We all have that one wild anecdote that they tell on a first date or at a party. These Redditors came together to answer one simple prompt: “Everyone has at least one good story. What's yours?" From the disturbing to the amazing, one thing unites them—they’re all epic.
1. Finding a Mountain in a Mole Hill
My dad was 52 in 2009 and had what he thought was a pimple on his arm. So my mom tried to squeeze the heck out of it but it wouldn't open and instead started to swell and get purple over the next few days.
So they went to the dermatologist who thought it was probably just a cyst and sent him to a surgeon. The surgeon took it out of his arm and told him "I'm about 99% sure this isn't a tumor and it’s just a cyst but it's covered by your insurance so I'm going to send it to the lab anyway”. That’s when they made a disturbing discovery.
They told him it was Merkel Cell Carcinoma, an incredibly rare and aggressive form of skin cancer. They did a biopsy, cleaned out a larger area of his arm, he had five weeks of radiation in 2009 and it hasn't returned. He was told he was cancer free and he no longer needed to return to the oncologist periodically a few months ago.
Then his doctor told him the only other patient he had who had gotten Merkel cell had it found in his jaw. They took it out, did a bunch of radiation and such, followed it up by expensive, long facial reconstruction surgery. A year later he went in for a check-up and it had metastasized all over his body. Had about a 5% chance of surviving as of January.
Luck is a weird and fickle thing.
2. Catch of the Day
I was fishing with a friend in a small pond a few years ago. My friend cast out a few times and went to reel in, but he snagged something about halfway back. He thought it was just a branch or some weeds. When he pulled it up out of the water, we were greeted by an unforgettable sight.
His hook was embedded in a 10-inch-purple adult toy that was burned on the end for some reason. I thought that was pretty hilarious and I'll probably never forget it.
3. Right Place, Wrong Time
I transferred groups within my company and it was my first day in the new group. I got to my office, and my new bosses were having a smoke outside. I casually chatted with them and went up to the office to sit in my new spot. I was on the ninth floor, with my back to the window.
I sat down at my computer and turned it on. That’s when it happened. A few seconds later there was a massive explosion behind me. The whole building shook. I ran to the window, and saw a bunch of debris floating in the air, and a lot of birds flying in crazy patterns.
My first thought was a car device, but I couldn't see anything looking down. After a few seconds, I crouched down in my window and looked up.
I saw a massive gaping hole in World Trade 1. I was maybe 150 yards away at 222 Broadway, right across the street from St Paul's church, so I had an unobstructed view. I kept staring at the impact site until the second explosion (second plane) woke me the heck up and everyone figured out it wasn't random.
I tried calling out, but all the lines were down. It was election day in NYC, so my grandma was working in one of the polling stations. My parents were on vacation in France. I managed to reach my friend's dad and asked him to call and tell people I'm OK. I’ll never forget what happened next.
I went back to the window and saw people jump. That was by far the worst part for me.
A bit later I did manage to reach my friend. I was on the phone with her when one of the towers started collapsing. I yelled "They're falling" into the phone, threw it down, and ran towards the stairwell. The last thing I heard was, "What's falling”? out of the receiver.
I managed to make it down into a sub-basement with a few other people. Others were in server rooms, and some left the building and ran.
After a couple of hours in the basement, the building's AC system was overloaded, and our room started filling up with smoke and dust. I found some water, and soaked my shirt, wrapped it around my face, and got the heck out.
I walked northeast, past City Hall Park, towards the bridges. Brooklyn Bridge had a lot of smoke blowing over it, so I went to Manhattan bridge, along with a few thousand others. In the middle of the bridge, a couple of service planes flew fairly low over the bridge and everyone hit the deck. That was true terror.
After I made it to Brooklyn, there were a bunch of people handing out water. A church on one side of Flatbush Ave, and a synagogue on the other. It was a very NYC moment. I went into a school and used the phone to let somebody know I was alive.
It was another two hours of walking till I made it home. In the evening, I got together with all of my buddies, and we tried to get a little lubricated. It didn't work. We drank, and nobody felt it. It was too much. I managed to get in touch with my parents the next morning. They couldn't call NY at all for almost 24 hours because the lines were overwhelmed.
You could smell the smoke for months, especially on the subways. It was terrible.
4. Three Strikes, You’re Out
I'd say that my best story stems from my unreasonable misfortune with the movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Now, hear me out:
The first time I tried to watch this movie, I decided to go to the movie theater to see it with my girlfriend at the time. I was in the tenth grade and we had been dating for like five or six months. I kid you not, as the previews end and the movie is about to begin, my girlfriend pulls the most infuriating move.
She decides that this is the best time to lean over to me and start the whole, "Look... I don't think this is gonna work out" thing. She broke up with me right then and there. We just kinda left the theater after that.
The second time, I had gone back to the theater with some friends. They decided to treat me to a night out after I had been so suddenly dumped by my ex. Well, after actually making it through the previews this time, the movie begins. We're sitting there watching for about half an hour when the fire alarm goes off.
Everyone in the theater gets up a little confused, and proceeds to leave through the emergency exit. Some jerk had pulled the fire alarm, and the entire theater was at the box office trying to get refunds. The line for refunds was ridiculous, so we just left.
The third and final time I tried to watch this godforsaken film I was at a close friend's house, almost a full year later. His mom had cooked spaghetti for dinner, and we (my friend, his mom, his stepdad, and me) decided to put on MI4 to watch while we ate. I was just saying "Man, ya know, I seem to have bad luck with this movie”. when things got real.
My friend's stepdad started choking on the spaghetti. Like, really choking. We had to call an ambulance, and he ended up going to the hospital. My friend and I waited at his house after being assured by the paramedics that he'd be alright. And yet again, I didn't finish the movie.
I've officially decided it's for the best if I just never try to watch Ghost Protocol again.
5. Breaking News
My dad is Norwegian and spent his first year of college at the University of Windsor in Canada. There was some initial confusion on his part when it came to enrolling in courses, so he ended up not getting into any of the ones that he needed for his major. He went to the registrar to complain about this. Their response was devastating.
He was promptly told that he could blame himself, and tough stuff, basically. My dad, having always been a clever jerk, decided to give the CBC, the local broadcaster a call. CBC sent a reporter and a camera guy to my dad's dorm, and they proceeded to follow my dad around on campus.
