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People Describe The Items People Traded In Their School's Secret 'Black Market'

The Trade In...

People Describe The Items People Traded In Their School's Secret 'Black Market'
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

I had no idea this stuff was going on. THAT is how uncool I am. A subterranean network in education where items are traded as currency? And for what? Apparently pencils are as valuable as cigarettes in a prison setting. And is it only the students involved? Are teachers and the administration also running it? So much to think about.

Redditor u/RetardIsProbalyTaken wanted to discuss, what's the value of a few underground things to the educational crowd these days by asking...

Never in my wildest dreams did I think about quid pro quo in school. I clearly missed out. Having suffered from bullying the way I did, I could've bartered for my freedom.

We Need Control

dos equis facepalm GIF by Dos Equis Gifs to the WorldGiphy

In my junior year we had a gun black market. like that's not even a joke, one boy was selling guns out of the back of his car at lunch.


We used to do that in the 70's. It was legal.


Candy Kids

Any candy in primary school, Smartys in middle school and marijuana in high school.


I was an entrepreneurial child, and would bring in Sees candy bars to my siblings school and sell them for $4 each. Paid $1. Way better than the cheap stuff the other kids were slinging. My parents knew about it and didn't care. They wouldn't pay for any of my stuff even basics like shampoo and toothpaste from the age of 12, but at least they didn't stop me from making money where I could.


CD Daze...

This will show my age a bit, but I was the first kid (in a large middle school) with a CD burner. I started out selling top 40 compilations for $5, then moved onto mixes by request for $8 (you give me a list of songs, I burn you a CD), then got into full albums the day of release for $5. It was so lucrative, I bought two more high-speed burners and could do three CDs at a time.

Within a few months the whole school knew me and where I'd be hanging out on certain days. I even had a guy working with me for a cut.

We'd walk around with a duffel bag just slinging discs. In a year-and-a-half, we made so much money I don't even want to say. But if you do the math, I was averaging probably 20-30 CDs a day, but on a huge album release I'd easily do 200 or more in a day.

Keeping up with demand was stressful as hell, but my parents knew and were actually supportive, as long as I got my homework done. My dad even found a way to buy blank discs and cases in bulk for cheap from who knows where.

I went away for the summer between 8th and 9th grade, and when I got back another kid had taken over the market. I was so relieved. I still burned discs for friends for free if they gave me a blank, and obviously for myself. But was so glad to get out having made all that money.


People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To Know

The Pop Gang 

So my brother ran his own little black market at our high school. Back in the early 2000's they introduced soda machines to our Upstate NY school. They were $2 for each soda. There was a Kinney's Pharmacy right next to the school. So I'd park my truck in the spots between the two, he'd get out and buy as many 6 packs of soda as he could fit in his bag.

Then he'd sell them during the day for $1.50 each, undercutting the vending machine and making a profit. The school eventually caught on and called our mother. My mother wasn't even mad, she was impressed with his ingenuity.



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Silly bandz in elementary school.


This! We would sell, trade, gift them, a true black market. I can say I had some of the "rare" one, spongebob, gary, Mr.Krabs. You know the good stuff.


It's funny, I was an Assistant Principal's assistant, and her candy draw was overflowing with trash. I always had her lunch hour covered. I could've taken everything she confiscated and resold it. Damn me having a conscious. How is candy an issue? Whatever.

For the Pens...

When I was in high school, they gave out Surface computers to all the students. Everyone would lose or break their pens, and the school didn't have anymore replacements. Eventually it got to a point where other students would steal other people's pens and sell them to other kids who need them.


When in Stanford...

At Stanford they let vendors like arts and crafts people set up on a particular lawn i don't recall how often every coupla weeks? one of em sold shrooms. they were selling more than arts and crafts i suppose. giving you a way to see in your own artsy way.


The Chick Plan

Some guy used to bring an entire gym bag full of Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits to sell in HS. Sold out every morning before 1st period. You could be added to his waitlist to get yours reserved or you could wait to see if he had any left. Brilliant.


Christ I could have made a killing doing this. Any kids reading this, you can still make a killing doing this. Do it for me.


