It's all change in the drugs world the Smack Crack and Cocaine Emporium has closed down and gone mobile, like a grocer who used to sell spuds and stuff off the back of a van. The need is still there, the demand is still high, the product needs shifting. Where the game is to stay one step ahead of the law, bricks and mortar are now so 2015, modern times require modern thinking. Deals on wheels. Dial-a-drug. Drugs delivered straight to your hand by a squadron of drones. Shoot 'em down and shoot it up. The police shooting nets into the air Spiderman style to bring down the drones.
I meet up with a friend who lives in a less well to do area of Liverpool. Over dinner he tells me of the Ice Cream man who everyday trawls up his road, except it's 9:30 at night and he's not playing "Popeye the sailor man" on his kiddy caller. When he stops there's a queue of men at the counter and they aint walking away with 99s or Strawberry Mivvis either.
Here in Peterborough the definition of "White Van Man" can have a different interpretation. Our White Van Mans van is immaculately clean. It's a Transit of course, a proper working mans van. It's even white. Except it carries no commercial load heavier than a few hundred grams. The dealer spends his days sitting outside the front of his new house on a kitchen chair mobile phone in one hand, fag in the other. people walk past they shout at him "alright?"
"Sweet. See ya later."
No one ever shouts "You got any gear?" they know better. Very few actually stop for a chat, just a couple of words without even breaking step and the phone doesn't come away from our mans ear, as he seemlessly moves from conversation to "cushtie" back to conversation.
I had not seen Lurch in a while. He's the dealers 6 foot 8 accountant, whose job it is to advise people to pay. I ask my man about him.
"Oh he's banged up innee."
"What for? What did he do?"
"Nah he's a smack head hisself but they wont ever find drugs on him. Fucking loads IN him. But not on him. No he went over the top and messed some guy up a bit, someone saw and called the police, he was nabbed whilst smacking the guy around a bit. Very unprofessional. if you're gonna do someone over you don't do it in the street fer chrissakes, what a knob head, you go round their gaff dontcha? Fucking belt them in the privacy and comfort of their own home. They don't press charges because you know where they fucking live. That's how it works. But fucking doin' someone over in the street is so sloppy. Even if they don't press charges there's still witnesses to violent public affray. He's not a pro. He's a fucking low life scum smack head tosser who gets free drugs for doing the dirty work. That's no way to run a business. An' 'im up there gving him the drugs? 'Im wiv the White van? He thinks he's Mr Big fucking drug dealer. He's nothing and never will be anything. if he thinks the Police don't know he's still dealing .....Escobar he aint."
"So his new stop me and buy one scheme isn't going to work?"
"You can bet your boots the Police already know what he's doing and you know what? He'd probably make more money selling fucking ice cream, than he makes selling drugs. Except that would mean he'd actually have to do some bleedin work, and he aint the working kind."