I'm just going to be crystal clear about this: we were on a bender. I had flown into New York City at about noon on a Thursday with all the intentions of grabbing a drink the second I met my buddy at his office in Times Square. As he put it over some lunch beers in Bryant Park, "Its so great not knowing what you're about to do for the next three days, but just knowing that it's going to be awesome."
Lunch beers turned into afternoon beers; afternoon beers turned into pre-dinner scotch; pre-dinner scotch turned into mid-dinner sake; mid-dinner sake turned into late-evening blackout; late-evening blackout turned into next-morning bromosas; and next-morning bromosas turned into us all posted up at a German-style East Village beer garden where we were staring 64-ounce steins right in the face.
And as everyone knows, when you're on a bender, it's a great team building experience for you and your boys. You're rapid firing inside jokes at each other without regard for any greenhorns around you, and you're coming up with bender-isms on the fly that get used for months and years to come. I mean, we probably said, "SECOND WIND" over a thousand times at Zum Schneider alone.
While we sat at the picnic table littered in monstrous empty mugs, we randomly started debating whether or not redskin potatoes were overrated or underrated (which are completely overrated, by the way). Our redskin potato discussion spiraled into heated discussions over numerous other subjects that could be construed as overrated or underrated - anything from Seinfeld to farm-to-table meals to Jeeps. In doing this, we had the epiphany that you can take a firm stance on pretty much anything in the world, especially if hundreds of ounces of beer are involved. And now, even today, my brain thinks in terms of overrated/underrated almost constantly.
Naturally, when you're firing down discount Friday beers at happy hour while having "overrated or underrated" conversations, you have to have a little self-awareness and ask yourself the hard-hitting question: Is happy hour overrated or underrated? Don't get me wrong, your boy loves happy hour. But it's a valid question. People go certified bananas for happy hour and all that comes along with it. The only way to get to the bottom of this is to really talk it out from both sides.
Happy Hour is overrated.
"Happy hour at McAllister's today? They've got some killer drink specials!" is a text we've all gotten in some way, shape, or form. If you haven't, then your group of friends probably doesn't like you all that much.
But like, who honestly really cares about drink specials that much? Is it really affecting my life that positively that I'm saving a whole $5 on my tab between 5-6pm on a casual Friday? It's on par with people bitching about when the price of gas fluctuates by 4 or 5 cents, which makes their twelve gallon fill-up a whopping 60-cents more expensive.
Furthermore, you're surrounded by a bunch of amateurs who will probably end up overdoing it only to pass out in their apartment before the night really even gets started. They're nickel-and-dime'ing the waitress on their $2 Miller Lites while complaining, "Hey, did you make sure this $6 artichoke dip was half off?"
Meanwhile, you've got people breathing down your neck for your table because happy hour is only good in this room of this part of the restaurant between these hours on these days, and these jabronis won't stop at anything to save 30% on their light beer order.
And the waitresses. Don't even get me started on the waitresses. They're the victims in all of this. They know why you're there. They know you're a cheapskate. They know their tips are taking a huge hit. And they also know that you're going to pester them at 5:57 to get another round before happy hour ends, just like every other damn table at the place. And then when it doesn't happen because serving up fifty half-off cocktails in under three minutes is impossible? Your frugal ass stiffs her on the bill because you've got a chip on your shoulder than you had to pay an extra couple dollars.
You know what "happy hour" should be? It should be me sitting at my place in solitude listening to tasty jams while drinking some beers that have a less expensive net cost than anything I'd buy at a bar.
Happy Hour is underrated.
Cheap drinks? Food specials? A ton of people looking to get after it? Sign. Me. Up.
Come on, what's better than happy hour? It's Friday, you and your clique have been locked up in your offices all week, and this is like the kick-off party for the weekend. Drinks are flowing, you're loosening up the buttons on your shirt, and that table of babes across the bar is looking like they're down to clown.
Two-for-one appetizers? Don't mind if I do. After all, everyone knows calories don't count on weekends and today is an impromptu cheat day anyway.
Complimentary Patron floaters in my margaritas? Half-off mixed drinks with the purchase of any food item? Make my drink a double for only a dollar extra? My God, is this happy hour or have I died and gone to Heaven?
Hey, we're saving a ton of coin on drinks right now, guys. Anyone up for some shots to even out the bill and really set the tone for the night ahead of us? First rounds on me and you guys can get me back later.
Yo, waitress, when you set my double voddy-soda down, put in an order for another one because I'm tryin' to get loose. After all, what do I have to worry about? It's officially the weekend. It's called "happy hour" for a reason so let's toss out some winks and smiles and see what happens.
Happy hour, baby. It's the promised land.
If I'm being honest with myself, I don't like the person I became when explaining why happy hour is potentially overrated. The only people that shouldn't enjoy happy hours are cynical assholes who actually have a problem with themselves rather than people trying to have a good time. You don't want to have some cheap drinks and good times? Fine, more for me. Enjoy binge-watching Netflix Original Series from your mom's account, bro.
While people may get a little too enthusiastic for happy hour, who am I to rain on their parade? It's a you-do-you world and I think we can all respect that. Ain't nothin' wrong with getting your cheap thrills by way of drink specials.
Happy Hour: Underrated.