Lack of brew makes for a boring Oktoberfest

Jim Lee

About three weeks ago I performed an experiment. I discovered that if I droop the end of the toilet paper roll into the bowl and push down the flush handle, the force of the swirling water will pull the paper off the roll.
I didn’t check to see if the paper would go upward on the other side of the Equator.
After a few moments of reflection, I began wondering why I performed such a stupid, pointless experiment. After all, I did graduate high school in the top 90 percent of my class.
Maybe I needed a weekend out of town. No matter how exciting Portales can be, a change of scenery may have rejuvenating qualities.
This coincided perfectly with Oktoberfest in Cloudcroft. So, off we went — Saundra behind the wheel and me in the passenger seat cackling wildly.
Munich it ain’t, but Cloudcroft throbbing with Bavarian oom-pah-pah bands, lederhosen, bratwurst, and dark German beer beckoned us along Highway 70. We could enjoy the fall colors of the Sacramento Mountains, the Boardwalk and gift shops of Burro Street, maybe see some wildlife, plus enjoy this annual Bavarian festival.
If road kill counts, we began seeing wildlife almost immediately. Between Roswell and Ruidoso we saw a sign saying, “Dry Reservoir 7 Miles.” I still don’t understand how something can be called a reservoir when it’s dry.
We enjoyed the scenery all the way up to the mountain community. When we finally got there and checked in to that fascinating old hotel, we headed out to Oktoberfest.
We found a collection of tents where local craftspeople sold their non-Bavarian homespun wares at prices rivaling Neiman-Marcus. Oh well, we could enjoy the Bavarian music, bratwurst, and dark beer.
There wasn’t any music, not even a tape player. The bratwurst was the kind readily found at any grocery store, decidedly not German, and served in hotdog buns with American mustard.
Worst of all, there was no Bavarian brew. No dark, no light, no nothing. It was banned by the local authorities because (according to a local resident) the festival would turn into a “drunken orgy” had beer been allowed.
However, much to my disappointment, I saw no drunken orgies at the local pub, where beer was served.
So we took a ride up into the mountains. The scenery was beautiful, and we encountered a herd of nearly tame mule deer. We stood there in the trees looking at the vista stretched out below. We could even see the stark gypsum expanse of White Sands in the distance. The deer and the view were worth the trip in itself.
Oktoberfest was more like an overpriced flea market than it was a festival, but Saundra and I enjoyed a great weekend getaway and certainly recommend it to anyone who needs to escape the routine grind of home.
Just don’t expect anything Bavarian (or even German) about Oktoberfest in Cloudcroft. There’s a café with great Philly sandwiches, though.

Jim Lee is news director for KENW-FM radio. He also is an English instructor. He can be contacted at 359-2204. His e-mail: