“Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” is song written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer in 1944, and it’s been recorded by a who’s-who of star names over the decades (from Bing Crosby to Aretha Franklin), and it’s been used in movies and TV shows ranging from (movies such as) “The Mighty Ducks” to “LA Confidential” and (on TV) from Coronation Street to Quantum Leap.

I mention it because it proves positive thinking isn’t a new idea, and that positive thinking isn’t the reserve of muesli-munching eco-hippies.

I’m writing this from the bar of a hotel in Mallorca (yes the weather is great, like a British summer, but it’s mid-November). It’s Happy Hour. And I think the barman on duty between 5&6pm must have the best job in the hotel.

People come in for a pre-dinner snifter, and he hands them two of
whatever they ordered. They look quizzically at the drinks, and a
small smile tugs at the barman’s mouth, and in a low, heavily accented
voice he confides, “t-hoo forrr whohhn.”

The customers beam. Then turn to other customers at the bar [still
beaming at their own unexpected bonus booze] and they all beam at each
other. The old ladies are the sweetest. They chuckle, and chatter, not
caring if the person next to them speaks their language, and it
doesn’t really matter, because everyone around the bar gets it: this
was a pleasant surprise.

I like to think the barman’s underplaying of Happy Hour plays a part
in the warm glow the customers feel. I like to think he knows that for
an hour each day he gets to be a combination of Father Christmas, the
Tooth Fairy, and the bloke who gives you your giant Lottery cheque.
And I like to think that that makes his day.

But maybe that’s just me being sentimental when really the hotel has
calculated that the mark up on booze allows them to give away drinks
to pull punters into the bar during a traditionally quiet time (when
people are getting ready for dinner). But I don’t care, I prefer my

You can find the lyrics to “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” here

All together now …

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