It’s not always easy to know that you’re making a mistake when you’re in the midst of making it. But as soon as you get caught by someone you trust, the realization may suddenly hit you. These people all realized that they seriously messed up a little bit too late and had to face the consequences.
Change of Routine
When I was 10 or so, I woke up before everyone in the house (it was like 7 am) and decided I would sneak into the pool. I was waist deep in the water before I saw the alligator on the other side of the pool.
So, this happened last weekend, and I’m finally getting around to really processing it all and trying to deal with it. I went out for drinks with my girlfriend and met up with my younger cousin at the bar. We’d all hung out once before and had a great time. My cousin invited a couple of her friends to the bar too, and we ended up doing some bar hopping.
I got very tipsy pretty unintentionally—the last bar was, I swear, not putting any mixers in my cocktails, they were straight. So anyway, we’re about to leave and my cousin’s friends are trying to get her home, because she’s gone too. Well, my girlfriend was our designated driver, so we offered to let her stay in our spare room. Everyone was cool with that because who’s safer than family, right? Wrong.
I had to piece together some of this later because I blacked out for most of it. We get home and apparently initially everything was cool. My cousin went to the spare room and my girlfriend got her situated. The problems started a little later when I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to walk straight out of my bedroom with my girlfriend in it, and into my cousin’s room.
Then we both slept together. I KNOW. I have no idea what I was thinking, I was honestly blacked out and so was she, but we woke up without any clothes on, next to each other. But that’s not even the worst part. At one point, my girlfriend came out of the room wondering where I was because I just disappeared. She didn’t barge into the room or anything, but she heard the noises, which are pretty obvious.
So at that point, she left. Like, me. She left me, and I don’t blame her. I haven’t heard from her all week, and I’m sure we’re done. All I can hope for now is that this doesn’t get out to my family, because I would probably implode. My cousin and I are not going to start hooking up regularly, OBVIOUSLY. It’s actually super awkward and she has hardly said a word to me either. Again, I don’t blame her.
Something You Can't Unsee
So this happened a few days ago and I’m still not sure I’m 100% ready to tell the story, but here goes. I’ve been with my girlfriend for about a year and I already know she is the love of my life. She’s perfect for me. We’re perfect for each other. We’re getting ready to move in with each other and I want nothing more than to start a family with her and spend the rest of my life with her.
We went on a short vacation last week, and when we returned she gave me her phone to look at some photos from the trip. She went to the bathroom while I had her phone, and as I was scrolling through the pictures, it kind of jumped to a period that was about a year and a half ago. If you have an iPhone you know what I’m talking about, you scroll a little bit too fast and all of a sudden you’re back at the start of the photo album.
It’s annoying as heck. But some photos caught my eye. Some photos that I really shouldn’t be seeing, of her and a previous boyfriend. There she is, the love of my life, near the biggest you-know-what I’ve ever seen in my life. I closed the pictures and I’ve acted like nothing has happened, but I cannot get these images out of my mind.
I’ve never been self-conscious about my size—in fact, if you believe the stats I’m significantly above average, but this has destroyed my self-esteem. We haven’t had intimacy since. I can’t concentrate on my work. I just wish I had never seen those pictures. Also, she was with this guy for three years.
I’m a 25-year-old guy, and I have been involved with an older woman, she’s 44 years old, lately. It started a few months ago when I was on Tinder trying to find someone to hook up with. I saw this very attractive older woman and decided to swipe right because you know, it’s every 20-something-year-old’s dream to hook up with a MILF.
A few days go by and I get a notification that I have a new match. Wahoo! I open up the app and lo and behold it’s the fine cougar I was hoping for. We start chatting and flirting, and it’s going really well. Out of nowhere, she messages me and says, “I’m not sure how this app works, do we just meet to get it on or do we go on a date first?”
I was drinking coffee at the time and promptly shot it out both nostrils. My chance had come. I replied back that people generally just meet up to go to the Bone Zone together but I’m easy either way. She replies, “Well good, because I hate formalities.” I nearly pooped my pants in excitement. She sends me her address and tells me she’s free on Friday and to bring a bottle of red.
The rest of that whole week was a complete blur of anxiety. I could not screw this up. So Friday comes, I show up with a bottle, and she looks really, really hot. Even better in person. We talk about music and traveling and all that, not many personal details (which would come back to haunt me) just sort of arts and culture talk.
A few glasses later and we’re full-blown going at it. I left a little while later feeling like I’m the king of the entire universe and go to sleep. The next day, she texts me saying how she had a great time, and it made her feel young again and all of that. She says she’s off every Friday and Saturday and that next week we should do the same.
This has been going on for roughly three months now. We meet up once or twice a week and then go on our merry way until one of us gets in the mood again. Sweet deal right? Well, I just found out how wrong I was. I messaged her yesterday saying that I had today off of work and asked if she wanted to meet up. She said her son was taking her out to lunch, and that I could come over at 3 pm.
She had mentioned she had a son before but didn’t go any further and I didn’t really care to ask. So 3 pm comes and I’m almost at her house when she messages me that she’s running late. No problem. I park on the road and sort of just wait in my car because her car wasn’t in the driveway yet. I’m sitting there listening to the radio when an oddly familiar SUV pulls into the drive.
