While you’re busy drinking a cocktail of anteater blood and vermouth, a well-dressed businessman next to you shoves three curled, nacreous tokens towards the bartender. You recognize them from an illegal magazine that you stumbled across three months ago; these are mermaid fingernails, the official currency of the Illuminati.

“I’ll have the Albert Pike Special,”  he wheezes. “Easy on the ice.”

The bartender pulls out a glass shaped like a pair of intersecting pyramids, drops in two rocks, then fills it with one part whale oil to every three parts Southern Comfort. The mixture is rancid, but this doesn’t seem to bother its consumer, who gurgles down the sour beverage in one clean thrust of his throat. Having finished, he laughs his terrible smoker’s laugh, then coughs his terrible smoker’s cough.

“The ice here is special, you know.” He musters. “Frozen thylacine tears. Limited quantity. There’s a group of collectors up in Canada who make a fortune doing this. They hoard the tears of endangered animals in the hopes that they go extinct, then cash in when the last of its kind kicks the bucket. A lot of people investing in panda tear futures right now.”

“What about you?” The bartender asks.

“Well see,” his arthritic hands are restless. “I’m confident that one of these days, we’re going to see a black swan event. Maybe it’ll be the atom bombs, or maybe it’ll be plague, but humanity’s going down any day now. I’m freezing another batch of my own tears nightly and hoping for the best.”