jeanine fritz

B ecause I'm Bavarian and a beer lover and also a little insane, three straight weeks of intense planning for Oktoberfest seemed reasonable. By the time you read this, I'll most likely be hung over with my head in the toilet, having already spent the weekend dribbling beer into my dirndl like a nice German girl should. This could quite possibly be the best weekend of the year this month.

I rented a big ole penthouse -- excuse me, "pent-haus" -- for myself and several gut freunde. To save money, we're cooking fabulous group meals, including hahnchen im schlafrock, which means "chicken in a nightgown." (Not only is that hilarious, it also sounds a whisper more German than "enchiladas.")

Sure, the onslaught of questions, from "Where can I get some puffy bloomers?" to "Will the Saturday breakfast frittata be gluten-free?" have increased the closer we get to launch. But I asked for all of this, because I'm a bossy older sister, because I love planning shit, and because Oktoberfest is better than Christmas.

I've trained virtually non-stop for this date since last Oktoberfest. I've eaten pretzels, downed a lot of beers, and knocked a keg or two over while wearing a dress entirely too short to sashay about in while in public. Check. Check. Check.

Crashing into a keg was accidental, but during the Keg Bowling competition at Oktoberfest, my style will still appear haphazard. I imagine the announcer saying, "That girl just slipped in some sauerkraut, face-planted into that bottom keg and knocked them all over!"

The color guy will point out, "Sauerkraut Sally there is a contestant, Frank! And WHAT a contestant! She didn't spill a drop from her stein! Miss Fritz advances to the next round!"

I'm not the only one in the group who's approaching this weekend like one of the five classic plot conflicts. In the clash between Short Dirndl vs. Nature, some of the girls are planning to wear long underwear with their costumes, like we did in second grade at Halloween.

Man vs. Self? Please. Spending the night hunched over a toilet, trying not to get your hair mussed and swearing that's the last time you drink "all the liquors" is old hat.

Manner vs. Manner is what that German slap-dancing is all about. Are you the better dancer? Did you slap your partner a little harder than he slapped you? Is the pouch in your lederhosen hiding a bigger wienerschnitzel than his?

Drunk, idiotic tourists vs. society is probably something every city hosting an Oktoberfest struggles with, and Man vs. Technology this weekend will be perfectly demonstrated as folks sway in line for the ATM.

I'm not sure about Man vs. the Supernatural yet, but the fact is, mein freunde are ready. We have the heart and the know-how to get this done. Chelsey even has her post-game speech ready. "It's about commitment. I just give it all I got and then hope to come out on top. You gotta play it one day at a time. But you also gotta play the full weekend. It's a team effort."

Prost!