The place you’ve been referring to all this time
By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor
“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” James Holden said, toasting his friends and taking a swig of his beer at exactly 3:27 p.m.
Dimensions away, Adams sat at a nearly identical bar, and groaned. The gigantic minute hand of the clock struck backwards to exactly 5 p.m.
“Bottoms up,” the innkeeper said, with a frown on his face and a sad look in his eye. Adam took another swig of his beer, which had been refilling endlessly for as long as he could remember.
“Why must they do this to us?” he asked aloud, though whether it was a question for the barkeep or for himself, even he did not know. “Why must they torture us so?”
Everyone in the room had their eyes glued to the clock. Each drink-free minute to tick by was cause for celebration, every 10 minutes booze-free, a rare occasion. Some of Adams’ friends slumped down onto the bar, hoping to catch a few minute’s rest before they were put back to work.
“Well, it’s five o’clock somewhere right!” Brandon McSanders laughed to his friends as they cracked a cold one at 1:29 p.m.
In Adam’s world, the creaking of the clock awoke anyone who had been dozing, and like magic, their drinks were filled once more.
“No, you know what? I’m sick of this,” Adams’ friend Miller said as Adams dutifully finished off his pint. Miller had always had a weaker stomach, and was one of the more frequent visitors to the washroom. “Why do we have to drink every time someone a dimension away says that stupid phrase? Could you imagine the world that we could have, the lives that we could live, if we didn’t have to abide by such a ridiculous rule? Why us, anyway?”
“Just finish your beer and be quiet,” Adams tried to warn his friend. “You’re just drunk.”
“We’re always drunk! Day and night, even though we are not even afforded the luxury of it being any time other than 5 p.m. What kind of a life is this?”
“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere,” ol’ Jim Hartner whispered to no one in particular, looking down at his mug and taking a solitary sip at 2:32 p.m.
The clock sprang back once more. For Miller it was simply the last straw. He smashed his glass down onto the bar, beer and broken glass flying everywhere.
“What the hell?” Jim Hartner heard the bartender say, and looking up he saw that none of the beer taps were working.
“The fuck?” Brandon McSanders exclaimed, his half full can of beer suddenly empty.
“Guys, where’s the beer?” James Holden knew he had left a sixer in the cooler, but it there was only half-melted ice left.
“Miller, you need to drink your beer,” Adams said, standing to his shaky feet. “It’s what we do.”
The lights seemed darker. The second hand no longer moved on the clock. Others got to their feet, putting down the beer glasses that had long been like shackles to their hands. Flashing lights shone through the bar’s grimy windows, and moments later the old wooden door had been kicked down.
“Miller Lite, you are under arrest,” a commanding voice boomed from the doorway. The party police had arrived, and they had their guns drawn.
“We will give you until the count of 10,” the same officer said. Miller gave Adams a pleading look, and for the first time in Samuel Adams’ drunken haze of a life, he felt hope.
“It’s five o’clock somewhere,” Adams said defiantly, sliding a beer across the bar towards where the officer was standing. Like clockwork, the officer grabbed the beer and began chugging it alongside the rest of the crowd.
“Go!” Adams shouted to his friend, pushing them both out of the dimly lit tavern, into the warmth of the sun and the promise of freedom.