I sort of looked at it funny, and then I immediately realized where I knew it from. My co-worker jumps out of the front seat, goes around to her side of the vehicle, gives her a kiss on the cheek and a hug, and then jumps back in the car. My jaw was on the ground. He reversed out of the driveway, and stupid me is sitting like a deer in the headlights in plain sight.
He turns around and is literally 10 feet in front of my car and staring directly at me. My face goes bright red and I feel like I’m going to vomit. Me and this guy work together every single day and I consider him a friend of mine. I even trained him when he started at my company. And the kicker is, I’ve been telling him (in detail) about this older lady and he’s been giving me immense kudos about it saying that it’s “his dream.”
He pulls up beside me and looks very confused, asks me what I’m doing, and says how funny it was we ran into each other. I panic completely and stumble over my words and pretend like I’m on the wrong street and trying to find my cousin’s house. He looked skeptical but sort of shrugged it off. The whole time, his mother is standing there watching us through the curtains.
He directs me where to go and I pull off and then circle back once he’s gone. Needless to say, I went inside and told her what was up, and we both sort of sat there in silence before I left. No boom boom that day. I am now panicking because I think there’s no way he’s not going to know, and he’s going to realize all these wild escapades with this she-devil night mistress I’ve been telling him about is actually his mom.
Later, she texted me and says that we should tell him and come clean because it’s the right thing to do. She was adamant about telling him, even after I informed her about the explicit details I’ve been sharing since we started doing this. What is wrong with this woman? She keeps insisting that “he’s a grown-up and he should realize that his mother is a person too with desires like any other person.”
She said regardless of what I say, she was going to tell him the next day because she can’t “live with the guilt and deceit.” So eventually, the cat got out of the bag, and she came clean about it all. My co-worker called me saying it was super weird and his head is spinning but he’s not mad because he knows we had no idea. He asked if it was her I’d been talking about the whole time and I said yes.
He paused. Then he asked, “…even all that crazy stuff?” RIP BRO. Needless to say, I laughed and changed the subject, you’ve been through enough my child. He also said he’s going to look for a new job and already gave his two weeks’ notice because it’ll be weird working together. He genuinely just seemed bummed. He also said he put in a transfer so we won’t be working in the same building until he’s gone.
Jeez. I’m going to see his mom later and tell her we can’t do this anymore. She caused him to lose a job and a friend and gave him a reason to go to therapy over something we could’ve likely played off.
Not The Brightest Bulb
The overhead fan in our bedroom uses one of those compact halogen light bulbs. Six years ago, the bulb burned out and got really dim, just barely a glow. I bought a replacement bulb, but when I put that one in it was also barely lighting up so I realized the unit was bad. The fan still worked GREAT, it literally is the best fan I’ve ever had because it moves a ton of air and is super quiet.
The fan had also been a gift when we moved into our house. The unit cost over $400 so I didn’t really want to replace it even though our bedroom doesn’t get much natural light so it is pretty dark. So since then, over the years my wife and I have had to make do with no overhead light. We open the windows during the day, and at night use a combination of bedside lamps and the bathroom light.
It’s never really as good at lighting as an overhead light so I keep some flashlights up there for when we are cleaning or looking for something, etc. After six years of living in the dark, this winter I just decided I would replace the darn thing. But before I did, I decided to try one last time with another bulb because, however unlikely, it’s possible BOTH bulbs I had tried were bad. This is when I finally came to the worst realization.
I’m up there installing the new bulb, grab the remote (the fan has a remote), and as I’m turning the light on, I realize: The goddarn thing is dimmable. For six freaking years, we lived with the inconvenience of no overhead light, and the whole time it was just because the darn thing was set to “dim.”
On April 1st this year, I got a group text from my wife Sarah’s side of the family stating there was an emergency family meeting happening that night over dinner at my mother-in-law Barb’s house. I immediately had April Fools spidey senses starting to tingle, but we haven’t all got together since Christmas so I overlooked it and said my wife and I were in.
We were the last to arrive and it was pretty somber when we walked in. We all sat down at the table and my wife’s brother Tim informed the family that his wife Ashley had been having an affair and they are divorcing. The affair was with a long-time close family friend, Chris, who lived a block away. Chris’ wife Jen had caught them when she came home early one day last week and broke the news to my brother-in-law.
Both families have been friends for years. Like I said, they live less than a block from each other, they each have been married for 15+ years, and they have four kids right around the same age. Honestly, I have always thought both of them were picture-perfect families. Heck all four of them and their kids were at our house two weeks ago for a BBQ.
Anyways, after airing a lot of dirty laundry and their plans to divorce, talking about how it could affect future family functions, and opening it up to the group for any questions…there was silence. Then I screwed up so colossally I can’t believe it. I broke the silence with laughter and a slow clap. I said this was the best April Fool’s gag I’ve ever seen, but I wasn’t falling for it.
I told Ashley and especially Tim they need to consider going into theater, since their performances were top-notch and their tears seemed genuine. Being the newest member of the family (my wife and I married six months ago) this was probably not the best thing to say in hindsight. I probably should not have said anything. Everyone in the room looked horrified.
My mother-in-law, who had been crying the entire time, lost all composure. She left the room in hysterics and did not return before we left. Tim just shook his head, and his cheating wife actually let out a brief chuckle before calling me out for being an idiot for thinking this was a ruse, then she berated me for being so insensitive.
