The invitation for this year’s Evening Standard Christmas Party
It can be exclusively revealed by this correspondent that at least 85% of the staff of the London newspaper the ‘Evening Standard’ are regular users of the killer drug Cocaine.
From the junior staff to the upper reaches of management, use of the deadly narcotic is said to be widespread particularly among the editorial staff, with many prominent journalists ‘high as a kite’ during substantial periods of the working day. Traces of white powder, believed to be cocaine, have been discovered in the staff toilets as well as in the former smoking room, now openly referred to as the ‘Gak Chamber’. A routine inspection found substantial amounts of cocaine on ‘very nearly’ 100% of notes passed in the staff canteen – many of the staff are now obliged to pay in cash, owing to the fact that their credit cards have become damaged beyond use by constant hammering out of lines on every available surface throughout working hours. A source also revealed that keyboards are continually having to be replaced owing to the build-up of cocaine residue between the keys. On some days the fog of white dust in the air of the newsroom is reportedly so hazy it ‘looks like Beijing on a particularly misty morning’, making it difficult for journalists to actually see their screens and file their stories.
The influence of the evil drug is also to be observed in the often unorthodox behaviour of the paper’s journalists. One of the showbiz staff, sent on a high-profile assignment to interview Janet Jackson, returned with a tape which editors regarded as unusable, given that it consisted of the said journalist talking incessantly about himself and his car for over an hour, pausing only to ask Ms. Jackson if she ‘fancied a toot’. The use of cocaine is also said to have strongly influenced the paper’s coverage of the current Rugby World Cup.
Investigations into the source of all this ‘charlie’, as the highly dangerous drug is known amongst dealers and addicts, tend to point the finger in the direction of one individual: Paul Cheston – author, coincidentally, of the daring, acclaimed, hard-hitting, ground-breaking, Pulitzer Prize-nominated exposé of the suspected Brazilian terrorist Jean-Charles de Menezes’s own alleged drug use. Mr Cheston is said to ‘knock out so much of the stuff so he sometimes forgets to pick up his paycheck at the end of the month’. From his ideally-placed Docklands apartment he is reported to oversee the delivery of three barges a month shipped directly from Colombia, an amount which is still believed to be barely enough to satisfy the cocaine mania of the E.S. newsroom.
At the time of writing the editor of the Evening Standard, a man who has been widely praised for his couragousness and integrity for giving front-page prominence to the Jean-Charles de Menezes cocaine story, was unavailable for comment. He was said to be in a meeting with a ‘very important secret source’, and could not be disturbed. The identity of this source remains a mystery, but it is rumoured to be a somewhat infamous underworld figure, widely believed to have been killed by police in a gun battle in Medellin in 1993, although for substantially different reasons than those that led to the death of Mr. Menezes.