ELMHURST – Fully staffed and prepared to serve a staggering number of candy bars, Slurpees and anything spinning on hot metal rollers behind the glass counter, employees of local 7-Elevens are expecting a huge spike in sales today as an estimated 10,000 Elmhurst residents will partake in the counterculture holiday “420”.
Often referred to as “Weed Day” and observed on April 20th each year, 420 is when people are invited to celebrate the cannabis culture by smoking marijuana. With only three 7-Eleven stores in Elmhurst, those who participate in the event will have limited options to satisfy their strong urge for snacks (or “munchies”) that coincides with smoking marijuana.
“We’ll be busy all day and all night,” said Spring Rd. 7-Eleven clerk Bobby Aguirre on Wednesday morning, stocking an auxiliary snack aisle with packages of Twinkies and 7-Select brand beef jerky. “It’s like ‘Black Friday’ for convenience stores, except nothing is on sale, and no one is in a big hurry.”
At the First St. 7-Eleven, Assistant Overnight Manager Sanjay Thompson is also preparing for a record-breaking day in sales, despite being located a half block from the Elmhurst Police Station.
“We’ll probably sell about 700 Slurpees throughout the day,” said Thompson, referring to the slushy frozen carbonated beverage that comes in a variety of tantalizing flavors like Pineapple Lime and Sour Patch Watermelon, and is one of the most desired beverages for those who are under the influence of marijuana, along with Red Bull and Tang. “People like to mix the flavors together, so I’ll probably be over there cleaning up spills throughout my shift.”
Over at the York St. 7-Eleven, franchise owner Frank Strada has scheduled an unprecedented second counter clerk from 4:00 p.m. Thursday until 3:00 a.m. Friday, and will have to work the registers himself for part of the day.
“Everybody who works here requested the day off,” said Strada, who noted that eye drops and disposable lighters will account for most of the non-consumable purchases at his store today. “But when you’re selling about 50 Taquitos per hour, you need a second person behind the counter.”
Other businesses in town that expect to see an increase in the number of customers for 420 include pizza restaurants and the Bob James Magic and Curiosities Shop.