Dec 272011

The secret passageway from the office led us into the boardroom; it’s amazing we were able to squeeze past Andrea’s Dick-inflated ego to even get into the next room at all. This room was kind of boring, and pretty typical of what you would expect a boardroom to look like. Even still, Dick kept asking us what seemed awry in the room and even the super old people had seemed to lose some of their enthusiasm by this point, so no one really volunteered any guesses.

“The chairs have never been sat in! Chuck didn’t even have a board!” And oh, how we laughed at Chuck’s absurdity. That one chatty old lady tried to say something to me in this room, but I murmured “Mmhmm” and turned the other way.

Evidently, the table was actually made in the boardroom, because it would have been too large to fit through the doors otherwise, you see. I pretended to be impressed by this, but I was really reaching the end of my rope, I had to pee, I was hungry AND I REALLY WANTED TO SEE THE SWIMMING POOL.

A bookshelf opened up into some sort of extraneous sitting room. Off to one side was a smaller kitchen-like room that Chuck had built specifically for canning, and then only canned once. It was super creepy, thick cutting blocks lined the walls and industrial stoves and other cookery added to the sinister ambiance. I thought I saw a faint blood stain.

“This is where we all get murdered,” one of the old guys whispered, only I didn’t hear it but Andrea told me about it later and this seemed to slightly redeem old people to her. It was pretty obvious that he was only there because his wife had dragged him there, so Andrea had already felt some strange kinship to him, I’m sure. BECAUSE I AM JUST LIKE A NAGGING WIFE, JUST SAY IT ANDREA!


A billiards room was next. The table was PURPLE you guys, and Dick made sure to tell us fifteen times that he had never seen a PURPLE pool table before. Apparently, Chuck had told him that the table was made for the movie “The Hustler,” and so Dick went and watched the movie TWICE but he’s pretty sure that this was another of Chuck’s tall tales (he was such a kidder) and furthermore, the movie was in black and white so why would they want a purple pool table?

Dick laughed heartily at this.

Meanwhile, he suggested that I take the seat right next to the room’s player organ so that I can “really feel the bass.” I did as told, but all I really wound up feeling was an extreme stabbing sensation in my eardrum, like the entire organ was trying to copulate with my ear. It was awful! Furthermore, when Dick opened up the front of it to show everyone the insides (which is why Andrea looks SO INTENT in the above photo), I couldn’t even see! That was my least favorite room, I think.


Back in the large sitting room, we finally got to listen to the Merry-Go-Round band organ. This was Dick’s opportunity to make us all feel like inferior music retards for assuming that it was a calliope. “Everyone always confuses these with calliopes!” he scoffed. I half-expected a secret chute to open up in the floor and send us off on a flight of shame.

“This is the second-loudest music box in the house,” Dick said, flicking a switch that blew back our faces against our skulls. Goddamn, that was some loud fucking music. “This is what draws people to merry-go-rounds!” Dick shouted over top the joyful amusement park soundtrack. One of the ladies in our group started doing some stupid mock-waltz and I wanted to punch her.

Afterward, we got to listen to the band organ behind that one. “This is the loudest one in the house!” Dick said, but nothing could have prepared us for the sonic needles about to be gouged into our cochlea. I’m pretty sure I even saw Andrea’s spirit leave her body.

I mean, I was REALLY into this shit the whole time, but it was even too much for me. It was like every speaker at Warped Tour funneling gutteral screamo into my ear canal all at once, this fucker was that intense. It was like the ninteenth century’s version of a metalcore band. MAKE IT SHUT THE FUCK UP! TURN IT THE FUCK OFF! ABORT! DICK, YOU DICK!

These are things that my unmoving lips wanted to scream if only the aural violence hadn’t caused me to suffer intracranial injury.

After Dick felt all brains had been sufficiently jostled, he turned off the organ and flicked some secret switch that made some wall panel behind Andrea swing open and hit her in the ass.

“He totally did that on purpose,” she scowled, having just been goosed by the Bayernhof. God, she got ALL the special treatment!

I hadn’t even had a chance to peek around Dick’s bulky girth, but I already knew that we had finally reached my long sought-after part of the tour thanks to the strong aroma of chlorine and all-around dankness that came wafting from the other side of the door: the swimming pool secret passage. We all walked into the entrance of a man-made cave, complete with stalagmites, dampness and a fake bat. It was all I could do not to bowl Dick over to get inside even quicker. I kept giving Andrea all these adorable Make A Wish Kid faces, but she was making a point to ignore me, I think.

Before we could further explore the cave, we made a pit stop into a small wine cellar, which featured grotesque trolls straight from the pages of Grimm’s.


I wanted to steal it.

