The Five (5) People You Run Into at The Smokeshop:
5. The Stoner: The stoner is there for one reason and one reason only. To buy a pipe for his …tobacco. The stoner is an expert on pipes. You know, the big, penis-shaped ones labeled “water pipe” under the glass? Bongs. That’s right, he’s an expert on bongs. He’ll tell you the fundamental differences between an Illadelph (superb) and a RooR (also fine quality.) He also has the advanced physics diagram in his head to back up the jibberish he’s spitting at you. I was tempted to list him under the same category as “The Regular”, because chances are, the cops are smashing his bong during routine traffic stops on a monthly basis, so he’s always up in the shop.
4. The Regular: Addicted to cigarettes for much of her adult life (and a large portion of her childhood), the regular comes in every two days to re-up on cartons. I’ve seen regulars haggle over cents on the dollar for their fuckin carton of Marlboro Lights (which, coincidentally, are NOT less addictive than regular cigarettes – thank you, U.S. Government!) Anyway, you want to know the profit margin on a carton? It’s $1.00. Yeah, one fucking dollar. Or so the owner says. No wonder these places are always going out of business.
3. The Tweaker: Alas, that’s where the tweaker comes into play. Chances are, he just robbed a bank in the local area, and he’s jonesing for some smokes to calm his nerves (also ironic because nicotine is a stimulant.) The tweaker can be identified by the scabs on his face, and the relentless Michael J. Fox-esque shaking. The tweaker is also known to jabber on endlessly about bull crap that I don’t care about, and enjoys ending sentences with “God Bless.” Yeah, buddy – God bless this neighborhood when you choke on your glass and die.
2. The First-Timer: Likely an 18 year old kid (or a 14 year old kid with a fake ID), the first-timer is terrified (yet, strangely aroused) at the prospect of buying his first pack of Camel Crush’s. You can usually pick this dude out (because of his lack of facial hair), but mostly because he finds himself awestruck at the bongs (“Whoa dude, they sell bubs here!??”), as well as the extensive array of flavored cigarettes that he will inevitably pair with his Raspberry Bacardi this evening.
1. The Owner: Usually Persian. Sometimes Asian. Always on guard. Smoke shop owners are a paranoid bunch. It seems like every time I’ve ever asked to look at a zippo, they cautiously approach the underside of the counter (as if to reach for their Mossberg) like I’m going to rob the fucking place. I mean, really guy? You think I want the $37 in your register and a carton of menthols? Get the fuck outta here and let me see that zippo! Also, the owner is usually oddly-dressed and smells of strange curries (or cabbage, depending on the location in Asia that he’s from …Persia is considered Asia, right?) The owner is also jealous of his Indian (see: Punjabi) rival Ahmed, who procured a liquor license from the city government, and owns the local “FOOD MART” (see: Liquor/Porn Store.) That basterd guy.