It was a rainy day and the story looked like this: "A hopeful Norwegian boy came all the way to Canada to go to college, but didn't get to enroll in any of the courses he wanted. Here he is, sad and alone, standing alone in the rain on campus at U of Windsor".
So the next morning, my dad wakes up and immediately turns on the TV to see if his story is on the local news: They had told him they weren't sure whether it would be or not. To his disappointment, his story is not featured, so he walks into the kitchen to make breakfast, the TV still on in the background. He was in for a big surprise.
As the local news finish, the national news broadcast starts. Turns out, my dad was the top story in all of Canada that day. He was immediately contacted by the dean of the university, who apologized frantically and ensured my dad that he could enroll in whatever courses he desired.
6. More Dramatic Than “My Dog Ate My Homework”
On my first day of first grade, I was waiting for the bus with my mother. The street I lived on connected to a very busy huge hill of a main road. I watched this woman zoom down this curve on a bicycle going way too fast and hit a pothole.
She flipped her bike and flew over her handlebars and hit a car that was coming up the road. Traffic stopped and my mom ran to this lady. She took her shirt off and started wrapping her bleeding head. I stayed with this lady while my mom ran back to our house and called 9-1-1. This was the early 90s and cell phones weren't a thing.
I guess life was a little more trusting back then too, because no one thought twice about a six-year-old caring for a bleeding unconscious woman in the road. The kicker is, none of these passengers in stopped cars did anything but stand around and watch.
I truly believe it was this strange and damaging moment that made me the terribly cautious and paranoid child I was and pushed me to pursue nursing as an adult. I will never ever forget that lady and I never knew what happened to her either after the ambulance came and took her away.
7. In The Nick Of Time
My mom and I were home on a Saturday while my dad was at a riverboat gambling. Mom and I got into a fight so I was upstairs pouting like a typical teenager. I was napping when I heard her start screaming my name.
It wasn't an angry scream, it was a scared scream, which freaked me out. I ran downstairs to find blood everywhere on the floor—all over the dining room and kitchen. Puddles of it. It's coming from my mom's ankle. A vein had ruptured and for a while she didn't realize blood was running out of her as she sat at the kitchen table.
From having learned first aid, I knew I had to get a tourniquet on her ankle to stop her losing more blood. We lived 20 minutes from the nearest hospital and I didn't even think to call 9-1-1. I put her in the back seat with her leg up, wrapped tightly in towels, and drove like mad to get her there.
I kept her talking but as I was getting close to the ER, she was slurring her speech and her eyes were rolling back in her head. The ER personnel got her from the vehicle and did their thing.
Later, I learned the disturbing truth. The doctor told me that if I had been any later she would have passed. She lost almost half of her blood. She was diagnosed as diabetic while in the hospital, which helped save her life, too.
As a side note, as the ER staff were working on my mom, I had my grandmother repeatedly call my house phone—this was in the early 90s with no cell phones—to see if she could contact my dad. I was scared he was going to walk in, see puddles of blood and bloody footprints everywhere and have a heart attack from the shock.
One time my younger brother was vacuuming the house and came across a large huntsman spider. Instead of trapping it or getting rid of it or telling literally anyone else in the house he decided to just suck it up in the vacuum and be done with it. He left the vacuum with the bag still inside in the laundry while we went on holiday for a couple of weeks.
We returned to the house infested with tiny spiders. We started stomping on them. They started getting bigger. Eventually we had to have the house fumigated.
For added horror, feel free to image search "Australian Huntsman" and keep in mind a full-sized one of those bad boys can be as big as your hand.
9. Homeward Bound
When I was 10, I rescued a three-month-old puppy from a shelter. I was a pretty shy kid and I basically did everything with this puppy, she was my best friend.
A few years later my parents divorced. I decided to live with my father and shortly after the divorce, he began to see this younger woman who didn't like dogs. They eventually married.
One day when I came home from school, I made a heartbreaking discovery. My puppy was gone, my dad had gotten rid of her to fulfill his new wife’s wishes. I was heartbroken—but the story didn’t end there.
Fast forward four years later, my junior year of high school, my grandmother gets this call from a shelter and they tell her: "We found your dog".
Despite being completely confused and perplexed as to what they were talking about, my grandma went to the shelter to see what they were talking about and it turned out to be my baby girl. We had chipped her thankfully.
Even though four years had passed, it didn't matter, I had gotten her back again and wasn't going to let anything come between us again.
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10. Beyond “Extreme Weather”
I grew up in a place called Taupo, New Zealand, and just out of town is a volcano called Mount Ruapehu. One particular day I was staring out the window when I noticed a thick plume of ash rising up and told the teacher that it had just erupted. But being the class clown she thought it was just another one of my disruptions, until the quiet kid in class spoke up.
She had told us to stay where we are and left the classroom to talk with the other teachers about what to do but by the time she had come back the ash had reached us. It was 11 am on a Tuesday morning and now it was as black as night.
She then told us that if our parents usually pick us up then to wait in class but if we lived close by then we could leave. My best friend lived just down the road and decided to grab our stuff and leave. I'll never forget the moment we opened the classroom door and stepped outside.
Everything was covered in a thick coat of soot and ash and it was just sooo freaking dark which made crossing the road scary as heck. You could barely see the headlights of approaching cars until they were right in front of you. But thankfully it was the only road we had to cross on our walk home and the rest of the way was through a gully that took us right to my backyard.
The next morning I woke up and it felt a lot colder than it usually did but I just wanted to watch the morning episode of Captain Planet for once and went running for the TV. My mother walked in and said "I thought you'd be outside playing with the others" but I had no idea what she meant.
I looked outside my window and saw that it had actually snowed at my house for the first time ever. Apparently, after a volcanic eruption, it causes a "volcanic winter" which can make it snow.
I had the longest driveway that went downhill, had a slight turn and went down even further into a cul-de-sac so all the neighborhood kids came to play at my house to slide down my driveway. I've never been that happy in my entire life.
I miss that day.
11. Money For Nothing
Once on a random weekday during the middle of the day, my girlfriend and I were both off work and ended up in an arcade by the bowling/cinema complex. In the UK (don't know about elsewhere) these arcades always have machines to win small amounts of coins and useless toys. So I go to the change machine to get some 10p coins. I still can’t believe what happened next.
