Pablo Escobar adorns first Drug War commemorative plate

Tucson, Ariz. — Reports issued from executives at the collectable memorabilia manufacturing company W.C. Bunting said Thursday that the image of the late Pablo Escobar, the most ambitious and ruthless drug lord in history, will grace the first of a series of collector’s plates commemorating the American Drug War.

«As the most recognizable name and face associated with the Drug War, Escobar was the obvious choice to adorn the debut plate of this powerful, must-have collection,» said Gary Albright, spokesperson for W.C Bunting, which in the past has issued commemorative plate series honoring figures from the Civil War and World War II. «No other figure in history encapsulates the efforts of the war on drugs quite like Pablo Escobar, who was estimated have earned at least twenty-five billion dollars per year during his glory years – back before he was shot behind the ear and killed, of course.»

Made from only the finest imported china, the series of collectables will feature six plates – one to be released every two months beginning with the Escobar plate on Jan. 1, 2006 – each sporting the image of a famous drug-affiliated figure and available for $39.95 plus shipping. With the Escobar plate already in production in New Zealand, Albright excitedly discussed his company’s plans for the five remaining plates.

«The March plate will feature the image and signature of George Jung, or ‘Boston George,’ as they called him,» said Albright. «Jung was the fellow portrayed by Johnny Depp in the major motion picture Blow. That Jung is still alive makes this plate very special, since we were able to obtain a recent signature for this plate’s production. What’s really exciting is that Jung is scheduled to be released from prison in 2015, so people will definitely want to get their hands on these plates and possibly plan on meeting him at the prison gate to get it signed when he is released. The value of a personally signed George Jung Drug War commemorative plate will no doubt be substantial.»

Albright said that although there was mild controversy among W.C. Bunting department heads regarding whether it should be Escobar or Jung appearing on the first plate, in the end it was clear that Escobar deserved the honor.

«Really, it shouldn’t have been any contest who was the most significant Drug War figure, considering that Escobar is credited with having ordered the killing of at least six hundred police officials before a specially designed task force finally took him down,» said Albright. «Sure, maybe Jung is more popular at the moment because of the film and all, but I believe it is Escobar’s contribution to the Drug War that will ultimately stand the test of time and be remembered as something special.»

Having unanimously decided to dedicate two of the four remaining plates to Columbian Cali Cartel founder Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, a.k.a. «The Chess Player,» and Rayful Edmond, the motivated youngster credited with introducing crack cocaine to Washington, D.C., in the 1980s, Albright and company ran into problems when attempting to bestow one of the final two plates to the dope-fueled comedy team of Cheech and Chong.

«Cheech and Chong firmly objected to appearing together on one of the last plates, as those two simply aren’t having anything to do with each other anymore,» said David G. Mears, a legal consultant to the W.C. Bunting company. «So rather than having both Cheech and Chong together on one plate and having one left over for Timothy Leary, we had to put Cheech on one plate and Chong on the last one. No disrespect to Mister Leary, who definitely deserves the honor, but mathematically we were kind of stuck. We couldn’t just put Cheech or Chong on one plate and leave the other out, you know? Really, in retrospect, we should probably have extended the series to a seventh plate, but the executives get real nervous when you start messing with the ‘limited’ part of a limited edition. As if anyone’s going to care.»

November 2005

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