And Now, A Modern Drug Deal Gone Wrong

And Now, A Modern Drug Deal Gone Wrong

Illustration: Jim Cooke (G/O Media)

Today, we’re talking about drugs, buffets, shitty NFL stock music, and more.

Your letters:


Best weed smoking method: who ya got? Bowl, bong, blunt, joint, chillum, bubbler, apple, vape, boofing, etc?

I do not know what a chillum is. Actually, I do not know what boofing is, either. Hang on, lemme do my homework here…

(big ol’ hit off the chillum)

Oh, so it’s a bat. Easy enough. I’m still not fully qualified to answer your question because, and this is true, I’ve never taken a hit off a bong. I didn’t really start smoking weed until AFTER college, for reasons that I can’t explain. As such, I went directly to preferring methods of smoking dope that are 5 percent more discreet than having a giant Gandalf-shaped bong sitting on a coffee table, mainly by using a bowl or rolling up a joint. I suck at rolling joints. It’s disgraceful. I double-roll them, like I’m taking out a trash bag that’s leaking raw chicken juice. My joints are lumpy and misshapen, like a penis that’s been in a car accident. They do the job, but they aren’t models of efficiency. In my dreams, I can roll a cigarette Vincent Vega–style: so slim and elegant that other people covet being seen holding one. Instead, I roll a joint that already looks like it got stubbed out. I am a 43-year-old amateur.

I used to be all fussy about making sure I only smoked weed in flower form, mostly because I hated edibles, both because they’re a different high, and because I hated WAITING for them to take effect. Modern edibles are better about this, which is good because I want to be high NOW, not in 40 minutes. I once even bought a vape pen designed for smoking flowers. It cost like $80 and I had to clean 17 different parts of it every goddamn week. And if I packed it wrong, nothing would blaze up. This is a problem for working parents like me who need to get high QUICKLY. I can’t sit around all night sucking on a dud of a vape pen like I’m trying to get the venom out of snakebite victim.

That’s when I gave up and went to vape cartridges. I’m never going back. The pen cost $15. When I bought my first cartridge, the dude told me it would last me two weeks. That was MONTHS ago. The rest of you are apparently smoking dope with Rick Ross levels of tolerance. Again, I am operating at the Oblivious Dad entry level, so these carts last me a full comet cycle. Anyway, the carts are quick and clean and effective and I’m never going back.

HOWEVER, I’m gonna tell you a story about one cartridge that backfired on me. This was a modern drug deal gone wrong. It was a legal exchange. I texted my order while waiting at the doctor’s office. Then, because D.C. delivery services give you a window of time as wide as the cable guy coming to fix your DVR, I had to wait around and eat lunch at a Safeway while my guy made his way toward me. He texted and said he was sorry for the wait but he got trapped behind a school bus. I said it was okay. It was obscenely civilized. I ducked into a nearby Trader Joe’s to burn more of the clock. I may or may not have bought a box of blondie mix. Please note that I am completely aware of how outrageous it is that people still get sent to jail for any of this shit. I don’t get to feel inconvenienced over any of the retail follies I’m about to tell you about.

Finally, my guy showed up and I hopped into his car. He told me he didn’t have the exact cartridge I was looking for, given the vape panic consuming America at the moment. I understood, even though I was surprised. You mean, the menu is not the menu? He brandished a few other options for me to consider.

ME: Are any of these made with Vitamin E? (That’s the ingredient that may have been responsible for vape-related lung infections)

HIM: No way, man. I went to the place where these dudes make it. No artificial shit of any kind.

ME: Okie dokie.

I bought two carts of Alaskan Thunder Fuck (per his rec) and one of Mango Kush. I took everything home, giddy to be stocked up on weed until 2025, given my modest appetites. I screwed the Mango Kush cart into the pen, but the battery didn’t light up. All the other carts worked, so I did some troubleshooting by consulting YouTube. Turns out this isn’t exactly an uncommon problem. None of the DIY fixes I researched worked for my poor little mango. I tried gently pulling the wick out with a pair of pliers so it would fully magnetize with the pen, but even that failed.

So I went to a vape shop. The guy behind the counter said he couldn’t fix it… BUT he could sell me an empty cartridge and a repair kit—total cost of $19—for me to salvage the oil.

ME: Can YOU do the salvaging for me if I buy this?

HIM: I’m not allowed.

ME: Shit.

I really didn’t want to text the delivery service back and ask for an exchange. It’s not like they gave me a receipt. Instead, I got the kit, took it home, and laid everything out on the counter. You need to use a little syringe to draw the oil out of one cartridge and squirt it into the other. I thought this would be easy. Reader, it was not. The needle was too fat to dig down into the old cartridge, and the oil itself was so sticky—the stickiest of the icky—that it was highly resistant to the syringe’s great sucking power.