The rest of the family sat in silence shaking their heads as my wife lectured me for trying to make a joke out of a serious situation. I am still dumbfounded at my idiocy. Note to self: Not a joke.
None The Wiser
My wife is working out of town for a couple weeks. Sometime over the weekend, I noticed my son playing with this little silicone cup that kind of looked like a tulip. I asked him what it did and he proceeded to show me its versatility. Over the next few days, it helped the Paw Patrol save the town, it was a treasure chest holding tiny pebbles guarded by pirates, and a force field protecting a space ship.
It came with us to the park, grocery shopping, and even out to dinner one night. I loved that it had its own little satchel and assumed it just went with a playset. Fast forward to this morning and as we’re getting ready for school, Alexa reminds us that it’s show and tell today at school. So my son grabs his little silicone cup and off to school he goes.
I pick him up after school and his teacher asks to speak with me. My son looks happy so I figure he’s not in trouble, or if he is in trouble he did something cheeky that he’s proud of. When I found out what happened that day, I went bright red. Our conversation went something like this. Teacher: “Ben’s show and tell was…interesting.”
Me: “Yeah! It’s cool right? We’ve been playing with that thing for days.” Teacher: “Uh, Mr. Scott, do you know what that is?” I start to panic—oh God, it’s not a toy… Teacher: “…that is a, uh, menstrual cup.” I get confused. Teacher notes my confusion: “It’s um, used to collect menstrual blood…” I’m still confused. Teacher: “It uh, goes inside, and uh…collects blood.”
Me: “It just…stays in there?” She nods. Me: “Are you sure? I don’t think that would, uh, fit…too, uh…comfortably…there.” Teacher: “Oh, it folds in half then springs open inside….” Now we’re both clearly uncomfortable. Me: “Alright then…so where do I get a replacement, because my wife will probably not be too pleased when she returns home and will not want to continue using this one.”
My wife laughed SO HARD when I told her. My son is none the wiser and is having a tea party with the cup right now.
Broken Trust, Broken Games
When I was young, my brothers and I snuck a copy of GTA: San Andreas into the house. We spent days holed up in our basement taking turns playing, and down there my parents didn’t bother us too much. In order to get tons of money for guns (we had yet to figure out my parents’ dialup password so cheats weren’t a thing for us yet), we would go to the strip club and stand on the stage, absorbing the money dudes threw at the women and just let the game sit for 10-20 minutes.
We had to be careful, though, because sometimes the girls would do a move and bump into the main player CJ and the bouncers would shoot the place up. One day while I was playing, my mom yelled down at us to get ready, saying we’re going to Pizza Hut. In a stroke of genius, I drove to the GTA club got on the stage, and then turned the TV off and we left.
It was to be the heist of the century. My dad, however, was at church at this time, practicing for a gospel concert he was singing in. He always filmed the practices so he could take notes at home upon playback, and this time was no different. While my mom and brothers and I were still at the Hut, he arrived at home and plugged his camcorder into the VCR.
We had just one VCR, and it was connected to the basement TV. Back at the Hut, my mom gets a phone call that makes her face turn white. She puts her napkin down and slowly looks around the table at us and says “Ooookay” a few times into the phone in this really calculating, specific way that she always did when she knew us kids were in trouble before we did.
Naturally, it was at this point that we kids knew we were in trouble. For what, though, we didn’t know. After a very quiet minivan ride, we get home and my mom says, “Boys, why don’t we go down to the basement. Your dad wants to show you his gospel practice downstairs.” It was at THIS point we knew why we were in trouble. So we drag our feet down the stairs.
Lo and behold, my dad is sitting on the couch, TV on, a girl’s bare polygonal body swaying stiffly back and forth on screen to En Vogue’s “My Lovin’,” with CJ standing mere inches away, collecting money. My dad starts in. “Boys, I don’t even know where to begin. This PlayStation was a blessing to you for Christmas and this is how you repay us? By breaking our trust??”
He is holding the controller up now, gesticulating with it. “Here I am, practicing to bring glory to God, and—” but he was cut off, as he inadvertently squeezed the controller, causing CJ to punch the girl. My entire family stands in silence, watching together as the bouncers in the club shoot the place up for what seems like an eternity.
After the shooting stops and CJ appears in front of the hospital, I look back and see my mom silently weeping into her hand. I look at my dad as a single tear rolls down his cheek and he prays under his breath. After another eternity of silence, without a word, my dad bends down, disconnects the PlayStation, walks back to the family computer, disconnects it, goes to his car, and drives away.
For the next four months, he kept the PS2 and PC locked in his office at work. It’s one of my favorite memories of growing up. I miss my brothers.
Minor background: I am a pretty affectionate, and at times effeminate, dude. I’m 6’2” and have a pretty “tough-guy” background in that I was in special forces a while ago, and my roommates all served as well, but I also have thin wrists and sit on my friends’ laps and blow kisses to them and stuff. I’m not gay for what it’s worth, I just am me.
So while I was in a shop with a roommate a few weeks ago, he saw these really cool shawls that we both couldn’t get out of our heads. So he returned last weekend to buy them and now we have these shawls. Mine makes me look like a Star Wars character and his looks like the Outlaw Josey Wales, these are seriously awesome shawls.
