a short story by BRIAN ROBERTSON
Oktoberfest originated as a Bavarian celebration in Munich in 1810 at the wedding of Ludwig the 1st of Bavaria and Theresa from Hildburghausen – an adjacent independent state. How this came about has only very recently been revealed.
Ludwig was in his late teens, the normal marrying age for a Prince of Bavaria and was first in line to his father’s title. He was handsome and all the women in the palace both single and married paid court to Ludwig. He had his pick and chose often but none brought out the marrying instinct in him. Just as well because Ludwig seldom knew who was married and who was not.
But Ludwig’s Mum, Bavaria’s first lady, had a handle on this. She could not stop Ludwig’s philandering but she sent for portraits of all the suitable Princesses from all of the neighbouring states and had them hung around the banqueting hall for all to see but especially for Ludwig. It worked.
“Mama, I see the likeness, of a beautiful maid on the western wall. The morning light shines through the hall and illuminates her stunning form. Where can I find this beauty for I have need of her this very morn,”
said Ludwig, adjusting his trouser front.
“She can be yours my son, but first you ride for three days north to Hildburghausen where, henceforth, her father you will greet, for this maid’s hand in marriage you must seek,”
Hildburghausen was a beautiful, but very wild and forested place much like Theresa herself. Ludwig didn’t know it yet but Theresa more than anything else just loved to have a good time! She was a real party girl.
One day after months of much Bavarian/Hildburghousen diplomacy Ludwig rode out of his castle in Munich and headed north to visit the famous beauty of the forest.
This was to be a political union between the states of course.
Ludwig, while well aware of the political objective, had nothing on his mind except Theresa’s portrait, less a few layers of paint. His objective had absolutely nothing to do with politics.
When Ludwig and his minders reached Hildburghausen he could hardly wait but first, of course, he had to ask Theresa’s Dad for her hand in marriage – which everyone did in those days!
Things went well and in no time at all Theresa and Ludwig were out riding in the forest together – along with 50 minders all on horseback.
‘Bugger this for a lark,’ thought Ludwig, ‘how can I rid us of the entourage?’
But Theresa who was also more than a little smitten with Ludwig had a plan of her own. She surreptitiously withdrew her hatpin, sidled carefully up to Ludwig’s horse and plunged it straight into the horse’s rump.
Ludwig’s horse took off at a hundred miles per hour and Ludwig went from upright to horizontal in a split second. His head was bouncing up and down off the horse’s hindquarters but his legs were strong enough to keep him on the horse as it accelerated. Meanwhile because she was prepared for it Theresa was right behind him. It wasn’t long before they were on their own.
“What the f***ith happened there?” said Ludwig when they eventually stopped. But by this time Theresa had dismounted, and was pulling Ludwig off his horse. She was so obviously intent on other activity that Ludwig’s question was immediately forgotten.
Boots and other riding gear were soon flying everywhere and Ludwig, with braces down and Tyrolean shorts around his ankles soon realized that he was about to achieve his main objective.
In short shrift he had successfully fumbled his way through several bodices, 10 crinoline underskirts and had pulled the bow at the back of the pantaloons plus bodice combination. Ludwig was well practiced in this art.
As he was about to remove the final royal Hildburghausen barrier, he heard that word—dreaded by young men everywhere in similar situations.
“STOP. Stop right there, Ludwig of Bavaria! I doth see you rise, but we will not be one, I’ll not accept thee twixt my thighs til you doth swear an oath, and then we’ll have some fun!”
said Theresa breathlessly, as she pushed him backwards.
So taken aback was Ludwig that his passion dissipated in a flash. Theresa immediately recognised his state, and like women everywhere, was immediately all sweetness and light.
“The one thing I wish for Lord” crooned Theresa in his ear, “is that which you can grant so easily, my dear.”
Now we don’t know what the request was but we do know the response — as it is in all such situations.
“Oh God yes, yes, yes darling for you – anything.”
And so Ludwig had his way and today we now know very well what Theresa asked for. It was a huge party after the wedding with an ample supply of beer and sausages.
What Ludwig did not know was that this was not just a one off wedding party but that he was going to have to pay for this every year for the rest of his married life! But then the situation is exactly the same today. We are all still paying through the nose for it.
And they all lived happily ever after, celebrating every year with an Oktoberfest party which has just got bigger and bigger and bigger.
© Brian Robertson, 2018