A new study just published by the National Institute of Studying Stuff has pointed to, perhaps, a quite alarming statistic. According to a report on the study’s findings, almost 9 out of 10 bills used to play Monopoly also contain trace elements of pure, uncut, flavored sucrose, or “sugar” as the drug is known on the streets. It would appear, at least according to the NISS’s researcher’s report, that a lot of kids are using Monopoly money to snort Pixy Stix, and so it leaves lawmakers and doctors with the unenviable task of figuring out what they can do to ameliorate the situation.
Some Basic Facts
Each game of traditional Monopoly comes with over $20,000 in cash. Typically, NISS researchers found, it’s the higher denomination bills that kids are using to snort Pixie Stix. They estimate that nearly 85% of all Monopoly money is eventually used for that purpose, but that for most players it starts with rolling up a fake $500 and blasting their brains with high-potency flavored sugar. There are versions of the game that come with a pretend credit or debit card, to more closely simulate modern commerce, but NISS found that those cards are usually then used to cut up the sugar into small lines, and then players might use the cash from The Game of LIFE instead to snort those lines up.
Pixy Stix have available since 1952. Each “stick” is really just a thin paper straw sealed at both ends, and they all contain an amount of sugar medical professionals would never recommend anyone ingest, let alone through their nasal passages. But snorting Pixy Stix has been a time honored rite of passage for generations of bored adolescents and pre-teens, Dr. Benson Hornaydieux of the NISS research lab told reporters, and he and his team have merely “uncovered a means by which the sugar goes up their nose holes.”
“Obviously our study was done mostly to just confirm whether or not Monopoly money was being used to snort Pixy Stix, and not to make any recommendations or suggestions on what to do with our data,” Dr. Hornaydieux told reporters. “However, clearly if left unaddressed, there could be a generation or more of human beings with an acute desire to roll up a fake bill and blast their brain cells with some of the most high-grade sugar our species has ever seen. We advise swift hearings and meetings to get to the bottom of this burgeoning health crisis.
Reactions to the Study
So far, elected officials and medical professionals have not called for any outright bans on board games with pretend currency or Pixy Stix. Some have called for increasing the legal buying age for both games and Pixy Stix, however. In Ohio, one lawmaker made the case for making the new legal age for buying a game of Monopoly or a Pixy Stick 21.
“If you need to be 21 to smoke now, and still need to be 21 to drink,” State Rep. Tom Thompaulsen told reporters outside his office this week, “then I think it’s only right that we raise the legal minimum age you have to be in order to get your mitts on a Monopoly bankroll and some Pixy Stix. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting my new measure that would raise the legal Pixy Stick and board gaming age to 21 in the great state of Ohio.”
Ken Kenney, a life coach who is very open about his addiction to Pixy Stick snorting as a teenager and young adult and has written several self-help Kindle books on the subject, hopes that elected officials don’t “rush to criminalize” Pixy Stix or snorting them with fake money.
“I shudder to think how many of my friends I’d have that did time with with me in the pokey for having get togethers, getting bored, and shorting Pixy,” Kenney told us in a Skype interview. “I just think that Pixy is no different than cannabis or other drugs we’re trying as a society to decriminalize or legalize. If you create a black market for either board games or Pixy Stix, you’re only going to give those things an elicit appeal and drive kids to try them anyway, and probably much sooner than we’d like.”
Hasbro and Pixy Stix’ Response?
So how have Hasbro — the company that makes and distributes Monopoly — and Pixy Stix, Inc. responded to the study? Both companies have released official statements expressing shock and remorse at the findings. Hasbro has pledged to look into ways to discourage players from using their fake money to snort sugar. Pixy Stix has agreed to set aside a certain percentage of their annual revenue to programs for recovering sugar snorters and treatment facilities where they can get clean and sober.
“No one wants to think about their products being used in ways they weren’t intended. Except of course companies that make personal massagers,” Hasbro Chief Media Strategist Helen Smellen told us. “They know for sure their stuff’s being used as vibrators in the bedrooms of America. But we at Hasbro are 100% committed to finding ways to encourage players to only use our fake currency to play a game that’s supposed to satirize, not lionize, free market capitalism. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll roll out new instruction manuals that contain dire warnings about the dangers of snorting Pixy with our bills.”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.