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Let’s Make a Deal - Nikki McKenzie

“The drugs don’t give you a warning sign before they hit, they just sneak up on ya when you least expect it, so always watch out for yourself. I guess for some people, that must be part of the fun, right? The unknown, the spontaneous. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing drugs as much as anyone, maybe more sometimes, but I’m not a huge fan of surprises. I research extensively before I try anything new. I really can’t see the harm in knowing what the side affects are going to be ahead of time, or how to properly combat the inevitable comedown.

“I weigh each hit individually for myself too, because I know exactly what I need to have a good time and there’s no need to take risks if you don’t need to.” I pull my miniature food scale out of my bag and smile warmly at the doe eyed blonde girl in front of me. She looks younger than most of the girls I see, but I’m not one to judge anyone’s bad habits. “

“So, what’s your poison?” I ask politely when I’m finished my opening spiel. I showcase my stash whilst subtly channeling my inner Vanna White by gesturing dramatically at the drugs I have neatly displayed on the bedside table of her room. She lowers her face to the table and glances quickly at each product with a lazy once over before turning back to me and reaching for the last of my cocaine this week. I don’t know if I want to waste such a good individual seller on this clueless of a buyer though. She holds the bag up to her nose and inhales deeply.

“What are you doing?” I ask, trying my best to use my least judgmental tone of voice while also reaching out for the bag. The last thing I need is this girl spilling it or something ridiculous. She pulls it away from my outstretched hands, and that’s strike one for this girl.

“I was told to test it first, so I know it’s good quality.” I roll my eyes at this. This girl is already at strike two, does she not know who I am? She sought me out herself, so I would have assumed she understood that my standards are of the highest quality. I do have a reputation in this industry and I’m considering leaving her empty handed, but I just know I can nail this sale for a little extra commission if I play my cards right, so instead I smile brightly at her making sure to show all my perfect pearly whites.

“First of all, honey don’t you dare accuse me of being sub-par ever. That’s just rude, it’s really my number one rule and if you can’t even follow that, you’ll have to do business elsewhere okay?” I make a move to collect my things, and like I suspected her big doe eyes get wide, I’m suddenly in the mood to watch Bambi.

“No, no. I’m sorry. I just thought-“. I raise my hand in the air and cut her off mid-sentence.

“So, rookie, you can’t smell coke through a bag. That should just be obvious really, but it’s okay to make mistakes because you’re clearly new here.”

“I’m not new to drugs. I’ve done it before.” She crosses her arms across her chest and now she reminds me of an absurdly large toddler.

“Done… it? What is IT? The spooky clown? Girl, you’re a freak in the sheets huh?” I laugh generously at my own joke, and frankly I’m a little miffed that she’s staring at me with her mouth hanging open like a street dog with a broken jaw and not laughing with me.

“Sweetie, that’s called a joke. You can laugh, nobody is gonna be upset if we have a little fun. I’ve never understood why this business can’t be fun for both our clients and distributors. Anyway, for the cocaine, if you’re planning on buying from someone else in the future, you’re gonna look real funny shoving a plastic bag up to your nose. So instead of doing that, you’re going to politely request to test the product before purchasing.” I reach for the bag again and this time she hands it to me. “And we totally get it girl, drugs are a lot of money and you can’t be wasting money on bad product”. I can tell she’s listening for real now. I can continue my pitch flawlessly knowing that I’ve already bagged a repeat customer and trust me when I say we love a rich white girl in this business.

“So, what they’ll do is poke a little hole in the bag, like this” I demonstrate on the ball of cocaine she picked out poking it softly with an old knitting needle I rigged up for this exact purpose. It’s crazy sharp but doesn’t rip the whole bag open. Trust me, it’s a real challenge sometimes. “Your part is obviously the testing, which really is the fun part if you think about it. Trust me, you do not want to be out here peddling drugs all day, it is exhausting, and we don’t even really get to do the drugs cause then we’d make all kinds of mistakes.”

“Anyway, first things first, check the colour. When you think coke, you think white powder, ya?” Her head bobs up and down quickly, but the expression on her face is pure terror. She’s so scared that I’m wondering if I should really be selling drugs to this naïve of a girl. Alas, it is my job, so the show must go on, as they say. Besides, if she gets hooked there’s a new couch for my living room I’ve been looking at and I can’t give that up since my white leather sectional was the rather unfortunate victim of Paintball night in my apartment. Looking back, I wouldn’t host it at my house next time, but everyone had a lot of fun, so I think it was worth it.

