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If you’re reading this, then you know that the world did not come to an end on September 10, 2008 at 4: 27 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. At that moment, a group of European scientists under the city of Geneva, Switzerland, flipped the “on” switch of the Large Hadron Collider, a massive proton accelerator whose essential purpose is to recreate the Big Bang on a miniature scale.
Oh, and one other thing—the creation of black holes and the instantaneous destruction of the universe were possible side effects of this massive scientific endeavor.
So, naturally, on Tuesday night, I did what any normal person with absolutely no grasp of physics would do: I freaked the hell out. It’s all well and good for the Swiss to make wonderfully precise wristwatches and delicious chocolates, but the construction of a potentially universe-ending device is a little presumptuous of them, especially since they’ve had the audacity to milk that whole neutrality bit for quite a while now. All of a sudden, I was under a cosmic deadline (not to mention a literal one for this column). I potentially had only a few hours left to live. Where to go? Who to call?
What to drink?
For the latter question, I turned to experts; the Georgetown neighborhood’s finest bartenders. With two equally nihilistic roommates in tow, I headed to M Street, making my first bar-hop stop at Rhino’s, the ‘hood’s finest purveyor of plastic cup cocktails.
Jeff the bartender, a burly, bald fellow in camouflage shorts, was quick to suggest “The Alaskan Oil Spill” as a parting shot (pun intended) for the end of the world. A powerful potion composed of a blue-hued mixture of Sambuca and blue Curacao, the Oil Spill is topped with a dash of brown Jagermeister which (ta-da!) looks something like a certain seal-killing liquid. With Alaska in the news, I asked Jeff if his pick had any political significance. Nope, Jeff just likes Sambuca, and though he had never heard of Sarah Palin, our description of the governor as a MILF seemed to pique his interest in the Republican presidential ticket.
Though J-dog wasn’t entirely convinced by the theory of black hole annihilation (“Maybe there would be some survivors”) drinks were on the house in a gesture of solidarity with mankind, just in case.
For Louisa, from Wisconsin Avenue’s Third Edition, a “massive” dirty Stoli vodka martini was the final alcoholic frontier. Bartending breeds optimism, though, and Louisa was skeptical that the Swiss would make any fatal blunders. Perhaps pitying my Armageddon ardor, she conceded the possibility of black holes in our near future:
“I’ll keep some olives handy.”
With the hours closing in upon us, our trio hiked back to realms of the Hilltop, to an underground facility much friendlier than the one erected by those physicists in Geneva.
Amidst the Tombs’ masses of pitcher-chugging patrons and be-suited after-hours businessmen, bartender Scott McCord (MSB ‘09) chose the classic Captain Morgan rum and coke as his final drink, a comfortable old favorite. Wisely considering the metaphorical importance of such a moment, however, McCord assented that the “Mind Eraser” shot wouldn’t be such a bad Earthly ending either.
But the mood of the evening was perhaps best summed up over at Saloon, where Aaron the bartender, between serving drinks to a pair of noisy Chicagoans and fending off the flirtations of an eager cougar, was a little more to the point on the matter of his final hours of life on Earth. His doomsday drink of choice?
“A shot of 151. Because fuck it, that’s the hardest shit you can take. Go out in glory.”
Save Clare’s life tonight at email@example.com