I'm heading into the mixer mart next to the Govt store for some juice and a new sign on the door says "No one under 19, ID required." This is a clean, well lit store in good neighborhood of Coquitlam. They have always sold cigs, bongs, porn, and other stuff but the place doesn't feel seedy.
Looks like they have done some redecorating. Why the age restriction for a corner store? Dude in front of me pays for his plastic wrapped GLASS PIPE AND STEEL WOOL. For a second I flash back to working in the DTES.
Dude sees me looking at his crack pipe makings and puts his head down. The clerk sorta shrugs and rings me in. Behind her is a display of steel wool packets.
The episode weirded me out. When we Gen Xers grew up crack was a killer that skids smoked in total secrecy. Maybe the industry of addiction is that lucrative. (The irony that I was buying mix for our vodka is not lost on me.) Strange days......