Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Said a sturdy Oktoberfest waiter,
Dressed up in his Hosen of Leder:
"Is this best-ever year
For consumption of beer
A good or a bad indicator?"

Organizers of the Munich Oktoberfest reported that 6.9 million visitors drank a record 7.5 million liters (2 million gallons) of beer this year.  (Many readers may not be aware that the annual festival actually runs from September 17 to October 3.)  Hungry quaffers ate hundreds of thousands of roast chickens, 118 oxen and miles of sausage as well.   Is all this record-breaking revelry a positive indicator for Europe, or are crisis-weary Germans simply drowning their sorrows in Löwenbräu? One sign of a new frugality amidst the excess: the Münchener Polizei reported fewer brawls in which beer steins (or Maßkrüge, in the local vernacular) were broken over someone's head.

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