The Phenomenon: Can TiVo make every hour a happy one?
The Bars: Pier 116, Zen
Have you ever noticed how lots of bars around town have happy hours at really odd hours? Like at Pier 116 (Smith and Dean Sts), there’s a regular time happy hour from 5 to 7 pm and then another one from 10 until midnight. Zen, a bar-ish sushi-ish place on St. Mark’s, has half-priced drinks from 10 until close. I guess I shouldn’t complain, but there are a million places that do this, to varying degrees and at various times, and it has always seemed to me like such a waste. I mean, who’s going to be out, drinking and stupid, and suddenly realize that it’s time to head to another bar for happy hour? Nobody. The only people who benefit from those things are the people who happen to be in there boozing already. Isn’t the point of having happy hour to draw people in during slow times with the hope that they’ll get pissed and stay well into the full-price drink hours?
It reminds me of those late night/early morning episodes of Futurama or Buffy on the TV, y’know? The ones that run on Fox, like way super late at night so that you could never remember to watch them and also, why would you want to? Sure, it’s an unexpected treat for all the stoners and drunks who happen to be flipping around during one of BCAT’s breaks at five in the morning, but why bury the good stuff when they play dumb shit all the rest of the time?
It used to drive me nuts, but then I got a TiVo. I don’t need to rhapsodize about the TiVo as I’m sure you’ve all heard some bug-eyed convert drool over being able to amass an entire library of the soft porn on Cinemax or whatever. But the problem with the TiVo is that you begin to expect non-digital elements of your life to be capturable in the same way. Can’t make it to retarded 10:30 happy hour? TiVo it for Saturday afternoon. Missing out on a bunch of free drinks at some wedding reception? Save it for the next time you’re broke and DT-ing. It becomes insidious, the things TiVo teaches you to expect from the analog world. But try and wrap your brain around this one, dude: if every hour was happy hour, would any hour really be happy hour anymore?