Happy Hour Hits the Road
ANN ARBOR--In a press conference held Thursday evening, Happy Hour announced that it had officially changed its name to the sequence of symbols $~@#, and that Good Time Charlie's will no longer be its exclusive venue. The news does not come as a total surprise to fans and insiders: ever since the former Happy Hour was forced to hold its Friday Afternoon Event at Dominick's due to a mid-summer power outage, rumors have been circulating that it was looking around for ways to change its image. The alternative location had been mentioned, but it is fair to say that nobody expected the name-change. The Hour formerly known as Happy shed a tear while making the announcement. "We are parting on amicable grounds. (Sniff.) I believe I've reached a point in my career where (Sniff) I need expand my horizons, and really live up to my potential." "The mid-summer power outage ] was serendipitous, really." said psychology graduate student Anat Geva. "I think it opened our eyes to the possibilities. I mean, Charlie's makes the biggest chipati in town, but they don't have sangria." The chipati is a 'Salad-in-Bread' dish that is a local favorite, while Sangria is a bevarage made with wine and fruit that originated in Spain. Fellow graduate student Heaather Pond concurred. "Figuratively speaking, Charlie's Chipati is like a truckload of lettuce crashing into a pita the size of a six-foot tall pita, stuffed with cheese and vegetables and smothered with chipati sauce. But Dominick's Sangria...Dominick's Sangria is like bunch of fruit, soaked in wine, and put in a Mason Jar." Critics are not convinced that $~@# didn't have other motives. Dr. Andrea Mossman has studied Happy Hour's habits extensively. "You really have to look at it from a money standpoint. Other bars and restaurants have luxury skyboxes, corporate sponsors, and promotional gimmicks like mascots and cheerleaders. Charlies just can't hope to compete with the offers these places can make." Dr. Mossman added, "I hear "Mitch's Place makes a mighty fine salad-in-bread, and it wouldn't surprise me if Happy Hour finds itself there one of these Friday afternoons." The Hour formerly known as Happy explained that the split was only temporary. "Think of it as a month of exhibition Happy Hours. One week, I'm at Pizza House, the next week, I'm at The Brown Jug. Maybe then, I'll try Mitch's, or the Touchdown. But, when the month is over, I'll be back at GTC's, just like old times." Some fans remain unconvinced. The only comment long-time Happy Hour attendee Paul Hamilton offered was "Twists...twists...Count twists." The shocked Mr. Hamilton was presumably referring to one of Charlie's tastiest appetizers, the "Count Twists". These cheese-filled breadsticks go well with either creamy ranch dressing or Charlie's special "Twist Sauce." Hot out of the oven, they go best with fine Canadian beer. However, a recent Happy Hour fixture was excited by the news. Meredith Minear, who started attending "The Hour" in recent months, explained "Its kinda exciting. And there's no love lost between me and Charlie's, especially after the Manager-Told-Us-To-Sit-At-Two-Tables Incident, followed by Its-Raining-So-We-Have-To-Go-Inside-Gate". In mid-August, The Hour was forced to move to two tables because of fire hazards it was creating. The Manager-Told-Us-To-Sit-At-Two-Tables Incident has achieved legendary status in the Happy Hour community. It has become a tale that "The Hour" attendees tell their children to make them behave. The tale is known well to Three-year-old Caitlin Schumacher. Caitlin told us, "If you don't eat all your carrots like your sposed to, daddy says the evil Charlie-Man comes and makes you sit at two tables." Although those close to The Hour admit that the following week's event, called "Its-Raining-So-We-Have-To-Go-Inside-Gate", was not Good Time Charlie's fault, it still hurt The Hour and left it feeling betrayed. Dr. William Gehring knows The Hour well, and explained, "When you are sitting on your [butt ] minding your own [darn ] business, and then it starts raining like [a lot ], you look for some [person ] to blame. What with the recent Manager-Told-Us Incident and Dominick's Sangria, Charlie's was the natural victim." Many feel that the change of venue and the change of name will not have much of an effect. Winston Sieck, who will celebrate his birthday at this Friday's Hour, said "I've seen Happy Hour's come and go. Back in the mid-90s, we used to get together and drink on Friday afternoons. We didn't even know we were having Happy Hour--I guess you could say we invented it. For a while now, we've been getting together at Charlie's, and now they're saying we will be drinking someplace else. It doesn't really matter to me, as long as the beer flows like Niagra and they know how to put melted cheese on top of fries." Good Time Charlie's was silent on the issue, aside from a brief statement issued by their lawyer. "We have decided not to take legal action against $~@#. We are confident that with the return of the Undergraduates, The Hour will find us a safe haven and return to us, once again Happy. Afterall, we do serve the biggest Chipati in Town." When asked where The Hour's first stop on its supposedly temporary road-trip would be, it responded, "I like Italian. I think I'll go to The Pizza House." The eyes of the world will be watching to see where it will be next week.