“Don’t steal anything!” Dick said teasingly to Andrea who answered him with nothing more than a withering glance. In his excitement to tell us that Chuck wasn’t a wine-drinker, I don’t think he noticed that Andrea was weaving a voodoo doll from his suit lint, projectile-spit and music box-love jizz. Among all the cheap bottles of wine in the cellar, Chuck also had a bottle of Mad Dog. Everyone giggled; Andrea continued to stew in her crock pot of animosity and disgust.

Finally, we got to walk through the cave! OMG CHUCK WAS SO LUCKY! If I lived there, I would have congregated in those caves all of the time. That’s probably where Chooch would have been conceived. I couldn’t resist running my fingertips along the surface as we all trudged slowly down the narrow, dimly-lit path. The eye-watering stench of pool chemicals grew stronger as the path started a slight incline.

And then, we were in the ultimate Germanic Eden. A stone bridge arched over a sauna and a 10-foot waterfall cascaded majestically down a rocky wall to our right. Tears stung my eyes and I wanted to twirl around like Julie fucking Andrews on a hillside. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY GLORIOUS.

But not enough to change Andrea’s mind about the Bayernhof. In fact, she seemed even more disgusted.



Oh, I wanted to just dive right in! BAPTIZE ME, BAYERNHOF!


I wonder,when Dick goes for a dip, does he wear a Speedo or one of those 1950’s striped onesies? I can see him floating on his back while balancing a snackbowl of prunes on his rotund belly.

Finally, Dick led us out of the pool area and we found ourselves back in the foyer, to the left of where we orginally convened at the start of the tour.

“You mean we could have just walked through this door in the beginning and been done with it? Son of a bitch,” Andrea hissed, right as Dick announced that he was ready to accept our payment. “And we have to pay for this shit, too?” she verbally-whipped at me. And apparently, it was cash only, which I didn’t know and only had a credit card and gum wrappers in my wallet. Andrea reluctantly handed Dick a twenty for the both of us, and I swore to her that I would buy her dinner that night.

“It’s the least you can do at this point,” she said, singeing my eyebrows with her vitriol.

“Here, have a postcard!” Dick said to everyone as we tugged our coats on and prepared to head out into the snow. I thought it was strange that he didn’t hand one to Andrea, but I shrugged and walked out the front door. Andrea fell into place beside me before I got to the car and said, “Here.” She was shoving an entire stack of postcards into my arm.

“He gave me all of these and then told me he hopes I come back,” she said miserably, and I laughed so hard I cried.

Thank god, right before we left,  I was able to snap a fortuitous picture of a framed photo of Chuck, daydreaming about Germany and music boxes. Just for you, Andrea. I hope this is the first thing you see when you close your eyes tonight! Love, Erin


Later that night, Henry and Wendy joined us at Max’s Allegheny Tavern, where we dined on Andrea’s favorite food – GERMAN. OH THE SWEET IRONY.

“I wish there were music boxes playing,” I said, to which Andrea retorted with a hearty “Fuck you.”

Henry’s weeners.

Coincidentally, I was felled by a nasty stomach flu the very next day. At first I thought it was Karma, and Andrea took great pleasure in this, but Henry wound up even sicker than me. I had fever dreams about the Bayernhof throughout the day and couldn’t think about it for at least a week. Then my cat died two days later and I really began to think that I brought something evil and German home with me that day, like Hitler’s own fucking spirit or a Black Forest demon. But I got over it and now I’m ready to go back. Anyone want to join me?


  7 Responses to “Bayernhof Music Museum, Part 4”

  1. Oh dear god

  2. Im so sad I missed this years ago. Phipps was cool and all, but there is no swimming pool and waterfall there!

  3. It’s reminiscent of The House on The Rock. Which you would totally LOVE! (Seriously, you should talk to me if you ever want to go there because I would be up for a return visit)

    • I remember you telling me about that place years and years ago! I would LOVE to see it. We’re hoping to make it back out your way in 2012 so I will definitely hit you up. (And I’ll give you more than just a week’s notice, unlike last time!)

      • That would be awesome, but we have to keep going until we hit Wisconsin to see the dear, old House on The Rock. Someday maybe!

        I keep hoping we get enough time and money to take a real vacation next year because there are a few places in PA I’d like to visit. And a couple people too. ;)

  4. Now that the tale has been properly catalogued, Kari and I would be happy to join you on a return visit, and maybe we can put together our own “fun group” of 10 or so people. We did this @ my request on Father’s Day, and I enjoyed the tour because there were many geekable things scattered over the bad 70’s decor.

    Now would also be a good time to tell you that when I read your Gatlinburg travelogue at the end of the summer, I honestly had “Hole Envy” because we’ve talked about heading to Southern WV for an attraction tour, and that is really only one of two non-October haunted attractions remaining in the entire state. I’d like do that and the dark ride at Camden Park next year, but it is quite a haul for a day trip.


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