So imagine this: you and your buddy walk into a whorehouse. The madame brings out the lineup, and you say to your friend, “Man, I can’t remember the last time I got some pussy!” when suddenly, the madame gets all shitty, tells you that you can’t say ‘pussy’ in the whorehouse, and now you have to leave. Now, if Jizz happened to be the madame, I might get it, as the word ‘pussy’ obviously bothers her. But with that exception, most people would probably use the words ‘ what the fuck?’ at least twenty times during the drive home. Sadly, that was only an analogy to a far more confusing truth.
I was at this head shop the other day (which shall remain nameless) with one of my buddies from out of town. The reason we call it a head shop is because you buy stuff there that ‘takes care of your head.’ This includes pipes, bongs, stash jars, pipe cleaning accessories, you name it. Most also carry t-shirts, incense, all kinds of cool stoner shit, and some even carry golf discs. It’s common assumption that anyone employed at a head shop has to be a stoner, too, and I’ve never found an exception. Anyway, I had been there a few weeks ago and bought a new slider and downstem for Old Blue, the bong featured in trippin’. If you’ve read the feeling a bit blue entry, you can infer that this thing is long overdue for a new bowl, and I figured it had earned it.
My friend and I proceeded to the massive pipes and bongs section in the back of the store, and I’m praising their awesome selection of pipes and parts. “Dude, you know that sweet ass blue skull bong I have? I got the bowl and all of that shit for it here, and…” Before I can speak another word, I’m approached by the chick who works there, who, as professionally as possible, says “I’m sorry, but you can’t use that word in here. We won’t be able to sell you any tobacco accessories, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Now, I know they’re not kidding, but I’m still going to have the ‘what the fuck?’ look on my face for quite some time. Although the head shop has like 2,000 pipes, bowls, and every other piece of paraphernalia you can imagine, having just one of these items on your person could get you a fine or even some minor time, unless maybe it’s still brand new. So, by that logic, they’re assuming a pretty serious risk by doing business, and the only way they could have gotten away with opening to start with is to strictly stick to the story that the items they sell are for tobacco use only. That phrase, actually, is one of the most definitive characteristics of a head shop; if you don’t see a sign that says that, you’re not in one. Crock of shit? Yes, totally, with the possible exception of the hookah shelf. But, it’s all about definitions, and an undercover officer or excise official could always be lurking in the store. So, not only do they have to maintain the façade, but customers do, too. I mean, the dreadlocks, tie-dye, Birkenstocks, and patchouli aren’t indicative at all until you open your mouth, right? The word ‘bong’ almost always indicates marijuana use, where the softer, more technical term ‘water pipe’ does not. So, to do you and your headshop a favor, all you need to do is translate to accommodate them. For example, you greet the guy at the door, and you want to say:
“Dude, I came in and bought that new downstem for this fuckin’ bong I have, and as soon as I got that bitch fitted in, I got ripped as fuck of this killer Lemon Skunk I have. Right on!”
“Hello, sir, nice to see you again. On my last visit, I purchased an accessory for my water pipe. After successfully replacing the old part, I enjoyed some very tasty tobacco, and I thank you for assisting me with my water pipe which I use only to smoke tobacco.”
See? Easy. But, just in case…next time you go to a whorehouse, just point, say, “her” or “that one,” give them the money, and keep your head low.