Kenneth McAllister was fine with working at the Citgo station in suburban Homewood, Illinois -- until they got some new stock in a few weeks ago.
Joining the potato chips and anti-freeze on the shelves: bongs, pipes and baggies of fake marijuana.
"I've wasted so many years of my life with drugs, I don't want to see any other kids go through that," the 33-year-old McAllister told the Chicago Tribune. "It's just not the right place to sell that kind of stuff."
He raised the issue with his manager, a friend who had hired him earlier this year, but nothing changed. So he decided to protest the paraphernalia his own way. Last week, McAllister went in to work in a white T-shirt, on which he'd written in black marker, "SAY NO TO BONGS!"
According to the Southtown Star, he was promptly fired for it.
"I'm not upset about being fired," McAllister said. "A job is a job is a job. There are plenty of other things I can do. It's the principle of it -- (bongs) cannot be in front of kids."
But his protest finally won the day: Homewood police contacted store owner Ramesh Gupta last Thursday, demanding that the bongs and pipes be taken off the shelves; by Friday, they were gone.
Selling drug paraphernalia is illegal in Illinois, unless it is also used for smoking tobacco or other legal products. Gupta apparently made that argument to Homewood police sergeant Mike MacDonald, who was having none of it:
"(The manager) said, 'What if you stop a kid and he has a glass pipe and has (only) tobacco in it?'" MacDonald said. "Realistically, that's never happened to me before. We use common sense. If it had tobacco, we wouldn't arrest (the hypothetical subject).
"It's ridiculous. I've never heard of someone smoking tobacco out of a bong. C'mon, who are you trying to fool?"
What do you think?