So there I was, dressed like a Bavarian fruit tart and slinging craft beers at Strassenfest last Friday night. We don’t get paid and the organizers keep all our tips, but we can drink all we want. I mean, you have to know your product.

In the photos it is apparent that my fluffy pink crinoline underskirt is more pronounced than those of other wenches. In fact, the short wench isn’t wearing a crinoline at all, just some lace thing – not that it matters, with those Laura Ingalls shoes. And the skinny wench’s costume was obviously constructed in child-sized proportions. Joke’s on her and her long, tan, toned thighs.

This year they had us serving an inexplicable chili beer, which is literally brewed with jalapenos; and some vile pumpkin beer concoction rich with cinnamon and allspice. Sure, I gave each their respective plug when people asked, but cheered (along with their digestive tract) anyone wise enough to chose the pilsner blonde ale instead.

Customers were required to buy souvenir glasses for $6, with $3 refills after that. They were nice glasses, a fact upon which I commented with increasing frequency as I used my own, but a lot of the people who came to drink beer didn’t come down for no jive souvenir glass.

One guy placed his empty plastic cup from the Bud Light stand on our counter, while he plucked more ones from his wallet to pay for pumpkin beer. Let’s just say he was unhappy about having to pay six bucks for a glass he didn’t want; and my spidey senses were tingling with the approaching argument. Just then a gust of wind sent his plastic cup flying across the pavement. “That won’t happen with the glass,” I said, slinging him a sapient smile the way friendly frauleins sometimes do.

Clearly my charm, when combined with a ruffled peasant blouse and tiny flowered ribbons, is dangerous. “Are you married?” he asked. I admitted I wasn’t, adding that neither were two of the other three handmaidens within arm’s reach. That did not dampen his loyalty, however. “We’re getting married!” he announced. “I’m 34 years old and haven’t been married before, but now. .  .”

“. . . now I’m a cougar?” I asked.

Four little words that turned him to stone. His slightly dilated pupils bespoke the small army of tiny panicked workers bustling frantically around his noggin, processing meanings, making calculations, weighing pro/con lists, mapping escape routes. He didn’t leave a tip, but by the end of the night I’d addressed him with “Pumpkin?” so many times we were dear friends.

At least we will be next year, when once again I am dolled up in leather boots and satin-laced bodice as a voluptuous frilly distributor of fermented mash, at Strassenfest. Zum Wohl!