Lunch Hour

When I was in high school, students could work in the cafeteria during our lunch hour for a small amount of money as well as a free lunch. A couple of the student lunch workers started selling their free lunches to other students for less money than the cafeteria would charge for the same meal. The school eventually caught on and fired the student workers that were doing it. Nothing crazy, but I always thought it was interesting.


No Flames! 

After my middle school banned Flamin' Hot Cheetos because of how popular they were, the kids who came from inner-city busses brought stashes of them in duffel bags and sold them for $1 each.



rihanna smiling GIFGiphy

In 3rd grade I got a clay jewelry maker for my birthday, I would make clay bracelets and necklaces and sell them to my classmates.


Anything & Everything

Boarding school black market. We have something called the 'Hedge'. Essentially it's just what it sounds like, it is a big hedge and you can crawl inside of it and can't be seen by anybody looking in.

People meet in it and buy cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or organise with older students to get them to buy certain items they can't buy since it's age restricted. It also used to be where people bought porn mags back in the day according to my dad (he was surprised it was still a thing), but obviously since porn is now free online it killed that sector of the economy off.



Alcohol. One of my buddies would bring a coffee thermos full of hard liquor to school every day and charge people $10 for a pull from it. People sharing coffee or soda wasn't super uncommon and he made quite the killing before he stopped (graduation was coming up and he didn't want to risk anything).


Take your... PIC

I did a thing with Pic-a-Pop. (Our local multi-flavor soda company) I brought 24 bottles of various favorites (cream soda, lime, raspberry, strawberry etc) and sold them for $0.75. It undercut the Coke machine by $0.25 and my cost was $0.50 plus I get a dime back for every bottle I returned. It wasn't a get rich quick scheme but $6 profit per 24 bottles and all I had to do was go for a 5 minute walk to the store every couple of days to reload.



Ash Ketchum Pokemon GIFGiphy

Pokémon was the black market in primary school. In high school it's drugs.


And Pancakes?

Fresh waffles. We had this one kid that would bring a waffle iron from home and plugged it into one of the sockets meant for your charger. During the breaks, he would pick from the supermarket across the street a bottle of waffle batter to which you only had to add water. Initially, he only this for himself and his friends, but since everyone in the school became hypnotized by the overwhelming waffle smell and started to ask for one, he decided to sell them. Unfortunately, his waffle stand was ultimately taken down by the janitor.


Come and Get It!!

I went to a boarding school. We had cards that allowed us to get however many dollars worth of food at the dining hall for meals. My roommate would get friends to lend him their cards when they went home for weekends, and he'd use them to stock up on mountain dew. Then he'd sell it out of our dorm room throughout the week. He made hundreds of dollars that way.


on the floor...

Marbles. In primary school my friend would win people's marbles in a game and then sell the marbles back to them. Until the teachers stopped him.


Of the Devil

The Exorcist GIF by filmeditorGiphy

The black market is D&D supplies, soda, books, snacks and movies. This is a catholic school. They say those things are of the devil.


The Pottery Studio

I mean I feel like it's the basic one but at my old college before I transferred there was an entire network of people exchanging textbooks and course packs because we refuse to support the bullcrap textbook industry. Legit operated out of the back of the pottery studio because it was it's own detached building behind the main lecture hall building.

Literally like a couple times a semester there would be, essentially, a swap meet in the studio and there'd be people from like the Psychology lab majors all the way to engineering students hanging out and exchanging books and course packs.



Lunch tickets.

When I was in school, students receiving free lunches would get paper tickets at the beginning of the week and exchange one ticket each day for their meal. These students would sometimes sell their lunch tickets at a reduced price to students who had to pay full price for lunch.

I was a full participant in this.

The reason? If I kept those tickets I could buy lunch for myself. If I sold them for $1 a piece I could use the resulting $5 to buy a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, or a gallon of milk and block of cheese, or a few cans of soup, and my mother and brother could also eat.


Schools have some dark secrets. There is a WHOLE lot happening that parents are not paying attention to. School is a soap opera. And I think I want to watch.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.