What was the weirdest blackmarket in your school?

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We did a weird assignment for a month where we ran a “society” for an hour each day in our classroom. People had little shops they ran from their desks, there were elected positions, laws you could be ticketed for breaking, etc. It was all run on fake money, of course. I got elected Chief of Police, and handed out tickets for stuff like chewing gum in class. But a combination of laziness and not wanting everyone to hate me caused me to slack off, and I got fired after 2 weeks. So I opened a shop instead and sold stuff. Including gum, which in hindsight makes me like a cop who became a drug dealer. The final week of this rolls around and there’s an announcement. At the end, all your money will be tallied up, any debts or taxes you owe subtracted, and any kid who wound up with a positive amount gets a pizza party. Kids who are in the red have to write an assignment on how and why they screwed up. This electrifies the class. Missing out on a pizza party is a Big Damn Deal when you’re 10, and well under half the class is currently in the black. Tons of them had taken out big loans in the beginning to set up businesses, and had no way to repay them. Not me though, I’d been receiving a salary as a cop, and after being fired I just used the money I had accumulated to set up shop and had no debts. Few in the class could say that, so I was sitting pretty. Soon I started receiving offers of *real* money on the playground for some of my fake money. You only needed to be one dollar over zero to “win”, so I could spare plenty. Made $40 in actual cash; I think I charged $5 for a hundred fake dollars, and got 8 people to accept. So I was a corrupt cop who became a drug dealer who became a money launderer. And won. So I definitely learned a lot about how society works. **Edit:** Since everyone keeps asking if this foreshadowed my future career, I must disappointingly admit that I’m just a software dev now. I mean, as far as *you and Uncle Sam* know, I’m a software dev 😉


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.


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 alot with the gravel mud group because “clay mud” and “cement mud” are both good for building or some shit… 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.


This one girl forged apology letters 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.


This wasn’t a weird one but a genius one for a tween. A girl set up a little business out of a box of stationary, writing forged letters from parents. She had all different paper, pens and pencils of every kind, and could write in convincingly accurate tone for the content of the notes depending on which kid they were for. She used different styles of handwriting and different styles of punctuation and language too. She’d even fudge the spelling if she thought the kid’s parents weren’t great at it. She grew up to be incredibly educated. I look back and see that as her first moment of evil genius. It definitely suggested she would go on to brilliance one day and she did.