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!

gnats1Oktoberfest actually begins in mid-September, while the weather is warm…

And sticky.

And gnaty.

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:

  1. Find human face
  2. Fly into it
  3. Die

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?gnats3

gnats2I 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.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Octoberfeast

  1. the head gear never worked for me…they get up under the hem of the netting and then i’m trapped in there with them and all their “gnatty” friends…my eyes swell up something fierce from their bites. consequently, i neither garden nor camp nor engage in any picnic without barbecue smoke present which masks my “sweetness”…Oktoberfest tip: stand near the wurst grill… 😉 (holy moly! i’m itching just writing about this…)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Enjoyed the story about German Oktoberfest until I got to the gnats. :(.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BelleUnruh says:

    I’ve always been glad I live way out west. Low humidity and few pesky-type bugs. Feel sorry for you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always a classic! Gnats can’t be that bad and I’m sure they have more on their minds than to die and fly into people 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Roos Ruse says:

    Leave it to you to present such a gnaturally interesting slant on Oktoberfest, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cat9984 says:

    I like the cones. They would probably make the gnats die laughting

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    We used to call them Gnatzies! Ruthless, irritating, and contantly at us. Hope you can enjoy inspite this’s little monsters.


    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Oh, yeah. Actually, the Oktoberfest we attended is nested in the hills–lovely setting but much more buggy. Cincinnati’s biggest Oktoberfest is held downtown, and probably fairly gnat-free, but we tend to avoid crowded urban events.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s