I had to grab a sewing needle to work the precious oil out, and then I was trying to get the oil OFF the needle and put it somewhere where it could be salvaged. Like any irritating home project, this required me having to hold like six different things in place at once. I really needed a vise. At one point I grabbed a pair of snub-nosed pliers to hold my mango cartridge in place. But I squeezed too hard and the motherfucker SHATTERED, sending bits of weed-infused glass all over the counter. Instead of a drug dealer breaking my kneecaps, now my own wife was gonna do it. I was crestfallen.

After all that, I managed to save probably $5 worth of shit. The substitute cartridge worked. I got high. Then I watched Thursday Night Football.

Anyway, I still say vaping is the best tool for the job. I used to snicker at all the vapers, but now I’m one of them, gripping my shit between my fingers like I’m some flapper smoking from a cigarette holder. Whatever. It works. Everything else is too much of a goddamn production. Unless the cartridge breaks.


Where does the “stock-rock” that accompanies in-game NFL highlights come from? It’s the worst music on the planet, right?

From stock collections. Duh. I used to have to comb through these back when I wrote radio ads and shit. There are zillions of them. Once you listen to six of these tracks, they all blend together and start to sound like the Barney jingle. But they’re cheaper than paying for actual music that’s been produced by actual artists you’ve heard of. That’s why the bumper music for any random CBS Sunday afternoon game will feature a stock track that SOUNDS like Twenty One Pilots but is not. These networks have a football game to air. They can’t spend half their time digging through crate of CDs with titles like Winning Spirit. This is why I appreciate it when they splurge on real music and queue up some Replacements for the occasional outro.


What’s the best all you can eat food? I’ve got wings. Hooters’ AYCE wings on Mondays for like sixteen bucks is killer if you can stand watching games above the heads of divorcees and MMA fans, but bottomless wings are awesome anywhere. No buffets. Has to be one item.

I was gonna say sushi because of the $18 all-you-can-eat deal at Yuka in Manhattan, which was my favorite thing in the world. I’ve told the story before, but fuck it. The sushi there was AYCE, but you had to finish everything you ordered, or else they would charge you extra for all your dead soldiers. One night, I ate the fish off the rice at the end of the meal, because I was wearing down. The waitress wasn’t having it. I had to eat it all. So I stuffed all the rice cakes into a napkin and flushed them down the bathroom toilet. Then I barfed. The perfect crime.

Anyway, that still doesn’t count, because you specified one item and sushi comes in endless shapes and forms. With that in mind, my answer is bacon. I’ve been through enough Courtyard Inn breakfast buffet lines to know this is true. Even shitty bacon is good bacon, and no one judges you for stocking up on it because they’re gunning for the bacon as well. The tray is OVERFLOWING when they bring it out because they know that every water heater salesman and visiting TCU fan in the lobby wants the bacon. I’m right there with them. The last bite is as good as the first. In general, breakfast buffets are the GOAT buffets, and bacon is their eternal centerpiece. A few other AYCE candidates:

  • 1986 Pizza Hut lunch buffet
  • Fried chicken
  • Peruvian chicken
  • Raw oysters
  • Eggs (Real eggs though; not the shit made from a powder)
  • Dumplings
  • Barbecue
  • Brazilian steakhouse (I’ve never been to one; between this and the bong hit I’ve barely lived at all)
  • Pretty much any Indian curry

Six years ago, I went on the Kid Rock cruise for GQ. This was right as Kid was mastering the art of pandering to eventual Trump voters with his style of preprogrammed hillbilly rock. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that they have AYCE buffets. You also know these buffets are a curse because they offer you all the food in the world, but all of it is shitty.

This was true on my cruise, but there were two notable exceptions. The first was the bacon, because bacon is foolproof. The second was the Filipino food. Most of the crew on the ship was Filipino, so they’d put out big hotel pans of assorted curries, each of them made with far more care and love than anything else at the spread. None of the piss-drunk Michiganders touched any of this food, if they even noticed it. I, being a CULTURED FOODIE, took full advantage. I know how much booze that kinda food can soak up. It was delicious. I shat my brains out on that ship. It was worth it. So if you ever take a cruise, try out the crew’s native shit before the Legionnaire’s Disease kicks in.


What’s the proper etiquette for peeing in a men’s bathroom stall: close the door or not? I say if it’s a crowded situation with a line like a sporting event or bar, then leave it open. All others, close it. What say you?

