It’s easy to tell people to “just say no to drugs” but if you’re having full-on conversations with your narcotics, it might already be too late for you. It might also mean that, in your indisposed state, you’ve made use in the past of drug deliverymen, i.e. people who deliver illegal substances directly to your door and indirectly to your nose and/or veins. I recently talked to Malachi who used to deliver cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine, to learn what it was like working for the Mirror Universe version of Grubhub, and he told me that…
5. It Was A Very Slick, Streamlined Operation
I didn’t just compare Malachi’s drug deliveries to Grubhub because I really needed that corner spot to complete my Lawsuit Bingo card, but because that’s basically how the whole business operated. First, you’d call up the dispatch and place an order for a packet or two of powdered… needle acid… heroin (no, YOU don’t know anything about drugs). The dispatch would then contact Malachi who’d pick up a bunch of orders from another location and wheel & deal them to their intended recipients on his bike.
“Customers would call dispatch. If they felt it was safe, they would send me,” Malachi explains. “They would text me a list of addresses in the order they wanted me to stop by in. It was all very straightforward. Wake up. Bike here, drop an envelope, bike there, here again, there again. You could pretend you’re delivering food.” Why a bike, though? To charge the local hipsters an additional “green” fee for the deliveries? Not exactly.
“Bikes are faster to find parking, get off a busy street full of traffic and escape through an alleyway. Plus, police might stop a car for speeding, red light, suspicious license plate etc, which might lead to trouble. It’s quite rare they stop a bike.”
Well, not after reading this article. Oops.
“On days where [my boss] was sober, or if someone else was doing dispatch, things could go really fast. Clients could start sniffing away their parents’ savings in as little as 20 minutes after they called and gave their address.”
The deliveries would be even quicker if it wasn’t for Malachi’s wardrobe changes. “My main strategy was switching it up. Even if it meant going out of my way, I would avoid using the same street more than 2-3 times a day. Also, I’d stop by my apartment once or twice when I had time and switch outfits, trying to look as different as possible.”
But he never tried to avoid biking in front of police stations with a delivery bag full of two life sentences because “It’s not like they sit around all day looking out the window for suspicious looking bike-riders.” Well, again, not after reading this article.
4. The Whole Thing Was Ran By A GTA Caricature
The only times when Malachi felt that he was actually involved in anything illegal was when a) he got paid and received more than minimum wage for bike messengering, b) he interacted with his boss.
“When I quit, I suggested a girl I knew to take my place. He declined: ‘I can’t beat them up if they run away with my drugs and money.’”
“[My boss] looked like the caricature of a small-time gangster. Scrawny but muscle-y, loose T-shirt, tattoos, ripped jeans etc… He once threw the guy who got me the job down a flight of stairs. Everyone went along with it cause ‘Oh well, that’s just Tony.’ Yeah he’s ‘just’ a violent psychopath.”
Another thing that Tony loved more than turning people into human Slinkies was drinking, getting high, and generally being the violent poster boy for why dealers shouldn’t sample their own product.
“He would start messing up addresses, running out of product, and blame everything on me. Once in a while he would screw me out of my pay. I was kind of a pothead at that time, and I just went along with it.” Not wanting to do a tumbleweed impression in the stairwell probably helped as well.
3. Drug Deliverymen Need To Know When To Say “No” To Drug… Addicts
“On my first day, one of the addresses I got was a very snooty upper-class part of town. I was told a girl would come up to me. So I’m walking through the park when I heard ‘Are you the guy?’ in the worst valley girl voice … I turn around and see 3 teenage girls, 16yo MAX. They go ‘Yeah, so like, can we get some COCAINE?’ Some parents started looking over at me so I just got on my bike and rode off without saying a word.” Which was probably hard while simultaneously flipping them off with both hands.
