The h Bar
Of the many things I’ve learned – or attempted to learn while frantically scribbling on a notepad – in my three weeks as an employee of a government organization, some have been secrets. While I can’t say most of these without being fired (and I really do need to pay my rent), some of them are that (1) the government is just about as inefficient as you’ve heard or expected it to be, (2) you can get shot if you go down the right sidewalk, and (3) drinking is a popular way to put the inefficiency out of your mind. While being an employee there doesn’t allow me to have my own eBay business (absolutely true fact), it doesn’t say anything about the possibility of a bar. So I present to you – at the corner of Vasco Road and East Avenue – the h Bar.
This shall be a bar like no other – one devoted to the continued understanding of our physical universe, as we actively display an ignorance to the effects of alcohol on our physical body. It shall have several rules that all patrons and employees shall abide by, lest they wish to incur the wrath of Planck’s ghost himself.
The first step that any reasonable bar-goer would take would be to locate the bartender – a simple task in most bars, but not here. Upon entering, you shall have a choice to make – do you want to know the bartender’s hours, or where within the bar they’re located? It’s the classic problem of uncertainty; knowing one with more confidence means you won’t know the other. Can’t have it all, right? If you take the former, you’ll be wandering around the bar looking for where you can order your beloved peach schnapps, and likely stumbling through a bunch of intoxicated degenerates close to retirement who don’t particularly care about their level of alcohol intake. If you choose the latter, you’re probably going to be hovering two feet away from the last metal stool, pouring out your grievances to the fortunate schmuck who happened to get the last drink before the bartender left.
The second step is to order your drink. In the spirit of Heisenberg’s modern day reincarnation – as a meth dealer – this step has a bit of a twist to it. Be careful if you’re getting your alcohol on the rocks, as you can never really be sure of what the rocks are made of – especially if they have a blueish tinge to them. To fuel the stereotype of the cutthroat scientific environment, anytime you generate radioactive or toxic waste without a disposal path, you in turn have a possibility of getting your drink poisoned with crystal meth! Of course, since we want you to have a good time, you can enjoy the first few sips of your drink while the rocks melt, and you’re left to find out your fate the hard way. Also, you can’t ask the bartender for an inexact amount – we deal in discrete drink levels, just as Planck postulated.
Quick tangent: The lab employs a ‘matrixed’ organizational structure, which means that subdivisions of directorates don’t just report to their superior up the line, but also to the other subdivisions they’re matrixed to and collaborating with. All this means is that you probably don’t know who your boss is until you see the signature on your inevitable termination letter; now this has nothing to do with the movie franchise, but it’d be kind of cool if there was a limbo bar. Nothing to do with physics, just saying.
To give it a more club-type vibe, we’ll have a dance floor as well. However, in the name of dignity and the Pauli Exclusion Principle, there shall not be any ‘dirty’ dancing – that is, no two people standing adjacently at the same level of the room facing the same direction. Don’t shit where you eat.
With all of this alcohol intake, patrons may find themselves needing to use the restroom quite a bit. They’ll find that they have one more test to prove that they’re not too drunk to stay in the bar – the door to the restroom shall be guarded by a door that has a non-zero probability of opening every time you attempt to push against it. Sure it sounds frustrating, but the more you’re conscious of how fast you’re hitting the door, the more likely you are to be less likely that you’re not getting through. Confusing? You can just dig a tunnel underneath the door if you get too frustrated. Having a wavy hairstyle might help just a wee bit.
While we don’t have the funds for bouncers, there is a safety limit to how many people can be in the establishment at once. So we’ll install a weight sensor in the floor – a one-time expenditure – to provide some diagnostics on how many bodies we have inside. We’ll also have a last-resort switch to be activated when we can’t control the influx – when the bar has reached critical mass, a wall will rise from the ground to divide the bar into two unequal parts, and two people will be kicked out at random.
Also, while you’re there, you have to agree that black bodies are the hottest.