Back in the day, do you remember where your priorities were? Middle and high school dramas always focus on the dating, the dances, and the real-life hardships of kids, but is that really what our lives were like?
Or did we have some more interesting and hilarious moments of our youth that often get glossed over? Such as, what people were selling in your school at ridiculous prices? Livestrong bracelets were most certainly a hallmark of the black market of those of us who were in middle school between 2002 and 2005. Cheesy bagels became a fixture of the rewards system at high schools around the Boston area.
Your school probably had something similar going on.
"What was the weirdest black market in your school?"
Here were some of those answers.
Anything For The Jersey
"Mountain Dew and Pepsi had a contest where college names were printed on the inside of the bottle caps. "
"If that school won the NCAA March madness tournament, you could send it in for the jersey of your choice from any school. Suddenly, a black market for caps with blue chip schools was born."
"I remember selling a Duke cap for $10, then turning around and buying 10 drinks from the vending machine."-UCFandOCSC
The Forger Of West High
"This one girl forged excuse notes if you brought her something one of your parents wrote."
"I never used her services myself, but we were (and still are) good friends, and I gotta say, she's talented as hell."
"I literally can't tell which one is mine after she copied something I wrote. Including signature. It's baffling."-ChaoticMainframe
Any Price For A Fantasy
"Harry Potter books."
"I went to a religious school where books that had magic or fantasy was banned. Parents of these kids were just as religious so kids couldn't get them from their parents."
"Mom didn't care and she let me buy a few for some friends and then more kids started requesting them."
"Charged double for what they were worth and the kids were more than happy to pay."
"Most popular requests were: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Cirque Du Freak series. I should probably mention that this was a Muslim school."-aidan-fox
The black markets that students established ranged from the relatively innocuous to the somewhat dangerous.
Rewarding Preteens Seems Like A Silly Idea
"Our middle school tried to start a reward program. It turned out to be a fail of epic proportion."
"Wolf bucks; names after our mascot. They were mini-sized dollars color-coded by value. Green was $1, red was $5, blue was $10, and a gold wolf buck (only accessible to the principal and assistant principal $50) - Now the school bought erasers, pencil, notebooks. You could only buy with wolf bucks 1 pencil : 1 wolf buck."
"First failure: it was easy to copy. So kids started mass copying them. - okay school got smart and said 'only accepting wolf bucks with your name and have your teachers signature.'"
"Second failure: kept the same color; so kids would earn one legitimately, then the forgery started. Third failure: hyperinflation; during pep rally's. The principal started throwing golden wolf bucks."
"Eventually the school stopped resupplying the store. Everyone had hundreds/ thousands of worthless wolf bucks."-isramobile
"My best friend found out that the dumpster behind the video store had a lot of sample porn tapes."
"Basically it was like the best parts of 4 porns clipped down and put into one vhs to try to sell those porn videos to the store, and then it would have 'this is a sample copy' flashing on the screen. Way more than we could handle anyhow."
"We would sneak up there in the middle of the night and steal a bunch of the porn tapes and sell em for like 5-10 a piece. We made several hundred dollars."
"I built a PC and put a CD burner in it with my share of the money. It might have also paid for a bike, but I might have mowed lawns for that, I forget which year that happened in and if they were the same summer."
'"Ring got busted and my friend got his disciplined when he fell asleep with the vhs in his tv that rewinds and plays it automatically."
"His mom came to wake him up and there's porn. He had to unveil his stash space. Guy kept his mouth shut though. Didn't rat me out said it was just for him. Didn't tell her it was a business we were running."
"We had a history of that. One summer when we were like 6, we started freezing soda in ice cube trays cause it was yummy and made our extremely meager soda allowance last MUCH longer while we were playing sega."
"Well, some kids around the neighborhood wanted some but we didn't really want to give em up. We decided to sell them for a quarter, but all our soda-pops got bought up.... but we also had enough money for several 2 liters."
"Well the next day we made a bunch more and kids were rabid for them, did two batches of every ice cube tray we had, upped it to .50 a cube. Next day we went a dollar a cube with special mixes. 1.50 for a SURGE cube (enough to buy an entire 2liter bottle at the time.)"
"Well... by the time parents were getting home from work our racket got shut down, parents were PIIIIIIISED we made bank, certainly over $100 on the 3 day racket. As kindergarten age kids."
"The parents wanted the money back but we said we spent it all... we were liars, I mean, we had plans for all the money sure, and we spent a LOT of it. We had HUGE bags of soda and chips stuffed in a stairwell where our parent's wouldn't find it. Man we had a great summer that summer."-hemorrhagicfever
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Black Market Bus Pass
"This happened in Los Angeles in the mid 80's. Student bus passes had to be purchased by the fifth day of the month or you were stuck having to pay daily."
