Am I hallucinating? This is a dream job

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The Independent Online
Last week the Government finally made clear what they were looking for in a drugs Czar - an "exceptional" individual with strong powers of influence and the ability to communicate with people.

To be honest I haven't seen a job which would suit me more since I replied to the newspaper advertisement looking for MI5 agents (They turned me down unfortunately - I told them my real age and they agreed with Oscar Wilde that a woman who would tell you that could never be trusted).

Loads of people were put off because they thought William Burroughs would inevitably get it but then I was attracted to the perks of the job - direct access to the Prime Minister, organising drugs policy and a salary to be negotiated dependent on your qualifications (reading between the lines, it's presumably how much your habit costs you per week). And, of course, on the status front a drugs Czar is always going to be one step up from a drugs baron, isn't she?

But which qualities would persuade the Government to let me become the drugs Czarina? My ability to recite Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds faultlessly? My Janis Joplin hairstyle? My little shrine to Jimi Hendrix? In the end I couldn't fit all my CV on the king-sized Rizla but I sent it off anyway and hoped for the best.

It seemed the competition was going to be pretty tough.Waiting for my interview, I ended up squashed between Will Self and Sherlock Holmes, which wasn't pleasant but the only other free seat was next to Pablo Escobar and not even Timothy Leary really fancied that.

A harrassed-looking woman put her head round the door. "Sorry we're running slightly late - I don't quite know where the time's gone. Does anyone have a problem?"

I put up my hand. "Yes. Would Sir Walter Raleigh please put out that filthy pipe? Some of us can hardly breathe in here," I said.

"I don't quite see what the point of discovering tobacco is if you can't smoke it in peace. Honestly the politically correct lobby are everywhere these days," grumbled Raleigh, withdrawing to a corner to try to speak to an incoherent Hunter S Thompson. Then Noel and Liam Gallagher started fighting again and Keith Richards had to break it up. Someone began singing Ebeneezer Goode out loud but stopped abruptly when Pablo remarked it gave him a headache.

"So what qualities do you think you could bring to the job?" I asked, turning to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was ostentatiously flicking through his own collected works.

"Extensive knowledge of the drugs field," he said loftily. "And I would fall into the category of being both heavyweight and high profile."

"Well if you ask me, it would be better if the man from Porlock had disturbed you 10 minutes earlier and we hadn't had to listen any of that boring Kubla Khan rubbish at all," said Thomas De Quincey rather nastily. "What on earth were you on the day you carried on droning about that blasted albatross?"

Coleridge stuck his tongue out and retired in a huff, not even allowing Bob Marley to calm him down with a quick spliff.

"If anyone knows how to solve a complex problem with a co-ordinated approach, it would be one of the most famous detectives of all time," butted in Sherlock Holmes, who then sneezed all over me for the fifth time. I silently passed him a hanky.

"I think I just like this idea of reporting directly to the Prime Minister, " I said. "It gives one a real feeling of power." Will Self turned pale at those words and bolted off to the loo yet again. Poor boy, he must have been really nervous.

The door opened and a downcast Bill Clinton walked out. "I'm sorry Mr President," said the harrassed woman. "But we did specify that we are looking for people who have direct experience of the drugs field."

She called me in. "And what attracts you to the role of drugs Czarina?" said one of the board.

"Well," I replied. "I think I'd begin by focusing more on the Czarina side. I presume you are looking for someone with the ability to think they're divine, to live in luxury while thousands of peasants starve around them, and to have no idea that an October revolution is about to take place. Oh, and I've got a real thing about monks - ".

"Well, we're really more interested in how you'd stop people taking drugs," interrupted another.

"You want me to stop people taking drugs?" I repeated stupefied. "But why call it a `drugs Czar'?" Then light dawned. "I get it. You want lots of ineffectual statements which no one takes any notice of and I'll carry the can at the end of the day. Just don't call me Anastasia, OK?"

Miles Kington is on holiday.

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