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Friday, November 08, 2013

ADB, Inc. Announces Cardboard Patches, Sparks Controversy


AMARILLO, TEXAS – ADB, Inc  publicly announced that their popular cardboard product would soon be available in wearable patch form.

According to company president Stephen V. Cole, “The patches are designed to slowly release cardboard into the user’s bloodstream, helping to prevent cravings. An icon on each patch identifies the strength of the patch, making it easy for users to ensure they are getting the right dosage. The patches are available in a wide variety of designer colors, including black on blue, white on black, and black on red.  At approximately half an inch square, they can also be worn discreetly under clothing.”

The announcement was received enthusiastically by ADB’s customers. “This is wonderful,” said “Kommander K.,” who says he owns “a dozen Plano tackle boxes full” of cardboard. “You used to need at least a kitchen table’s worth of space to get a fix. Now I can just slap ‘em straight on my skin.” Others aren’t so sure, citing concerns over the long-term effects of cardboard use. Professor G. N. Sexton, a neurologist at Miskatonic University, believes that cardboard can have severe effects on vulnerable individuals. “Cardboard use seems to affect the language center of the brain, re-wiring it,” she said. “Users suffer a kind of aphasia, using normal words in bizarre ways. For example, they use the word ‘race’ to refer not to a competition, but to a nation or ethnic group.” In heavy users, the effects seem to be even more severe: “Users of high-strength double-sided cardboard lose almost any ability to communicate normally, using nonsense words like ‘DirDam’ and ‘ComPot.’ The heavier the cardboard use, the more resistant the patient is to remedial therapy. Most double-sided cardboard users are hopeless cases.”

Mr. Cole dismisses the concerns. “Most of these guys are career military,” he says. “Years of using military jargon will destroy anyone’s ability to communicate clearly.” He also dismisses claims that cardboard is addictive. “Most users voluntarily limit the amount of cardboard they use in a session, referring to any excess as ‘clutter.’ Would they do that if it was addictive?” According to Professor Sexton, it is. “Most cardboard users experiment with it during high school or college, then stop using it as they mature. For a small number of individuals, however, it is highly addictive and they need larger and larger doses. Some use thousands of counters at a time.” Even going cold turkey is not enough to break the habit, Sexton says, citing the case of “David Z.” “He used heavily for some years before finally giving up, but then found out about ADB from its page on Facebook. Within days, he was using cardboard again.” Some users seem to realize that they are addicted but don’t care: “I’m addicted to cardboard. I could give up at any time, but why bother?” says one.

Hardcore cardboard users form a small, tightly-knit subculture. Users think of themselves as an elite group,  referring to themselves as “players,” a term borrowed from the hip-hop music culture to mean a high-status person. On blogs they claim to be a tiny minority of “risk takers.” Users meet at each other’s homes and on Internet message boards to use cardboard or plan meetings to use cardboard. Some will travel thousands of miles to meet at “game conventions” and binge on double-sided cardboard for three days or more.  Professor Sexton believes this behavior is extremely dangerous and that double-sided cardboard should be banned. “It’s all bright colors and big numbers on the face of it,” she says, “but the flipside is crippling.”

Thanks to Terry O'Carroll for finding this article!