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"What 'black market' existed in your school?" –– That was today's burning question from Redditor kryantastic, who reminded us that kids, teens, and college students all find unique ways of making money or obtaining "contraband" items in schools.

A relative of mine ran a gambling ring in junior high, for example, and that was how they (and so many of their classmates) obtained all the candy and chocolates they could stuff their faces with. This same relative has since paid for their black market wits with numerous visits to the dentist over the years.

You win some, you lose some, right?


"Teachers punished us..."

Teachers punished us by making us write "I will refrain from extemporaneous vocalization during valuable pedagogical opportunities" 50 or 100 times as homework. So over the summer we would do up a few hundred sheets of that, and we could sell or use them, as necessary.

FlavoredCuDispenser

"The cafeteria..."

The cafeteria (not school run, kind of just a cafe inside the school) would charge $3-4 for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so one girl kept the ingredients in her locker and charged $1. When the school caught wind and shut it down, they tried to guilt us all by saying how the cafeteria was someone's livelihood and we were taking away from that. But like. $4 for peanut butter?

Mustashim

"Kids would find..."

A porn ring.

Kids would find their Dads VHS pornos or magazines and sell then to this kid. Then he'd turn around and sell it for profit.

Funny thing is that when the principal caught wind of it and found all the porn in his locker but the money wasn't there. The kid used the locker under his and hid it all in the bottom.

The porn hustler dude is now a cybersecurity analyst. I asked him at our reunion how much he thought he made back then. He claims $900 in 4 months.

HelpMyBunny1080p

"My school..."

My school banned soda. I used to keep a cooler full in my car and sell them for $2 a pop.

jsmys

"My mum owned a sweet shop..."

My mum owned a sweet shop and sweets were banned in our school as we had to have healthy meals and all that. So she'd constantly give me bags of sweets to smuggle in and sell everyday at dinner. Made an absolute bomb.

skraii

"I used to sell bootleg movies..."

I used to sell bootleg movies in high school. Not the kind of bootleg where you take a video camera into a theater, but I knew someone who kept getting early versions of movies that I guess are sent to theaters (they had some message about it being for screening purposes only/internal use - I don't remember exactly) and giving them to me. I'd burn a bunch of copies and sell them to people for $5. They were high quality and still early in theaters.

Cheese_Pancakes

"Our high school..."

Giphy

Our high school had an internet filter.

An enterprising friend of mine set up a FreeBSD server in his basement, and put together some 256mb flash drives with an executable version of Firefox (could run directly from the flash drive without installs) and a SSH client. You could plug it in, connect SSH, then use the server as a proxy for all the Firefox traffic and get around any website you wanted.

Those flash drives were a hot commodity, let me tell you. You could set up in the library and just start casually browsing a banned website, and people would start coming up and asking how you could do it.

chrisw1984

"Our cafeteria coordinator..."

Iodized salt and simple black pepper in the lunchroom. I'm not kidding. This was around 2004 (USA).

Our cafeteria coordinator was trying to do everything healthy and by government rules, so no added salt. Bogus, but whatever. But she also took the pepper too. Kids in my school didn't really pack lunches, as most of us got reduced lunch. I was pissed, as they just boiled canned veggies and gave them to you in a bowl with the juice, and wasn't going to stand for it. I was also a huge ahole in high school, so I made a plan.


I bought salt and pepper shakers and put them in a zippy bag to carry in my backpack. I broke them out at lunch every day, and shared with about 70 kids. We made it through for about 3 months, and then they finally caught on who had them. I got "silent lunch detention" in a separate room for a week, and I made sure I put my salt and pepper out on my table every day.

But then, when I came back to the normal lunchroom, like 30 people had salt and pepper shakers. Shakers everywhere, and the coordinator was pissed. Oh it makes me laugh even today. She still refused to put out salt and pepper, but we all had it anyway. It continued until I graduated from there.

mingohippy

"In 5th grade..."

In 5th grade I sold fairies to every single one of my classmates for $1 each. I gave them names and back stories and drew little portraits of each then would toss them an invisible fairy and then collect from the next sucker.

venuscries

"Stuck on a boss?"

PlayStation (1&2) memory cards

Stuck on a boss? Want the treasures without having to beat the game on Ultra Hard? There was a guy who in my grade who, for a fee, would play any game and get where you wanted to be then give you a memory card to copy over the save file. Naturally you had to return the memory card to keep the ball rolling for everyone.

fukKnucklesLLC

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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