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Spo-fans have noted I make reference to ‘happy hour’ that happen on Thursdays. One or two have asked me to tell about this weekly ritual. Very well…..

Most every Thursday* Someone and I make the trek through the ardent heat and the heavy rush-hour traffic to our favorite watering hole, Kobalt, for show tunes, libations, and good cheer in general. Kat, who is bartender and my future-ex-wife, recently bought a house, which I suspect was made possible by our regular patronage. Next time I am there I should inquire if her maison needs any preternatural entities. I can send over The Car Key Gnomes or the Cup Sprites. I have heaps.

At happy hour, we each have two drinks; if Someone is driving, I get a third. I am constantly trying new cocktails, keeping Kat on her toes what it shall be. It is a sort of game in a way, like The Monty Python’s “The Cheese Shop” sketch. I sometimes just ask the future ex-missus if she has any ‘specials’. She is a a wiz (or is that a witch?) at experimenting with bar bottles that need using up or with things gathering dust on the top shelves. Perhaps that week the owner brought in some fresh fruit or he got hold of some local hooch to push.** Maybe I just order something called an ‘Omakase’. ‘Omakase’ is a Japanese word meaning “I leave it up to you” sometimes said to service people like sushi chefs, barbers, and bartenders who know you well enough you let them give you something they know you will like. So many drinks options; so little time.

Someone nearly always orders his usual: a gimlet or a vodka tonic. He’s no fun, he falls right over.

Someone actually watches the videos while I listen to them as background noise. What am I doing? I am on my phone. My favorite happy hour activity is going over the list of words I’ve picked up in the past week, reviewing them, hoping to get into my lexicon. This is stupid, as drinking alcohol while trying to memorize definitions never works, but it is fun to try.

When I lived in Chicago, the bars were packed for ‘Showtunes Night’; many had them as they were profitable. In Phoenix, not so much. I don’t know if this is a Phoenix phenomena (where everyone has to drive) or something that has faded in time. Kobalt Showtunes used to be on Saturday night, but the attendance went down, so it was moved to Thursdays (a school night for Urs Truly – worse luck!) When we go on Thursdays we see the same folks who more or less sit in the same spots. There are pleasantries exchanged but not much more. Once in a while, when a favorite tune comes on screen, all in the place sing along in chorus. ‘Babs’ is mandatory.

Sipping cocktails to show tunes makes one peckish, so Kat is on hand to sell us little bags of nasty chips or (if they are in stock) thin crust pizzas, which we eat with relish. These also act as Omakase absorbers. Someone and Kat are quite knowledgeable about show tunes so they speak a lot upon the topic, provided she isn’t too busy serving other customers. I always inquire if I have advanced any on her list of future-ex-wives, which never seems to happen. Like Penelope, I think she does this on purpose so we keep showing up and ordering drinks and pizzas but this may be the Omakase talking.

It is not uncommon for us to visit Uncle Albertsons on the way home to pick up something to eat rather than going straight home to cook a proper meal. Paul, at the deli counter, my future-ex-husband, sells us our weekly indulgence of fried chicken, chips, and coleslaw. Oh the embarrassment.

*Sometimes on Thursdays starting around 7PM there is planned event like a fund-raiser or a drag-show. These make the place fill up and it is hard to get seats. So we don’t go.

**This kind of cocktail is called “Summer Rain”.

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