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Unhappy Hour

May 15, 2009

For three years, the Sanity Plan has kept me and my girlfriends sane and sexy through the grueling Canadian winter. But what of summertime? Is June all sweetness and light, bare shoulders and painted toes? July just smiles and radiance and glasses hoisted to toast our various charms? Not quite. We do not enjoy European-style Augusts, the office clearing out as everyone heads to the country.

Instead, we commute on bicycles alongside belching vans and mad dickheads behind the wheels of taxis. We sweat and grow cross, and perpetually wish for Saturday. We wish for more than two months of hot weather and we wish for fewer mosquitoes at dusk. Our complaints could be construed as petty, but this would be unfair. Never idle gripers, we are instead ladies of action, Once a problem is identified, we worry it like a bone until we settle upon a solution.

The other night, I met the Sanity Plan’s co-founder at happy hour, and as we sipped our Campari-sodas, we decided 5 p.m. isn’t happy at all. The office is still deep in your tissues, you haven’t spoken to anyone but colleagues and clients since 8 a.m. Venting has been limited to fierce emails dispatched from a cubicle. You’re still constrained by high heels or throttled by a necktie, and your eyes smart from the fluorescents and that nagging red message light on the telephone.

5 o’clock is premature; the day has yet to slide from our shoulders. We need a buffer between work and pleasure, a break that prepares us to fling around jargon like “happy”, an intermission when we stretch our legs and shuck the day’s bullshit like a husk. Happy Hour doesn’t take its seat till more like 6.

And so, we propose a new standard: the 5 p.m. Unhappy Hour, which serves two purposes:

Firstly, it’s like a shower taken before entering a public pool. Leave your street dirt where it belongs then plunge into buoyant pleasure. Tell your tales about who said what and where do they get off and can you believe it because I can’t. Unload Bob and Carol and that bitch from Finance and the guy in the elevator who rammed his briefcase into your crotch and didn’t even notice never mind apologise. Tell those fuckers to take a hike–don’t let them tag along for martinis!

Secondly, Unhappy Hour is nutrition’s last stand. An intermission between office snacks and evening liquor. By another name, Unhappy Hour could be called “Roughage From 4 Till 5”, a chance to pad your belly with something complex before an evening of simple sugars. Because, we all know there is no such thing as one quick after-work drink. Oh, no no no. You’ll stay for a second round, so you may each pay for one. Then, you’ll get thrown in the time machine and step out into a future where you are calling for a fourth martini and a plate of “food”, which means sweet gherkins and chilied olives. Essentially, these are cocktail garnishes loaded onto a bread plate rather than pricked by a sword and propped in a glass.

Some people might argue that pinky-sized cucumbers are not food. And, some people would be right, but only while Unhappy Hour is in session. Come 6 p.m., these dissenters will simply be told to go fuck themselves. Roughage is over. Happy Hour is here.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. dolla permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:53 am

    I think bars should have funeral food. Little triangle ‘ham salad’ sandwiches, egg salad, any king of ‘salad’ sandwich really..

    an nanaimo bars

  2. hellokeating permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:56 am

    I know this “unhappy hour” well. In fact, I believe a particularly memorable one last summer resulted in a Bed-Stuy hospital bracelet on my wrist. Now *that’s* unhappy.

  3. hellokeating permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:56 am

    I know this “unhappy hour” well. In fact, I believe a particularly memorable one last summer resulted in a Bed-Stuy hospital bracelet on my wrist. Now *that’s* unhappy.

  4. Amanda permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:57 am

    Mmmm…one can only imagine the thrill of ralfing up all that mayonnaise and nanaimo-cream filling! Smoooooth.

  5. Amanda permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:57 am

    Bed-Stuy…no slumpin’ here!

  6. looka permalink
    May 15, 2009 1:18 pm

    WORD, hahahah

  7. Amanda permalink
    May 15, 2009 1:34 pm

    Whoot, Simon, yes, yes y’all. Come on over to Canada and we’ll kick it new style. Unhappy Hour style, that is.

  8. looka permalink
    May 15, 2009 3:25 pm

    Shit yeah! That we be doin’!

  9. Amanda permalink
    May 15, 2009 4:51 pm

    Looka, I think we need a few dance moves and a special handshake to go with our lowdown dirty rapper talk!

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