"The date had passed so I found a guy in my high school willing to trade another student's pass which he had stolen. I traded a tangerine and half a pack of cigarettes for a copy of Penthouse."
"Then I traded that issue with a pizza from the cafeteria for the bus pass."-HankPymp
Still A Collector's Item
"'Diddle' paper. It's colored paper with a mouse drawn on it. But everyone collected them. No matter how old. And there were hundreds of different artworks."
"People had folders with protective covers and depending on the motif and rarity you wanted to trade, you could get 3 to 4 others in exchange. It was wild..."
"I just googled it and there are still collectors buying and selling them on the internet..."-OneMorePotion
And some of these black markets were likely not the only ones of their kind across the world.
This Is Definitely Illegal
"A teacher at my high school that I refuse to rat on would take money from students and buy them lottery tickets/scratch-offs in exchange for a cut of any prize $50 and up."
"I think the dude legit made a few thousand dollars off of this just during my senior year. And it made the students love him."-Feraligreater328
Something Easily Made
"In early elementary school we had a market for mud. Different groups of kids would claim areas around the school as their mud pit and put their brand of mud in ziplock bags to be traded with other groups for different bags of mud."
"We were the clay mud group and I had about 3 kids in the muck scooping it into bags or running to the water fountain to get fresh water to make more mud on dry days. I would be the one to go make the deals with the other groups."
"We traded a lot with the gravel mud group because 'clay mud' and 'cement mud' are both good for building or some sh*t... Who knows? It made so much sense at the time."
"The principal and staff eventually stepped in to end it because all the kids came back to class filthy every day and giant holes littered every field and playground."-LemmeLaroo
Ice Cream, The Young Child's Gold
"Our elementary school utilized 'ice cream tickets.'"
"You got 1 if it was your birthday or if you did something that a teacher decided was 'exemplary.'"
"People would pass them around asking for favors down the line. Some kid found the paper used to make the tickets and xeroxed multiple pages of the tickets. He became our kingpin and ruled for a couple years."-Lucky_Se7enX
The things that kids will really rely on each other to produce and sell are so interesting and are a great look back into the psyche of our youth.
The black market days may be behind us, but the black market life will always leave lasting memories.
America is in quite a state right now.
We are hurting in ways we've never hurt before.
And getting better doesn't seem like an option on the horizon.
America gets a lot wrong everyday.
But, maybe let's try to focus on what America does right.
Maybe it can be a little comfort in times of struggle.
People from all over the world want to live here.
Redditor Ulrich-Stern wanted to discuss the best of America. They asked:
"What does the United States get right?"
I think America certainly has a strong work ethic. We know how to work and win.
Getting AroundCivil Rights Equality GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
"Accessibility code for buildings. I come from a country where disability is looked upon like a crime or fault. USA does an amazing job making things accessible. I haven’t seen all of USA but majority of the places has amazing system."
"Our public libraries are a real backbone for the country."
"Andrew Carnegie's groundwork in building the institution of free libraries, even in small towns, set a precedent that we wouldn't fathom today but couldn't live without. They often serve not only as an information exchange but as cultural hub, art gallery, performing arts center, tax aid, voter registration, job resources, etc. in communities."
"Plus they're one of the only places you can just exist for hours indoors without the expectation you must buy something.And I feel like they've adapted to the ever-changing needs of their patrons in modern times faster in the US than most places."
"'A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.' -Andrew Carnegie"
'restore' or 'create'
"Valuing actual wilderness in places like national parks. Here in England, they will 'restore' or 'create' natural habitats, which is sort-of nice, but they are almost like zoos. They are too small to survive by themselves so they are actively maintained."
"And in some English national parks, they actually allow housing developments as long as the architectural design is sympathetic. Here, 'countryside"'means farms. There is still a notion in the USA of protecting some large wilderness areas from development."
"The rate of smoking cigarettes. We do very little well in the US when it comes to overall health, but we are light years better than most places when it comes to the prevalence of cigarette smoking. Hardcore anti smoking adds + laws of inconvenience + social stigma really did work."
HollywoodMovie Theater Reaction GIF by CBSGiphy
"Films. Don't get me wrong, the US can put out some bad films, but the best ones I've seen are usually American."
We do do films well. That is a big plus.
FamilyKids Playing GIF by moodmanGiphy
"The United States adopts more children than the rest of the world combined."
"Burgers. Motherfreakin' burgers."
"I'd expand that to sandwiches in general. Burgers, Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, subs, clubs, chopped cheese, po'boys, just this whole sandwich spectrum. Americans just took sandwich concepts from across the globe and ran with them."
