In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Oktoberfest vignette

Saturday evening, I attended the Barrhaven Oktoberfest celebration. Grant suggested we go and he bought 2‑for‑1 tickets in advance. Right from the start, it was good!

While I haven’t been to many Oktoberfest parties, I have to imagine it had all the important components. There was beer, food, live music, and lots of people. What more do you want?! What made it more interesting to me is that Strongbow was one of the sponsors so there was also cider. I’m not a big beer-drinker so this was a far more interesting option for me.

20121001_poker-chipsWe found that the alcohol was not directly sold for money. Rather, each beer, cider, or glass of wine was available in exchange for a token, and the tokens cost $5 each, or 4 for $20. Yes, I know that’s still $5 each, but those were the two options listed on the sign. Putting the illogic aside, I bought four tokens and started in on a Strongbow.

A few days before, I’d heard an interview on CBC Radio One with a man from Spud’s Potato Bar and Poutinerie. Since they were one of the food vendors, they created an Oktoberfest-themed poutine. I’m not sure what, if anything, it had to do with Oktoberfest besides the mini-bratwurst placed on top, but I still liked it a great deal. I hadn’t eaten dinner in preparation for the poutine, so I enjoyed every bit of it.

I didn’t plan to drink a lot, but I enjoyed my cider-induced happiness. We walked around, ate, talked, people-watched, and drank. It was a fun evening. We joked about the approach of old age because by about 10:30, we were cold, tired, and ready to go.

I had one token left and Lori took Rustin’s last token and gave it to Grant. She said that we should find some women to give them to on our way out. I was already thinking the same thought. The token wasn’t worth keeping, and if I was going to give it to someone, it would be a woman. No rocket science there.

My choice didn’t take nearly as long as I let on, because Rustin was increasingly cold and his crotchetiness was entertaining!

Earlier in the evening, I noticed two women walk by. One stood out because she had a classic look about her. She wore tall boots, dark cotton pants, a light-coloured wool coat, and a knitted hat. Her attire was a far cry from the typical attire. I was also envious because she had the foresight to wear gloves. Nothing bulky, but rather just enough to keep warm with a cold drink in your hand, and my drink-hand was cold. Her friend wasn’t as much an immediate stand-out, but she looked good all the same. She had a very nice black jacket that Lori told me was a very fashionable brand … that I can’t remember, of course. While I don’t know if her jeans were of a similarly fashionable brand, I had no trouble recognizing that her figure did very nice things to them.

I asked Grant for his token, got up, and approached the two women. I held the tokens between my thumb and forefinger, and slid them apart, making it clear that I was holding two. I held them in front of me as I approached from the side, letting the tokens introduce me. They looked at the tokens, and then at me. I said, “we’ve got to go, so.…” They smiled, and plucked the tokens from my hand. The woman wearing the wool coat said, “You are a handsome man. A very, very handsome man,” and it was my turn to smile. I tipped my head with a slight nod and withdrew, still smiling.

It was a lovely ending to an enjoyable evening.

Token graphic © 2012 Oktoberfest Ottawa.


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  1. Lori

    You’re lovely. No surprise there! 🙂

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