Sure, we joke a lot about addiction here at Gawker, but we're well aware that it can be a serious - and dangerous - problem. Recently, a member of the staff had a substance issue, which co-workers were so concerned that, under the pretense of having a company get-together, we lured the editor with the disease (because that's what it is, a disease) into the office to discuss it. Here's what happened.
[BALK, DOREE, EMILY, JOSH, and an UNFAMILIAR MAN are seated on the couches at the Gawker office. CHOIRE enters, carrying a baking pan.]
CHOIRE: I'm here! And I brought my special zucchini-banana muffins, just baked! Is everybody ready to - [CHOIRE suddenly notices UNFAMILIAR MAN.] Hey, is this the new Lockhart?
UNFAMILIAR MAN: Choire, my name is Robert. I'm an interventionist. I want you to know that everyone here today is here because they love you, and they want you to get help. Are you ready to get help? Because everyone has something they want to tell you.
CHOIRE: [Backing away slightly] But... but... what's the problem? I don't understand? Things are going so well!
UNFAMILIAR MAN: Who wants to go first? Choire, why don't you take a seat. You're very special to these people, and they need to talk to you.
CHOIRE: [Realizing that if he's being intervened with, at least he won't have to edit for a little while.] Okay! [Sits, unwraps muffin, starts to chew noisily.]
[BALK stands up.]
BALK: Choire, man, what can I say? You're my managing editor. I love you. You've done great things to the site since you've come onboard. We're all really pleased. But this problem you have... I mean, we've all talked about it, and we thought you had it under control, but it's just gotten worse. I can't stand to see you doing this to yourself. It's killing you. Why can't you see? [BALK bursts into tears, runs out to Crosby Street to smoke.]
UNFAMILIAR MAN: You see that? You made a grown man, someone who loves you, cry like a little girl. You happy about that?
CHOIRE: He cries all the time! You suggest one little edit and it's "Boo hoo hoo, I quit!" I'd be more concerned if he weren't crying! But I still don't understand what the problem is!
EMILY: [Stands, walks over to CHOIRE, delivers sharp slap to the face] Did that hurt?
CHOIRE: [Rubbing face] Uh, yeah! What the fuck?!?
EMILY: Well, that's how you make each and every one of us feel every day watching you do this to yourself. And you're not just doing it to yourself. You're doing it to all of us. God, I am so angry with you right now. Focus, Em. Find center. [EMILY drops into meditative position, hums mantra.]
DOREE: Choire, do you really not know why we're here?
CHOIRE: No! And I wish someone would tell me!
DOREE: It's the exclamation marks, Choire. You're addicted to them. You've gone crazy. You can't edit a post without inserting at least three per paragraph. It's not healthy, it's not necessary, and it's bad punctuation. And we're worried that you can't stop.
UNFAMILIAR MAN: See what you're doing there?
CHOIRE: No! I mean, yes! I mean... Stein, do you feel the same way?
JOSH: I do. I'm sorry. I just want you to get better. Also, can I have one of those muffins?
CHOIRE: Sure! [Realizes] Oh. I mean, sure! Oh my God, I can't stop!
UNFAMILIAR MAN: Choire, if you're prepared, we can have you on a plane tonight that will bring you to Full Stops, Malibu. It's a full-time, twenty-four hour punctuation rehabilitation facility that works on a strict Strunk and White method. If you're ready to commit to the program, we can have you de-emphasized by July 1.
CHOIRE: I—I don't—Okay, yes! Yes! Do you know what it's like, living like this! I can't even ask a proper question! I need help! Let's go now!
UNFAMILIAR MAN: Say it with me. "Let's go now."
CHOIRE: [Gritting teeth, showing effort.] Lets. GO. NOW.
UNFAMILIAR MAN: I knew you had it in you.
[UNFAMILIAR MAN takes CHOIRE by the hand and leads him to the waiting limo outside. BALK re-enters, EMILY disengages from meditation.]
EMILY: That went well, I think.
BALK: Totally. Now I'm finally going to get to use the word "twat" in a post! Let's go, kids! It's our time!
And that's how it happened. Except it was actually about alcohol, and it was actually for BALK. The crying stuff is all true, though.