"I've always envied your wildlife. I'm from England and the only large wild animals (other than fish) we have are deer, boar and foxes. And they're incredibly rare. I've always thought it was so cool one country could have bears, moose, cougars, alligators, panthers, bison/buffalo, etc."
"Gas stations like QuikTrip, where they have clean bathrooms, lighted parking lots, free air for your tires, ten different coffees on tap, beer, hotdogs, any soft drink or snack you want, the list goes on. In other countries -- you're not gonna believe this -- their gas stations only sell... gas."
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"The US is an absolute science powerhouse. The technology we come out with has touched the lives of nearly every person on the planet."
"I say this as an immigrant who came to this country, so perhaps take it with a grain of salt. But it truly gives people a second chance at life. My life would be nowhere near as good as it is right now if I were back in my home country."
Maybe America isn't the hot mess a lot of people think it is. We'll see...
Sex is an important part of life.
That is just a fact.
But sex is also about connection and intimacy.
So it's not a surprise when many relationships take a hit after the sex dries up.
It's not something to ignore.
It's the biggest problem in the world, but partners should discuss it.
RedditorItsyBitsyJoxywanted to hear about reasons to stick around with a partner when there is no sexy time. They asked:
"Would you be in a sexless relationship? What circumstance would you find acceptable for this?"
Sex is fun. And when the sex stopped in my relationships... so did the fun. But that is just me.
A Certain EraVery Funny Oops GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy
"I'm over 80."
"There’s a lot of people that are going to be real shocked once they hit their 70s."
"Our second child has ruined her sex drive. Intimacy is still there but extremely infrequently. I've learned how much that intimacy brings to the relationship, it feels very lonely and although I know it's not her fault, it can still make you feel like she's not attracted to me anymore. It can be pretty lonely too if you go from a romantic relationship to borderline platonic one. You can't help wonder how much is body changes and how much is you."
"I had rectal cancer and because of the surgery I can no longer get an erection, it's very lonely."
"Not sure if one exists, but a site to just make friends to be cuddle buddies, or whatever, should exist for people like you & me. I lost my sex drive & would like a relationship for that occasionally."
"In my case, it's not wanting to see someone very often, as well as the lack of sex drive, that I think would make it difficult. I also don't like people over to my home as it's too small for a couch & we'd be hanging out on my bed, which is weird to me."
"I'm in one now. My husband had a stroke... no sex is not the big problem for either one of us."
"This comment brings a lot of perspective. My gut reaction to this question was no. Sex was and still is pretty significant in my relationship with my wife. We’re in our 30’s and have been together over a decade. But if something happened to her and it was no longer an option? I would never leave her and love her too damned much to imagine it, no matter how much we love sex."
PainScarlett Johansson GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I have a near sexless marriage. The love is strong, but the desire is one-sided. That hurts."
Sexless over loveless is definitely easier. So there is that.
Over time...up s GIFGiphy
"I am happily married to my good lady for decades and decades. There are times when it has been sexless for whatever reason but never has it been loveless.I wouldn’t have lasted 2 days in a loveless relationship."
You play the cards you are dealt
"I’m dating a man who got diagnosed with prostate cancer a year or so into our relationship. Prostate had to come out and it’s a hit or miss whether or not sexual function comes back. In his case, it was a miss. He wanted me to move on because he got very depressed over it."
"He’s so pleasant and a real decent human being so I stayed with him. Who would abandon someone due to a health crisis? Unfortunately he got bladder cancer next so this is another hurdle to go over. You play the cards you are dealt. We are together in this."
"The reasons for the 'sexlessness' and the depth of the relationship are key factors. My wife got breast cancer at 40 and while she lived another 8 years, the chemotherapy nullified her libido and made intercourse impossible. And yet I dearly wish we could have grown old together whether or not this would have changed. But that’s completely different from cohabiting a loveless marriage or even facing such a situation in one’s youth only a few years after marriage. That would be hard."
"A sexless relationship is better than a loveless relationship, as long as I'm loved and we share physical affection like cuddling and kisses and I'm allowed to beat my meat when I need too I wouldn't care. Just a heads up to all the people who take this personally enough to comment how wrong I am."
"There's no such thing as a wrong option, my opinion is in regards to myself and myself alone I'm not answering for anyone else. Different opinions aren't wrong... OP asked a question to be answered from your own point of view..so there's no reason to call anyone else wrong... it's about you, answer for YOU I've answered for me."
Love is there...Checking In I Love You GIF by Seize the AwkwardGiphy
"I'm in one. Not happy about it, but love is still there so that's nice."
