It’s that weird time in every summer. Late afternoons. You know, when everyone nearby gets together, has drinks and chips and used to flirt but now, instead, wax nostalgic about ‘remember-whens’ and try to recall names and dates that no longer have any relevance? These happy hours usually last about two hours. We have an unspoken rule NOT to go past three for mental health reasons.
We are talking about that time when the short attention spans combine with loss of voice projection, memory loss, Early Onset, booze and deafness to cause six separate conversations among eight people. Two hours of shake and bake trivia-laced topics, with most issues left unresolved for the next time — which will prompt memory challenges then so as to create our own version of the Never Ending Story.
It is the late sunset, social pleasantness at the end of the day. Confusion reigns. I can do it once week. But I prefer once every two. My friends only want me once a month (and they are being generous of spirit to include me that much) so it’s all doable.
Happy Hour always leaves my head spinning from the influence of wine and chaos and endless conversations not finished, not heard, not remembered and no one even cares!
“Good to be back here. Lovely day. Nice to see you all again.”
“Yeah, when was the last time we were all together? Wasn’t that the Labour Day weekend last year? Or was it Holly’s birthday? No! I remember now. It was when Bob came to visit and stayed for the festival. Right? He had that sombrero? Had a red band on it. And Stone Mason or Mason Jar or Jarhead or something was playing….what was their name? They won a music award. Heard that on Q before Jian imploded.”
“No. I remember that Labour Day because we were at….whose place were we at last Labour day, honey? Honey?
“Place mats? You want place mats? Just a sec’ I’ll get some and some napkins, too”.
“No, you were here because I helped you do that step down to the lower level. Used six bags of concrete and ten feet of re-bar. Had to drill 10 six-inch holes. We used cold cure to set them. Remember? ”
“That was the year before when Bob was here. What ever happened to Bob, anyway?”
“He married that girl from the Philippines. Seems some old guys are doing that now. Their pensions make them attractive. Bob would need three pensions to be attractive!”
“I think Phillipinas are attractive.”
“Not you! Bob!”
“What about Bob?”
“Here’s the beer. I forgot to get place mats.”
“That’s OK, honey. Just remember…to put on the BBQ…OK?”
“Did someone say Bob was coming? Should I put on extra chicken?”
“Heard you on the walkie-talkie today. Pretty funny.”
“That’s ’cause I think mine is broken. Can’t hear what’s being broadcast. I have the volume turned right up.”
“You can’t turn the volume up. It’s digital. You gotta go into the menu to adjust the volume.”
“What? I didn’t catch that.”
“So is Bob coming or not? I have to know. Especially if he is bringing a date.”
“Would anyone like a place mat or a napkin?”
I’m glad you find the banal so tedious. The group seems to have avoided the third rail topics. I find it challenging to listen to my self pinging from topic to topic. The most fun is problem solving and repairing stuff that is supposed to be beyond saving but this is smoozing time not work time. At times these social occasions strain all civility, “You have lost weight.” “Uh, thanks.
Nobody ever says that to me…… but I do seem to recall saying that to you!
Tedious is the wrong word – I enjoy the times. I do. Especially that artichoke dip. But I am confused most of the time, distracted all of the time and gobsmacked by the number of conversations, topics and tangents that seem to detonate in each moment. I am the type that likes to have a focused conversation on one mind-blowing topic (sex, religion or politics) in which each participant takes very short duration turns at contributing intelligent and original points of view. With dip, of course. And I just crack jokes.
T’ain’t never gonna happen.
The political correct times do up the ante…the price evisceration.
I find a lot of conversations very draining.
People pontificating(usually loudly due to alcohol) about subjects which they are truly uninformed, misinformed or (even worse) slightly informed with the latest populist drivel spewed forth from the main stream “media”.
I dont profess to be a genius( far from it) but when some “lubricated” buffoon makes a rascist, political,economic statement that I know is an erroneous statement about subjects which are dear to my black heart I like to disagree.
What annoys me is the interruption of MY rebuttal with another outright ridiculous statement. ” Please let me finish BEFORE making another wrong statement”.
I actually had the wife of one babbling drunken fool sit next to him with her IPhone checking EVERYTHING I said to rebutt his bs. It wasnt hard to rip his fabricated arguement to shreds with facts…..Until I realized what she was doing and called her on it. “Why dont you check his misguided crap before you try and find out what Im saying is accurate?”.
My favourite line is usually , ” I love a vebal battle of wits but I dont like fighting against an unarmed man”
It usually takes a few minutes of intoxicated, furrowed browed confusion before the insulted person takes umbrage.
That almost started a brawl until one of his friends(not his wife) pulled his inebriated, doughy, unfit butt outside for another cigarette.
People dont want to engage in stimulating intellectual banter anymore.
Right or wrong.
They just want to be the center of attention.
I just dont have the patience to bother any more.
I used to like a good debate but, I confess, I would often supplement my argument with volume and intimidation. I was a ‘tough’ debater in all the wrong ways. Now I know I know nothing and so I rarely debate. But I am still bad at telling stories. I love telling stories. I think I have a drama streak. But I was never good at chit-chat. Never. And now I am even worse. I don’t even try faking it when I should.
Really Dave, you have a DRAMA streak? Who would have guessed.
Yes, I LOVE your stories and I always ask for more.
What does the happy hour think about proportional elections of MPs and scrap the first past the post system?
Well, I am guessing but I am pretty sure of my peeps…..they would go for proportional reps in a heartbeat. Methinks they would want an elected senate, too. I don’t think I would. But they would. I would like to see a working, real senate that loses the rubber stamp. I would like it to be made up of people who have ‘given’ to the community. Appointed by a senate appointment committee all non-partisan applicants. NO partisans eleigible – they have the Commons. Money may count but service counts more. I would like a senate of selfless Canadians.
Do you mean guys like Ed Lawson retired leader of the Teamsters appointed by Trudeau in 1971?
Well, yes and no. Lawson was hardly non-partisan even if he was not an elected politician. Secondly, he was not a selfless Canadian but a champion of labour an, especially, himself. Plus he was exceptionally wealthy for some unknown reasons that were implied but not pursued. I am thinking more of the late Robert Hunter, one of the founders of Greenpeace. Paul Watson, maybe? May Gutteridge would have been great. But the real reason for suggesting that kind of appointment would be to encourage selfless Canadians to step up. We have ’em but, in a dog-eat-dog system, they burn out pretty quick. The ‘quiet hero’ isn’t sustainable in our system. To be able to carry on, the sacrificing selfless sells out to pragmatism at the very least. I’d like to see a brass ring held out so that more people gave selflessly. Right now, only the rich can give for any length of time and they usually just write cheques. Can’t change the system that way.
Personally I’ve never seen the reason for another level of govt. ie the Senate.
If a bad law is passed it will eventually be challenged in court.
Abolish it and save everyone the cost/expense and even more unwanted electioneering, telephone polls, ads on prime time. etc….
The senate is, technically, just as powerful as the House of Commons. Problem is the house is no longer common. I think, lacking the traditional aristocracy, we re-design the senate for the real commons. NOT the corporations. NOT the BIG machines. Real people. Real life experience. NOT politicians. And then we have the checks and balances again. Just a thought.