On the drive back over to the venue for tonight’s party, A.J. was thrilled to pass his third moped while driving the “Green Machine,” as he’s dubbed our slow but steady minivan. He’s now successfully passed one tractor-trailer truck, one verrrry slow-moving car, and three mopeds. He doesn’t want to discuss the many cars that have passed us. (Bear in mind that we haven’t set foot – tire – on the Autobahn; this is all just on the “regular” roads).

For the Nations’ Party, the big marquee tent was absolutely packed with people, sampling each of the nation’s food and drink specialties. The U.S. table featured Phil’s famous ribs, which were such a hit that people were practically standing in line, waiting for them to come off the grill, and whiskey and bourbon, which were also quite the hit.

cheers! ... Pimms Cups at the British table

cheers! … Pimms Cups at the British table …

... spectacular smoked salmon at the Swedish table ...

… spectacular smoked salmon at the Swedish table …

... and salami and ham at the Austrian table

… and salami and ham at the Austrian table

the Australians didn't have much food at their table (all I saw was Vegemite on bread), but they had their mascot there with them

the Australians didn’t have much food at their table (all I saw was Vegemite on bread), but they had their mascot there with them

Once the food and drink supplies started to dwindle, the skits began. First up were the Austrians, who danced on stage and then went out into the crowd, where they each grabbed a partner. Everyone then went back up on the stage (twice as many people as before, of course, so it was looking a little crowded up there) and danced a very energetic polka-looking thing. The Danes (surprisingly) and the French (perhaps not surprisingly?) both did stripteases. The Germans (who won the skit contest) had five men roll plastic, lidded trash cans onto the stage. Then the music started – that “menah, menah, doo doo do doo doo” song that you would know as soon as you hear it, even though I obviously can’t sing it for you right now. In time with the various parts of the wordless chorus, each of the lids would pop up – like a jack-in-the-box – with the black, red, and yellow be-wigged head of the person hidden in the trash can. The routine is hard to describe, but it was really quite clever and funny. The U.S. team went last with their skit, which was a dance to the song “I Like Big Butts.” They all had balloons taped on their backsides, under their pants.

In writing this down and trying to describe it for you, it doesn’t sound nearly as funny as it seemed at the time. But it was definitely a good laugh, and a great way for everybody to get to know each other a bit better.