I put in 20 pence, but instead of 2 x 10p coins dropping out, I get 2 x one-Euro coins. Strange. So anyway, I still want my 10p coins so I can play the machine, so I put in another 20p coin I had in my pocket, and again I get 2 x £1 back.
At this point, I figured something was up and I call my girlfriend over and tell her I put 40p in the machine and it gave me £4. I tried putting in the only other coin I had, which was a 50p coin. Sure enough, I got 5 x £1 from the machine.
Uh...I don't know what's going on so I try putting a £1 coin in, and I get 10 x £1 coins back. Neither of us can quite believe what is happening, but I try a couple more times just recycling the £1 coins into the machine, and I keep getting 10 x £1 coins back. After about four times, nothing happens. The machine must be out of coins.
We are both at this point extremely confused, excited, and somewhat paranoid. There's nobody else around. The whole place is empty. My pockets are FULL of £1 coins—but we weren’t done yet.
I go to the other machine and cautiously put in another £1 coin, and magically 10 x £1 coins come out again. Both machines are doing this for some reason. I try a couple more times on that machine and eventually the paranoia just gets too much for us and we both think, "Something weird is going on here, we should...uh...go”.
So we both quickly walk out of there, me looking like some kind of paranoid Basil Fawlty, just wanting to get to the car so we can collect our thoughts. My pockets are so loaded with coins they are falling down. I have literally no more space on me to carry £1 coins.
When we get in the car we both sit there and I begin emptying my coins into my girlfriend's lap. We count something £70-80 in £1 coins and seriously discuss if we are the subject of one of those TV prank shows. The whole thing was just so surreal, with nobody around and both machines just giving out free money to us.
We drove home and nothing else ever came of it, so we came to the conclusion that someone must have put in rolls of £1 coins for some reason into both machines, instead of 10p coins.
Either way, it was one of those things that happened which was just super funny/surreal at the time and is always one of our favorite stories to reminisce about. Yeah, I know we're technically thieves...but it was magical.
I was asked to dress as a whale mascot for a parade. Rode on the bumper of an ancient fire truck on the hottest day of the year. Some combination of CO2 and heat caused me to begin projectile vomiting within the costume. Then I passed out. Luckily, I had my flipper secured enough to keep me on the truck.
The last thing I heard was "Mommy, what's wrong with that whale”? as I began dangling unconscious for the remainder of the route. I came to as they were loading us into a flatbed to get back to our cars. My dad made me ride on trash bags home. 20+ years ago...I can still smell the moment.
13. From The Fire Into The Frying Pan
While my mom was pregnant with me my dad dropped a heavy speaker on his head. He got a cat scan or something to check for bleeds in his brain. They found a brain tumor. If they hadn't caught it so early it easily could have taken his life, but fortunately, it was early enough for them to remove it, and he is fine now.
14. Know When To Hold ‘Em
During a time in my life when I was post-divorce, deep in debt, living paycheck to paycheck on an impossibly thin budget, I turned in all my airline miles for a free solo trip to Vegas. I had no idea it would change my life.
It started horribly. I had astigmatism, and couldn't afford corrective lenses, so I went to the optical shop for a free pair of sample contacts so I could see the strip in all its majesty. On my first day there, I put in the lenses and accidentally scratched my right eye. Overnight it became painfully infected.
I went to the clinic and was diagnosed with a huge corneal ulcer that threatened to permanently blind that eye. I was given antibiotics—but then things got so much worse.
I needed to be seen several more times because the injury was so severe. I had no insurance and no way to pay for this. The doctors were great, so I wasn't afraid of losing my eye, but the medical bills on top of my financial situation would have been devastating.
I went to the Treasure Island casino gift shop and bought a toy eye patch to cover the wound. Skull and crossbones, of course. Then, I took the twenty dollars I had in my pocket and went to work.
I'm not a gambler, but I knew the video blackjack machines had the best odds. I built up small wins, and had them cut down by losses, leaving me with only five dollars. I went for a walk and tried to get my head right. Tried again and lost that five dollars too. I thought that was it. I was hopeless—but my night wasn’t over yet.
I went to my bank's website, borrowed a $20 advance, and took it out at the ATM. I tried again. This time things came together. I managed to grow that $20 into just over $500, enough to cover my bills. I stopped there, not wanting to press my luck further.
The toy eye patch now hangs on my refrigerator, next to a magnet from the ophthalmologist's office. It's a reminder of the time I gambled for mercy and won.
15. An Honest Mistake
I came back to the US after living in England for four years. My friend failed to meet me at the airport, so I rented a car to drive 50 miles to my home. Confused by the new construction around the airport, I stopped at the first gas station to ask for directions.
Me: "How do I get to the main road going East”?
Clerk: "If you go East, you'll go into the ocean”.
He pulls out a map and surely enough, I had flown into Charleston, South Carolina not Charleston, West Virginia. I spent the night in a motel and flew out the next day with a good story and minus $300 in my pocket.
16. A Different Kind Of Red Tape
I was a part of a robotics team my senior year of high school, ended up winning in a regional competition in California, and made it to the national in St Louis, MO.
Two friends and I shared a hotel room and basically just hung out all night and played video games. Around the wee hours of the morning, maybe 2 am, I decide I'm not ready to call it a night (which I should have since we had a competition in the morning) and wanted to venture out into the street to walk around St Louis.
Upon opening the door, I hear something rip. That’s when I make a chilling realization. Those sly chaperones did the ol' tape on the door trick to see who snuck out at night. Now, I was fairly straight edged in high school. Didn't get around to drinking until after I had graduated and never got in trouble at school.
Being so early in the morning my mind started racing thinking I'd be in big trouble and worrying so much about getting kicked from the team or being suspended. I woke one of my friends up and asked what to do and he just brushed it off and went back to sleep. That’s when I came up with a devious plan.
In my worried state, I proceeded to tear the tape off of every door on that floor. About halfway through I start wondering, "Man, do we really have this many people on our team?" I had a huge amount of tape after a while (and it did take a while since I was scared of waking anyone up and basically Solid Snaked it, hugging the wall and peering around every corner).
Finally, the deed was done and I disposed of the baseball in some planter. By the time I get down to the lobby, I'm too tired to walk out and just hang by some grand piano they have there.
