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The Happy Hour Convoy

By Raymond Lesser

Sue woke me out of a sound sleep last night, full of excitement. “I just had a wild dream and it’s given me an idea for a new business that’s sure to be a success! We’ve got to do it!”

“Wait, slow down. What time is it?”

“Who cares about the time! It’s time for a new venture! What’s the most popular business in the country right now?”

“Cupcakes? Hair salons? Wait, I know. Hipster coffee bars with AI baristas.”

“No, it’s food trucks. Now what’s the main difference between a food truck and a restaurant?”

“The brake pedal? The turn signals?”

“It’s that it can travel anywhere that there might be a crowd to feed; outdoor concerts, parties, craft fairs, or farmer’s markets. Now tell me what’s the biggest problem with bars and taverns?”

“All the drunks who hang out at them?”

“Close. It’s all the drunks who drive home at night. But what if they didn’t need to drive home?”

“They could call a cab.”

“No, even better. What if they were already home? What if, instead of the drinkers having to go to the bar, the bar came to the drinkers? That’s going to be our new business! The Cocktail Truck! It’ll be like the Good Humor Truck when we were kids, only instead of ice cream bars and popsicles you can buy Martinis and Mai Tais.”

“Can’t anybody already drink at home? I don’t think there’s any shortage of liquor available in this country for people to take home with them.”

“There’s also plenty of food for people to cook, but that doesn’t stop them from going out to eat and letting somebody else do it for them. Anyways even with plenty of money and space, almost no one has all the different kinds of booze, mixers, garnishes, and the sheer know-how that a good bartender has. Do you remember how during COVID the neighbors had a regularly scheduled happy hour every day at five on their front lawn? People loved that!”

“As long as no one started coughing.”

“Anybody who wanted could bring their own drink and hang out. This would be the same idea, only a cash bar would come around and make any drink you wanted.”

“What sticks in my mind about those happy hours was the time the new guy on the corner drank a pitcher of strawberry margaritas and threw up on Tom’s flower bed. Also that last day when John and Terry got out their stash of toilet paper and gave everyone a six-pack.”

“Oh wait! I’ve got another idea. How about if, instead of a truck we buy an old bus. Inside the bus we build a full service bar plus a bunch of booths for seating. Then if people are having an event, they could hire us to come and serve drinks. Call it The Bar Car. We decorate the inside in a railroad motif. Even have waiters in retro railway uniforms.”

“For the full effect you really need to be moving along through some industrial wasteland on the edge of the city at about 5 mph, and then stop every ten minutes to let a freight train pass by.”

“Hey, we can do that! Why not have a moving bar? People love those bars at the top of skyscrapers that rotate in a circle. We could have the Bar Car drive around in a regular loop. Let’s say it takes one hour. You get on anywhere on the loop and order a drink, and then you can stay on until you get back where you started. Or you could get off somewhere else on the route and go out to eat or to a movie, or even to another bar. As long as you have a one drink minimum people could do whatever they wanted.”

“Call it The Party Bus Loop. I even have an ad slogan. Get Looped on the Loop. But aren’t we forgetting something? What about the weed?”

“You’re right! But that has to be a whole separate business. The Magic Bus! I can picture it perfectly. A psychedelically painted school bus tootling down the street playing Grateful Dead tunes.”

“If that bus comes by the neighborhood, you’re definitely going to want The Munchie Truck to follow up pretty soon afterwards.”

“And why not get The Good Humor Truck in on this, too? Back to our roots. The whole family could be out on the lawn having happy hour together. So, are you ready to start planning all this?” “Well, maybe. But the clock says it’s 3 a.m. Can we just sleep on it for a few more hours and see how we feel in the morning? Because by then you might have another dream.”

Read the June 2024 Issue Online

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