I Persuaded a Dealer to Cook and Deliver a Beef Wellington Instead of Weed
Because food goes well with weed.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
"Do you want to get some weed?" asked my friend Lee one evening. "I only usually smoke if there's something to munch on," replied my other friend, Tony. "Smoking and munching go hand-in-hand for me. It's an essential part of the experience. Your cupboard's fucking bare, so I think I'll pass."
Lee pointed out that any dealer we called would pass a 24-hour supermarket en route to us. And what do supermarkets sell? Chips. This kicked off a long argument about whether or not a dealer they hardly knew would bother going to the store for them, and precisely how far you could push the dealer/customer relationship. Would someone selling weed run other errands in return for cash, or would he want to stick strictly to his job description? We decided to call one up and find out.
Surprisingly, the dealer had no problem dropping off the chips. I don't smoke weed and hadn’t been too bothered about the outcome until that point, but the fact that he was willing to pick up and deliver a perfectly legal product got me thinking how far we could take this. Would they bring over non-food items? What was the most out-there thing I could feasibly pick up?
Over the next few days, I came up with a list of progressively more contrived items to request, each one requiring a greater amount of effort on the dealers' part than the last. Yes, cocaine might be stronger than ever, and dealers might have diversified into Xanax and 2C-B. But can they handle a quiche? Let's find out!
1. Rolling Papers
I gathered the numbers of 15 dealers and had five items planned, meaning I had three tries for each—but figured I'd preserve a few with the early requests. Turns out I was wrong.
Rizla rolling papers are a fairly plausible request of a weed dealer, no? You wouldn't go to a restaurant and not be handed a knife and fork; my thinking was that the same logic applied here. However, after offering all three dealers an extra ten bucks to pick me up some skins, two of the guys said they weren't going to be around for a few days, while the third sounded really paranoid and kept asking why I didn't just go to the store myself. A fair question, but also: Did he consider that he'd be making at least a $9 profit? We'll never know. He said he'd call me back twice, then ghosted me.
2. Victoria Sponge Cake
The next thing on the list was a homemade Victoria sponge cake. The logic here was to test whether dealers would be willing to extend to cooked foods, or if their limits lay at delivering simple packaged snacks, like chips. This time, I developed a detailed back-story.
Despite my lengthy, heart-wrenching explanation, two out of three dealers failed to respond to the message and wouldn't answer their phones. The third was a dealer who'd posted his Kik on Instagram. His response initially seemed extremely positive, but then he started asking me to send him cash in advance via an online gift card and it became clear he was a scammer. Still, we kept chatting.
3. Origami Goose
The third item was this rather impressive origami goose, which I chose to see if dealers were willing to deliver something that involved learning a skill from scratch to help a complete stranger. Again, I thought some cajoling would be necessary, so I used a slight variant of the birthday explanation.
Unfortunately, the only dealer who seemed remotely close to taking the bait told me he wanted £50 [$38] and that he couldn't get it to me until the following night. That's fairly pricey for a folded piece of paper, and my deadline was the next day, which didn't leave me with quite enough time.
4. A Sunday Roast
Next up was a Sunday roast. Given that I'd already failed to get the cake delivered, and this was intended to be a step up in terms of food-related items, I wasn’t overly optimistic. I also struggled to devise a convincing reason for wanting a roast dropped off at 1 AM on a Thursday night, but managed to come up with this:
One of the dealers seemed up for it, but it soon became apparent that he thought "Sunday roast" was a code word for weed. After explaining numerous times that I wanted an actual Sunday roast, I eventually had to send him a photo of a roast to get him to understand, at which point he ceased all contact. The other two dealers didn’t respond to my texts or calls.
5. Beef Wellington
I decided on the last item for the list by googling "hardest dish to cook" and being presented with a beef wellington recipe, which apparently takes forever to make and can end up a soggy and dry (pastry and beef) mess if done wrong.
The first number I tried was a dealer I'd found on social media, who turned out to be another scammer. He kept telling me to send him the money in advance, which I obviously wasn’t going to do (send me a beef wellington in advance! Then we'll talk!). He must have genuinely believed I wanted the Wellington, though, because he was remarkably persistent, calling multiple times and bombarding me with messages. He even sent me appetizing-looking photos of beef wellingtons, claiming he'd cooked them, and engaged in a lengthy discussion about which ingredients he'd supposedly used.
After getting bored of bullshitting, I moved on to the next dealer, who turned out to be the break I’d been looking for. After a brief phone conversation clarifying whether or not I was serious, he agreed to meet outside a nearby hotel. Sure enough, he turned up clutching a white plastic bag with a crudely-made beef wellington in it. "It was a fucker to cook," he complained. "I hope you’re going to eat it." I promised it wouldn’t go to waste, and hurried home to inspect the merchandise.
Unfortunately, I’d been sold a snide Wellington. There wasn’t any Parma ham or mushrooms in it, which are key ingredients. It was basically just a piece of beef with some pastry wrapped around it, I suspect deep fried in a chippy en route.
The takeaway from this is that: Yes, dealers will deliver anything if you’re persuasive enough, but if it's anything other than drugs it's unlikely to be any good. Saying that, if I somehow managed to convince Gordon Ramsey to deliver weed, I could hardly hold it against him if he didn’t know his blue cheese from his lemon haze.
When all's said and done, it's probably best to leave the dealing to the dealers and the cooking of beef wellingtons to the cooks.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Nick Chester on Twitter.