The Reality Of Being A Suburban Drug Dealer On Christmas Eve
The Debrief: Think it would be too awkward to sell your ex-primary school teacher a massive bag of cocaine? Then you’d never make it as a suburban drug dealer over the festive period…
At 11.30pm on Christmas Eve last year, a 28-year-old drug dealer from Fleet – let’s call him Bob, for that is not his real name – was fielding a barrage of text messages from a bunch of people he hadn’t seen in months. Years in some cases.
‘You alright mate?’ reads one from someone Bob went to secondary school with. ‘It’s Megan’s cousin Alex, long time. Are you about later?’ Before he had the time to respond, another call came in from a number he didn’t recognise asking if he could drop off ‘three packets of chalk’ to the Wetherspoons he’d spent most of his time in after college when he was younger. It’s not surprising really: the unknown number turned out to belong to someone he’d studied sociology with during his A Levels. Not that he had any time for a catch up – Christmas Eve is one of his busiest nights of the year and he had his regular customers to prioritise over and above the influx of people coming back to Fleet to see their families over the holidays.
Speaking of regular customers, one of the biggest orders Bob received that night was from a woman called Emma who he’d be dealing coke and weed to for three years, who needed eight packets (grams, for the uninitiated) to make her Christmas Eve go off with what must have been a bang. Oh, did we mention that Emma used to teach Bob at primary school?
‘Having people crop up from your past is just an inevitable aspect of being a dealer in the suburbs – if you don’t fancy screening calls from old girlfriends, ex-schoolmates you couldn’t bare when you were younger and, yeah, the odd primary school teacher, then this is probably not the thing for you,’ Bob tells The Debrief.
A lot of old faces who are out on the piss will inevitably end up at the lock in – I’ve even sold my mate’s dad coke before on Christmas Eve
‘But if you can deal with the awkwardness you can make a bomb and Christmas Eve is a massive evening for me when it comes to selling coke, second only really to News Year's. I’ve made thousands of pounds before, typically from selling grams of coke for £70. Ordinarily, I don’t like giving my phone number out to lots of people, but over the Christmas period I just buy a "burner" (a cheap phone with a sim card unassociated to me) and tell my regular customers to spread the word, which never takes long. Then after I’ve made my money I just chuck the phone and the sim card away and get on with normal life.’
Normal life for Bob is working part-time at a bar, a wage he supplements by selling weed and coke to close mates and friends of friends in Fleet. A lot of his customers either come into his bar regularly to actually work there, so Christmas Eve usually involves a lock in where a huge chunk of his drugs get sold (and taken). It's become a tradition and for the last five years he’s spent the night driving around making deliveries until the pubs officially close, when he’ll head back to his bar for a ‘locals session’ until about 5am, when he’ll walk home.
‘My mum sort of knows by now that I’m going to be really hungover at the table on Christmas Day, but I think she just puts it down to drinking too much with old friends,’ Bob says. ‘A lot of old faces who are out on the piss will inevitably end up at the lock in – I’ve even sold my mate’s dad coke before on Christmas Eve – but we all try to make sure it winds down by 6am at the absolute latest so people have enough sleep not to be wasted at the table with their families. I do sometimes feel bad that I’m ruining a special day for families I’ve known since I was a baby – if some of their mothers knew I was the blame they’d be really shocked – but the money is just too good.’
Bob has noticed that even the people who have moved away to inner city areas of the country are keen to come back to Fleet to get their dose of cocaine from him. ‘I get a lot of bigger orders from people who have moved to London looking to take some back with them,’ he says. ‘I think that they’re aware the coke you can get in the suburbs is stronger than anything you can get in bigger cities because there’s usually more of a direct line the people who are actually importing drugs into the country and the markets are less saturated. I have a basic device for testing the strength of coke (which you can buy online) and I’m confident my coke is stronger than most of the pub grub you get in London.’
I get a lot of bigger orders from people who have moved to London looking to take some back with them
Not that that necessarily translates to strength or quality to the people he’s selling the drugs to. ‘I do cut the coke with Pro Plus, especially if I’m dealing to someone I don’t know, when I’ll cut even more. It has similar effects to cocaine but is a hell of a lot cheaper. They keep coming back every year, so it can’t bother them that much.’
Despite the fact he’s made a lot of money, Bob is keen to stop dealing drugs soon.
‘We’re all getting older and a lot of my friends are starting to have kids (even the ones I’m still doing coke with over the Christmas season),’ he admits. ‘Sometimes, when I’m feeling like shit and getting messages from the same old friends feeling the same old hangover, I wish my life had moved on a bit from when we were teenagers. I’ve got plans to go back to uni to study anthropology and maybe even become a lecturer, but for now the dealing is what it is. While I can still handle the hangovers and people are still keen to get fucked up over Christmas I’ll continue selling it. Christmas Day is a fucking stressful day of the year for people who don’t have the picture perfect family set up – I can understand why they might want to let their hair down.'
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating