We adopted Cincinnati as our home in 2005. The Germans adopted it in the mid-1800s. In fact, by 1850 the number one spoken language in Cincinnati was German. And the number one beverage was beer. Not surprisingly, it’s now home to the second largest Oktoberfest in the world (number one is in Munich, Bavaria). Oktoberfesters love their bier und schnitzel, und bratwurst mit sauerkraut! But there’s something that loves Oktoberfest even more, or rather loves Oktoberfesters even more: Gnats!
Oktoberfest actually begins in mid-September, while the weather is warm…
In fact, when they write their relatives about their beloved city, the little critters spell it Cinci-gnati. And even though feasting on humans is nearly always fatal, they don’t care. Here’s a Gnat’s Oktoberfest To-Do List:
- Find human face
- Fly into it
At our first Oktoberfest, hosted by Cincinnati’s Germania Society, we sat under a tent slurping Märzen lager and noshing hot krouty mettwurst (well, OK, I did–my wife sipped lemonade and demurely nibbled chicken). Predictably, the flies fought with me over who could consume the most mustard.
But not the gnats.
They headed straight for my face, causing me to flail fecklessly, while sloshing more beer and dropping more kraut than I ever actually got in my mouth.
So what’s the deal with gnats?
It turns out they’re actually called eye gnats, and they live not by beer alone, but by all the mucous that proceedeth out of the mouths–and eyes and noses–of humans.
Consequently, the average human consumes three to four thousand gnats in a lifetime. Which is not only disgusting, but seriously unsanitary–gnats are covered in germs (so that’s why they call it the Germania Society). It’s a pretty raw deal for all those hard-working gnat dads, too. I mean, they’re just trying to bring home the bacon (or, well, mucous) so their gnaty little families can live. There must be a solution, right?
I Googled “gnat protection” to see what could be done. Here are a couple of the stylish solutions that popped up. Hmm. And how does one drink beer through these, exactly? Ah, well…
Pass the gnats, please.