon...don't forget your scissors!!