We Toon Lampoon journalists endure a lot during our quest to find the truth and bring it to you, our beloved readers. We consort with the lowest of the low as well as with world leaders (the two are more often than not the same) to bring you up-to-date news and valuable insights into society. The real test of endurance for us, however, is not by doing our job (which we pride on doing mediocrely); it is to survive the Toon Lampoon Office.
Do not be fooled by its innocuous name, for it instils fear in everyone that has had the misfortune to pass through its doors. Few leave with their sanity intact (although few people had any sanity when they first entered). Hearts have been broken, plates have been smashed, the odd intern has been sent flying through the window; it has all happened here. I am here to recount a few of those grizzly tales to you (anonymously of course, or else the editors would feed me to the carnivorous geese in the basement) as part of a regular column here at the Toon Lampoon.
This column is for anyone with an interest in the behind-the-scenes of your least favourite journalists or for those armchair detectives looking for an easy case to solve (such as the Search for the Secret Rah, which will be the first story told as part of this column). Intrigued? Then come closer my dear readers, and I shall set the scene by describing the office to you.
I shan’t disclose the location of TTL’s office, in case any agitated readers want to pelt it with toilet paper or eggs (we seem to have that effect on people). All I will say is that it down the deepest, darkest alley that can be found in all of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (and no, we don’t mean the Victoria Tunnels).
The office is mostly bare, except for a few rickety tables that were stolen from Northumbria University on a night out (it seemed like a good idea at the time). Editors have a table each, with the rest of the tables having been allocated to the best writers; this was a trap as these writers were subsequently chained to their desk and now cannot leave. Have you lost a friend on a night out and wonder where they are now? Chances are we have them chained up.
Décor like personal photos is frowned upon in the office as we don’t want the editors to know the writers who aren’t chained up have a life outside the Toon Lampoon; they still believe us when we say it takes 20 hours to read three Wikipedia pages and write 400 words. The only non-essential items we have in the office are the heater (which is barely on to taunt us) and the water cooler (to give the impression the editors care about our needs – they do not).
Now I have set the scene, it is time to discuss our lead characters. I shall only discuss the interns who tried and failed to fit in here at The Toon Lampoon, the names of which I shall change so they don’t remember the trauma they endured here if they somehow find this article (amnesia is surprisingly common amongst those who leave – the editors really don’t want to be reported to HR). I shall also refer to the editors themselves by pseudonyms as they don’t want it to be public knowledge they help to run the most morally dubious newspaper the North of England has to offer (a badge we cretins wear with pride).
The scene has been set, the actors are waiting in the wings: all that remains is for the audience to arrive. Tune into the next article for revelations, anger and Pret a Manger wrappers in The Search for the Secret Rah!
Featured image: Odissey1976 via Wikimedia Commons