eBAY reHAB (The Glass House 2/11/05)

A rehab clinic in England is treating patients addicted to auction website eBay. Many of the eBayaholics are recovering drug or alcohol addicts who have upped their bids.

A place in the clinic has costs 1000 pounds per week. Well, that’s the reserve price anyway.

An eBay addiction can be expensive: after all, a piece of toast with The Virgin Mary’s face on it fetched thousands of dollars. A full breakfast could send you bankrupt.

Many of the eBay rehab patients have already been through drug and alcohol rehab clinics – it turns out that they’re now addicted to rehab.

Many eBay junkies are also drug or alcohol addicts who found they could buy their drugs and alcohol cheaper on the internet.

Patients addicted to spam are advised to go cold turkey…

They recommend their patients try cold turkey – it’s delicious, and with a starting price of 5 dollars, who can resist?

It’s a sorry sight; patients wandering around in a daze, one hand clicking on an imaginary mouse, pointing at random objects and making bids.

The thrill of watching the final seconds count down on an eBay auction is similar to the thrill of playing a poker machine. Especially if you’re bidding for cherries. Or rectangular boxes labelled “BAR”.

The principle technique used at the clinic is electro-shock therapy. They unplug the PCs and plug in the patients.

The clinic’s been doing well, especially since they lowered their prices. Said one patient: “At those low low prices, how could I resist? It’s a bloody bargain!”

It’s hard to get into the clinic; to make sure you’re serious, you have to outbid the other patients…

One reason eBay is so addictive is that when you visit the site, it leaves a cookie on your PC – turns out it’s a hash cookie.

The high of a successful bid can often last several days, until the goods arrive and you realise what a load of crap you just bought.

Some people are becoming addicted to illegal software – they’re known as crackheads.

Addicts can do their rehab online, at reBay.com.

Some former drug addicts find the “high” of securing a bargain impossible to resist. Especially bargain cocaine.

The clinic also treats people who have problems with other websites; Google Addicts, who compulsively hunt down bizarre things they have no interest in; Blogaholics, who obsessively collect personal details about people they don’t know, and Spam Junkies, who are addicted to canned meat.

Many addicts used to be hooked on Internet porn, but found that they could still get their porn and all the tissues they needed, at eBay!

“I thought it was eBabe!” said one porn fan.

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