The first night we wore them, everybody at the dive bar we went to (re: dudes) thought they were awesome as well. Then this girl and her friend arrive on an invite from Shawlbro, and it all goes wrong. They are seriously turned off by our sweet shawls. Like, acting pretty weird about them and making comments. Whatever. Around this time, I get a call from my girlfriend.
She’s tired and wants to hang out at my place, so I bid these mean girls and Shawlbro adieu and head home. I’m still wearing the shawl when my girlfriend arrives. Well, she’s also really taken aback—she won’t even kiss me until I take it off. After, we get do the deed and go to sleep…and the next morning she starts asking me if I’m gay.
And she’s really serious and aggressive about it. I tell her I’m not, and that if I was I’d definitely know it by now, and she counters with her major evidence of the fact that I own a shawl. Anyway, she gets weird and leaves, and then sends me a text later about how she’s sorry and that she “needs to think about what kind of man” she wants, and then doesn’t contact me for days.
So yesterday I invite her out, and it all comes crashing down. She’s stumbling over her words and talking about how she likes tough guys and how she grew up in the south and needs to get used to The Big City, but that she doesn’t know this or that, and eventually I just tell her very politely to get screwed because I’m pretty insulted by this point.
On the way back, now that I’m not directly in front of her, I get this long apologetic text from her but the crux of it is that yeah, she’s just not that into me anymore because I wore a shawl. Later on, I tell Shawlbro about this, and apparently he also had a blowout with the girl he was seeing over his shawl that very same night we went out.
We are both going to keep wearing the shawls though, they are warm.
One day, I got out of the shower and 11-year-old me came up with a great idea. Because I had my hands full, instead of using one hand to hold the towel and the other to turn the light off, I was going to jump up and bite the light switch to pull it down with my teeth. What could go wrong? So, I jumped up to bite the switch.
It was one of the switches with the string and a ball at the end where you pull it down, and as I came down, my two front teeth hit the ball… and snapped in half. I called downstairs through a mouthful of blood. “Mum… I think I chipped my teeth.” My mum came sprinting up the stairs, took one look at me, and said, “Chipped them? You’ve snapped them in half! There’s a perfect bloody circle in your teeth you idiot!”
So now, every now and then I have to get the other halves of my two front teeth replaced until I’m 21 and can get permanent implants drilled in. The funny part is that the light never turned off!
A Close Shave
I work with kids with developmental disabilities. One of the kids I was working with was afraid of hair clippers. With the approval of his parents and our director, who initiated this, we adjusted a tolerance program so that we were actually clipping some of his hair using a pretty thick guard on the clippers. He was getting REALLY good at it.
One day, I took out the clippers and was about to begin, but the kid looked at the clippers and said, “no no no!!” I reassured him that he was going to be fine, so he very quickly stopped and I proceeded. I began to cut his hair and then BAM, HUGE bald spot. It turns out the kid was saying “no” because he noticed the guard wasn’t on the clippers!
I freaked out and called his mom over. Luckily, she just busted out laughing. She said the kid’s dad preferred him with “short hair” anyways, so we proceeded to cut off the rest of his hair. He did great!
Not Knowing My Limits
About two and a half years ago, I was in my last semester at college to become a props and paint person for TV and film. I went to college at 30, when I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my life, so I wasn’t quite as strong and indestructible as I had been when I was younger. Without thinking about possible repercussions, I helped a team lift a very heavy set piece.
It was too heavy, actually; we didn’t have enough people, but we got it to where it needed to be. It turns out that that lift messed up both of my wrists. For life. I spent the next two years after graduating trying to fix them, but doctors were struggling to figure out what was even wrong. Their final verdict: “Look into long term pain management.”
So, now I can’t work in the industry I wanted to be in, and I also can’t even do a lot of the stuff I used to do. I can’t lift anything more than 15lbs. without it hurting. I finally got a part-time job at an escape room recently, but I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I could have been working in TV, or at the very least, theatre, if I had just said that the set piece was too heavy.
It’s crazy how one wrong move can derail your life.
This happened a little over a year ago. So, I work for the TSA, and have for a few years now. It’s a good job overall. I’m underpaid, but the benefits are nice, and I get overtime when I want it. A little over a year ago, during the week leading up to Christmas, we had some really bad weather that delayed all the flights. I volunteered to stay late so that my co-workers could go home to their families.
Most of the work was done anyway, so it was mostly just standing around waiting for the odd latecomer. I was working when three passengers came up together: a middle-aged man, a middle-aged woman, and a teenage boy. I figure it’s a family traveling together for the holidays, and go about my work. Mom goes through, all is fine. Dad goes through, all is fine.
Kid comes up, and I get a good look at him. Hoodie, sweatpants, shortish hair, smooth face. I figure he’s about 13, maybe 14. I hit the button, direct him to wait with me for a moment, and then gesture to the screen, which lit up on his chest area. I tell him that I have to pat that area down. He’s a little nervous, but I figure that because he’s so young.
This is probably his first time getting a pat-down, but he says okay, and I start the pat-down. I do the left side of the chest, and feel some moob, which catches me off guard because he didn’t look chubby at all. I move to the right side of the chest, read what’s on the hoodie, and it all clicks at once.
