Coke And The City  –  Nov 2009

A recent article in the FT stated that ‘cocaine use remains rife among City workers in spite of rising unemployment and lower wages.’ Well, an experience I had last week suggested they might be on to something though it appears the quality of what Cityboys are ingesting ain’t what it used to be ….

“This recession has been ruining my buzz” declared my wide-eyed former client whilst he vainly tried to gulp down his soft-shell crab over a boozy lunch in Soho. Seeing as he was gurning so badly I thought he was trying to audition for ‘My Left Foot’ this seemed a preposterous claim. However, his subsequent explanation of his drug-related woes not only justified his statement it made me realise that our current economic hardship is having a negative impact on the less salubrious elements of our decadent society.

According to my befuddled pal the quality of his favourite nose candy had been on a steady decline over the last year directly as a result of sterling’s devaluation against the Euro. ‘John’ claimed that the average wrap of Charlie in London was now only about 9% pure because smugglers no longer had a financial incentive to export the devil’s dandruff into our fair isle (and not because of the determined efforts of the Metropolitan Police as they have boasted.) Apparently, it used to be worth taking the extra risk to import toot into Blighty because strong sterling meant that the £50/gramme average price dealers charged here was almost one and half times the €50/gramme price charged in places like Spain. Recently, however, because the pound and the Euro have began trading close to parity there has been no such incentive. Hence drug-taking Londoners have been snorting more crushed aspirin and vim than ever before which, whilst disappointing for those seeking a buzz, should mean that fewer innocent bystanders are subjected to an endless stream of egotistical drivel from self-obsessed sniffling buffoons whilst having the added benefit of ensuring cleaner nostrils and fewer headaches amongst the drug-taking populace.

‘John’ also explained that the cost of procuring a prostitute in Eastern Europe had declined by 50% over the last year or so (though this happily-married gentleman neglected to inform me how he knew this) and that the price of a Slavic ‘lady of easy virtue’ was a precise barometer for Europe’s economic well-being. Finally, he declared that the popularity or otherwise of London’s strip joints was a flawless indicator of how well the City is faring. He argued that Cityboys tend to be rich, sexually-frustrated, young men and hence are the biggest attendees of the capital’s numerous strip joints. He claimed that if a bunch of sweaty Cityboys feel financially confident enough to tuck twenties into strippers’ G strings then things can’t be too bad in the Square Mile.

It seems that no-one can escape the hardships of this recession. Although few may shed many tears about the plight of drug takers or prostitutes what’s clear is that their fortunes reflect the wider economic situation. The good news is that “John” was buzzing like a fridge come 4pm and planning to head off to Stringfellows with some degenerate colleagues … so maybe things aren’t looking so bad for the economy!

Thoughts ?

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