Close it. Always close and lock it. If you leave it open, some drunken shitheel will fail to notice your feet on the floor and come barging in on you. This is ESPECIALLY true at crowded events. I have been lazy and left the stall ajar while doing my business, and I always end up paying for it. Not only do other dudes come into the stall, but they come in AGGRESSIVELY. Never even occurs to them that I’m in there, trying to cope with hideous stagefright. I feel assaulted.

The etiquette is beside the point. This is strictly for your sake. If you wanna urinate in peace, close that door.



Do you think Trump has ever been punched directly in the face? Like close-fist, full force face smash. This is my dream.

I think he has, but I think his old man did it. There are already stories out there about Trump smacking his own kids, so it stands to reason that he was a chip off the old block in that regard. Trump’s father, Fred Christ Trump (actual name), was a fucking bastard. Donald once bragged he was the only person to stand up to Fred, but that’s a fairly obvious lie. Trump only stands up to delivery people he doesn’t want to pay.

So while I, like you, clap my hands like a seal at the prospect of Trump getting his comeuppance in the form of a relentless beatdown, there’s the sad possibility that he was already on the receiving end of such a beatdown, and that that’s partially responsible for him becoming the venal scumbag he is today. Sorry this took such a dark turn. Let’s just settle for seeing someone take a shit on his face.


Is this the worst time ever for television commercials? It’s hard to imagine shittier commercials than the AT&T announcer, any insurance ad, or those Capital One commercials, but I’m sure the advertising world has something even worse around the corner.

No. You are not living in the dark ages of advertising. First of all, they invented the DVR. If you can afford such a luxury, ads mean nothing to you. Secondly, old ads were fucking horrible. I know they play as amusing kitsch if you watch them on YouTube now, but trust me: They weren’t any fun to sit through when you were eight years old and waiting for Voltron to come back on Channel 48, the local UHF station. Compared to old Diet Rite ads, the Old Spice spots littering your weekly NFL slate today are high art.

Besides, advertising has taken on so many other, far more nefarious forms now. The worst of modern advertising involves your local podcast host interrupting Ben Kingsley to do a live read for eHamper, or Facebook selling your porn-browsing habits to white supremacists so that they can send direct mail pieces straight to your office cubicle. A regular, 30-second TV ad is a fucking respite by comparison. You get the Bud Light king showing up to the wrong kegger for some reason, and then it’s over. Then you’re back to the booth review. TRUE JOY.

And honestly, some of the ads are entertaining. Those Old Spice spots are good, and they’ve inspired other purveyors of male hygiene products to get weird. They’ll do anything to get you to pause the DVR, or at least see an image blip by that registers in your brain. Oh, and movie trailers are better now, too. It’s not all bad!

[election season ads coming next year]

Okay it’s MOSTLY bad.


I travel a lot and often stay at hotels with buffets. Why do humans always look at each others’ plates when coming/going from buffet lines? This has to be some primal shit. As in which monkey is getting the bigger piece of the hunt?

It actually IS partly that. I’m always rubbernecking at the buffet because I want to see if I missed anything important on my trip through the line (OMG they have potstickers!), and to see if savvier diners have portioned out their plates better than mine. I’m the guy who shoots his wad early and loads up at the front of the buffet before realizing I haven’t even gotten to the carving station. This is a buffet. It’s serious business to me. Everyone else at the buffet is my opponent and my goal is to defeat them by hogging all the Filipino chicken curry for myself.

This formally a column about buffets now. And weed. Speaking of which…


I recently had a kid, and before the baby was born I had some pot two or three times a week (mostly on weekends) to help me go to sleep. Now that the kid is here, it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve had anything at all, not even a beer, for fear that the Drugs would make me a Bad Parent. But must I now be a teetotaler for life? I don’t really care for alcohol, but I’d love to have a low-dose edible (can’t have the baby getting any secondhand smoke, of course) every now and then to help relax once again. When is it okay to go back to having a little weed or the occasional beer?

Right now. It’s fine. I actually kicked weed before my wife had our first child, too. I figured it was bad to have drugs around the house, because I am still a child of the 1980s (everyone laughs now, but that PSA really got me the first time I saw it; I was like holy shit the DAD does drugs!). But I still drank. A lot.

Drinking is almost mandatory with parenting. You’re now fully responsible for the life of another human being, and all that other human being does is shit and cry and rip out your chest hair if it gets within striking distance of it. It’ll make you a little tense. You’re gonna want something to take the edge off. I can’t necessarily vouch for weed in that instance. Hearing a baby cry is not exactly a stoner’s daydream. But have a glass of wine or a beer and, provided you’re not a blazing alkie, you’ll be able to shrug off some of the minor annoyances that build up when you gotta wash five Dr. Brown’s bottle every hour.

