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The Silent Crisis.


Practically Family
I sure hope this is the proper section for this article. I just thought at least some others would be able to appreciate and get a chuckle out of this.

Cross-posted from here:

The Silent Crisis by T. J. Figueroa

Dateline-Anytown, MA

Behind the bucolic serenity of this rural setting nestled in Southern New England there is a silent crisis unfolding. It's victims include women, men and even children. It cuts across all ethinc and cultural divides. Although this crisis is silent, it's toll of victims is rising at an alarming rate. If you live in this quiet community of manicured lawns and quiet streets the odds are very good you know a victim of this ever expanding problem. Some call it a compulsion, others an addiction. The few mental health experts who have examined this problem have called it the "most insidious attack on mental health since the flouridation of drinking water". Although there is wide spread disagreement on it's causes and solutions, the source of the crisis is undeniably clear: Ebay.

Mental health experts, speaking on condition of anonimity for fear of reprisal, report victims as incoherent with rage at being "sniped", of families shattered, bank accounts drained, mounting debts, domestic violence and cruelty to small animals. "Sniping" is a tactic where just as a bid is about to close, another bidder, with scant seconds remaining, ups the price of the bid. Victims of this practice have been reportedly driven to near homicidal rage followed by an almost catatonic state. Local computer repairmen have seen an unprecedented rise in their business. The most common computer problem reported? Abused hard drives and fist size holes in monitors. And what of the children? Perhaps they are the greatest victims of this quiet crisis. Anytown school officials report that incidents of bullying of these so called "Ebaybies" is on the rise. Children whose clothes are "slightly worn" or have "slight defects" are being singled out for verbal and often physical abuse as well. Calls to parents of these "Ebaybies" went unreturned. Perhaps the most unsettling account of this Ebay driven behavior was that of a entire family that faked it's own death in an attempt to get back on Ebay under a new identity. They had been banned from Ebay after spending over a hundred thousand dollars because they attempted to return a Pez dispenser.

Where is the line drawn between mass marketing and mass hysteria? Dr. Irving Popoffnick, of the Miskatonic University's Department of the Unusual and president of the Greater New England "Keepers Of Odd Knowledge" (KOOK) society says: " It's not unusual to see such psychic dislocation in these otherwise "normal" people. Think of Anytown as a vast membrane, thin yet extremely sensitive. This membrane has been struck a serious blow." Dr. Popoffnick's solution? " At this point we must recognize that Ebay has become the center of it's victim's lives. They can no longer function within the agreed upon parameters of society. Their psychic membrane is bruised thus rendering them incapable of normal human intercourse. Therefore, radical surgery is needed. Anytown must be quarantined from the rest of the Commonwealth for it's own safety as well the safety of the remainder of Massachusetts."

Finally, what of the people of Anytown themselves? Are they victims of an insidious cult phenomenon or merely misunderstood? Have they crossed the line from free market capitalism into free form paranoia? I chose a typical Anytown resident at random and attempted to get her perspective on this. I approached her home cautiously, with it's shuttered windows and unkempt lawn. There was an extremely well worn path from the front door to the mailbox however. I knocked on the door and after a few moments I heard the sound of bubble wrap being stepped on. The door opened and I got my first look into a new kind of hell on earth. Boxes upon boxes were piled everywhere, swarms of flies buzzed around excitedly. The resident of the house asked me if I was from UPS. I said I was a reporter. She said she hadn't realized she'd purchased a reporter on Ebay. Her name, as it turns out was Beverly Peter. She seemed simutaneously confused yet deeply suspicious. She was wearing a slightly defective bathrobe and slippers that seemed two sizes too small.

I left her home shaken and very disturbed by what I'd seen. Is this the future? Are we all destined to become shambling, paranoid auction attendees? I contacted Ebay in an attempt to get their side of the story. They did not return my calls but that afternoon some men in a van came to my home and took my wife and kids away claiming they'd been purchased on Ebay. The next day I was evicted from my home because someone purchased it on Ebay. Like a dark, angry god, Ebay has made it's displeasure known and I must now live my life measured in moments. Someone, somewhere is armed with a credit card and a broadband connection bidding for my life. One life "slightly worn", one mind "slightly defective," and one reporter whose very existence is the subject of a bidding war waged by foot soldiers whose only guiding light is the LCD of a computer monitor...
;) lol


Hardlucksville, NY
haha, that was fun to read.
I like this line..
LadyStardust said:
Where is the line drawn between mass marketing and mass hysteria?
I cannot help but recall how many people fell for Ebay's benign "origin" story. lol


Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
In a way losing my job was the best thing that could have happened to me -- it forced me to go cold turkey on eBay. Oh, the withdrawal symptoms were brutal, but I think I have emerged a stronger, wiser woman for the experience, and I... I... um ....OH MAN, I GOTTA BID ON THOSE SHOES! NO! LET ME GO! JUST ONE BID ... (fade out)

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