When the Mouse invited me to the annual Oktoberfest at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria, Queens, I said yes right away. It was only after I checked his nerdy little Google invite that I started to get nervous.
"This says 1:00 in the afternoon," I said. "Are we seriously going to start drinking then?"
"Damn straight we are," he said. "You don't want to get there much later than that. You'll never get in."
He was right. The Mouse, T-bone, JoJo and I got there right at 1 pm, and there was already a line around the block. If our Queens crew hadn't held a spot, we would probably still be standing there.
As for the festivities themselves, well, let's just say that I'm glad I've become one of those irritating people who always carry a camera. Thanks to the photographic record, I think I can pretty much recreate a memory of the day.
1. We arrive at the Beer Garden. Mouse gets food. T-bone and JoJo get beer. Funke and I drink the beer:
2. Under the influence of said beer, I decide it's a good idea to ask innocent children to pose beside dead pigs. The girl in this picture pointed at the pig and said, helpfully: "Look! A pig! And it's dead!"
3. JoJo drank some beer and turned into a little angel:
4. Mouse drank some beer and turned into a silly person:
5. I drank some beer and...
6. ...spilled it on T-bone's shoe:
7. It's cool, though. He forgave me. He even commented on how springy my hair was. (Beer is good for hair.)
8. Later on, we all put on helmets for safety.
I'm pretty sure that's how the day went, anyway.