By morning everyone is wondering who went out and I just kept a straight face not wanting to get caught. That’s when I learned the truth.
While we're having breakfast downstairs I overhear someone talking about the missing tape. It turns out there was another team, an all-girls team on the same floor, who got in trouble before lights out for having a guy in their room, and the whole thing was blamed on them.
In the end, I fessed up to prevent them from getting in serious trouble and had the lobby guy vouch for me that I was just hanging out downstairs hammering out some tunes on the grand piano.
17. Give Him A Hand
I was in a restroom and I stood next to a urinal just as the guy next to me had finished. I have good peripheral vision and my eyes followed him as he headed straight for the door, I thought to myself, "That's disgusting, he didn't even wash his hands!" That's when I noticed he was struggling to open the door...
...because he didn't have any hands.
18. What She Doesn’t Know Can’t Hurt Her
I'm in the waiting area, and I see a girl from my school. Being a freshman in high school at the time, I was pretty much in love with every girl I saw, but I had had a special crush on this girl, Annie, for all of a month because she was a cute little theater geek who was one of the nicest and bubbliest of people I had ever met.
I never was that kid who was afraid of talking to girls, so I went over and chatted with her while we were waiting for boarding. On the actual plane, she was all the way in the back and I was right over the wing, so I didn't see her during the actual flight. There was just one problem.
I'm terrified of airplanes. On an airplane, I have to be able to see the horizon and the Earth out the window. I have to know what's going on.
I will sit in a window seat and grab the armrests hard enough that it’s like I'm trying to fly the airplane through them, for the entire flight (my arms and neck always ache for a day or so afterward). If we are going through clouds, or it’s at night over the ocean, I flip out and go into an anxiety attack and completely shut down.
So I'm doing my usual thing, trying to fly the plane through the armrests and staring intently through the window while trying not to make any noises or freak out the people next to me.
This flight was somewhat bad because it was at night, and there were clouds everywhere, and whoever was on the window seat on the other side of the plane had closed the window so I couldn't see the horizon or the ground if the plane turned left. So, basically the worst experience. But then the unthinkable happened.
I had to go to the bathroom. I have literal nightmares about airplane bathrooms. No windows. Modern airliners all have this computer software called Airborne Collision Avoidance System. Essentially, it uses radar to tell if a plane is too close to another plane, and makes it automatically dive if it thinks it’s too close and might crash.
So guess when it malfunctioned? While I was peeing.
I scream in terror (I wasn't the only one in the plane doing that, actually) while the plane goes into a nosedive. I freak out and zip up too quickly, causing myself to scream in pain again. I was the only one this time.
The pilot has corrected the plane by this point, so I clean myself up and sneak back into my seat while everyone is distracted by the PA message telling them what happened.
I run into Annie a few days later, and we were all like "Weird, we saw each other on that flight, that dive thing was weird, yeah". I’ll never forget what she said next.
She tells me: "Yeah, some guy was screaming in the bathroom, and he kept on screaming. It kind of creeped me out".
She will never know it was me.
19. Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil
I was on a business trip in Spokane Washington a few years back and was taking a shower around 9 or so in the morning. I suddenly felt like I was not alone in the bathroom so I flung back the shower curtain to find the maid standing there. She mumbled something that I heard as "...Sorry…so sorry," and she booked it out of my room.
I ran to my door without a strip of clothing on, leaned out, and screamed like a maniac as she hustled down the hall, cursing and shouted, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!! ARE YOU DEAF?!!!" among other lovely statements. Well…
I then went back into my room and saw that she had been there for some time as my bed was stripped and the trash had been gathered up. I calmed down, got dressed, and headed out to find her and apologize for being completely awful.
I found her a few doors down cleaning. I walked in and began my apology, but before I got more than a few words out, she began to sign to me. As if I couldn't feel any worse, it hit me that she was indeed deaf and couldn't have heard me in the shower. I offered her a $50 tip but she refused. I insisted and she finally took it.
The entire time I stayed there I tried my best to be the best hotel guest I could. I cleaned my room and took out my trash myself. I do that to this day, and there isn't a time I stay in a hotel that I don't remember that incident.
I am an idiot.
20. Bad Santa
Back in the 90s, I worked at an engineering supply shop. It was called Cogs Unlimited, and it was basically a huge warehouse with thousands of different types of cogs and other equipment.
My job was to answer the phone and take the orders, write down the serial numbers and quantity, then pass that on to the other guys who would locate the correct shelf and retrieve the parts to be sent to the buyers.
Anyway, our phone number was similar to the phone number of a Santa phone service. Basically, kids call the number and talk to a voice actor playing Santa. The problem is that we would often get kids calling our number, expecting it to be Santa, but instead are greeted by an unenthusiastic greeting of "Cogs Unlimited".
At first, I would just let them know they had the wrong number, but as it got closer to Christmas, the calls became more and more frequent, so I had to do something.
If it was a slow day, and I got a call from a kid expecting Santa, I would just play the role of Santa, and ask what they want for Christmas, tell them they're on the good list, etc. Unless the kid was rude. That’s when I’d do some real damage.
I remember one annoying little brat who called and demanded an unreasonable amount of presents. As Santa, I let him know that he's on the bad list and will only be getting coal and that I've sent some of my elves over to his house to hide in the garden and scare him.
A few minutes after I hung up, I received a phone call from his furious mother, demanding to know why I told her child all those bad things. I told her we just sell cogs, and that she's got the wrong number, and I never heard from her again.
21. When You Gotta Go…
I was at a volleyball camp sometime back in high school. It was at the Islamic academy senior high. Don't ask me why, I don’t know. Anyways about halfway through the day, I had to use the washroom. Like I had to pee pretty bad. So I excused myself and went to look for a bathroom.
Eventually, I found it and upon entering discovered that there was no urinal. “That's strange,” I thought. Every washroom in schools usually have urinals.
I checked to make sure I wasn't in the girls. Nope, it was the guys. Then I saw this little passageway tucked behind the stalls. In that room was this trough. I thought. Okay, I guess this isn't the richest school around, but it works.
Anyway, I finished up my business and returned to the group. The coach asked what took me so long and I told him about the hidden urinal.
"Please don't tell me you peed in that".
"I peed in that".
It turns out it was a foot washer basin. A ceremonial foot washing basin—I guess that explains why it didn't flush and there was a tap. For the rest of the week, I was THAT guy.
