Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Year: 2007
The Place: Oktoberfest, Tulsa
So Oktoberfest is coming up here in just a few weeks. It was listed in USA Today's "Top 10" Octoberfests to attend (of course, in OK, we spell it OKTOBERFEST). I haven't been to any other events, but I can tell you that the Tulsa fest is a pretty fun one. We did not go last year because Emmy was just a babe and I wasn't ready to leave her very often. And we did not attend in 2008 because...well...I don't know. Maybe we did attend but nothing major happened.
But in 2007? That was a fun year. Thursday night is the "trial" night aka Corporate Night. During the day of corporate night there were some pretty crazy storms that passed through Tulsa. No tornadoes, but some fierce winds. Well, as the evening approached it seemed that the winds had subsided and it would be safe to go out that night. Things were going well, lots of general milling and meaningless chit-chat happening, and not much happening with the weather.
Chris and I went and got a $500 pitcher (not really that much....I exaggerate you know) of brew, bought some pretzels and German food and found the Samson table under the big tent. After finding our area, we promptly put down the food and drink and did the chicken dance- like all good Tulsa Oktoberfest attendees do.
The big tent was filled with picnic tables for seating, and instead of sitting on them the conventional way- we were sitting on top of the table facing another Samson couple just talking. A few winds blew in and slightly inflated the tent. My civil engineering husband, with concentration in structural, leans to me and says "if a big wind comes in, be ready to run".
"Yeah, yeah, whatever" I thought to myself. This tent ain't goin nowhere.
But, lo and behold, what happens less than 5 minutes later? A HUGE gust of wind comes in, practically picks up the tent, and then it quickly crumbles to the ground. My Indiana grade school drills come back to me and I start to duck and crawl underneath a picnic table for safety. Apparently Chris' Oklahoma drills came into his mind and he grabbed me and started running towards the exit. But when you put together a person ducking, and one person running, it basically looked like I was in a headlock being dragged out of the tent.
We get out of the tent, and Chris tells me to "stay right there, I'm going back in to help people". So I stand there, in the wind, in the rain and eventually in the hail. I take my hoodie and put it over my head for shelter. I have to wring it out every 2 minutes. I'm staying plenty entertained b/c as people find their way out of the tent, it looks as though they are running from King Kong waving their arms in the air like a rhythmic gymnasts ribbon.
Other people decided that standing out in the open in 80mph straight line winds is not a good idea, so they jump into port-o-potties....really people? Portable toilets? For shelter in the wind?
Wow. Anyhow, I'm happy to report that no port-o-poops fell over on the geniuses that jumped into them.
Eventually the storm does its damage and passes through. As we are leaving we see alot of things: people searching for beer pitchers that survived the wind and rain, people with head wounds with blood running down their head, people sobbing, and people just looking lost.
Chris and I make it back to our parking spot at the OSU med center. We found a tarp to cover one of the seats and stopped later at a gas station for a garabage sack for the other seat.
It was cold. It was crazy. It makes for a good story.
Were you there?