The hoodie has the name of the local college on it. This is an adult, not a child. He’s not wearing sweatpants, she is wearing yoga pants. She doesn’t even know the couple that just came through. I look at her face, which is bright red, my hand is still on her boob, and I pull it back like I just got bit by a snake. I immediately call for my supervisor, who comes over and asks what’s wrong, and I explain the situation to her.
My supervisor covers her mouth, and at first I thought she was absolutely mortified, but then I realized she’s trying not to laugh. She takes a minute to pull herself together, tells me to go take a break, and finishes screening the passenger herself. Once that was done, I apologize to the passenger. She tells me it’s fine, and that it wasn’t the first time she was mistaken for a boy and she probably should have said something before I started touching her. But I wasn’t out of the woods yet.
I leave her alone, and go talk to my supervisor to figure out exactly how fired I am. She tells me to calm down, that it was just an honest mistake, and that she has my back if the passenger files an official complaint, but that probably won’t happen and I shouldn’t be worried. That reassured me a little, but I still groped a woman and ruined Christmas, so I feel like an absolute monster.
I swallow my shame and finish my shift, then I go into the airport proper to find some food, because I just finished a 12-hour shift and there’s no way I have the energy to cook dinner. There, I see my hapless victim sitting at her gate, waiting for her flight. I went up to her to apologize again, and saw that the flight had been delayed until morning; it was about 11 at night now.
I apologize again, she says it’s fine, and I ask her if she’s planning to stay the whole night. She says she has to, since all the hotels in the area are booked up. I tell her that I’m getting some dinner, and offer to get her some food as well. After all, I already got to second base, I think it’s only fair that I buy her dinner. She agrees, and we go to one of the restaurants that is open late, get some food, and start eating.
She said she gets mistaken for a boy a lot, and it’s not a big deal. I told her about how I had long hair and no beard in college, and at the gym people would frequently walk into the men’s bathroom, see me, and do a double-take to make sure they didn’t walk into the ladies’ room. She laughed, and we ended up talking for a few hours, before I finally told her that I had to get home, and apologized again. Then came the true twist.
She said that all is forgiven…if I promise to take her on a real date when she gets back. I agreed, she gave me her phone number, and I went home and immediately started texting her. We kept talking until her flight finally left, and when she got back I picked her up at the airport, and a few days later took her on that date that I promised her. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. She has long hair now.
I got out of a bad relationship a few months ago and only recently felt good enough to get out of the house again. This was my first-ever boyfriend and he turned out to be a piece of trash, so I was obviously a bit hesitant. But some old friends from high school were visiting my town and asked if I wanted to go on a bar crawl with them and I figured screw it, it’s not like anything will happen, so why not?
At the first bar, we run into a group of guys from my university. I had seen some of them around but never spoke to them before. One of my friends decides she’s going to force me to “get out of my shell” and drags our group over to talk with them. I’m EXTREMELY quiet (like…weirdly quiet to most people) so I end up sitting in the corner of our booth and not saying anything, just drinking and feeling awkward.
Well, one of the guys in the other group, let’s call him Adam, is also being weirdly quiet. So my friends and his friends, who are already tipsy, decide to make things as awkward as possible by making us play truth or dare—except we have to drink when we don’t want to answer something. There are a lot of personal questions neither of us want to answer, so we end up drinking quite a bit.
By the time we’re done the first bar, Adam and I are on a whole different plane of existence from everyone else. It actually turned out that we had a lot in common, and he was pretty cute, and we’re goofing around and laughing the whole time. I started to get butterflies in my stomach, and not just from the drinks. Adam has my exact sense of humor and is really sweet and kind.
We wander off and start having deep conversations about feeling left out of things and how annoying it is when people say stuff like, “Can they speak?” I tell him I’m walking home and he offers to walk with me. I know where this is going but I don’t feel nervous, plus I feel like I have a genuine connection with this guy. Our friends are wolf-whistling as we leave and instead of being embarrassed, I feel weirdly proud.
So we get to my place, talk for a bit, and do the deed. I wake up earlier than him and decide I’m going to make a nice breakfast. I want to impress him and show him I like him, and everyone likes a good breakfast when they have a hangover, right? So I sneak out of bed and make scrambled eggs, French toast, and sausage. I prefer almond milk so I use that for the eggs and French toast.
He wakes up and tells me I look just as cute sober. At this point, I’m convinced he’s the love of my life. He sees the breakfast and gets excited and I’m like yes! My plan worked! I’m going to get to his heart through his stomach! We eat and everything’s going great for a few bites. Then he makes a weird face and clears his throat. His eyes start to widen and he asks me if there were nuts in the bread or something.
I say no, but I used almond milk. He jumps out of his chair and says, “CALL AN AMBULANCE RIGHT. NOW.” I’m freaking the heck out. He’s wheezing and stuff and looks absolutely panicked. I ask if he has an EpiPen and he shakes his head no. So I call an ambulance and tell them he’s having an allergic reaction and paramedics come and haul him off.
This happened last weekend. I have not heard back from him since. I found his buddy and confirmed he is OK. I guess accidentally triggering a severe allergic reaction does not lead to romance.
The Mother Of All Punishments
My son was not doing his homework so I confiscated his GameBoy Advance. I told him he would get it back next week. Well, he’s a pretty clever dude and knew all my hiding places, so I put it someplace he would never look. There was one not so little problem. I suffered a traumatic brain injury a few years earlier and I often forget stuff.