22. First You Get The Sugar…
I was in middle school in the early 1990s, around when Sam's Clubs and the like started opening up. None of us could drive yet (obviously, we were like 14) and few of our parents had club memberships, so it was rare that anyone could go there and buy stuff. And none of us had jobs or anything anyway, so you're looking at about $5 in allowance here and there as your budget.
One kid had a great idea. He bought some of those HUGE bags of Blo-Pops for $5. Let's say he walked away with 100 of them—that’s five cents a piece. He came to school and sold them for a quarter and was out of stock within a few days. He did this for probably three weeks before others got in on the game.
There were a bunch of arguments over whether the others had to go into a different line of candy, or if the pops were fair game. The first wave decided that everyone needed their own kind of candy, creating a little cartel. Kind of funny in retrospect.
About a month or so later, a new kid starts selling, and he has everything. Must have spent $50, maybe $100. But he quickly ran into a problem. The school started cracking down on student-run candy sales in the cafeteria, so lunchtime—where the money was—became a really dangerous time to sell.
Most of the kids who were selling just stopped, cashing out while they could. But this one kid had way too much candy to do that. There were only four classes after lunch and you really weren't selling candy during the first two periods, so that left five or six reasonably good times to find customers.
The bad news was that typically, you had the same kids (give or take) in all of your classes by now, because we were broken up into levels. The exception, things like gym and band, were really bad times to sell candy. The good news was that homeroom was between second and third period, and that was homogenous.
So you got to see kids you'd otherwise not see—and, more importantly, they'd see kids you'd otherwise not see. The kid with all the candy ended up repackaging it into Ziplocs of five pieces and sold them to kids for $1/each.
That happened for a few days until one of the kids in his homeroom asked to buy five, explaining that he was reselling the candy for 25 cents a piece and effectively getting a free piece of candy each day, and there were a few kids in his next period class who wanted to do the same.
He offered $4 because he wanted to make a profit off his friends. The kid with all the candy agreed, and not only sold out by the end of the week, but ended up buying another $50 or so worth of candy to do it the next week, too.
A few other kids in the homeroom caught wind of this and wanted in. Candy kid ended up selling five bags at a time to about five or ten kids in his homeroom, each seeing the opportunity to make a free dollar a day just by being middlemen.
It was an easy sale -- you'd tell your friends how you bought the candy and sold it quickly and flashed them the pile of singles you had. It worked for two days, maybe three. Then it all fell apart.
Basically, the entire grade got flooded with candy sellers, and the candy being sold wasn't scarce anymore because the supply wasn't controlled by one person or a cartel. It was a commodity now. Prices crashed to like 10 cents per piece and the MLM-style distribution structure couldn't support that price.
The whole supply dried up pretty quickly thereafter, and with teachers starting to crack down, no one re-entered the market for months.
23. Back From Battle
When I was 16, two friends and I took 23 garden gnomes from one street, 16 from one house, and the rest just across the road, it also included a little elfish house and a pretty hefty stone toadstool. Mainly because we were kids, it was the year 2000 in a small town in England and we had absolutely nothing to do.
We set them up on my friend's downstairs coffee table, and put the table directly in front of the living room door so that when his mum got up for work she would get really scared. Screams happened, things were said, and grounding was the conclusion.
Anyways, several weeks later I am over at my friend’s house and his mum tells him in no uncertain terms to get rid of them, or at least some of them as they were, and I quote "a pain in the behind". So being a good son he agrees, and being a good friend he comes up with a scheme.
An hour or two later, there we are, backpacks full of battle-worn “damaged” gnomes (covered in fake blood, even made one of them a little sling and another had a “cast” on its leg) and a note from the leader of The United Gnome Nation.
This note went on to explain that the gnomes from this street were called up for a battle against the Evil Gnome Empire and in order to protect the realm, they had to leave.
It accounted for the “lost gnomes” and for their absence and the note was littered with four-lettered swear words. What can I say—we were 16. We drop them off in front of the owners’ garden gate, leave the note propped up against the “leader,” and go about our lives as if nothing had ever happened.
A week later, a friend comes over with a local newspaper. Front Page and center...we see the article. '”Seeing red at pranksters' gnome joke'…It was gnome joke when sick pranksters returned a woman’s stolen ornaments to her garden covered in fake blood”.
24. Fake It Til You Make It
Our elementary school used to have a thing called "bike rodeo" every year. All the kids would bring their bikes, helmets, and elbow pads and partake in a day full of riding little obstacle courses, taking strolls around the playground, and competing in fun events. The bike rodeo was seriously the best.
I would be so excited every year for the bike rodeo. I would tell all my friends how I would easily get 1st place in every single event. My balance was superb, my recess trash talk was even better. There was just one issue.
I didn't know how to ride a bike. I learned the summer of my 6th-grade year. So, from 2nd to 5th grade, I would "forget" my bike. I would have to stand in line and do the obstacles on my feet. Things like, "Ok, walk backward as slow as you can" and "Touch all 4 corners, then you're done!"
It was pretty humiliating, but I just loved the positive vibe this rodeo gave off. There were no clowns at the bike rodeo.
Then, the final event they had was a relay race where you rode the bike about 30 feet, sat on a balloon till it popped, then rode the bike back to the next person. This was easy to avoid because all the kids wanted to participate and only about five were selected.
Well, my 5th-grade year, everyone decided that since I was such a good bike rider, I should be involved this time. I tried to back out, but it was too late. After being so vivacious every year about how smooth I am with my bike, I told everyone to let me be the anchor of this year.
"Save the best for last”. "If it's close, I got it”. The race wasn't close at all. We were bigger, stronger, and faster.
We had about a full one-person lead when it was time for the wild thing to take it home. I hopped on the bike, and just tried to replicate what everyone else did. I took about one full pedal and fell straight down to the right. Wow, that's actually pretty hard. Everyone is cheering for me, must have just been a little mistake.
I hop back on and take about a 1/2 pedal and fall directly down to the left. Uh oh.
I've skidded my self-esteem about five feet and I have 25 to go before I cry while I pop a balloon with my butt. I take a peek at the 4th graders. I’m in big trouble. They're catching up fast. I proceed to pridefully fall about nine times while my 5th-grade crew slowly stopped their cheers.
