Beloved readers: It has been nearly two years since your friend and humble narrator found – nay, was led to – the Fighter Pilots Bar in the Pentagon. This reporter has realized that in order to be a true Pentagon correspondent, he must go even further by finding … the Space Bar.
To be clear, the “Space Bar” is not the button on your laptop that separates letters and sentences. No, the fabled Space Bar is allegedly where U.S. military and intelligence officials who focus on space go to unwind – because in space, no one can hear you drink.
Those who know the Space Bar’s location have sworn to keep it a secret from the prying eyes of the press. This reporter can only surmise that you probably need a TS/SCI clearance to get through the door. The bartender probably has to take a lifestyle polygraph test every six months to prove he or she has not divulged any secrets about plasma rays and hypersonic thongs.
The hardest part will be finding the right guide to help this reporter navigate the catacombs of cubicles inside the darkest reaches of the Pentagon’s immense gastrointestinal tract.
Your lowly narrator would never have entered the Fighter Pilots Bar without the assistance of two friends, whom you know as “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Nancy Drew.” (In case you were wondering, I enjoy giving people nicknames. In fact, I just conferred on one colleague the pseudonym “Hot Jasmine,” leaving him extremely confused.)
It is unlikely that any of those fine three humanoids will help this reporter locate the Space Bar. Yours truly will have to find a way to mingle with the type of people who might know: Nerds.
Yes, it is time to embrace the fact that the guardians/sentinels/vanguards of the U.S. Space Force are not the Johnny Rico types who win the football game and go on to get into a contrived love triangle with Denise Richards and Neil Patrick Harris.
Instead, the people who excel as space operators went to math camp growing up. They likely wrote diary entries in Elvish and became prolific Stargate Atlantis fanfic authors. (And they would never consider using a laser to draw a penis on the moon. Never. Not going to happen.)
You can bet dollars to donuts that at least one of these geeks currently has stars on his or her shoulder and spends every Friday in the Space Bar debating Newton’s Second Law of Motion while downing Irish Car Bombs.
Somehow, this reporter must seek out and find one of these techno-loving space explorers, who can show your meathead narrator the way to the Space Bar and its untold secrets. (This reporter can only surmise that the D.J. is an Artificial Intelligence program that loves to play “Bilbo Baggins” as sung by Leonard Nimoy.)
This is my solemn task. If the Pentagon Run-Down fails to appear next week, it is because yours truly took a wrong turn in the Pentagon and knocked on the National Reconnaissance Office’s door, never to be seen again. (Ironic, no?)
As God as my witness: I will be getting sloshed on Klingon blood wine during next year’s massive St. Paddy’s Day blowout in the Space Bar.
Wish me luck!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeff Schogol actually wrote this while he was stone cold sober.
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Jeff Schogol covers the Pentagon for Task & Purpose. He has covered the military for nearly 15 years and embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and Haiti. Prior to joining T&P, he covered the Marine Corps and Air Force at Military Times. Comments or thoughts to share? Send them to Jeff Schogol via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message @JeffSchogol on Twitter.