So when he did his homework and asked for it back after a week, I…could not find it. Aargh. I looked everywhere. (Narrator: Obviously not everywhere…) Then we moved houses. And I still didn’t find it. SpongeBob: 18 YEARS LATER…I was donating some coats I had not worn in a long time, and in the pocket of a Viennese trench coat from the 1930s, I found…his GameBoy Advance.
I turned it on. And it WORKED. Pokémon appeared. I put fresh batteries into it and handed it to my 28-year-old son, who proceeded to laugh for a good five minutes, then played it for a few hours. Then proceeded to tell my wife and other adult children how silly I was.
Universities Are Businesses
My worst mess up? Student loans. I got into the same private university that my Dad had attended back in the 70s. They have a great engineering program, and he was excited for me to follow in his footsteps. Of course, the tuition rates had skyrocketed since then. The money that my parents had saved for college was gone very fast, and the student loans began.
I ended up with $100k of student loans at the end of my undergrad. Then I accepted a position in their Master’s program with a full scholarship. Two years later, when I finished my masters, the interest had ballooned my debt to $115k, and the Master’s degree has not been any more useful than 2 years of job experience would have been.
Now I am out of school but financially crippled. All of my income goes to rent and loans. So many aspects of my life are on hold because of this debt. I have friends who got four-year engineering degrees with zero loans. Some of them went to the same school and got various scholarships that I didn’t qualify for. Others went to less expensive schools.
I feel like my whole life is postponed a decade behind theirs. Choosing the university and program that I chose is by far the biggest mistake of my life.
Let Me Rephrase This
My son has autism—level 1, what was previously called Asperger’s. Due to that, he also has a psychiatrist, multiple psychologists, and many doctors. We decided to get a new primary doctor who works closely with his other providers to better coordinate his care this past summer. I brought my son in for a standard “well child” visit, and spent nearly an hour with this new doctor going over his issues, medications, history, etc.
Toward the end of the visit she says to me, “Well, he can get the gardasil vaccine today,” to which I reply, joking, “Oh, no he can’t have that, I don’t want him to get autism.” I should maybe note here that I am an aspie too, and while I think my sarcasm is on point, I must have been a little too serious looking because she just stared at me.
The silence lasted an eternity while I imagine she was deciding how to proceed. Eventually, I laughed and tried to assure her I was only kidding, but she only returned a nervous-sounding chuckle and left the room. As my son and I were discussing whether I was offensive (he thought I was hilarious) in walked the nurse with a stack of information about vaccines.
He started his lecture about vaccine safety and potential risks, etc. and no amount of my assurances that we are not in fact anti-vax would stop him. He just kept saying, “Okay, well I have to tell you this,” in a way that suggested that the doctor told him to give me the full spiel. For what it’s worth, of course we took the gardasil that day.
Shout out to Nurse Pete for being the first nurse to ever give my kid a vaccine without him crying or fist-fighting everyone. I wish everyone could have a Nurse Pete.
Karma’s A Witch
My wife has a history of startling and scaring me easily due to me being deaf in one ear from tinnitus, which has dramatically decreased my situational awareness. She finds it hilarious and I’ve grown to tolerate it because of love and all. Still, I decided my time for revenge had come. Cut to dinner time, and I’m about to boil a box of rigatoni pasta when the inspiration hits me from a video on social media I saw.
I hide a piece of that rigatoni between my teeth and make my way into the living room where my wife was relaxing on the couch after a long day of being a nurse. “Hey sweetheart, do you mind rubbing my neck? I feel like I have a kink in it or something,” I ask her. At this point, I can barely contain my excitement for this amazing prank as she happily begins massaging my neck for me.
After 30-45 seconds, I then bite down hard on that piece of uncooked rigatoni, which released a sickening yet satisfying crunch sound. I give a little “ow” sound and immediately go limp, falling face first into the couch. Now my wife is mostly a calm, non-emotional type person, but her visceral reaction of terror and worry and panic that came flooding out of her while she started to shake my limp body and began to check my vitals made me feel guilt like I’ve never felt before.
After only a short time, I give up on the ruse and show her it was just pasta. To say she was livid is an understatement. I’ve been sleeping on the couch ever since. Worth it.
Recently, I finally managed to convince my fiancée to light up with me. She’s always been anti it, but now that we’re just a few weeks away from getting married and being all grown up, she’s gone full YOLO. This turned into a total nightmare. She became extremely relaxed and talkative. It was cute at first, listening to her go on and on about life and love. But then it got kind of specific.
She mentioned how she never expected to be with someone like me. I didn’t even have to encourage her to explain because the floodgates were already wide open. All those details spilled out without any filter. This is what I learned from my fiancée that I never knew before: Most of her past relationships ended because she was notoriously promiscuous.
One of those relationships came to an end after she cheated on her boyfriend by hooking up with his younger brother, while also cheating on the darn brother, with his best friend, who just so happened to be a girl. I’m the first guy she’s had to do the “faking it” thing with. Apparently, all her exes pushed all the right buttons whereas I don’t.
My asthma is a turn-off when it comes to intimacy because she feels like she needs to hold back, so that I don’t get too excited. All her exes were well-endowed (of course they were!). I’m her first average. Those were some of the key points. I was too traumatized to register whatever else she said afterward. I don’t think I blinked for the rest of the evening. But it got so much worse.
