One of the cheapest and cheesiest devices in all of fictional literature is the “dream sequence.”

The author inserts a complete left-turn to the story line, often dramatic but totally out of sync with where the story was headed. After taking us along this non-credible path, the story’s central character awakens in his/her bed, sweating and eyes wide open, scared but safe.

Obviously I am not a fan of those theatrics. I have never had a dream so real that I woke up in a shaken state of consciousness but thankful that the events of the previous few moments were not a part of my history.

And yet, don’t we all feel that maybe this whole pandemic shared experience is a dream? It just does not seem real that festivals in New Orleans, musical performances and all social gatherings have been wiped from our calendars. I cannot come to grips that restaurants and bars are shuttered to my patronage on their premises. Am I really walking up to a bank with a mask? Latex gloves in the super market as if I am on the way to clean my toilet not selecting dinner.

It does appear we may be moving toward at least a temporary break from the worst ravages of the scourge. While COVID-19 has not been eradicated, we have shown that the worse effects of the pandemic can be brought under limited control. Maybe in the not-too-distant future we can be vaccinated and bring about even more normalcy to our daily lives.

But for now, there are small victories earned through frequent hand-washing, masks, social distancing (two words now used together unheard of in the New Orleans lexicon just two months ago), and stay-home, another foreign concept in a town that usually offers a super-abundance of reasons not to stay home.

What is the right thing to do as we are on the cusp of getting a piece of our lives back? It’s fair to say that the not-right thing to do is to violate all the still-applicable practices which brought us some modicum of victory.

Likely you have not truly drank from your private stash the “great stuff.” There has to be a bottle reserved for a special occasion still sitting there and tempting you. You are about to pass into that special occasion.

Hopefully you came through this with minimal scars and a mere handful of inconveniences. Maybe someone close to you was not so fortunate. In either case, go to your liquor cabinet or wine rack now, take out your third-best bottle and prepare it to be enjoyed. Now.

You will soon be in one of those life-moments when friends, relatives and associates will ask you, “What did you do last night when the governmental controls were lifted?”

You want to have a really good answer. One that will stand the test of time. You will want to relate a proper tale of indulgence that reflects your accomplishment, your good taste, and your creativity in taking full advantage of one of life’s memorable moments.

This has all not been a dream. This experience has been way too real. Don’t blow the chance to move forward on a classy note.




Read Happy Hour here on on Thursdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails every month in New Orleans Magazine.