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?”