One thing that bothers me is when someone says something like, "Wait, thats not funny! I have an acquaintance who died of [insert here]." As if my sense of humor and everybody elses should revolve around you and people you know who have died. As an illustration, here is a list of ways people I know have died:
So, as you can see, if you know somebody who died of something or had something, odds are I do too, and also everybody else. You are not special in this respect. If I stopped making any jokes about anything related to how someone I know had died, I wouldn't have any jokes. If I tried to add in everybody that you know that died, I would have to become a mime. This revelation is an unfortunate side effect of the fact that EVERYBODY DIES FROM SOMETHING. If something is offensive to you, just count to 10 and then slip on some ice and hit your head really hard.
The only people I really have a problem with are people who can't take a joke.
Sausage Fest takes place in the remote backcountry of upper Door County on a wooded landscape dotted with Unabomber-style shacks. There are no RV's for sissy boys -- everyone sleeps in tents. Well, okay, sometimes people sleep in their leather upholstered SUV's or on discarded cobs of corn on the ground. But most people sleep in tents. This especially makes Linz and Miller happy - in high school, coach Prochnow always promised that our Track meets would be "in tents" but we never saw any tents. He also liked to tell us that there was going to be a dog fight at the next meet, but he would never let us bring our own dogs.
There are a few tents of special interest. First, there is Miller's "Big Top," a tent which is 4 ft. by 4 ft. square on its base and 20 feet tall, with drooping circus colored flaps of canvas which led to its name. Every year Miller is forced at stick-point to erect this tent, and every year no one sleeps in it. It is a tent that serves the sole purpose of amusing others, both in the staggering difficulty of its setup and its unsightly appearance. Also, the floor of the tent is so worn it is essentially equivalent to sleeping on the ground.
The second tent of importance is Linz's mansion tent. There are three rooms in this tent, each approximately the size of my actual bedroom. The total area of the tent exceeds 1000 square footage, yet the setup time is eight seconds. I think the tent actually belongs to Linz's neighbor, and Linz was barred from using it further when he returned it to his neighbor with Critser still rolled up in it. Its just that he sleeps so soundly after drinking 36 beers, and his weight is negligible. I think he had passed out in one of the linen closets and so we didn't see him when we were taking this behemoth of a tent down.
Ever since Sausage Fest III, we have made t-shirts commemorating the event. We had always called it Sausage Fest informally, so we formalized the name by making it the logo on the t-shirt. This way, if anyone asks us what a group of 10 guys are doing in Door County in a trinket shop, we tell them we are here for the Sausage Festival.
The logo for Sausage Fest changes yearly, but it always has a substantial amount of phallic imagery. I have uploaded photos of the t-shirts for years 3, 4, 5, and the proposal for year 6 (not yet, but I will!). This virtually guarantees that no one can wear the shirt outside of the weekend. But that's not the only reason...
The other reason is the nicknames. Every year, every person gets a different nickname based on stupid things they have done this year. Some good examples are Samp's "Pray then spray," for his bedtime habits. Also "Doormat," for Tony's backbone, "Worst. Speech. Ever." commemorates Jared's oratorical skills at Novotny's wedding, and "#1 Stripper Tipper" compliments Miller's generosity. "Send bail money" marked Critser's trouble with the law, and "Toxic Fumes" celebrates Novotny's supposed noxious emmisions. Machut's upcoming nickname "Hurricane Peter McNeely" addresses his bravado before being pounded. I can't remember all the good ones, anyone who remembers good ones please feel free to put them in the comments section.
It probably goes without saying, but a camping trip in the middle of summer with 10 guys involves some amount of drinking. Since some of us were do-gooders in high school, Sausage Fest represents our first real drinking experiences. For Miller, he experienced his first puking from drinking at Sausage Fest I. Later that night, he experinced his 2nd-30th puking experiences.
Drinking also can lead to many great ideas. One brilliant idea was to go around the campfire and have everyone say one thing that they liked and disliked about everyone else. With lesser men or women, this would have degenerated into a literal fire fight. But with the maturity assembled that night, it was an unqualified success. Machut may have been told by some that they thought his ego was too big. Since then, he has become one of the most humble people on the planet. People really didn't have too much bad to say about Miller. Since then he has become a jackass of staggering proportions.
As we began turning 21, we started bringing alcoholic beverages to the beach so we could drink during the day, also. Since Critser was working for some distribution company, he could get Citrona and Diablo (or is it Sauza?) cases on the cheap. This turned out to be a stroke of genius. The midsummer heat and humidity, combined with 8 hours of volleyball, touch football, and swimming, combined with alcoholic beverages which taste like lemonade but with twice the alcohol of a can of beer, inevitably leads to 10 bodies laying face down in the beach volleyball court around 4 p.m. This really takes the edge off of our drinking plans for that night, because after drinking all day and then having a huge mexican dinner, no one is really itching for a case race. Which is when Joynt and Miller spring their trap and dominate!
When my parents became pregnant with me, the governor of Wisconsin declared a census. Because of this, my parents were forced to go back to my father's hometown of Harmony, WI, to register. There are no motels or other people in Harmony, so my parents squatted in a barn on an abandoned farm.
While there, my mother entered into labor. With no doctors in a 50-mile radius, and my father horrified by the gruesome sight that is childbirth, I was forced to deliver myself from my mum's womb. Because of my gigantic head, squeezing out was no picnic. The resolve shown that day has stuck with me to this day, as I doggedly work at producing a blog that half a dozen people will read on a good day. Once I had made it into the light, I bit off the umbilical cord and cleaned out my eyes and mouth.
Once the census was ended, my parents returned to Green Bay with me in a wicker basket I had fashioned from the materials in the barn of my birth. The governor of Wisconsin had heard that there was a young man who would reveal him to be a fraud, and ordered all males under age 2 killed. So, my mom put me in the basket and floated me up the Fox River. The stream propelled me into downtown Green Bay, where I beached near a factory. I raised myself in the metropolis, surviving mainly on Colby, and some Cheddar, of which most buildings and streets in Green Bay are composed. Because narrative is more difficult than lists, I will now go to a list of things I did growing up.
This all brings us to the present day, where I am a mild mannered computer science graduate student at the University of Minnesota. Like all comp sci students, I am a big fan of SuperNerd, the caped hero of the EE/CS building who fixes air conditioning systems in a single afternoon, and restores comprimised servers in a flurry of keystrokes. Its unfortunate, but it always seems that whenever SuperNerd appears, it is right after I've made a run to the West Bank or the St. Paul campus. Nevertheless, I'm satisfied as long as SuperNerd is making life better for IT students everywhere, even though I never have, and never will, appear in the same room at the same time with him.