An Enthusiast’s guide to happy hour


All Enthusiasts know that happy hour is a lie.

Not the happy part—the hour part. While billed as a way to decompress with friends and co-workers at the end of a challenging work week—or to remind yourself that there are good things in this world in the midst of a hellacious one—for Enthusiasts, happy hour is simply a financially-savvy method of kicking off a drinking marathon. So how can an Enthusiast make the most of her Friday happy twelve hours?

4pm. Time to sneak out early. Get your ass to the drunkness purveyor closest to your place of work, immediately. If you’re lucky enough to have an onsite bar, no need to wait all the way until 4. But if you’re like most of us bar-less schmucks you’ll need to transport yourself a little ways. I can get to the bar near my office in under one minute, and I shed joyful tears about this every day (and that is probably why my co-workers don’t invite me to lunch.) No bars nearby? Pack a roadie for your journey. In a pinch, it’s called “the street” and it’s a perfectly acceptable place to get tipsy, just take care to avoid Johnny Law.

4:01pm. When you get where you’re going, start strong. No “beer” for you. Starting your happy binge hour with anything weaker than 80 proof is akin to joining AA—and you’re reading “The Alcohol Enthusiast,” not “The Quitting Drinking Enthusiast.” In no time, and by that I mean a few hours, you’ve forgotten that 3:00 meeting and are ready for the night.

7pm. One co-worker is hungry, another wants to sing, and you want more booze but could use a change of scenery. Fortunately, the karaoke-fiend friend knows of a nearby karaoke bar that serves pizza. But somehow, on the way there, this becomes lets-head-to-a-karaoke-bar-in-Japantown-where-there-is-no-food-and-they-charge-$2-a-song (but you don’t know that last part yet).

9pm. You realize the karaoke place is charging you $2 a song. Your pathetic renditions are not worth this price. Seeking cheaper pastures, you pay your inflated tab and head across the street to a bar infamous in this health conscious metropolis for allowing indoor smoking. Also, for prostitutes. At this point it’s dark out, you’re wasted and looking to get more wasted, and the weaker members of the herd are falling. Leave them behind! It’s time to head into the basement. Exactly as promised, the literal dive is full of women in high-heels, and high-slit, slinky, strip club lapdance gowns, the room is smoky and full of loveseats and mirrors, and all the patrons (except your crew) are entirely men who glance nervously at the women. And, there is a jukebox. This is the perfect place to continue on your journey to BenderVille.

11:30pm. Pizza! The drunchies kick in hard, and you realize your sudden need for the greasiest, most be-toppinged slice of pizza in existence is being compounded by actual hunger, as you haven’t ingested anything solid since lunch. Unless you’re packing granola bars in your purse or man purse, it’s time to leave. You bid adieu to the women of the basement and head out into the night. Time spent scarfing is time spent not-drinking, so don’t think of this as “dinner,” but rather as “fat-grease-carb-handheld-food refuel stop.”

11:45pm. Mission To the Best Bar Ever. Re-energized, it’s time to ramp it up a couple dozen notches. It’s time to mission to the Best Bar Ever. You know, That Bar You Fucking Love? Where they have The Best Bartenders Ever? The You Guys Haven’t Been There Yet, Whhaaaaat No Way bar? The Oh My Fuck, Well, We Have To Go Right Now bar. It’s far to walk, but that’s okay, because This Bar Is Totally Worth It. Remember a roadie, and to stop along the way to re-hydrate in all line-free bars. Yes, no line at prime time on a Friday night in a Big City means it’s a “shitty” bar according to non-Enthusiasts. But for our kind? The only question you should ask is whether or not they serve booze.

12:15am. Best Bar Ever. This bar is the Best Bar Ever because they have the best bourbon selection ever, and because if you ask them about White Dog, they think you know what you’re talking about, and they give FREE SHOTS of THE BEST WHITE DOG (to sip, of course, because they’re “tastings”). The crowd is various, and the White Dog is served with a 22oz beer back, and there’s a jukebox that someday you’ll arrive sober enough to remember to play.

1:54am. Liquor O’ Clock. And then the free-booze slanging bartenders shout those words that make any Enthusiast’s blood freeze in it’s veins. Last call! Tab paid, run—run—to the nearest liquor store and grab something, anything strong and sold in a large bottle. Happy hour is still young, yet.

2:10am. T&A. Bottled heat in hand, the easy next stop is home. But you’re just getting started, Enthusiast! Why take the predictable path of an after-hours club or impromptu house party when there’s peep shows to peep? Grab a cab, and pass your newly procured intoxicant around the backseat on the way over. Once arrived at your local boob theater, get thee to a booth and lock the door, stat. Now lean back and ogle away.

3:23am. Pizza! Redux. All that T&A caused a fierce drunchies resurgence. And then, suddenly, you blink and you’re standing in a brightly-lit room, and you’re hoisting wadded up bills over a glass counter, and in return, there is handheld food.

4:37am. …

10:45am. Bed. Congratulations! You made it home and apparently slept, in your own bed, with the person(s) or lack thereof that you are encouraged and/or expected to sleep next to. TGIF, indeed.

Photo courtesy of ukdenners, flickr.