LONDON—Adding to the already long list of grievances they had with their guest, officials at the Ecuadorian embassy reported Thursday that they were beginning to get really sick of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange always leaving his dirty dishes around the premises.
Sources said that Assange, whose presence has reportedly grown more and more disruptive since his arrival in 2012, has a habit of abandoning sauce-covered plates in random consular offices throughout the building. In addition, officials complained that Assange often blasts loud techno music during important calls with Quito, makes awkward conversation with visitors applying for visas, and loafs around conference rooms in his ratty, stained briefs while diplomats attempt to conduct meetings.
“Pretty much every day, I come into the kitchen and he’s burned a bunch of eggs on the pan, which he then just leaves on the stove,” said Ecuadorian ambassador Juan Falconí Puig, adding that while Assange typically lets weeks’ worth of bowls filled with milk residue and cereal-encrusted spoons pile up in the sink, they have also been discovered on windowsills, in the hallway outside his door, and, on one occasion, on top of a toilet tank. “He also leaves his takeout containers lying around everywhere, including the reception area, so people just get smacked by the odor of curry the minute they walk in.”
“And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pull clumps of stringy white hair out of the shower,” added Puig. “It’s, like, come on Julian. Other people use that shower too.”
Puig told reporters that staff members have confronted the 45-year-old multiple times about his behavior, but with little success. On issues ranging from eating other people’s food to leaving dirty socks strewn on the embassy’s main staircase to never in almost five years replacing the toilet paper, Puig said that Assange usually makes a big show of improving for a few days but then goes right back to his old habits.
Sources confirmed that frustrated Ecuadorian officials have resorted to leaving harshly worded notes for Assange, but—as was the case with messages insisting Assange not to use the microwave to cook fish and not to drape wet towels on the backs of antique leather armchairs—the strategy has had no apparent effect.
“Yesterday I was having a meeting with the Scottish Secretary of State, and Julian wanders into the conference room, props his bare feet up on the table, and just starts cutting his toenails,” said Puig, noting that he had to stop himself from gagging when a small yellowed clipping nearly hit the rim of his water glass. “Fine, we’re all sharing the same space, but at least put on a shirt if you’re going to walk right through a negotiation session with the leaders of our host nation, you know?”
“Maybe then we wouldn’t mind as much when he opens a brand new jar of peanut butter and then immediately loses the lid,” continued Puig.
According to Puig, staff members have gently tried hinting that Assange should find a new place to live by pointing out how many other nice embassies there are around town, recently going so far as to slip in a link to the Belgian embassy at the bottom of an internal email about promoting Galapagos tourism. But officials told reporters that Assange may in fact be growing even more comfortable in his current surroundings, judging by the purchase of a large bookcase he was heard hammering together during a banquet for dignitaries from five other South American nations.
“It would be one thing if it was just him, but he’s got these weird friends who come around at all hours,” said Puig, referring to the nameless group of associates who typically show up after midnight, remain silent even when greeted, and always keep their faces covered with black bandanas. “It’s ridiculous—for some reason they insist on just hanging out here.”
“Not to mention how slow the internet gets when they’re using it,” added Puig. “God knows what they’re all doing up there.”