When is an hour not an hour? When someone forgets to explain that by
Happy 'Hour' what they mean is that when the short hand of the clock is
pointing at the six and the long hand is pointing at the twelve, they
will be selling drinks at a lower price to whoever can get their
attention at that precise moment!
Sad to say that is not a joke, it's a sorry sign of the greed that
can motivate both sides of the equation.
Those who have not spent a single red cent in the establishment at any
other time, will make a special effort to go there when it is announced
that the normally reasonable prices are being reduced for a single hour.
The bar proprietor knows that making the announcement will bring extra
people into the premises. Only the most churlish will go away
complaining without buying at least one drink and some won't really
care, since they only discovered the place existed because an
acquaintance suggested they meet there at 'Happy Hour' and they just
want a drink to quench a thirst, regardless of the price difference.
Some places have wild things going on at 'Happy Hour'.
What was the place called where everyone would suddenly swivel on their
bar stools and lay their heads back on the bar so that free rum could be
poured into their open mouths? If memory serves us well it
was the Greenhouse in Phillipsburg, Sint Maarten, in the Netherlands
Antilles. The establishment changed hands, apparently, and there is no
more wildness. Just as well! People are not known for their good
behaviour after such excesses, after all and a so-called Happy Hour in
such a place would lead to several extremely unhappy hours afterwards.
In places where Happy Hour is just an hour during which
the proprietor is happy to sell drinks, including mocktails and other
non-alcoholic beverages, at a reduced rate and patrons are
happy to imbibe them in the company of a larger number of fellow patrons
than are present the rest of the time, one may meet all manner of jovial
company, to be sure.
For a newcomer to a place it can be a good way to
make the acquaintance of others, whatever they may have in common, even
if it is only a small cruising budget and a big thirst.
We'd love to hear about Happy Hour (whatever name it goes by), down your
way, whether you are a proprietor or a patron. Maybe we can have a Happy
Hour World Tour Guide? Just kidding...or are we? The criteria for
addition to the guide would be the availability of non-alcoholic drinks.