German Fest

Farm Forum

My wife and I recently attended a party that was so swanky, even the dogs wore tuxedoes.

Our Saturday saturnalia was actually a two-part event. The first part involved going to the Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival, which translates roughly to “shopping outdoors with enough people to fill a sports stadium.”

My wife was sold at “shopping.” I’m not implying that my wife likes shopping; I’m stating unequivocally that she REALLY likes shopping. It’s not by coincidence that our sons’ first words were “blue light special!”

We joined the throng parading past the line of booths that had been set up in downtown Sioux Falls. As we strolled around, I couldn’t see a single thing that we needed in order for life to continue. My wife, on the other hand, saw few things that we could live without.

Our progress was so slow that some kid’s pet turtle passed us. My wife had to stop at nearly every booth and coo something such as “Ooh, isn’t that cute?” or “Wouldn’t this be pretty in the living room?” or “That would spiff up the junk pile you call an office!”

Thankfully, I was able to convince my wife to quit the Arts Festival before we needed a U-haul to transport all the loot. Besides, a nearby German Fest had just opened its gates.

Within moments of arriving at the German Fest, I finally found something that I wanted to buy. It was the right size (16 ounces), the right color (amber) and the right temperature (cold).

The Germans may not have invented beer, but they have done much to advance the science of brewing. Since I possess a scientific streak, I feel it’s my duty to sample every beer that I can. I’m on a mission to find the perfect brewski, the Holy Grail of fermented barley juice.

“What do you think?” asked my wife after my first sip of German Fest beer.

“I’d be happier if it wasn’t so hoppy,” I replied. “I’ll just have to keep on trying different brews. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!”

A crowd was gathering near a set of bleachers at one end of the park where German Fest was being held. We wandered over to the bleachers and took a seat and learned that we were about to witness Dachshund races.

But first there was to be a costume contest. Dachshunds wearing a variety of outfits were trotted out and voted upon by audience response. Tuxedoed Charlie came in first with an adorable Supergirl pooch placing second.

Then came the races. There’s something wrong with you if you don’t grin at the sight of a bunch of wiener dogs dashing across the grass. What they lacked in speed they made up with comic enthusiasm: flopping ears, stubby little legs churning furiously, the look of joy on both masters’ and dogs’ faces when they (the dogs) hurtled across the finish line.

Most races were over in mere seconds. But one heat nearly turned into a debacle when all of the competitors became confused and started to run around in random circles while their coaches tried to entice them with such irresistible incentives as squeaky toys and doggy treats.

Just when it appeared that the race might stretch into the following day, one of the contestants finally spotted his human mom and sprinted into her open arms. The crowd went wild – or at least as wild as a crowd can get at a wiener dog race.

All this excitement had roused our appetites. We cruised around the German Fest grounds to peruse the food offerings, much of which was based on meat and could best be described as being of the tube genre.

“Wow,” I said as I bit into a brat, “This is the best wurst I’ve ever had!”

My wife ignored my comment and listened to the live band, which was playing music that could best be described as being of the oom-pah genre.

A burning question popped into my mind, so I asked my wife, “Would it be cannibalism if a Dachshund ate a hot dog?” She again ignored me

I don’t understand a lick of German, but German tunes somehow sound better when sang in their mother tongue. This is especially true for the yodeling parts.

The beer soon told me that it needed to get back out and I found myself waiting in line by a lineup of porta potties. And that is when I finally understood the awesome power of German music.

Because every single person who was standing in line was doing the chicken dance.

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