And Gutenberg Lived Here: Why Would A Nice Catholic English Saint Lady Lead A Charge Against Drunk Celts On Beltane Eve?

If the above confuses you, welcome to the club.

Gutenberg Land, you see,

is a big follower of customs-

down to the smallest detail-

and then reading a book,

or watching a tv show about it

to find out why.

(Or just drinking a couple with friends,

and pretending they know why-

To which I can only say,

the later the evening,

the lower the witches fire,

the more unusual the theories.)

On the other hand,

after having been at more than a few “witches fires”-

actually totally harmless-

light a bonfire of twigs,

toss on a couple of old tires,

so that all the hills are alight,

then drink about thirteen pints per person,

(I’m the one who stays sober so they don’t decide to kidnap the mayor, or some such)

sing a few silly songs,

then dispatch in large groups

to turn the street signs the wrong way,

put park benches and baby buggies on the roof,

and put up a giant striped Maypole,

the sign that the next day’s street festival is up and running,-

after, of course,  everyone finally gets up,

drinks prairie oysters and eats large amounts of hard roll breakfast,

or in some areas here,

goes door to door collecting eggs and bacon from the older citizens,

in return for righting the carnage of the night before,

then cooking a massive breakfast in the woods,

before dropping by the local police department

or fire department,

to thank them,

(and bringing prairie oysters and rolls to the ones on duty-

who were probably partying with the best the night before)

Then, in some areas,

the girls are “sold”

buy a picnic basket,

go on a supervised picnic with the parents and the young girl who made it.

And all because an English Lady,

St Boniface’s sister’s daughter,

the lady, later saint,  Walpurga

traveled the area of Franconia-

and also Gutenberg land,

since we have tight ties to them,

despite their having converted to Protestantism.

spreading Christianity,

and attempting to wipe out all traces of Beltane night-

the time when light and dark are equal,

and the graves open to allow the spirits to roam.

Which obviously worked about as well as trying to get rid of Samhain,


and ended up with a Lady,


being given a saint’s day with rowdy overtones,

great drama,

and music,

like Goethe’s

the brothers Grimm’s,

and Mendelsohn’s


a whale of a fascinating sight-

ie hills on fire,

and a whole lot of very inebriated Gutenberger,

sliding down the hills in giant soup pots,

as they intone the old songs,

polish off a keg or two,

and scare innumerable amounts of tourists,

trying to find their way,

without street signs,

to a bed and breakfast,

which may not have any beds,

or breakfast.

But never fear.

The Mayday parties the next day are fun.

And in case of emergency, the locals are friendly.

And might even let you sleep in a giant goulash soup pot,

preferably empty,

if you ask nicely.

copyright 2017

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