Dope deals. Jesus, I’ve done a million of them. Well, maybe not a million but I can say without reservation or exaggeration that I’ve done a few thousand of them, more as the seller than the buyer as I’ll run down in a later post.
I hate hate doing dope deals. I don’t care if it was crank, coke, weed, something always goes wrong and the first thing to go wrong is that I have never seen a deal that couldn’t be done in 5 minutes take less than 2 hours. Every fucking time. I used to devote entire days to scoring. If it took less than that, cool, I had time to do other shit. More often than not, the entire day was shot.
It used to go like this (ring ring):
“Hey man, I need to get a couple pounds. You got that laying around by any chance?” Please please please…
“No, but I’m fixin’ to score right now. I’m just walking out the door now, back in about 20 minutes. I’ll call you, okay?”
Fuck. Now I’m hung up in somebody else’s dope deal delays. “Yeah, hold 2 for me and give me a call.”
Now in an ordinary situation, seeing as the guy lives 45 minutes away, you’d just climb in the truck and head that way and save some time, right? I said ordinary situation. For a dope deal, you waited because there ain’t nothing gonna happen for a couple of hours. He’s going to go to his guy’s house, smoke a joint, talk some shit, visit with the connection’s old lady and kids, then they’re going to get down to business. Then they’re going to smoke a joint, talk some shit… It’s gonna be 2 hours before your connection gets back to his house and because he’s burned a couple joints and has a few people to call, he’s going to forget you. Every time.
But I ain’t real stupid, ya know. As soon as I hang up the phone, I’m on the phone with another guy doing the same thing. And then another. If #1 comes through, I call 2 & 3 and cancel my reservations. They’ll sell it to some one else. Dope sells itself.
Then there was always the danger of something going to shit, be it a burn, a bust, whatever, and the danger of anything happened rose with the amount you were dealing with, although I’ve seen a motherfucker die over 50 bucks worth of junk weed.
Getting busted just wasn’t that big of a deal. It didn’t happen very often and when it did, witnesses always refused to testify anyways. Even if a witness’s testimony wasn’t needed and you were convicted, the penalties were so lax that you’d have to have been popped with some serious weight to get more than a couple years in the state pen.
Besides, we all figured it was just a matter of time before we got busted anyways. It wasn’t that big a deal, other than to boost your reputation. Hell, I was looked upon as being somewhat innocent because I was in my mid twenties and had never been to prison.
At the most, getting busted was an inconvenience. We knew it, the cops knew it, everybody knew it. And believe it or not, all the weapons that were carried were not in case we got busted, they were in case we got ripped off. We weren’t going to shoot a cop over something that probably wouldn’t even make it to court anyways. It wasn’t worth the heat. Hell, it wasn’t unusual to hear about somebody getting busted and among the charges were CCW. Not using it against the cop, just carrying it to keep from getting ripped off. Getting busted was the price of doing business.
Getting ripped off was the biggest threat and I can’t even begin to count the number of times motherfuckers tried it with me. Sometimes it was burning me on the deal by trying to sell me something other than what I thought I was buying and more than a few times it was flat out attempted robbery. Always gotta stay one step ahead of the fiends, man.
Drug addicts (not users, there’s a big difference) are the lowest form of life and I can base my opinion of several years of dealing with them on a daily basis. They will steal from their own mothers to feed their buzzes. Hell, they’ll make their kids go without food if it came down to that or dope. They don’t care who they steal from – it’s a way of life. They’ll steal their food stamps and Section 8 housing from the government, they’ll steal food from a supermarket when they get hungry, they’ll siphon gas from their neighbors to put in their own beater. They just don’t fucking care. They’ll steal something even if they have the money to buy it.
They damned sure don’t have any qualms against trying to rip their connection off. With small amounts though, it’s mostly a passive rip off like trying to pay in counterfeit bills or getting the shit fronted to them and then doing a runner. The funny thing is, they knew I knew where to find them – they’d deal with those consequences later, but first they had that almighty buzz to feed. Feel good now, hurt later.
It wasn’t until you have some quantity or there’s some decent money changing hands that there was much of a threat of violence. Motherfuckers will stab you in the heart for a pound of weed. The cure for that shit was to be vigilant, do your scouting, take somebody with you as back-up, pay attention to those little alarm bells and do the deal in a safe place. Oh yeah, it helps if you establish a reputation early on that you are not to be fucked with. Set some examples. Be ruthless. It seems like most rip-offs were just motherfuckers flexing their muscles to see what they could get away with anyways. Hospitalize one and the rest will cool their fucking heels for a while, I can guarantee you that.