"Same. Maybe had it once in the last 12 years. Finally decided to go to couples/sex therapy this year. Not sure it is helping, but at least I finally brought up that I wanted to try something. My wife is my best friend and I love here with every fiber, just wish there was more intimacy there."
it never happens...
"We haven't had sex in five months due to numerous reasons. Never have alone time with my mom and daughter here. We're both too tired. Our bed we have sex on is where my mom is sleeping. Our waterbed is difficult to use. We always say next weekend and it never happens. We're still going strong though. We love each other and that's what matters."
Well I guess some people can make it work. More power to you.
We all have things which get on our nerves.
Some people have a fairly high tolerance level, and are only truly perturbed by things which are beyond the bounds of common decency, or which are universally accepted as annoying or inconvenient.
Others are not so lucky, and tend to be set off by things which might go completely unnoticed by everyone else.
Redditor Onatic420 was curious to learn the things which instantly make others want to pull their hair out and scream, leading them to ask:
"What do you find annoying as f*ck?"
Is it so hard to pick up after yourself?
"Habitual litterers."- SuvenPan
"When people don’t clean up after themselves."- cheeto_has_spoken
If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
"People that can dish it but can’t take it."
"I work with a dude like this and it’s terrible."- MF_GhidraTea Time Reaction GIF by Kamie CrawfordGiphy
Never judge something by it's size.
"When skin tears near your fingernail and that teeny tiny wound hurts way more than it should."- BlackCaaaaat
"When mosquitoes fly by ur ears."- AxcesDrifter
Back to where we started...
"The Reddit app when it scrolls back up to the top of the 65 TRILLION FKN articles you’ve read."
"It should burn the articles as you read them."- Deathdar1577
Take some responsibility!
"A person's inability to say sorry."- rohankentsorry kristen wiig GIFGiphy
Get out of the way!
"People who leave the f*cking shopping carts in middle of the f*cking aisle!"- otherm0ther
But enough about me, what do you think of me?
"People who make it all about themselves."- ExtensionAir7Proud Drag Queen GIF by CameoGiphy
A lost cause
"Willfully ignorant people."- KingZaneTheStrange
Be it the way another person behaves or common, every day occurrences, we all have things which get on our nerves.
Most of the time it's best to grin and bear it.
But next time you see someone litter, it might be a fine opportunity to let that anger out.
For your sake, and everyone else's.
How many of us heard the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" as a child?
Or were told by their parents that watching too much television would make your eyes fall out?
Needless to say, these, as well as other sayings and superstitions, were not 100% accurate, possibly even having no truth to them whatsoever
Rather, these were merely a way to encourage, or scare, children into better eating habits, or getting away from the TV once and a while.
Some however, have, took these and other unsubstantiated pieces of information literally, and continue to believe them to be true.
Redditor wste96 was curious to believe what other falsehoods people continue to believe, in spite of proof to the contrary, leading them to ask:
"What's the biggest lie ever told that we, as a society, still believe in?"
Justice will be served... won't it?
"What goes around comes around."
"Sometimes it doesn't."- Recent_View6254
"That people get what they deserve, or must deserve what they get."- HugeMcAwesome
It's just a phase.... or is it?
"That acne will go away after your teen years."- One_Arachnid_1256Scared Freak Out GIF by Lillee JeanGiphy
Better cut back on those TV dinners...
"Microwaves give you cancer"- Salt-Significance702
Absolutely no justification.
"That torture is an effective method of extracting information."
"Every ten years or so, some three letter agency or another is forced to admit that their torture program yielded nothing but false leads and wrecked lives."
"Then goes straight back to doing it."
"The general population shrugs and says 'if it's the only way to get intel' as if they weren't just told point blank that it doesn't work."- barnfodder
A little kindness goes a very long way
"That being nice and accommodating is a sign of weakness."- AidilAfham42Be Nice GIF by Susanne LambGiphy
"Square cut or pear shaped, these rocks don't lose their shape..."
"Diamonds are rare which us why they are expensive."
"They're very very common, their price is kept high by controlling how many enter the market by the De Beers group, which basically has a monopoly on them and hoards them."
"Synthetic/lab grown diamonds are the exact same as natural and even cheaper to make, but people are still convinced they're not as good as 'real' diamonds."- no_ps_wow
Unrealistic expectations on society
"That we need to work tirelessly and wear ourselves out in order to have a good future and stay happy."- iambigego
"Go to a great college and get a great job and have a great life."- MewsikMaker
When you just can't hold it any more...
"That there is a chemical you can put in pools that turns blue when you pee."- Sad_Cherry2884GIF by South Park Giphy
As the saying goes, you can't believe everything you read.
But for the sake of others, still best to avoid peeing in pools.