There's only one lousy thing about happy hour - it finishes before you do. Selfish, huh? Which brings us to the pertinent, absorbing and "hey, why was that last stinkin' drink so freakin' expensive?" question: Who died and made 4 to 7 p.m. king of the good times?

There's only one lousy thing about happy hour - it finishes before you do. Selfish, huh? Which brings us to the pertinent, absorbing and "hey, why was that last stinkin' drink so freakin' expensive?" question: Who died and made 4 to 7 p.m. king of the good times?

I mean come on, bar people, why not also allow the latter hours of the evening an equal chance to spread their own brand of happiness? Looked at another way, what am I to do when some stupid clock arbitrarily decides the prices are going up? Because as far as I'm concerned, les bonnes temps are only really rolling so long as I ain't payin' full dollar. And hey, what if working late (don't laugh) prevents me from making it to happy hour on time? Am I supposed to just swallow hard and accept the fact that I never got my chance for a sweet little deal?

Fortunately, there are some groundbreaking establishments in our ever-more-forward-looking town that are boldly going where few taverns have gone before. So far. In other words, I know of some fearless businesses willing to push the gutless envelope by bucking the sorry "party's over" system and opting to serve cheap-ass, 24-hour party people (like some folks I know) reduced-cost drinks and/or hooch-happy snacks well past the time allotted by their unimaginative competition. God love 'em.

You should love them, too. And I'm perfectly certain you will, as soon as you read the names of these philanthropic operations heroically providing such visionary, community-embracing services.

On the next few important pages, I'm going to celebrate some bars and restaurants marching in the avant garde of discounted nibbles and later libations. One of these watering-hole warriors gets its party started after the moon shines, but the others offer us happy hours times two. Let's only hope their shining examples will soon be followed by a brave new wave of like-minded cheer merchants. So pull up a stool, indulge in a smile, and brightly declare, "Why, sure, I think I'll have another!"