We have new people on staff at Boulder Outdoor Cinema this year, and I suppose after working with the same folks for nearly a decade, it's possible we're coming on a little strong to the newbies — like when the foreign exchange student shows up midway through junior year in high school, and everyone grabs the exotic newcomer by the elbow, leading them around like gang tour guides. "The chess club is where it's at!"

"No, no, Simone/Hans/Komiko, there's a party at the water tower tonight."

"Marching band OWNS that Peach Festival Parade."

Jeanine Fritz
Jeanine Fritz

Unlike competing high school cliques, the BOC staff is pretty united in our interests — The Drinking Club. But after spending weeks regaling the new AV kid with tales of our annual Colorado Oktoberfest trips, the stories of triumph over warm beer, dancing with smelly strangers and hangover after hangover, the kid had the nerve to say, "Sorry, I'm not sure I can go. I think I have a fancy, weird business retreat that weekend."

I nearly spit my Hoegaarden out. The other two BOC old-timers were quick on the draw: "But Claire, Oktoberfest is the Outdoor Cinema's fancy, weird business retreat."


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They aren't wrong. While the annual trip to the mountains dressed in dirndls, lederhosen, pretzel necklaces, and hats with tiny craft birds hot glued to them is more an adventure for friends — it's also a celebration of the end of the cinema season.

Claire didn't seem convinced, so I'm gonna outline why it's the best business retreat a person could hope for.

First off, your standard business retreat requires you to hang out with coworkers. With us, once the weekend is over, you don't have to see us on Monday. In fact, you don't have to see us again until next summer — which I suppose could be desirable, given our propensity to pass out on park benches with half-eaten bratwurst in our hands.

Common practices at business retreats include shit like trust falls, party favors featuring the corporate logo, team-building through extreme sports and endless list-making with colorful markers.

We've got all of that.

Trust falls? Try walking down the stairs of an unfamiliar condo hungover on a Saturday morning. Several folks at the bottom nursing Irish coffees will happily break your fall with a hastily thrown suitcase. Party favors? You'll go home with a beer stein, mystery bruises and a chipped tooth, friend. Extreme sports? We participate in keg bowling, bratwurst-eating contests and like to wield hot glue guns while drunk. All the brainstorming and list-making is done beforehand: who's picking up the fake birds at Michael's, who's in charge of pretzel necklaces, and whose mom is making the hanchen im frauschlocken. ("Chicken in a Nightgown" in German sounds better than "enchiladas." Liz, your mom is in charge again this year.)

It's possible Claire doesn't have a fancy, weird business retreat that weekend — she just wants to avoid the shitshow. That being said, there's a ton of work to be done over the next month. Time to bust out the dry-erase markers and the hefeweizen.