Shows No. 11 and No. 12: Saarbrucken, Germany and Wurzburg, Germany
"There were some vegan min-muffins here," my bandmate informed me. He lay prostrate on a leather couch backstage at a German venue, face covered with crumbs of unidentified origin.
"Vegan mini-muffins?" I repeated. My band had recently fled Southern Europe, where free, promoter-provided "Southern food"—bountiful feasts of expertly seasoned meat, steaming bowls of pasta, and dewy vegetables freshly plucked from salty Mediterranean gardens—had fueled gutsy performances of our innovative brand of postpunk music. Now, we were in Germany, gorging ourselves on free, promoter-provided food from the five basic German food groups—sugar, starch, potatoes, potatoes, and chocolate.
"Vegan mini-muffins," my bandmate repeated.
"You say there are vegan mini-muffins," I replied. "And I cannot disbelieve you. I arrived in Germany on Monday and have been here less than 48 hours. In this short time span—all told, less than 3,000 minutes—I estimate that I have had fourteen meals. Dinners of apfelschorle (sparkling apple juice) and strudel; banquets of unnamed potato matter and unidentifiable potatoesque gravy; snacktimes that paid tribute to the Rittersport and Coca-Cola corporations; horns-a-plenty packed with chips, pretzels, Snickers bars, crepes, cheese, wine, water (still and "with gas"), peaches, almonds, tea, bread, honeydew, Nutella, lunchmeat, and rarely, if ever, a green vegetable. But can the German cornocopia be stuffed vegan mini-muffins as well?"
"They were just here," my bandmate teased. "Now they are gone."
"The case of the missing mini-muffins!" I exclaimed. "Muffins, but in miniature." I proceeded to tear through every food item in the backstage area. I found peanuts, bananas, and choco-bars. I found an onion, some Rice Krispies, and another onion. I found rice, mushrooms, assorted spices, seitan, a bottle of olive oil, and a tomato. But, after fifteen minutes and much rustling, I had no mini-muffins.
"Can't find the vegan mini-muffins?" my bandmate inquired from the depths of his food coma.
"No mini-muffins," I replied. Resigned, I flung myself upon a nearby leather couch. The couch groaned "squeak-squeak." Squeak-squeak is the the sound of my failure to locate my vegan mini-muffins, I thought. I closed my eyes and heard the droning, distorted guitars of the opening act, Germans who played a distinctly American form of "positive" hardcore punk rock. This band's "posi-core" compositions sought to inspire drug-addled, TV-addicted youth towards leftist political action. Upon hearing the impassioned singer plunge into another anthemic chorus, I was struck with a lightning bolt of inspiration—I could solve the case of the missing mini-muffins after all!
I leapt from the leather couch and strode to the garbage bin. I proceed to sort through the contents until, after some minutes, I retrieved an empty package of mini-muffins.
"Found the mini-muffins?" my bandmate inquired.
"I have solved the case of the missing mini-muffins," I observed. I quickly scanned the ingredients, and struggled with an unfamiliar word. "Milchpulver," I managed.
"Pulverized milk," my bandmate replied from the couch. "Also known as powered milk." He licked his lips. "Guess those mini-muffins weren't vegan after all," he observed, turned over, and fell asleep.