Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Waving The Red Cape

A friend of mine, Rich, has been jonesing for a fat bag for a few weeks now. A guy visited his work for a two week project setting up some sort of server modules for a Starbucks project, and learned that Rich is a stoner. That ended a few weeks ago, but out of the blue the guy called today.

I talked to Rich today, who told me that he might be getting a pound tonight. I pried from him the following information: 1) the guy mentioned in the past that he's friends with cops and ATF agents 2) Rich barely knows him 3) he said there were five pounds so his guy would sell each one cheaply to move them fast and 4) the guy offered to have it delivered tonight, on the same day he made the offer to sell. Rich was very happy, even though the quality would be poor.

I spoiled his day and saved his ass. I related a story to him that my neighbors had shared with me a few months earlier. A guy they knew, who was a medium level dealer, had been raided. Agents in ATF hats, kevlar vests, combat boots, and cold eyes had busted his door open, guns drawn. They cuffed him to a chair and took his money, his drugs, and his dignity. I can imagine the sounds in my head. "Where's the shit, asshole? Talk or I'll blow your fucking head off!" Typical police threatening, including the awkward and unimaginative swearing. They told him to stay put when they vacated, telling him that if he attempted to leave the agents outside would shoot. They'd be back to finish the arrest shortly. He stayed put, cuffed, until his girlfriend had come home to the mess.

I don't know if he was calm enough to think about it, but police do not leave suspects unattended. Even supposing that he had known, what could he do? The guys had guns. He was ripped off, either by imposters or off-duty agents making some hay on the side. This happened nearby, not in some faraway never-neverland. Recently, too, about a year ago.

After telling this to Rich, I began to hypothesize. Why would this guy sell a pound to someone he barely knew? I connected this with the recent rash of arrests. Most dealers are very suspicious and cautious, and they don't like to sell to people they've never met, or barely know. What if the guy was trying to take Rich's money? What could Rich do, call the cops? What if the guy's ATF buddies are setting up an easy bust? What if they're using evidence they never booked to pull in some spare cash on the side, like what may have happened in the above incident? A dealer is suspicious of customers, but if somebody offers to sell, and it's a good deal, I personally think he's more likely to drop his guard and go for it. Drooling over the big take. The classic donkey and stick manuever, with a slight variation. Instead of dangling the carrot so the donkey follows it, the carrot is bait on a fishhook.

I told Rich to think very hard about it, and please don't be the donkey. Don't be an ass. A fool and his money are soon parted. If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't.
6:00 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


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