Carl Bernstein went to work for The Star as a copy boy while he was still a student at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and when Watergate was a pleasant spot to enjoy concerts on the Potomac. Bright, eager and aggressive, he showed up every day during his first week in a three-piece suit, his hair plastered back and his shoes shined, his motor always running.
One duty of the copy boys and girls was to make up three-ply books or the reporters to write on, using three sheets of copy paper and two sheets of two-sided carbon paper. When reporters finished their stories, they threw the carbon paper into a basket and it was reused.
On Carl's first Saturday in the new job, the other copy boys were lounging about the desk on the slow morning and they were thinking of ways to jerk the chain of the new kid on the block. He had already been sent to the composing room that week for type lice and most of the other traditional pranks had been played on him.
Jim Lee, the acting head copy boy, suddenly announced that it was time for the weekly washing of the carbon paper and that the chore always fell to the newest member of the copy staff. How does one wash carbon paper, Carl asked. Merely take it into the men's room and wash it in a basin, he was told.
A few minutes later, executive editor Newbold Noyes roared into managing editor Herb Corn's office wanting to know who the idiot was washing carbon paper in the men's room.