We had a blast at our final show, in Geel. The people at Bacchus Cafe were colorful, and friendly. The quote on the soffit read “All the freaky people make the beauty of the world” (Michael Franti) and the bar-owner, “Juiceman” was no exception. Full braided-beard, tattoos and beady black eyes that could stare a hole in your soul… yet probably one of the funniest, most welcoming and downright-honest individuals you’ll find in a rock pub, anywhere. We had great sound during the show, and sold some merch… then Juiceman apologized for not having more guests. He admitted to overbooking the club (4 shows in two days). His constituency was probably home, chewing ibuprofen, and resting for the oncoming work-week… Still, we left satisfied, after a group photo and a few hugs. We all agree that we’ll return to the great Bacchus Cafè, then hurry home to rest up for the daylong debauchery that Monday has promised…. otherwise known as Kroegentocht.
Rest in the bandhouse is, however, somewhat elusive. Our friends Nick and Annelore from Cowboy Up decided they had not yet had enough of the RKG, and surprised us at our doorstep with a bag full of Belgium’s finest.. (an assortment of Duval, Westmall Triple, and… well… Jupiler (Belgium’s PBR). And, as you can probably agree, it’s not nice to send someone on their merry way, when they bring such fancy gifts… So, naturally, we invited them in out of the cold to share in the plentiful bounty and some stimulating conversation. They ended up crashing on the couches (which is funny, because Nick is about 6’9″), at who-knows-what time, and we nearly brought the sun up…. once again. 😛
11:00am, and the Stijn alarm wakes us all abruptly. We jumped out of our beds, paranoid, and puny. But the excitement of Vicky and Leonie, arriving with the “wardrobe” for the days’ events, quickly sent our tickers into time. Willy had heard talk of us dressing up in women’s clothing, so he wasted no time fumbling through the archives of articulii, coming up with a costume, relatively reminiscent of an old man on Derby Day. Hank and I had already agreed, over a bottle of tequila, that we’d be the real men… and don blue-hair dresses. It was quickly decided, somewhat democratically… i think… that I would wear full-on makeup. It was also applied expeditiously.. before I could have enough coffee to change my mind.
yikes. I just saw my photo, yet again… and it makes me throw up in my mouth, nearly every time.
Anyway… in a nutshell, the day was pure insanity. Think mardigras, carnivale, but in a neighborhood setting, with games and theatrical performances, all scored by the judges at each venue. There were older men dressed up as babies, complete with dirty diapers and plastic pissing penises. Parodies of Belgian tv-shows, a Jackson-Five team, portraying each stage of his career… “Giels” Angels, who dressed like the offspring of Joan Jett and AC/DC, played “Highway to Giel” (Giel is a slang term for “Gierle”, the town in which we were staying. The “G” is soft almost like an “H”)
The games were fun and simple (for the sober). There was a dice game, a labyrinth, a ping pong game, and a booty-bump the balls out of the box game… wait… did i seriously just type that? 🙂 Ha! Well… that’s what the game consisted of, and I really don’t know how to better explain it. Let your imagination do its work here, people….
We performed a few of our favorite tunes (sans bass, of course) at each venue, to intense applause. The party-goers were mainly college-age students, and retirees… but there were a few people of working age, in attendance. We learned much about the town, the culture and Belgium itself, just by participating in this age-old tradition. Funny, because the women could hardly even look Hank and I in the face. The men were more friendly than ever… hmmm… I think Hank might have even got a “goose” or three.
At the end of the day, we won an honorable mention for “Favorite Team”… which basically gave us our entry-fee back. Also, I’m proud to admit that I took home 5th place (out of 60 competing locals) for best costume.
And I normally only cross-dress on Thursdays…