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The Mad Hatter
Scoring Dope in Minneapolis, Late Summer, 2017

I was travelling across the country this summer, hitting raves. A key component to a rave is ecstasy—MDNA, a Schedule One drug. The problem with travelling to raves is getting you stuff from unknown sources. Basically, we’re all kids, 25 and under.

I’m in Minneapolis at a rave and I have the hand stamped, can come and go. The one thing about people on ecstasy is they can’t lie—its truth serum.

I find this kid that is totally gone, absolutely drugged beyond the point of duplicity and I ask him where he got his stuff.

He says, “The Mad Hatter,” and I’m like, “What?” and he’s walking off motioning me to follow him.

Now in Baltimore, I’m already mugged. But this isn’t Baltimore. The one thing I have discovered travelling the cities of America is that Baltimore is uniquely fucked up. We have teen age black kids controlling the drug trade. And on top of that, every city I’ve been to—mind you I haven’t hit Detroit of, Chicago or Gary—if you took their black people and set them down in Baltimore, they’d last an hour.

So, this is Minneapolis, and this is a stoned white kid, so I’m a block out, doing the Harm City math and bracketing down and I’m in twenty-five-percent danger of a mugging.

Another block and I’m hitting fifty percent.

In another block I’m following this kid into a darkened parking garage and the radar is going off—I’m at seventy-five-percent and it’s too late, all of these people are standing around in the dark with cars with doors open—and then I notice that they’re really high. Now I just need to be allowed to buy. Being new you have to worry about being mistaken for a cop.

I am taken to this car and standing there is this sixteen-year-old kid who is totally done up as the Mad Hatter, right out of Alice in Wonderland. I shit you not—this guy has got it going on, full masquerade quality getup. How long would that kid last in Baltimore, with four-grand in his hand and a half kilo of ecstasy—the glove box was full of it—plus all the powder cocaine and meth you could want?

It’s basically ten dollars a hit [1] and I give him three twenties and I’m walking off with six crystals. Eventually I hear that the Mad Hatter gets stuck up by a Mexican cartel guy, but he doesn’t get killed like he would here. That’s the key, the kids—the young kids, teenagers—are the ones with the best drug connections.

On one hand imagine that, being this essentially non-violent teen cult symbol walking around with thousands in cash and all the drugs you could want, dressed in a distinctive manner. In Baltimore, that dude has to kill a half dozen people to get to that spot. On the other hand, adopting such a visual trademark—that tall hat—and getting away with it for as long as he did, does say something about the state of the Police State.



1. I can’t recall the price as I wasn’t taking notes and it may have been $20, but it was not $15.

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