The Lord of the Rings was a movie that really resonated with a lot of people for numerous reasons. Nerds loved it for the lore, magic and, of course, Gandalf. [Straight] girls and gay boys loved it for all the hotties: Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom.

But for me, I think it was the underlying wisdom that really clinched it for me. There’s something really commendable about having a purpose in life and fulfilling it, despite the massive obstacles that may pop up along the way. With that in mind, mama needs a place to get her drink on with food thrown in for cheap or free. Can I get an “amen?”

I mean, you’ll find a bar that has a great staff but a crazy expensive drink and food menu. Or perhaps you’ll find a cheap place, but the crowd is scary and random. Well, search no further, because now you can enjoy the fun and fraternity of your local watering hole (cheap food and booze included) without all the insane guess work.

Take the Edison (108 W. 2nd St.; This is one of downtown’s best places to meet fun and friendly professional locals.

Aside from a great atmosphere within the bar, they have a happy hour Wednesdays-Fridays, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., that simply can’t be beat. Wednesdays offers up $ 4 cocktails or $25 punch bowls; Thursdays serves unique cocktails for 35 cents and Fridays is billed as Soup Kitchen, featuring Depression Era cocktails at Depression Era prices with free grilled cheese sandwiches and soothing tomato soup – just like mom used to make.

Want something a bit more centrally located? Then the Happy Ending is for you (7038 W. Sunset Blvd.; This is Hollywood’s answer to “Cheers.” It’s a dope neighborhood bar where EVERYBODY knows your name – if you go there enough. They’ve got excellent karaoke on Wednesdays (for those looking for an excuse to down a little “liquid courage”).

But the thing that melts my heart into a thousand tiny bio-hazardous pieces is the Happy Hour prices. I can get $5 cocktails, a pitcher of Bud for $11 (There are some bars on the Westside where you’d pay that for one Stella Artois.) and two-for-one vodka.

While you’re exercising your right to drink, why not snack on some tasty appetizers? Order the baby back ribs for a mere $7 or ‘Shroom Time (veggie-stuffed mushrooms so good you want to slap your mama) for $5. Or you could opt for my personal favorite, the Don’t Feed the Models (sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and feta resting on a bed of leafy greens and drizzled in vinaigrette) for $5. All this tastiness goes down Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Another truly brilliant booze hut is a favorite of geeks the world over. Miss T’s Barcade (371 N. Western Ave.; 323-465-5045) is the place to be when you’re that weird kid in desperate need of some kindred spirits. I’ve been in love with this spot ever since my first trip here two years ago.

If you’re a gamer, and you don’t know about this place, then you are way behind, kid. Play ol’ school games like “Gauntlet,” “Galaga” and “Ms. Pac-Man.” Then drink up because the libations are priced to move in this K-town favorite.

Truth be told, I’ve never known anybody to order anything other than beer here. Come to think of it, I don’t know if they even have anything other than brews at this place. Hmm … Anyway, beer is fun. So is their snack food. There’s not a nerd in town that isn’t in love with the nachos. I’m just putting that out there.