I can only imagine what they were saying. "Is it the bike’s fault?" "Is the chain off?" "Does he not know how to ride a bike? I'm pretty sure he said he can do backflips on one". I popped the balloon on my first try, but my head was spinning by this point.
The 3rd-grade kid was already on his way back and it was a race between the 2nd-grader and myself. I gave it one more go thinking that by seeing all my friends, I can muster up whatever magic it takes to stay on this beast, but I couldn't and I fell again. The teachers had started to walk out and clap for me.
I stood up and sprinted to the end. It was like a boxer who needed the towel thrown in. I was Apollo Creed and the bike was that big Russian guy. I learned how to ride a bike the next year, but it was too late to redeem myself at the rodeo.
I sometimes think about trying to orchestrate another bike rodeo just to finally prove myself.
25. Pocket Surprise
When I was in junior high, I ate a banana for breakfast and there was no garbage can around so I left the peel in my jacket pocket. No big deal, except I forgot about it, and then I forgot about my coat and it stayed in class over a three-day weekend.
When we came back, the teacher said hey someone left their coat here, whose is it? Now, I remembered what was in the pocket was probably rotted and slimy now, so I stayed quiet. The teacher starts looking for some identifying information and reaches into the pocket. The look on his face. Poor guy.
I was driving home from work on a really cold night. I was pulling up to a stop light; two lanes and I'm a few cars behind. The light turns green and one of the first cars in the right lane isn't moving. It’s the end of day, everyone is cranky and honking and just maneuvers around him. As I'm passing by I see a heartbreaking sight.
It's an older gentleman and he is just sitting there staring straight ahead, both hands on the wheel. It just didn’t seem right, so I find a place to turn around and get behind him with my car. I walk up to the car and ask him if he is alright.
The poor guy is basically in tears and says his car has stalled. At that point, maybe three or four other people pull over and I tell them all what has happened. We all go into action.
I put him in my warm car and then we all push his into an empty parking lot. I write a note on the window saying what happened and leave the old man's son's number he gave me (and mine just in case). I gave him a ride home.
We got to talking and he was saying that he knew he shouldn't have gone out, but his sick wife just wanted ice cream, and he wanted to get it for her. Just such a lovely man that wanted to do something loving for his wife.
27. Ain’t That The Tooth
One time in middle school, before class started, a friend gave me a Now-and-Later candy that ripped out not just one, but TWO teeth!
Thank god they were the last of my baby teeth so they grew back in eventually. I didn’t know what to do with two bloody teeth and was too embarrassed at the time to walk across the room and throw them away in front of everybody so I put them in my backpack and just...forgot about them for several months...
...Until a friend was looking in my backpack one day and pulled out two rotting teeth. Ten years later and I’m still mortified.
28. Drive-By Stoning
I was driving down the highway with no other cars around at the time and the window on my driver's side door imploded, spraying my ear with glass. When I pulled over, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A perfect circle was missing from the window.
A passing car caused the rest of the glass to fall out before I got a picture. Sent me to the ER for a few stitches. No clue what happened. Maybe the lawn mower in the median kicked up a rock?
I was 16 years old and on a trip to Spain with a professor and some classmates. We were at a popular cathedral and I saw this dude who looked exactly how I would picture Jesus. Of course, I lean to my friends and tell them about it.
A few minutes go by and I forgot about him but then he snuck up to me, whispers, “I heard the Jesus thing,” and slips me a business card that just says Jesus on it.
30. Getting A Leg Up
I work on tugboats and one day I saw a hiking boot floating upside down in the water. We had time to pass so I grabbed the boat hook and started raising the boot out of the water. It was ridiculously heavy, but I thought to myself that it was just water-logged. I was so, so wrong.
As the boot came out of the water, I started seeing a sock, and then a bone. I dropped it back into the water and started thinking, “What did I just see?" I ended up calling the Coast Guard and they asked us to hold onto it until they can get a boat out to us and retrieve the boot.
Ended up having this lower leg boot on my boat for a good 30 min as if it were no big deal.
31. Famous For The Wrong Reasons
At a previous job on a busy night, I was leaving the bathroom in a rush, hurrying to tie my apron back on. I looked up and BAM—ran face-first into our dish guy. Our skulls collided and the impact was enough to send my front teeth through my upper lip and into his forehead.
We were both bleeding and disoriented, but he kept working as though it never happened. My lip was so bloodied and swollen I had to leave and get stitches at a hospital.
I worked for a large, local restaurant company and our corporate safety rep loved to regale employees far and wide with this story. "A perfect example of why you always use safety calls”.
I've had it happen three times now where some employee from some other pub says something along the lines of, "Oh you're the lip story?!" It's about the closest I've come to fame and I revel in it.
32. Caught In The Act
My grandfather has this mysterious scar on the top of his arm. My grandfather knew my grandmother when they were young, long before they were married. She was 13 when he left to go into the Army and he was 18. He left without the scar and when he returned four years later, he suddenly had this large scar he refused to talk about.
They were married shortly after he returned in the late 1950s. I grew up bothering him, begging to know how he got the scar. The rest of the family liked to make up stories of what could have caused the scar; he got bit by a shark while surfing, he got into a bar fight and someone had a blade, he was slashed by a bear, etc.
About ten years ago, I was on him about it again, asking him to at least tell us in his will. That’s when I learned the wild truth. He got incredibly upset and blurted out, "Her husband unexpectedly came home and I didn't realize the glass sliding door was closed”.
As I understood, the implication was that while he was away in the Army he was spending time with a lady friend and was unaware that her husband would be coming home. When he did come home, instead of getting caught, he leapt through what he thought was an open glass window or door, shattering the glass.
I'm not entirely sure if he knew there was a husband or if that tidbit was also a surprise to him. He only ever said the one sentence and has refused to talk about it ever since. I've always wondered how the lady friend explained the broken glass noise and shards to her husband.
33. No One Is Immune To Hanger
So you know how people will say kids with cancer are angels and sweethearts or whatever?
I always want to laugh. All I can think about is a story my mom loves to tell about when I was going through chemo. So I had this cousin who was late to finding out I was diagnosed.
He comes to visit, at this point, I haven't been allowed to eat for a bit, and brings a pooh bear. Side note: don't bring cancer kids in treatment stuffed animals, they can carry all kinds of germs from the store and the kid will be immunocompromised.