Even though I knew what my fiancée said would haunt me forever, I was willing to bury it in the back of my mind and pretend like it never even happened. However, the day after, my fiancée wanted to talk. So we did. It was brutal. She said my mom was right about her being wrong for me. Long story short, all of this was building up to her admitting she’d been sending private photos to one of her well-endowed exes.
I’m emotionally destroyed. It doesn’t feel real yet, so I have trouble accepting it’s over. But it is. Guess I’m returning that ring and getting a PS5.
Baring It All
I recently started a new job about 5-6 months ago doing some tech work. With that being said, I’m a pretty young girl, just 24, and definitely the youngest person who works there by far. I also mostly work with men, 30-40. We have a GroupMe for the store I work at, which includes the owner, the manager, and about 5-6 other employees.
The previous night I had been feeling a little frisky and took some pictures and videos for the guy that I was with at the time. No biggie right? The next morning I had work, go in as normal, pretty busy day actually. Noon rolls around and I needed to post a picture to the GroupMe about a issue I was having with a computer I was working on.
I typed what I needed to say and clicked the camera roll icon. Just as I clicked the picture, a customer came up and started asking me a question. I hit send without thinking and go on about my day. I should also probably say that by this time I was working alone and closing so no one else was around. The customer who came in kept me pretty busy for 30-45 mins.
When they finally left, I went to check my phone and saw I had a bunch of missed calls from my boss…at first I thought he was just calling me about the question I had. While the phone was ringing, I went back to look at the GroupMe. My heart dropped instantly when I realized what happened. To my horror I CLICKED NOT JUST A PICTURE FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE, BUT THE WHOLE VIDEO.
My boss picked up the phone and he began questioning me about what my “intentions” were with the video and that he’s never had anyone do such a disrespectful act in the company before. I tried to explain, but needless to say that was my last day working there. On the bright side, the co-worker I had a crush on…I finally got his attention.
Blood and Ketchup
The biggest mistake I ever made was getting a packet of ketchup in third grade. It was recess, third grade. Little me had chicken fingers or whatever from the cafeteria, and what do you need with chicken fingers? Of course, a couple of packets of ketchup! So I got a packet or two. And let me tell you, I was so excited to dig into those chicken fingers that I ran back to my table.
The condiments were around a corner from the general eating area, so to get back, I had to get around that corner. Unfortunately, at the same time, a kid in fifth grade, who seemed equally excited, was also running around the corner. An impact was inevitable, and as he saw this, he let out a scream. As he did so, we ran into each other, and his tooth went right into my head.
I felt fine for a little bit, but a bystander grabbed me by my shirt’s arm and rushed me to the nurse’s office. I still felt fine, but on my way there, my vision was starting to get blurred by the blood dripping from my forehead. I, understandably, freaked out. I was taken to the hospital and had my wound stitched up. I missed my friend’s birthday party, but for the most part, that was it. Or so I thought.
Fast forward eight years, to high school. I was standing in line with my buds to buy a soda, when all of a sudden, I woke up in an ambulance. I had fainted for some reason, but I couldn’t figure out why. The EMT told me I had had a seizure, which worried my parents and me. I saw a neurologist, got my brain scanned, and was cleared. They said there was nothing wrong with my head.
A year later, I had another seizure, while I was at home. No ambulance was called, but my parents took me to the neurologist again. This time, they found something up there: a scar on the front of my brain. At the time, I couldn’t think of any reason why there’d be a scar there, but thinking back on it later, it had to have been the time I nearly got a tooth lodged in my skull.
I now take my pills and stay away from anything that would endanger me further, but it’s not too much of a life-changer. Besides legally being branded as an epileptic, I’m fine for the most part. If I could talk to my third-grade self, I’d scream, “Just walk you idiot, the chicken fingers aren’t going anywhere!”
Not Today, Satan
I get sleep paralysis, and I have for the past few years off and on. Usually every couple of months, I’ll get a sleep paralysis dream. I’ve talked to my parents about it before, and the mess-up is not that they know, the screw-up is that I decided to try drawing what I saw over my bed last night, and then sent a picture to my mom. Now, my parents are very Catholic.
Like, homeschooled for six years and went to church every day Catholic. Like, when things go bad in life, my dad wholeheartedly believes it’s the devil actively attacking us so we lose our faith. Which explains their reaction when I showed them the picture, which to be fair looked like a scary demon. Cue the panicked phone call from my parents, who now believe the devil visits me in my sleep.
I spent 30 minutes on the phone with them trying to find a Bible or a rosary so my mom could sleep without worrying my soul would be taken. They now want me to talk to a priest and get my house blessed and use holy water every time I enter it. The next time I visit them, I may end up in an impromptu exorcism. Wish me luck.
Whoever Smelt It, Dealt It
One day I woke up and had really painful cramps due to the awful woman’s monthly cycle, mixed with some spiced chicken that hadn’t sat right in my belly all night. I go to the toilet about three times before work that morning, but it eased off a bit so I take tablets, grin and bear it, then leave for work. Now, my job is within the Prison System, escorting inmates to certain places, including courts. This is where it all went downhill.
