October 11, 2014 – We had a grand time last night at Pauline’s Crab Shack and Ballroom Dance Emporium. Pauline was surprised to see us and welcomed us with open arms! It was a thrill walking in the front door of her establishment like the other patrons, rather than cutting through the kitchen like we typically do when delivering our potent potables. I was ecstatic to see that Pauline had two of our microbrews on tap: Pumpkin Grub Ale and No-Knickers Amber Stout – (a nod to the fact that we don’t wear pants).
The joint was jumping during Happy Hour. I was nearly brought to tears by the honor. You’d think it was my birthday! Humans were clinking beer steins, cheering, “Here’s to Happy!” while a festive bluegrass band filled the remaining airspace. Pauline said to order whatever we wanted. It was on the house.
Sawyer leaned over to me after we had settled into our booth. “I’m very impressed! What a thrill for you! This was a wonderful idea!”
“I have to admit it, Happy,” said Addie. “This is a terrific acknowledgement of your entrepreneurial expertise. We wouldn’t have a thriving beverage business without you. It’s nice to see your hard work acknowledged by one of our customers.”
“Oh, it’s not just here,” Peaches interrupted. “I just heard the table over there say that tomorrow night Happy Hour starts at 4:00 over at The Admiral’s Sloop. The night after that, it’s 5:00 at Buttercup’s Café. There seems to be a Happy Hour scheduled every night of the week!”
I was flattered of course, but this type of recognition was insane! It’s not as if I discovered a cure for the flop wattle flu. (Though that is on my bucket list.) The lifting of a few hearty mugs over the perfect beer… this I can deal with. But a raucous tribute every night of the week… just for doing my job as a flavor scientist?
I had to put an end to it. I hopped onto the plywood platform on which the band was playing and asked them to cut the song short. The guitar player lowered the microphone to my level. He had a brilliant diamond in his left ear.
The room grew silent as I tapped the end of the microphone with my wing. “Hello.”
It was hard to see the audience amid the wash of the footlights.
“First of all, I am so deeply honored being here for Happy Hour.”
The crowd immediately whooped and chanted my name. “HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!”
I raised my wings to quiet them down.
“I am truly touched by your enthusiastic response, but I must ask that this be the only Happy Hour. Anything more is far too much of a spectacle for a humble hen like myself. The Happy Chicken Brewing Company is not the work of a single chicken. It is the result of the hardworking hens and roosters who have dedicated themselves to this effort so that we can have a retirement fund in our old age. Ours is a family brewery. This “hour” should be re-named to include everyone in my flock. For truly, I share this honor with them.”
I raised a cold mug of beer high above my head and was about to list the names of my flockmates, when someone threw a flip-flop at my head. Quickly the band began to play and the crowd resumed its rowdy celebration.
“I guess it’s impossible to escape fame,” Lottie laughed.
“It’s not right,” I said. “This honor should be for all of us.”
“Tsk, tsk,” said Charlotte. “It’s not right that someone threw a flip-flop. It’s after Labor Day. A flat would have been more appropriate.”
“Your toast was thanks enough,” said Sawyer. “It was lovely.”
“Very touching,” agreed Tim.
Only Wilma was silent. She had just returned to the table after talking to Pauline. I don’t know what they were laughing about, but the two of them were shaking their heads in good-spirited humor. For a second, I thought that maybe they were laughing at us, but then she pushed in next to me and raised her beer mug.
“Here’s to you, kid,” she said. “They got it right.”
I don’t know if the other Happy Hours will go on as scheduled, but they’ll have to do so without us. Before we left, Pauline placed another order for eight jugs of moonshine and a couple of barrels of beer. She’s become our best customer – next to the bowling alley, that is. It was off to work first thing this morning. We need to make hay while the sun shines. Or make shine while the hay dries… Bottom line, the molt is over. It’s back to business, baby!