Let the incense rise and your pipe dreams soar because the Magic Bus is quite the eclectic store. Amidst a small strip in the east wing of Broad Ripple Ave is where you will find this enchanted palace. In addition to being greeted with copious amounts of merchandise to explore, you are also welcomed with witty smiles and hellos from the quirky, and sometimes barefoot staff. Hop on as we travel to your 4/20 destination for the holidaze but make sure you follow these simple guidelines because although it’s no secret that they have the tools for your heady needs, nobody wants to get kicked off for making a not so minor mistake.
The Magic Bus is A kind store for kind people. It’s as simple as it sounds folks, be nice! If you’ve ever heard to be careful at The Bus because they tend to be strict, it’s for a good reason.
Leah, the store manager, and Adrian, staff manager, go over the guiding principles of commerce at The Magic Bus. We wanted to better understand why The Magic Bus has a reputation for being strict with their customers. Leah explains,
Rules are rules. We have to follow them or we can’t exist. We’re here to serve our guests as best as we can but we can only do that if they follow the rules. As a customer, know what state you live in and what’s legal in your state. If someone implies that they’re going to use one of our products illegally, excise would fine us (the store) $10,000 and that person who implied illegal use $1,000. We don’t want anybody to get into trouble and I hate refusing service to people especially on 4/20 weekend but it’s best to let them know ahead of time. Usually in our spiel we say ‘every day is a new day’. You’re not banned from the store, come back tomorrow. The only people who are banned from the store are people who steal and are complete assholes.
So what words are appropriate when refering to your smoke?
Learn the words pollen and pipe. Point-and-grunt always works. You can never go wrong with saying pipe. You don’t have to say tobacco pipe.
On a related note if you ask for a bong they would be happy to sell you the kind you use for showing off your alcohol inhaling abilities. So maybe they’re strict but look at it this way: they’re saving you from a $1,000 fine. That’ll set you behind about a month’s worth of living expenses. A few simple guidelines will help you stay in good graces at The Magic Bus:
DON’T SPEAK THOSE DIRTY WORDS!
To be clear: saying words like weed, bud, bong, blazed, doobie, herb, kief, or anything illegal are absolute NO-NO’s. And this goes without saying, but don’t buy tobacco products for minors, either. (duh)
KEEP YOUR SHOES ON!
If you’re on your way out of the store and you look up in the left corner you might notice a randompile of shoes chillin’ above the door. That’s not where the staff keeps theirs while they’re on the clock. Those are the shoes of people who have decided to abandon them at the store instead of having the cops called on them for stealing. Again, Leah explains:
We started this rule when this store opened about 11 years ago. We’ve probably accrued about 30 shoes over that time period. If we catch somebody stealing, we usually give them two options: either we call the cops or give us their shoes and never come back again. Ninety percent of the time they hop right out of their shoes and walk out the door. We give them this option because we just don’t want a reason for the cops to come here, you know?
Aside from the in-store footwear attraction you will find many locally-made items in the store from apparel to pipes. Store manager Leah has items on the shelf that she crocheted herself. A former employee, Lindsay Moran has candles for sale from her company, Wicka Wicka, offering soy based wax for a cleaner burn with delightful fragrances! Also look for the presence of an Indianapolis-based company that makes Headwear for the Counter Culture, No Bad Ideas. You can even buy tickets to shows at the Vogue from The Bus! I wasn’t exaggerating when I say eclectic. If you head into the pipe room you may spot a few locally blown water pipes from Huffy Glass, a glass studio based in Bloomington. Speaking of pipes let’s add “free” and “discount” into the equation.
During the weekend of 4/20 starting Thursday, April 17th EVERYTHING in the store is 20% off AND on the day of 4/20 there will be a raffle every hour on the 20th minute from open to close. When 4:20 hits the clock the GRAND raffle will commence. There are currently three BEAUTIFUL pipes on display behind the register that are for the three winners of the hour. So make sure you get an entry in quick! So you see, it’s all fun and games until somebody drops a word bomb. If you were to make an honest mistake they’d be happy to guide you to the appropriate terminology. They’re more than just staff at The Magic Bus; they’re artists, musicians, mothers, and all of them are quite the comedians. They’re there to help you; no question is a stupid question. Take it from Vince, who has been a bus employee for almost two years.
I really enjoy taking the time to talk to the guest and getting to know their needs. Some of the products I recommend are more expensive, but it’s about quality. It’s not like we’re making commission off these products. It’s like this: if you give guests quality service and they walk away with a quality product, that’s a guarantee that they will come back again. Plain and simple.
Lots of people would be contraire to the strict stereotype many associate with The Bus. A few customers recently described The Bus as chill, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, beautiful, and diverse. Rod, the store owner, sums it up in a single word: “Shenanigans.” So why not stop in for the holidaze? Pop in, play fair, and shop local!