So he gives me this Pooh bear. He sets it by my sickly, frail four-year-old body and starts to leave. My hungry self grabs the bear, rears back, and launches the thing at this dude’s head. It hits the door with a thud.
According to my mom, this is an exact quote of what I said: "I don't want no stinking Pooh. I want a Chocolate. Covered. DONUT!" And I never lived it down. Best part? A bunch of family members bring me donuts when I'm allowed to eat again. I didn't want any. Instead, I was craving Taco Bell.
34. Father Knows Best?
When I was in the 4th grade my teacher made all the students make a poster about conservation. Naturally, I went to the library, typed in conservation, and picked a random topic to match the theme. That just so happened to be surface mining or “strip” mining.
I worked on the poster for a couple of days and when I finished I thought, “Wow, I did a great job on this poster”. I went downstairs to show my parents my awesome conservation poster about how surface mining was bad for the environment and how it needs to stop. I was in for a big surprise.
Instead of praise, which was what I was expecting, I received silence from my mother and the angriest glare I have ever seen from my father. He freaks out, yelling about how surface mining isn’t bad and how could I make a poster like that. That’s when I realized the dark truth.
Turns out my Dad was a surface miner and I didn’t know it. Yikes.
35. Maybe He Was Just Really Smooth At Parking
One day my dad was driving me and my brothers to school. There was loads of ice on the road so he was driving kind of slowly. He ended up losing control of the car and sent us hurtling toward two parked cars. Somehow, he ended up parked perfectly between them.
At the time, it honestly seemed like something out of a movie, given how close we were to them and how fast it happened.
36. Safety In Numbers
I grew up in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere.
We were playing with two other friends on a frozen lake once, and all of a sudden it cracked. One of my friends went under the water and panicked, moving under the layers of ice. I had to tear apart ice parts and punch through them to get him, falling sometimes in the water with him.
We managed to get out with the help of a third friend. The third one probably saved us from the cold shock and helped us walk a few kilometers until he found someone to help the three of us. If there’d just been two of us that day, it would’ve been a disaster.
37. Falling For Him
I had a stalker during high school. She saw some pictures of me on social media and just decided that I was her new boyfriend, although I’d never seen her in real life and we only texted for like two days or so. She would skip school just to be in front of my school right as I finished class.
One day, she got my number (I still don't know how) and she would call me 24/7. I had to turn off my phone while on a class trip, just because it wouldn't stop ringing. The next morning, I had approximately 100 missed calls. My classmates thought it was hilarious.
When she found out my address, I had enough and called her. Her reaction was terrifying.
She cried like crazy and threatened to take her own life. However, she wasn't the brightest and sent me a video, where she filmed herself sitting on her window frame and saying her life didn't make any sense without me, so she would now jump out of the window.
Well, there was just a few problems with that. First of all, she lived on the first floor, therefore she jumped like two meters (6.5 feet) and pretended to be deceased. Second, I asked her how she could send the video if she’d passed on. She just claimed to be the emergency doctor. I just blocked her and didn't react to any contact.
Even her friends were trying to contact me and said that we should get back together (despite not being in a relationship in the first place). I changed my number and blocked her on every social media site. I never heard from her again.
38. Take This Job And…
I quit a bank job once by cleaning out my office the night before. I left the keys on the desk. I faxed my resignation to corporate the next day and started the new job at 8 am. It was a pretty terrible job and I stayed there too long, so it was fun making a bit of a splash as I left.
39. Never Forget
I got in trouble for a poster contest at my school because I didn't understand how serious 9/11 was. I was six when 9/11 happened, and shortly after that, it was fire prevention week and students were encouraged to submit a poster for it.
Having just seen the craziness of the twin towers falling, I thought it was an insane accident and decided "I bet there could have been some better fire prevention happening there!" I’m still mortified by what I came up with.
I drew a poster of the towers being hit by planes, but firefighters catching people jumping out of the buildings and random citizens passing buckets of water to pour on the towers, saying, "When you work together, you can prevent fires!" with every person's face drawn with a smile.
I submitted the poster to my teacher, and her reaction was unforgettable.
She got white in the face and immediately handed back the poster with a note to my parents saying "You need to talk with your daughter about the seriousness of this event”. My family lost it laughing at my ignorance and has never let me live it down, but I was just a first grader and had no clue that 9/11 was malicious until that poster contest! Oof.
40. The Taming Of The Screws
This happened a few years ago while I was in college and working at the bookstore on campus. I had just come back to work from surgery on my right arm, I broke it while riding my bike to school. I know I know, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.
So my arm is in a sling and this person comes up wanting to know where he can find all of the Shakespeare books. I’m like alright cool they’re over here. We walk over to the section and he looks at my arm and asks what happened. I told him I broke it and had surgery just recently. He asks if he can pray for my arm.
In my mind, I’m like, “That’s a weird question but he’ll go home and pray for my arm. Cool. Whatever”. Nope. He grabs my left (non-broken) hand and starts praying. Loudly. Saying things like, “Dear Jesus, please let this arm be healed tomorrow” and other stuff like that.
He prays for SEVERAL minutes out loud while holding my hand and I’m just standing there waiting for this to all be over. Also worth noting that he’s probably 6’ tall, and I’m about 5’2” ish. So the hand he’s holding is like, in the air.
He finishes his prayer and tells me, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you feel completely healed by tomorrow morning”. I’m all dude that’s so neat that you think that, but I’ve got about eight screws and two metal plates that are telling me differently.
Also, he didn’t buy any of the Shakespeare books.
41. An Eye For An Eye
I stopped to give a homeless man some money with my other half. He thanked us and told us about how he’d been struggling and had lost an eye.
Whilst telling us graphically how infected his eye became, he separated his eyelids with his fingers and began shoving his middle finger into the orifice and plunging it into darkness multiple times.
He then proceeded to suck on his fingertip and repeat this act four or five times whilst we stood, not knowing what to say and trying not to gag. He then grabbed my hand and kissed it, thanking me for the money.
Five minutes later, we met our friends, I began explaining the story and demonstrated what he did with his finger, including the sucking of my own. It was only when my other half pointed out that this had only just happened, and I hadn’t washed my hands yet. I am literally gagging writing this.
