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<   No. 3745   2017-10-12   >

Comic #3745

1 Mercutio: Here we go. This is a good place. And it's still happy hour.
2 Ophelia: I've always wondered, why do they call it happy hour?
3 Shakespeare: Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour//That may give furtherance to our expedition.
4 Ophelia: Ahem. As I was saying...
4 Mercutio: I'm happy he stopped at two lines of pentameter.

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I looked up happy hour on Wikipedia to see what it had to say about the subject and the history of the concept... and I was shocked to discover that happy hours have been banned in the UK, Ireland, and several states in the USA. The reason - to discourage binge drinking - kind of makes sense, but it had never occurred to me. Where I live (in Sydney, Australia), happy hours are very common in pubs, bars, and restaurants.

A little research indicates that most if not all Australian states regulate the conduct of happy hours in such a way that they "do not encourage drinking more than the usual amount of alcohol". These regulations include duration limits on happy hours, limits on discounts for alcoholic drinks, and limits on what time of day happy hours can occur.

Not running an establishment that serves alcohol[1], I was previously unaware of any of this.

[1] At least as far as the NSW Liquor & Gaming Department knows.

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