Drug dealer etiquette: The dos and don’ts of texting your link, and why it’s so nerve-racking

By Mason Berlinka

Published May 27, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Have you ever found yourself anticipating a big night out, tasked with texting the dealer? The friend who usually does it is out of commission or maybe their dealer isn’t replying—so it’s up to you to text the guy’s number who’s been sitting in your phone for years, sending you the occasional drugs menu with a glorious list promoting Cali’s finest, or Columbia’s cleanest Cola. The only problem is, you’re utterly clueless on what to open with. Middle-class, suburban upbringing didn’t prepare you much for your future recreational drug use.

Well worry not, for SCREENSHOT has the dos and most hilarious don’ts for when it comes to texting your dealer—just in case.

How to text your dealer

Take a deep breath, and don’t panic. I know American TV has long sensationalised the drug deal, but trust me, nothing crazy is going to happen. You’re going to get into the car, exchange some awkward chat, swap cash for drugs, and go on your merry way. The hard part for so many, is getting them to show up in the first place.

1. Don’t send voice notes

Why put yourself at risk of sounding like an out of touch moron, or even worse, an undercover police officer? Listen to these awful police officers’ attempts at entrapping dealers, and let it be a warning to you to never press that record button:

2. Tell the dealer who gave you the number

Most dealers will be suspicious of a text out of the blue that doesn’t give any background context to who you are. They’re not looking for a 200-word essay either, just a “hey, I got your number from X” should suffice. From here they’ll either call you, or carry on correspondence over text. Read on if you’re still worried about how to act in front of your pusher.

3. Write it normally, don’t put slang in for no reason

I know it can seem tempting to try and sound relatable but overusing slang terms in the hopes of seeming “street smart” will just make you look like a narc, and a really bad one at that. Your dealer has done thousands of handovers with all sorts of people, from college students bunking their classes to grandmas with back pains. There’s no need to feel pressured to act a certain way, they don’t care. This stuff is just transactional.

4. Don’t be too cryptic with your text message

Although this one will differ between dealers, generally you don’t want to send an overly complex or cryptic message. Most dealers will insist on texting you using encrypted messaging platforms like WhatsApp anyway so you shouldn’t be too worried about typing out what you ask for—and if you are getting paranoid about what you’ve put in a message to a dealer, maybe drugs aren’t for you. They don’t tend to help with paranoia, depending on which one you’re purchasing of course.

If a dealer is being coy about what they have, just use your brain. “White wine” and “Coca Cola ” is only ever going to mean one thing.

5. Do not expect the dealer any time soon

Although we wish it wasn’t like this, some dealers can often be an aloof and inexplicable bunch (we wonder why). Don’t expect timely delivery—this isn’t Uber Eats, it’s more of an Evri kinda thing. Some dealers will be at your door quickly, and not to encourage you to consume but the more you pick up, the more you’ll learn who’s reliable. What not to do though, is spam them with panicked calls and text messages if they’re running late.

For someone whose income is tax free, they really don’t care about missing the odd deal, and they’re more likely to drop to you later if you keep bugging them. Obviously, don’t let yourself be messed around, but know when to stop and find someone else. An unreliable dealer is never fun, but don’t start taking it out on them. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

6. Just be nice!

This should really go without saying, but most dealers are normal people, who, you know, deal drugs. Not being a dick goes a long way with literally anyone, and that same good behaviour should still be on display during your drug deal. No need to pretend to be a hard man—the dealer knows you’re not, and that’s okay.

7. If you’re really struggling, try getting AI to write your text message for you

Ok, don’t actually try this, the results will be less than satisfactory as the following screenshot will prove. Maybe one day we’ll be able to partake in stress-free drug deals as our AI assistants do all the nerve-racking texting for us. Although that day doesn’t seem like it’ll be here anytime soon:

Drug dealer etiquette: The dos and don’ts of texting your link, and why it’s so nerve-racking

There you have it, the dealer dos and don’ts. We all like to let loose on the weekend, so just remember to use your common sense when it comes to picking up, and also when it comes to what you actually do with the goods once you’ve got them. Be safe out there!

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