I heard for the second time that the man who collapsed at the tent on Friday night did not make it. This is a sad thing. Sudden and unexpected (although perhaps not unpredictable since it was confirmed that he had a triple bypass only a few weeks ago). It casts a pall on everyone’s memory of Oktoberfest. I really feel sad for the people who were with him and his family.
My own final moment of Oktoberfest for ’05 was also something sudden and unexpected. Extremely unusual too. After we were done, as my brother was in the process of saying final goodnights, a young guy came bounding up the stairs. He grabbed my microphone and started to shout into it. One of the security guards was right behind him and took hold of him, trying to pull him back down the stairs. I, meanwhile, began to wrestle with the young guy for the mic, which was still on its boom stand. He wouldn’t let go. I had the mic. He had the mic. The stand was wobbling. My music book went flying. He still struggled to hold on. Wouldn’t let go. Suddenly I saw his big white face wide open in front of me. I gave him a left jab. Not too hard.
He let go of the mic and fell back into the waiting arms of the security guard. The last thing I heard him say was, “Hey! That guy punched me!” I don’t think he got too much sympathy from the security guard. In fact, later, the supervisor came to me and said, “My guy says thanks for the soft landing!”
Well, to tell the truth, I surprised myself. It’s fifteen years or more since I punched anybody. I don’t even know how to do it, really. Which was a good thing for that guy. Really, it was just a little tap that startled him enough to make him let go.
People’s reactions struck me, though. One audience member, another young guy, came up right after and shook my hand. He was of the opinion you can’t let people get away with that shit. Steffie Jr., 21 years old, was also impressed. J. Clive reminded me that self-defence is justifiable even in Buddhist terms.
This wasn’t self-defence, really, but protection of one’s “territory”. On the weekends, especially, because they are so busy, we struggle with keeping people off the stage. They get drunk. They get exuberant. Mostly they’re just having stupid fun, but you can’t allow it to migrate onto the stage. Too much expensive equipment. And if one gets up, it’s like an invitation for more.
So I smacked him upside the head. Too weird.