The drug trade is a tricky business. When it comes to buying them — which I have been known to do from time to time — I prefer doing business with people I know and trust.

The last thing I want are cops, particularly the feds, kicking in my door as I am consuming or buying drugs. For this reason, I stick to dealers who have proved to be reliable and discreet.

I’m talking about the pharmacists and pharm-techs at Smith’s in Herriman. They always give me what I need. They NEVER give me what I demand.

Kera • “We don’t have any…’shrooms.”

Austin • “Even if we had crystal meth here, I wouldn’t give it to you.”

Aaron • “Why did I give you vitamins? Because ‘Viagraline’ [Viagra and mescaline] doesn’t exist. You made it up. I got tired of you asking for it, so I gave you placebos.”

Nathan [who is new] • “Oh, you’re that guy the others were telling me about.”

And then there’s Amber, who, every time I step up to the counter, smiles and automatically rattles off, “We don’t have any of that, Robert. Now, what else can I get you?”

Leon, Andre, Natalie, Taylor and Ryan are some of the other Herriman Smith’s pushers I have come to trust with my health. And since I’m not dead — and neither are you — I think we all owe them a “Happy Pharmacist Day.”

Yes, Friday is National Pharmacist Day. A lot of us enjoy the health we do because pharmacists take care of us. We see them more than we see our doctors.

Currently, I take six prescribed medications. Four of them are for physical well-being, and two are absolutely necessary for everyone’s health. They help convince me that stuff like taking a grenade to a city council meeting isn’t a good idea.

Hang on. It’s seven medications if I count the self-prescribed marijuana cream that I have to drive 600 miles round trip to buy because it actually works and Utah is ridiculously paranoid (even without taking drugs) about legalizing it.

I don’t know what it takes to become a pharmacist. I’m sure there’s a lot of schooling, which is why other people are pharmacists and I’m not. It also helps that they’re more concerned about the public’s well-being than I am.

(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Smith's Pharmacy Manager Aaron Beck laughs with Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby as Kirby unwraps a cake he gave his Smith's Pharmacy staff in celebration of Pharmacist Day in Herriman, Utah, Thursday Jan. 11, 2018.

My first pharmacist of record was Mom. She would give me pills when I needed them for infections, allergies, pain and other ailments.

Since the meds I needed for interacting well with others hadn’t been invented yet, I occasionally refused to take the pills. Sometimes I spit them out. I gave them to the dog. He never died, but he did sleep for 16 hours once.

The Old Man was Mom’s backup pharmacist whenever my contrary nature caused me to balk at taking meds.

Mom • “Bobby, honey, take this pill. You’ll feel better, I promise.”

Old Man • “The church says we can’t give him rum, but I can damn sure tie him to a tree.”

They would discuss it some, and then the Old Man would grab me by the neck and ramrod the pill into my gullet with a finger. If it came back up, he would reload it. Ram, retch, repeat until it stayed down.

I became more cooperative about drugs when I got older. My pharmacist then was a guy known as “Millcreek Mike.” He probably didn’t have a license, but he had everything else we wanted and could pay for. In cash.

Eventually, I connected with the right doctors and meds. Oh, and I got married. My wife can take one look at me and tell whether I’ve taken my head meds. She says the corners of my eyes get evil — whatever that means.

My pharmacists and techs at Smith’s in Herriman help keep me alive and cooperative, for which I’m mostly grateful. If you’re grateful for yours, Friday is the day to thank them.

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Trib staff portraits. Robert Kirby.