I had a weird conversation this week. At first, I thought a store clerk I interacted with was an idiot but as it turned out, that title attached itself to me. Here is how the conversation went as I stopped into a Big Lots to buy some incense. They often carry it but had changed the store around so I wasn’t sure where it was. The cashier, 20ish, was loudly giving a friend who’d walked in, a hard time and I got the impression my presence was not welcomed as she’d rather joke with her friend than you know, work.
“Do you have any incense?” I asked. “Have what?” she got a funny look on her face. “Incense.” I repeated. She looked at me like maybe she couldn’t understand my accent, “Incense?” So I was trying to cut her some slack when I explained, “Yeah, you know the stuff you burn – incense.” She suddenly looked perplexed, “Incense? Isn’t that a drug???”
At this point, I was wondering if she was on drugs and I left her standing there to search the store for myself. I told a couple people the story, and they were like ‘wow, seriously?’. It was only the next morning that someone informed me that synthetic weed is referred to as incense and that is what she was probably thinking of. I didn’t know that was the slang for that but it spurred a lot of thoughts.
For starters, I didn’t know whether to be insulted that the lady thought I’d be stupid enough to walk into a big store and ask the cashier for drugs. On the other hand, people have done just that. (I remember the guy who ran out of money at the poker table and so he put a bag of weed into the pot as collateral. The casino wasn’t too pleased.) I don’t know what kind of statement it is that her first thoughts were of drugs and not REAL incense. Have we reached the point in our society where people assume everything must have a drug connection? And what ever happened to drug slang not really being connected to other real life items? And what does it say about me that I didn’t know the term? I suddenly felt dated. Sigh.
I don’t understand the attraction to synthetic weed since a large percentage of people who use it end up with mental damage. The stuff is unstable and you’re never quite sure if you’ll recover from it. Then again, meth isn’t exactly a health drug and that hasn’t slowed people up from losing their teeth and hair over it.
It just was a weird conversation. I probably owe the lady an apology because I really did think at the time she was an idiot. Turns out, I won that title.