Leaving was the right thing to do for Malachi. Worst case scenario: they OD, or get paranoid, or get hurt, and one of their rich daddies starts yelling WHO SOLD THIS FILTHY POISON TO MY SWEET LORRAINE/MACKENZIE/BRITTANEY/QUINOA?! That’s why Malachi didn’t get in any trouble with Tony over the non-delivery. Hell, if Tony had been sober, he might have even commended him on his quick thinking. But it’s not always about self-preservation.
“I had a client who would always ask me to front him some product,” Malachi recalls. “I barely knew him and he would go ‘I WILL PAY YOU MONDAY!’”
“For his second bag I asked for collateral. He offered his DVD player. I said OK. He called an hour later, offering his PlayStation. Then again with his gf’s DVDs etc.”
In the end, Malachi had enough stuff to recreate the guy’s entire apartment (apart from, I assume, the vomit and piss stains in the corners.) And yet the guy kept asking for more and more drug credit. A few unpaid Mondays later and Malachi started feeling sorry for him.
“I felt bad. His gf was coming home soon and she would surely dump his ass. So I gave him some of his stuff back. The whole thing was dark and sad. I really didn’t like the position I was in. I eventually just gave him all his stuff and told him not to call me anymore.” And because Malachi was the only dealer in town, the guy cleaned up his act and went into physics. And his name? Albert Einstein.
2. Losing A Package Wasn’t A Big Deal
“[Once] I dropped the pouch containing all the envelopes as I was biking,” Malachi told me but NOT, as you might expect, through a Ouija board after Tony killed him and turned his corpse into a messenger bag.
As I explained before, working for Tony’s drug operation required you to put your face up as collateral, which he’d turn into mincemeat if you tried to steal from him. Bizarrely, though, Tony was super understanding about you losing his drugs on accident.
“I was so so scared. That’s $1,200 worth of blow just gone. Not only that, but each envelope also contained a business card with our phone number on it.”
”I assume Tony expected people to pass them out to their friends etc. He also had this tactic where he made these little fake baggies and put them out on the ground in bars and clubs. When you picked them up, you noticed they weren’t real. But that phone number was written out under it. It said ‘Need something? Call [1337-80085].”
Malachi continues: “I thought Tony was gonna strangle me with the duct tape that was falling off my shoes. But instead he informed me that I would have to pay it off. Which took me about a week. Maybe he counted it as a sale? As for the lost package and business cards, we never heard about it.”
Despite Tony doing a pretty spot on impression of a side character from The Wire, he ultimately treated the whole thing like a business. “He told me then: ‘Listen, I’m not doing this because it’s cool. I don’t want to BE cool. This is money to me, this is just a business. If I could, I’d be selling something else. But I can’t, so here we are.’” Which makes you wonder: what did Tony do before this job, and what exactly happened that he can never go back to normal, legal sales? I at least wanted to know how many dead cats were involved but, sadly, Malachi didn’t have that information.
1. Undercover Cops Tend To Be Laughably Obvious
“Once I was at a party, helping people keep their party-vibe going at 6am. This is mostly a savagely depressing activity. This random dude came up, super clean shaved and way too fresh looking. His cap was off to the side in the most awkward way.
– Hello my friend. Do you know where I could buy some COCAINE DRUG?
– No man. sorry.
– Are you sure? I have got-a a lot of money.
– Good luck.
He gave me a strange look
– You know that it is very difficult to find around here?
– Um, yeah. I dunno.”
You might have gathered that the “party-goer” was actually an undercover cop, operating with the same subtlety and finesses as Steve Buscemi in that 30 Rock meme.
It’s not that the cop was TRYING to sound like a badly-written ‘50s PSA. It’s just that he probably believed that’s really how young people talked. It’s a miracle he also didn’t add that his “Benjamins” were “deadass on fleek” or something. That’s why Malachi’s claim that “while working in the business, you develop a kind of sixth sense for who is a narc” isn’t really all that impressive. He adds:
“The cops are usually pretty obvious. Almost all policemen around here speak with a thick accent, so you know you should be extra-vigilant around people who sound a little off.” Hey, either they are cops or already on drugs, meaning they don’t need more so it’s a win-win strategy either way.