I got off my flight last night at around one AM. I unfolded myself from the seat they had wedged me into and walked the dead-man's walk through the dead-world's airport (LaGuardia) past the skeins of shuttered fastfood restaurants, ardently hoping my Town Car would be there and I wouldn't have to hold-music and phone-tree while waiting for it.
It was hot last night and humid. There wasn't a breath of air anywhere in the five boroughs and even the Town Car, whose air-conditioning was blasting like an Apollo space-craft, was as sticky as a caramel apple.
The driver read out my address.
"No," I said, and instead I gave him the address of the Tempus Fugit. We sped there through the nearly empty streets. I arrived before one-thirty.
"Where's the pup?" the bartender said as he greeted me. "Oh, I see you've been traveling."
I dropped my overnight bag and my computer case at the seat of my stool one in from the end. He pulled me a Pike's Ale (the ALE that won for YALE) and leaned over the bar to begin tonight's interchange.
"I want to pick you brain about some marketing ideas I have for the Tempus Fugit. See if we could bring more folks in from the neighborhood."
"You could start with a sign out front," I said.
"Let's not get radical. A sign is a bit mercantile from where I sit. I was thinking more in terms of consumer interaction and engagement."
"It sounds like you read a book on marketing in the digital age."
He schluffed me off like a bear swatting a honey bee. "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to tweet about the Tempus Fugit."
"I'm not sure what that will do." I answered somberly. "I have just 79 followers."
"I want you to Vine about the Tempus Fugit as well. A six-second looped film of a Pike's being served."
"I'm not really sure how the whole Vine thing works," I answered.
"Before long these Vines will spread. I'll ask people who come in to Vine their Pikes, then we'll post all the Vines we get on the Tempus Fugit website."
"I didn't know you had a site," I was beginning to cry into my beer.
"I don't. But can you imagine a virtual Tempus Fugit, serving virtual Pike's Ale. My heart flutters when I think of all the conversations we could generate."
He filled my eight-ounce juice glass with cool amber.
"We'll have Mayors of the Tempus Fugit on Foursquare. And Dukes on Yelp. People will be positively swilling in our Ale!"
"My friend," I began.
He was wiping the mahogany clean and dry with the damp of a white terry. He seemed to be doing it with an usual intensity.
"Imagine how my Klout score will rise," he continued.
"Your Klout score," I laughed to keep from crying.
He then broke from the role he was playing and drew me another Pike's. Then he did something he never did before, reaching across the bar to put his hand on my shoulder. He gave it an affectionate squeeze.
"No," he said standing straight up. "No, the Tempus Fugit shall remain a place that time has forgotten. A place that the years cannot improve."
"You had me worried there for a moment," I said.
"The Pike's are on me," he answered. "Just don't tweet about that. I don't want it getting around."