“If it’s tinged either brown or a yellow colour, don’t accept it. It is not worth your money. You’re so adorable, I can totally see someone trying to rip you off because you look so young, so please pay attention honey. I just want to help you, girls gotta stick together right? Oh! Do you always have claws like that?” I grab for her hand and admire the matte black coffins she’s absolutely pulling off with her outfit. She nods again. I guess she’s not gonna speak anymore, easier for me!

“Sometimes they’ll try and intimate you by like taking out a knife and scooping it out for you but trust me it’s all a show. Just stick your fierce kitty claw right in there and scoop a little out for yourself. They’ll be totally impressed if you take initiative, so try not to look so scared okay?” I guide her pinky into the mound of cocaine and her expression goes from frightened child to pure terror. She stares that same open-mouthed gape at her own hand now and I think it looks more like a donkey. Poor girl. I continue my pitch regardless.

“If you take a whiff, yes go ahead and smell it now” I encourage her gently, my smile wavering slightly. “If it smells like baking soda, just turn around and leave okay? People like to cut it with baking soda, so they can make more money by diluting product and they’re just jerks who make people like me look bad. So you shouldn’t be smelling baking soda, but a very clear chemical smell ya? I’m going to repeat that now. Under no circumstances should you buy drugs if the smell like baking products, okay?” I gesture towards her hand that’s awkwardly floating two feet away from her face. She does the jerky head nod again.

“Okay, so last is taste obviously. Good quality cocaine on your tongue should pretty much feel like nothing because if it doesn’t numb your mouth, it ain’t gonna be a good time for you. Take a little taste off your nail and before you ask, no you won’t be high with that teeny tiny little amount.” I watch her expectantly, and I’m really starting to think she’s gonna bail out, which would be super lame since I’ve put in so much effort for this sale. I can see her mind teetering on the line and I’m pleasantly surprised when she sticks her tongue out tentatively and licks the powder out of her nail cautiously.

“Oh! it’s kind of bitter” she makes a face that scrunches up her nose, and it’s actually pretty cute.

“As it should be” I hit her with my best closing smile showing the full extent of my teeth and a flirty wink to seal the deal.

“I can’t feel my tongue” She mumbles quietly to herself, and suddenly bursts out laughing. “I feel like I went to the dentist” She sticks her tongue out at me giggling, and now I’m thinking I might have misjudged her. She’s slightly adorable, but I can’t let that distract me when I’m so close.

“Well Bonnie, it was absolutely lovely to meet with today.” I’m already packing my things, including the cocaine in question back into my vintage juicy Couture satchel. “I do need to get off, so if you do decide to purchase, you have my number, right?” I smile innocently and make a move towards the door.

“Wait!” She calls after me and I know I’m going home a closer. I turn around slowly and look around the room like a clueless retired woman being scammed for her credit card number.

“Oh, did I drop something?” I pretend to scan the floor quickly, playing the part of the non-pushy saleswoman I was destined to be.

“I want to buy today. Now.” She’s reaching inside her bag already and produces the most gorgeous golden Louis Vuitton wallet. “How much?” She asks, already pulling out bills.

“Well, how much do you want silly?” She stares blankly back at me, and I can see she’s panicking on the inside. “You gotta tell me what you need, not the other way around.” I touch her shoulder and give her my best supportive friend eyes to let her know I’m looking out for her.

“All of it.” She blurts out. “The whole bag.” I’m not even lying when I say my pupils probably turned into those dollar signs from old cartoons. I reach back into my bag and produce the bag again.

“Oh, are you sure you want the whole thing?” I ask sweetly, laying it on thicker than an apprentice nail tech doing her first set of acrylics. “Well, you’re in luck. Since you’re such a sweetheart, I’ll give it to you for only 400$. That’s 50 dollars off, just cause I’m in such a good mood.” I give her my closing smile one more time and she hands over a messy stack of 20’s. I drop the ball of coke on her dresser and I don’t even count the cash when I tuck it into my bag because I just sold 250$ worth of product for 400$. I throw up a peace sign on my way out the door, and this time the smile on my face is real.


Nikki McKenzie is full of sarcasm and also positivity and is the embodiment of when Jim from “The Office” looks into the camera. An avid storyteller, creatively, socially and professionally, she aspires to continue to write until she has no stories left to tell


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