Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sam's Club & Wholesale Head Shop

I was shopping at Sam's Club today (the wholesale-club arm of Wal-Mart, Incorporated) and among the items I picked up was the 55-gallon drum of Cascade dishwashing liquid. (Okay, so it's not that big, but when I picked it up it felt as if it were 55 gallons. What can I say, I'm a wimp.) I made my way to the checkout register and put my items on the conveyor, including the bottle of Cascade.

The checker looked at me and asked me if I was over 18.

Now, I'm a 42-year-old guy with a beard, over six feet tall, with age bags under my eyes. I haven't been carded for anything in over 20 years -- let alone dishwashing detergent. I seriously considered responding with a smart-assed answer, until I realize that TSA agents at the airport ask you stupid questions all the time, and if you don't answer seriously and truthfully, you might end up in a holding cell with some of the babies whose names are on the "no-fly" list. Since I didn't want to deal with unsmiling security guards at that moment (the frozen shrimp would certainly thaw), I paused for an appropriately disdainful length of time, then simply responded, "Yes."

With that, the checker burst out with a laugh and chortled, "I can't believe they make us ask that!"

It turns out that, when you buy large quantities of dishwashing liquid (and at Sam's Club, what other quantities do they have?), the checkers are now required to ask you for your age. What the teller told me was that kids were now lacing their marijuana with Cascade before rolling it into joints, to get some kind of higher high.

This struck me as rather silly, but hey, who am I to question Wal-Mart? After all, the company wants us to Buy American (assembled from parts manufactured in other countries), loves the mom-and-pop merchants of Small-Town America, and values the contributions of our nation's labor unions. If they want to card us for buying dish detergent, hey, shouldn't I just take it at face value?

Well ... no.

When I got home with my shrimp and my "drug paraphernalia", I turned to the trusty Internet to find out the truth of this. Here is what I learned during my tour of the marijuana-growing websites out there:

o A few drops of dishwashing detergent added to water, or to an organic pesticide, will help kill spider mites, which seems to be the bane of marijuana growers. Apparently, the soap breaks the water's surface tension and makes it cling to the tiny mites better.

o Dishwashing liquid seems to be able to keep drug-sniffing dogs from detecting large quantities of marijuana. (Or so this lady thought; she got busted anyway.)

o Drinking liquid soap or dishwashing fluid is frequently used by employees to mask their pot consumption on workplace drug tests. (It doesn't seem to work very well, though; seems it will make the urine specimen cloudy.)

Couldn't find anything about kids lacing their weed with Cascade, though. Maybe that's what the checker at Sam's was on.

And by asking for proof of age, might Wal-Mart be implicitly encouraging marijuana use in their customers over the age of 18? Someone report this to the Dubya Administration, quickly. I'm sure we can get dishwashing liquid on the list of controlled substances in no time flat.

posted by Gary @ 8:43 PM


At 2:09 AM, Anonymous FoFuSa said...

Shrimp and drug paraphernalia! Sounds like the name of a garage band.

What a crazy world we live in. Pretty soon they'll be carding people for buying tampons, as the cardboard tubes could be used to make crack.

Oh, I found you through BE.


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