And I don’t give a fuck about what you might have seen on ‘Breaking Bad’ or whatever else, I cannot ever recall doing a dope deal in a junkyard. Are you fucking kidding me? That’s the worst place to do a deal. First of all, the view is blocked by any back-up you might have outside. Not that they could get in anyways, the entrances are very easily and effectively blocked. Once you’re inside the yard itself, there’s a million places for his back-up to hide, doberman shit everywhere and chances are you don’t know how to get around that fucking maze junkyards always seem to be. And then there’s all that machinery to crush, mangle and pulverize your mortal remains if things take a hard left turn on you. And last but not least there’s the very real chance that you might get cut or something and have to take a tetanus shot.
Motel rooms sucked too because no matter who picked it, the other motherfucker would be suspicious. Why that one? Is it bugged? Is there a raiding party next door? Are his guys next door fixin’ to ripping me off? I don’t like looking over my shoulder when I’m doing business.
If the clerk picks one at random in front of the both of you, now that shit will be running through both of your minds except now the clerk has been added to the list of suspects. Even if everybody is on the up and up and the room is clean, if the law knows what’s happening they can get the room next door, drill a hole through the wall and insert a probe and capture A/V. Now while that’s a little far fetched and I never heard of it happening to anybody I knew, there was that possibility.
There were deals I’ve done in rented rooms and I’ve even done a few in rooms that were rented for me in advance by my hosts, but that was people I knew, loved and trusted with my life. But yeah, for the most part motel rooms were generally to be avoided.
So where did I do most of my deals? At the customer’s house. Yup. It’s the safest place in the world. Nobody wants their home to get fucked up during an arrest or raid and they damned sure don’t want to put their families and dogs at risk. I got no problems doing a multi-pound deal at your kitchen table with your wife looking on and your kids playing in the yard. I actually kind of enjoyed it when the buyer was new to this kind of thing. He’d be all nervous but trying to act like he did this shit everyday and his old lady would be rubbing all over him because she had herself a bad boy and it made her hotter than fuck. I’d go ahead and stroke his ego and play the game – I didn’t mind helping him get an extra slurpy blowjob after I left. Bros before hoes.
Everybody sucked up to their connection – I could tell you where my customer’s wives and husbands worked, where the kids went to school, when their birthdays were – hell, I bought ’em birthday presents. And I was Uncle Ken to more than a few of them. I’ve still got young adults coming up to me and asking “Uncle Ken, do you remember me?” I usually do, too.
But these kid’s folks for the most part were users, not addicts. They’d go to work every day, go to baseball games and dance recitals for their kids, PTA, all that shit but the difference was that instead of relaxing with a poison that pickled their livers, they’d smoke something natural or eat a brownie.
Anyways, I’d deliver. No connection in his right mind wants people coming to his house to score. Too much traffic draws too much attention. I mean, there’s a privileged few, but then it looks like friends visiting instead of a dope deal going down. Chances are anyway that if you were allowed at the house or even knew where he lived you already were a cherished friend of the family – you and your old lady and him and his old lady do things together, dinner over at each other’s house, that kind of friend. And yeah, you were ‘Uncle’ to his kids and you were allowed to give treats to the dogs.
The State of California allowed us to deal exchanges in the parking lot of bars when they outlawed smoking inside. What used to be suspicious looking now looks like two people sitting in a car smoking a cigarette. I knew one guy that went to the bar every day at noon and came home at midnight. He didn’t drink. But that’s where he sold his dope.
Another fantastic place and one of my favorites for transferring large quantities was believe it or not, a warehouse hardware store parking lot, someplace like Home Depot. It’s always close to freeway access, it’s always crowded for security, and people are always loading shit up. Nobody is paying attention to anybody. Arrange it to where one of you is coming out of the store with some boards or drywall, anything bulky, and the other party pulls up next to him. Both of them load the boards up, you load the dope up, he throws a bag o’ cash at you and you go away. A real bonus with the Home Depot back then was you had full time look-outs at no cost to you. Keep an eye on the wetbacks hanging around the parking lot looking for day labor and whenever they get nervous, you should too. Them motherfuckers had the best radar in the world when it came to cops.
But yeah, I’ve done more than a few dope deals. Most were boring, some were downright exciting but almost all of them were fucking tedious.
Soon to come: How You Too Can Sell Drugs (a primer)