Earlier this month, I was approached to work a night shift at a convenient store. On its surface, that might not seem like much of challenge, but there was a caveat: I'd have to work the counter high AF.
Well, the inspiration came from American Ultra, a film about a pot-smoking slacker (Jesse Eisenberg) who, through a series of bizarre events at the store, is targeted for termination by the CIA. Thankfully, ducking attempts on my life was not part of the job description, but, like Eisenberg's character, I would have to navigate the strains of counter life while high off my ass.
So, I took a trip to Colorado, blew my per diem on high-grade sativa, and reported for my night shift at the famous Smelly Deli in Boulder, Colorado.
I had some reservations going into this challenge, mostly because I'm not a social smoker. There are people like Rihanna who can get blasted out of their skulls and then sit courtside at an NBA All Star Game without a care in the world. Then there are people like me who can't talk to strangers or operate the self checkout at CVS. When I smoke I'm an anti-social hermit who pretends I'm the only person on Earth. The idea of getting high, on camera, and then working face-to-face with customers literally sounded like a living hell.
But alas, I didn't choose the challenge life, the challenge life chose me.
When I reported for my shift I was greeted by Ruba, a fiery store owner who showed me the ropes. After my crash course I went out to a parking lot and smoked a joint. I felt toasty, a little loose, but functional. I was ready to start.
I knew that Complex wouldn't let me get through the shift without throwing me a few curveballs. So, naturally, I was on the lookout for fake I.D.'s and shoplifters. I was really, really high, but I'm not stupid. I'd see these plants coming from a mile away. The attempts to stifle me with paid actors all bricked, but, at the same time, I was thoroughly annoyed by each stunt. So, I guess in an odd way, they kind of worked.
One kid in particular walked in and I was 100 percent sure that he was a plant. He was baked out of his mind and pacing about the store like a jackass. I figured he was the stereotypical "Boulder burnout" sent in to bother me (and bother me he did!). He just hung out at the counter making small talk. He kept asking me if I wanted to smoke a blunt. My anti-social tendencies were starting to kick in. I was tortured throughout the whole conversation.
Anyway, the show was shot using hidden cameras. I had an earpiece and mic to communicate with production, so I asked if the dude was part of the show.
That's right, as it turns out, this guy is legit just some random buffoon. I was shocked. Mind blown. I immediately took that legend up on his offer to smoke. The two of us split a blunt by the dumpsters out back. The details after that are a little hazy after that, but they've been documented in the video above. Enjoy!