Monday, September 16, 2013


The weekend Aufsteierer festival just ended here in Graz. They do this every year. They shut down the city center and have a weekend celebration of their Styrian-ness. The locals wear lederhosen and dirndls and erect several dozen huts selling local food, wine, beer, hats, and other craft. Oh, and Sturm. They sell a lot of Sturm. aka "Youngwine" or "inadequately fermented proto-wine" that is dangerously easy to drink. They love warning tourists not to drink it too fast. Thanks, I said; I lived here for over 2 years.

Capitalizing on recent events, I made a protest sign urging Obama not to bomb Styria. I spent at least ten hours yesterday (Sunday) walking around the city center with my protest sign. I figured that the more observant and intelligent locals would be amused, and stupid curmudgeons wouldn't get the joke and be offended. Worked perfectly. I was even accosted in public by an old woman who bitched at me for "don't make politic here" because "this is our festival". Learning from other snotty people, I pretended I spoke no German and forced her into wonderfully catachretic convolutions to explain why it was morally wrong. I asked her if she knew the difference between Syria and Styria. Yes, she said. I switched to German and asked if she was sure: Bist du sicher? Note that using the informal tense on an older person is highly insulting. She began explaining this to me and I simply pointed to the sign, repeating again that it has nothing to do with politics. This amused me greatly. It didn't amuse her, but nothing would.

During my third hour of meandering with a protest sign in one hand and Sturm in the other, I ran in to some buddies of mine who work at the Steak Boutique. Like many locals, they were walking around with their dog. Their dog is named Kirby, short for kuerbis, or pumpkin. Good name, although not nearly as good as Flash Marvin. Unlike other locals, they dressed their dog in lederhosen. I was thoroughly upstaged. Nobody noticed my protest sign any more, instead losing themselves in utter shock and fascination at the "Hund mit Lederhosen." Everyone stopped and pointed. Everyone wanted a picture. Ah ha ha ha! Ho ho ho! Ji ji ji! (This is how they laugh here.) Ein Hund mit Lederhosen!

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!! You guys have been wearing lederhosen for hundreds of years. You're amazingly dog-friendly. You are great engineers and craftsmen. WTF is so novel and kreativ about a dog with pants?! Rich old bats in Santa Monica walk dogs with pants routinely. You can find dog-pants for sale all over the internet. None of you locals ever thought of this before? Have you ever heard of doghouses, dog chew-toys, dog collars, or dog shit? I became much less jealous after realizing that the li'l pumpkin was one hell of a chick magnet. I also felt increasingly sorry for Kirby, who obviously disliked his pants despite the attention they got him. They weren't even capitalizing on the opportunity. Kirby's pants had little pockets that were just the right size for business cards. If you're gonna be silly, why not be tacky too? I mean, look at the asshole in the blue shirt.

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