Hans and the Oktoberfest Beer Echo

Yet another story about Hans has been adapted as a joke making the rounds on the web. This version seems to be the most popular:


A zoo acquires, at great expense, a very large female gorilla of a particularly rare species. Right from the outset she is very bad tempered and difficult to handle. The zoo's vet, after examination, boldly announces that her problem is that she's in heat. If she was to be mated she would become docile and adjust to her new surroundings.

But what to do? There are no males of her species available and the other male gorillas are terrified of her. Whereupon, the zoo administrators remember that one of their zookeepers, an Irishman called O'Reilly, who is responsible for cleaning animals' cages, is a large man and notorious for his abilities with the opposite sex. Perhaps they could persuade him to placate the gorilla.

So they approach O'Reilly with a proposition. Would he be willing to do nature's best with the gorilla for 1000 dollars? O'Reilly asks for the night to think things over and on the following day, says that he'll accept the offer on three conditions:

"Firstly, there's to be no kissing. Secondly, I want any offspring to be raised Roman Cat'lic." The zoo administrators quickly agree to these conditions. "But what about the third?" they ask.

"Well," says O'Reilly, "you've got to give me some time to come up with the 1,000 dollars..."


The real story took place at Oktoberfest some years ago, and involved not gorillas but beer:

The famed Kuhscheisse Beer Tent at the Munich Oktoberfest once contracted with a specialty engineering firm to build a high-tech, voice-activated beer distribution system that would automatically dispense each patron's favorite brew and keep track of their tabs. Unfortunately, they made the mistake of going live with the new system at the height of Oktoberfest, without having thoroughly tested it.

The designers had included "back door" taps for each of the beer line hoses leading from the bar and beer tent to the room where the kegs were stored. The idea was that whenever anyone ordered a beer, a sample would be dispensed in the keg room so an attendant could make sure the hose was connected to the right keg, that the beer wasn't flat, and in general that everything was working correctly. Everything seemed to go smoothly when the system was brought online, but as luck would have it, the technician had neglected to close the back door taps in the keg room.

With all the Oktoberfest guests thirsty and primed to try out the new-fangled beer dispensers, beer orders were clocking in at 20 steins per second. The Oktoberfest Special was the first keg to run dry, and the system automatically switched to the backup keg without a hitch. The bartender was concerned, though, that the beer seemed to be running out a bit more quickly than expected, so he decided to check when he went back to switch out the empty Special keg.

As soon as he opened the keg room door, he was drenched with beer spurting willy nilly from the rows of back door taps. Bravely, he tried to reach the first tap to shut it off, but every time he got close, he was pushed back, soaked and blinded. Finally he gave up and went to report the beer storm to the Kuhscheisse landlord, who happened to be an old comrade of Hans. The two were sampling brews in the beer tent as the bartender approached.

"We've got to shut down the Bierbrunzenvogel," he sputtered, beer dripping from his sodden Lederhosen and forming a puddle at his feet. "All the taps are open in the keg room and there's beer everywhere."

"Now calm down," replied the landlord. "We can't shut down now. We're at the height of Oktoberfest. Just go in the keg room and shut off the taps."

"I tried. I couldn't get near them. It was coming from all over."

"I see." The landlord, quaffing the last of his Scotch ale, was beginning to understand the gravity of the situation. "This is serious. Have you asked for help from any of the other bartenders?"

"Ja, but they took one look at my wet Lederhosen and said no thanks."

"Ach, so," the landlord mused. "We need to find someone who knows how to handle a beer tap and can tolerate a little spritzing."

Hans had listened to this exchange with growing interest. "A little shower-- what's the big deal?" he asked.

The bartender was indignant. "A little shower?" he exclaimed. "As soon as I opened the door to the keg room I felt like I'd been hit with beer from a fire hose. I could hardly stay on my feet. It was a regular Flutwelle, 20 bursts a second of every beer imaginable-- Doppelbock, Porter, Altbier, Hefeweizen, Pilsner, Blonde Ale, Maibock, Oktoberfest, Stout..."

"Okay, okay," the landlord interrupted. "Wir verstehen uns. But I think Hans has no fear of beer. He's one of our best customers, no?" The landlord knew, of course, that Hans's skill with a beer tap was legendary. "What do you say, Hans? Sagen wir mal, for 100 euros, would you go in the keg room and turn off all the taps?"

Hans could hardly contain himself, but his negotiating prowess did not desert him. "I'll do it on three conditions," he offered.

"Of course," replied the landlord. "What are the conditions?"

"First, I get to take my stein into the keg room."

"Naturally," agreed the landlord. "I wouldn't expect you to approach a beer tap without it. What's the second condition?"

"You have to guarantee there'll be no Budweiser coming out of any of the taps while I'm back there," Hans insisted.

"No problem. The system actually recognizes my voice, and I can shut off any beer with a single command. If fact, this being Oktoberfest, I doubt anyone would be sadder or even wiser if I did it right now." The landlord looked directly at the beer dispenser. "Budweiser, nein!" he proclaimed in his best growler voice. "What's the third condition?"

Hans didn't understand high tech stuff very well, and he wondered why anyone would rate Budweiser a nine, but he trusted the landlord. "You'll have to give me time to find Frau Hans," he answered, hesitating slightly, "so I can borrow 100 euros."