42. Instant Karma
When I was 19, I worked at a place that gave Segway "rides”. It was a closed course with a guard rail on the outside, a loop on the inside of that, and an obstacle course on the inside of the loop. Our training was they have to ride the outside course first to gain experience, then they can do the obstacle course.
As they rode around the outer loop through, the facilitators had to lightly hold on to the handles in case the rider (primarily kids) did something stupid so we could catch them.
Well, on my first day, one kid wanted to ride it himself so bad. He was screaming and yelling at me to let him go. I tried to explain to the 10-year-old that I can’t do that until he gains more control. He didn’t like the answer. He says it one more time. "I...want...to...ride...by...MYSELF”! then punches me square in the face.
As a reaction, I let go to grab at my glasses. The kid leans forward to take off. Segways can get up to 12 mph which can feel really fast on such a small course. He lost control and slammed onto the guard rail, did a full front flip over the handles, and landed with his weight across the rail!
The Segway fell to the ground, the kid lay motionless on the rail and me, and his mom ran up to him to see if he was okay. He starts crying, mom starts screaming at him for punching me in the face, and I'm a wreck thinking I was going to get fired on my first day.
Well, we pulled security footage to show that I wasn’t in the wrong. Mom took the kid to the hospital because he had major side pains, and apparently, he hit hard enough that he broke a couple of ribs when he landed on the guard rail.
The mom ended up sending us an email apologizing for her kid’s actions, and it was just an emotional day.
43. He Was Dreaming Of A White Christmas
Was in the Christmas aisle a few years ago, browsing the decorations and a Black family walks up next to me. It's parents and two kids, one of which is an infant in a baby carrier and the other looks to be about three or four.
They're also kind of just browsing Christmas decorations and then the three-year-old yells, "Dad! Can we get a white man for Christmas?" Now I'm paying very close attention because this is already hilarious. Kid's dad just looks at him and says "What?!?" and the kid repeats "A white man!" and points at the shelf.
Dad looks at where he's pointing and kind of chuckles and says, "No son, that's called a SNOW man”. At that point, I quickly walked around the corner because I thought it would be rude to roll on the floor laughing right in front of them.
44. When You Gotta Go…
I was once in a Blockbuster with my mom looking through movies and whatnot, when all of a sudden, she looks over at me, slowly, put everything back on the shelf, and said to me, "...we need to go," in a really quiet voice.
I was concerned and confused and she made a weird face...then I smelt it...I knew right away. She said, "It’s too late...She had pooped her pants. Needless to say, I was laughing at her so hard I blew her cover.
45. Gut Feeling
One time I was riding in the passenger seat with my then-boyfriend and all of a sudden, I got a horrible feeling. I knew something bad was about to happen but I didn't want to tell him because I didn't want to freak him out or have him think I was nuts.
Back then I NEVER wore my seatbelt when in the passenger seat but I felt an overwhelming urge to put it on. I tried to fight it because I didn't want him to notice and question it, but I couldn't fight the urge so I quietly put it on.
About thirty seconds later, we hit a deer head-on. The thing went flying into someone's yard and was probably gone instantly. The car was totaled. I freaked out and literally took off running after he pulled over. I was shaking and nauseous. I never believed in anything like that until that day.
My ex later told me that he heard me put my seatbelt on and slowed down from about 50mph to about 40mph because he thought that I thought he was driving too fast (which he wasn't).
Sometimes I wonder if I didn't put my seatbelt on and he continued going 50 if the deer would have gone through the windshield.
46. Cue Benny Hill Theme
One night a couple of years ago, I was woken up by sirens going past my house. Then it happened again a few minutes later. Then again, but with more sirens. Then again. And again.
Turns out multiple patrol cars were chasing a single car around the block. The best part is, at no point did any of the officers think to turn around and go the other way around the block to intercept the car from the opposite direction. This went on for two hours!
47. The Perfect Job
I got moved to a team on the second floor. My desk was on the fourth floor. I stopped coming to work. The fourth-floor team thought I moved downstairs. The second-floor team thought I was still upstairs.
I just worked from home instead. For over a year.
48. Is That What They Meant By Beyond?
When we were moving my sister into college, we went on a trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for some dorm stuff. So we’re standing in a section and it just smelled terrible. I’m looking around and there’s this wall of pitchers, from floor to ceiling, right behind my sister. That’s when I notice it.
There’s a pitcher behind her filled with poop. Someone had taken it off the wall, gone to the bathroom in it, and put it back. So I point it out to my family, hilarity ensues, and I was elected to get an employee and tell them that there’s a poop-filled pitcher on the wall.
The employee came and walked it to the back with his arm stretched out so the pitcher was as far away from him as possible.
We like to bring it up from time, it never gets old. But it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
49. What Happens In The Gas Station…
During high school, I worked in an ice cream stand near a gas station. It was a summer night and I was closing up the shop when I heard a splashing sound outside.
I went to the window and saw men from the gas station pouring two garbage cans of liquid into the dumpster next to my stand. Another man from the station was standing outside, far away from the others but was watching. I could see him talking on the phone.
My teenage mind raced automatically to the worst-case scenario—I thought they were going to burn down the stand! Well, the truth was so much worse.
Turns out they all lived in the back of the gas station and just needed to get rid of their “human waste”.
50. Involuntary Lifeguard
I saved a toddler from drowning over the summer, and it was nuts. Probably the craziest thing that's ever happened to me. Still haven't gotten over it and now I kinda freak out around the water
It was a FREAK incident of being in the right place at the right time. I was walking to my car in the driveway to grab something. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two toddlers on my neighbor's pool deck. I called out and asked if anyone was watching them, because at the angle I was standing, I couldn't see the entire deck.
They were getting closer to the ladder. Then something in me snapped. I realized they were both in their clothes and not bathing suits. I blacked out. Don't even remember running over there. By the time I reached the pool edge one of them was drowning right in the middle. Didn't even see her go in.
I tried to jump over the edge and get a hold of her but I couldn't reach them. I started screaming for my neighbor. Luckily, she heard me and came out right away. She also started screaming. By this time the baby's mom ran out too. I finally managed to jump up high enough and grab her arm to pull her out.
It was crazy. If I hadn't gone out to my car at that EXACT moment she'd be gone. I was having heart palpitations for like three hours after. The family did send me flowers, but it still haunts me.