Hello! Hello! Thank you for reading the debut of Thoughts From the Head Shop. My name is Crystle Slavy. I am a cannabis enthusiast/medical cardholder, as well as a writer, and an artist.
For the past six years, I have worked at a premier smoke shop in Rochester, New York. The shop has been in business since the late 1970s, and is the “go-to” place in the city for all smoke-shop related items. The location of the shop is rather unique; it is on a very busy street for multiple bars, retails shops, and tattoo parlors. “The Ave” (as it is called) gets a large amount of foot traffic, which makes for a number of hilarious interactions with repeat customers and walk-ins.
My current favorites have to be the time a man offered to sell me some “frozen” shrimp from inside his jacket pocket, or the woman inquiring about peeing on someone without germs. There are many, many more. Hence the reason I am writing this column!
The shrimp man was a rotund, older gentleman wearing 400 layers of Rochester winter attire. Shrimp man walked up to the counter, casually like any customer would, and asked me simply, “would you like to buy these high-quality shrimps?” He must have stolen the shrimps from the frozen section of a local grocery store, and may have been selling hot shrimp on the street. He did not think this was strange. I replied that I do not eat animals. He said, “fair enough,” and walked away. I never saw him again.
Another day, a normal looking grandma-like older lady who wanted to know if there was a hypoallergenic way of “peeing on someone,” and “do we have any devices?” There is a germ free way, and we sometimes sell it—the “Wizzinator” is a fake penis that can be used to pass drug tests, but officially is used for fetish purposes only. We rarely sell the Wizzinator, as it is around $150.00 with low demand. The colors are not even close to being realistic, and once a customer asked to “try it on.” This resulted in a funny dance to get it on over the man’s pants, and then…oh yeah, he began stroking the thing.
This man decided to share this very intimate moment with us. As well as the exact stroking method he prefers! I could not maintain a straight face, and walked to the office. My poor boss had to help the man without cracking up. I never saw another Wizzinator again in the store.
Fast forward a few weeks later, the fake wiener rubber ended up failing his drug test, by the way. He tried to return the Wizzinator because he did not know how to use it properly. His parole officer spotted the device right away, and how unrealistic it was.
This week amounted a smaller amount of hilarity than usual, but there were some good moments. A regular customer bought some e-cig accessories, and while cashing out seemed a little out of it; I placed his credit card closer to him and said, “Hey, don’t forget your card!” People often leave or lose items of all sorts at the shop, and I’m used to reminding people. Usually, I end up having to run down the street after them. He called a few minutes later, asking if he left his card and said, “I’m SO HIGH! I can’t find it!” The customer eventually found his card, but the glimpse into what he was going through at that moment in time stayed with me.
We spent the week gearing up for April 20, 2019, and all the fun activities (or lack thereof) that the day inspires. There are always the customers who inquire about moving closer to legalization.
Living in a state such as New York can be very frustrating as cannabis is only “decriminalized,” and the medical program is not only very difficult to enter, but also extremely expensive. It is clear that the secret is out, and even senior citizens are using cannabis; most of them are on board with legalization. The stereotype of “stoner” no longer reflects the criteria.