Does this set a bad example for the baby? Probably. It’s funny: I don’t vape in front of my kids but, back when I drank, I did that in front of them with zero compunction. And drinking is inarguably worse for you than smoking weed. I’m still trapped in those warped 1980s standards, and I doubt I’ll stray from them even though you’re under no such obligation. Hide your boozing and pass out edibles for Halloween, if you feel like it. GO NUTS.

I remember Bill Cosby did a One To Grow On PSA when I was a kid (which I can’t find on Youtube) where he implored parents to not ask their kids to bring them a beer, because doing so meant involving your kids in your alcohol. I took that to heart in later years, making sure I got my own beers. But I still drank a lot of it right in front of their innocent eyes. Meanwhile, Cosby turned out to be a rapist. You can indulge yourself to get by. Just don’t turn into a monster, that’s all. Set whatever example you think is acceptable. You’re the parent. You get to run shit.


While watching football on CBS this Sunday, I saw a commercial for Survivor, and realized I forgot how long that goddamn show has been on the air. It came out in 2000, and I remember running in cross-country preseason practice the day after the finale (THE SNAKE...AND THE RAT!). That got me thinking, how long have these fucking shows been on the air? The Bachelor has had 23 seasons, beginning in 2002. Big Brother has had 21 seasons since 2000. Amazing Race has had 31 seasons since 2001. Will these shows be on forever?

Probably. Survivor is like SNL in that it’s got a virtually indestructible format: one that producers can plug into any pop culture year and easily make work. And The Bachelor will also be around forever because it’s the only thing that sportswriters watch. The other two shows have been around so long that they’ve essentially become reliable television institutions. They’re like 60 Minutes, only with selfish people who have frosted tips.

But I’m giving these shows far too much credit for being, like, good. The bedrock reality shows will stick around forever mostly because they’re cheap, and because there’s never a shortage of potential cast members. That’s why reality TV got huge in the first place. You don’t need a writer’s room (although, given that these shows are scripted, networks oughtta be forced to cobble one together for every reality series). You don’t need to pay name-brand actors. You don’t need special effects. You don’t have to worry about how to tie up plotlines because every episode is the same. With Big Brother, you get to shoot in a single location the entire season and set up the house any way you need to for lighting and setups. The cast can’t even fucking leave!

I could bitch about these shows existing, but bitching about reality TV is as old as reality TV itself. Some of those shows are good, and a lot of the scripted shit they replaced were little more than comfortable day jobs for established actors. Reality TV is the end result of network executives maximizing cost efficiency per ratings point. It’s like those baseball teams that don’t bother trying because it costs money to try. But there are 569 other streaming services and cable networks that ARE trying, so you’re not exactly bereft of options. Meanwhile, the shows that make money will persist, and Survivor is a show that’s perfectly engineered to never lose any.


I enjoy Italian food, but it’s far-and-beyond my least favorite food to eat out. My take is that the difference between a really good Italian restaurant, a meh Italian restaurant, and whatever Italian I make at home isn’t as drastic as, say, really good Thai and meh Thai and whatever abomination “Thai” I try to produce in my kitchen. Am I off on this?

You’re off. Also, never use meh. Saying “meh” is like telling people you’re not really all that interested in being alive. Anyway, quality of food ranges drastically in any kind of cuisine. I’ve had shitty Italian food and I’ve had great Italian food, and it’s no small difference. This is especially true of pasta, because I never make pasta at home and I resent people who do it and brag that it’s easy. Fuck you, Pepe. I’d rather just go out to a place that makes it from scratch—better than I ever could—and bask in its glory. It’s not like hitting the pasta bar at some college dining hall. It’s ethereal. I wanna be draped in freshly made pappardelle.

That kind of variance exists across the culinary spectrum. But it’s not necessarily price that makes the difference. A lot of pizzas cost the same but they’re not created equal. You can find some hoity toity asshole out there who claims to be elevating the humble granola bar by selling it at a 500 percent markup, but that doesn’t make it any better. I think you’re confusing price for expected flavor, which is perfectly human. But that means one shitty, expensive meal at Il Duce or wherever can spoil your opinion of an entire cuisine’s diversity. Don’t do that. That’s how you become a Meh Guy.

Email of the week!


My wife and 17 year old son are heading off on a road trip to visit a few prospective schools. Lots of road food is needed of course so my wife buys cheese, meat, crackers, etc. My second wife is the type that makes her own vegetable broth, and she is making crackers for the trip. Wait, what? I’m 48 years old, I didn’t even know you could make crackers let alone why you’d want to. Have you ever made crackers? If not, as the only culinary influence in my life, I expect you to give it a go!

I have never made my own crackers. Unless you count my three kids HEY-OOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.