I had to escort this inmate over to the witness box and stand next to her in open court. So I do my usual but my tummy has started to really hurt again. I’m trying my absolute best to put off a toot which I know is brewing but can’t hold it much longer. So I do a really silent one and pat myself on the back thinking I had got away with it…
That is until the inmate starts coughing and retching and shouting, “What the heck is that?!” I quickly realize what it must be but can’t admit to such a foul, putrid smell so start crinkling my nose as well and gagging. The administrative clerk walks slightly closer and retches so hard she had to swiftly put her head in the bin.
By this point, it’s getting loud and chaos is starting to ensue. Not what you want in court, in front of the district judge. The judge quickly tells me to take the prisoner back over to the closed dock and states it must be the pipes. He stands down the whole of court and makes maintenance come in to check all pipes for any leaks, cracks, ANYTHING that could have made that smell happen.
All’s Well That Ends Well
Two months ago, I screwed up. I was infatuated with this super cute guy who came in and guest lectured for one of my classes. I ended up realizing, not in a way that I wanted to at all, that he actually works three labs down from the lab I work at. Basically, one day most of the floor was on holiday and my close friend and I were hanging around the hallway joking about my crush on this guy.
I kept saying all the dirty things I would let him do to me. Well, he overheard, came out and told me and my friend to be quiet, then winked at me. I was so mortified. I didn’t come back to the lab until winter break was over, hoping that the large influx of people would somehow prevent me from ever seeing him again. That didn’t happen.
On my first day back, I was in the break room making some toast when he walks in. “Oh God,” I thought. Knowing that a confrontation was probably inevitable, I knew I ought to apologize for my crass comment. But instead, I frantically looked away and focused on putting peanut butter on my toast because if I do that, he can’t see me right?
That didn’t happen again. Instead, he came up right next to me, smiled, and said, “Hey, how was your break?” I looked up awkwardly and told him it was fine, and that I mainly just stayed on campus and worked at the lab. He told me that he basically did the same but went to see his family for a couple of days. He didn’t bring up what happened either, thank God.
Then he said something along the lines of, “Is that all you’re having for lunch?” and I was like, “Uh yeah, I was in a rush and forgot to pack something.” Then he said, “Oh, I was gonna go grab something to eat at the sandwich place, do you wanna come with?” I was like what the heck, that smooth operator. I tried not reading into it and brushed it off as him being nice so I said sure and we went.
Well. We ended up having a great lunch, and tomorrow is our one-month anniversary.
There was this girl in high school that I had a huge crush on. She was my close friend, but definitely out of my league. She was very beautiful and popular, and people always asked her why she hung out with me. I never made a move because I was certain she’d reject me. At graduation, she gave me a nice card and a box of assorted chocolates.
I’m allergic to nuts so I couldn’t eat any, but I really appreciated the gesture. To thank her, I bought her some socks that said “best friend” all over them. After that, she acted very strangely to me. I thought maybe she didn’t like my gift or that she wanted to focus on college or something. Eventually, we just drifted apart.
Since I couldn’t risk eating any of the chocolates, I left them in my parent’s fridge. About six months later, my Mom asked if they could eat the chocolates, over text. I said sure. A few minutes later, she sent me a picture with the message: “This was underneath the chocolates, I think it was meant for you.” I couldn’t believe it. It was a photo of the girl and me, cut into the shape of a heart.
On the back of the photo was a message from her, professing her secret feelings for me. By this time, she had a boyfriend who she’s now married to. I had a shot and I blew it, and I’ve thought about it every day since.
My family—my wife, kids, in-laws, and I—had just returned from a pontoon cruise for the evening. It was later than usual so I sent the wife up on the golf cart with the kids and in-laws to get them some dinner while I covered up the boat. About halfway through covering up the boat, I notice someone halfway across the cove in the water all on their own, and she appeared to maybe be in distress.
She wasn’t making progress swimming one way or the other and was occasionally going underwater. There were people on the opposite shoreline yelling at her, but I couldn’t tell what they were saying. I yell asking if she needs help and she says yes. I call my wife and tell her to come down on the cart, someone is in the water and needs help, and I’m going in.
I say I might need help getting the person out. I put on a life jacket and grab the throw cushion from the boat. I swim out to the person and pass off the throw cushion. She appears out of breath. First thing she says to me is, “I don’t have a top on.” I respond with, “Umm ok, but are you okay?” I also immediately think to myself: First, my friends are never going to believe this, and second, what is my wife going to think with a half-naked woman swimming to shore with me?
She then says she’s running from her boyfriend who is “messed up.” She also asks if it’s shallow enough to touch yet. It wasn’t going to be. I help her to the dock where my wife meets us. She tells my wife, “I’m sorry but I don’t have a shirt on.” Again, my wife just asks if she’s okay and she tells us the boyfriend story again. Sure enough, as she gets out of the water she isn’t wearing a shirt.
However, she is carrying a white t-shirt that she quickly throws on. She then immediately begins running to shore. At the same time, we notice a pontoon cruising towards our dock and yelling at us. At first I think this must be her boyfriend chasing her and we are in the middle of some domestic dispute. They quickly get closer and I realize it’s two sheriff deputies who flagged a pontoon down to carry them across the lake.
As they are jumping onto the dock we notice the girl had just jumped into our golf cart and was riding away on it. Apparently, she was allegedly involved in a string of burglaries and the “boyfriend” she was running away from was….the authorities. I had unknowingly aided her to swim across the lake to escape and she used our golf cart as a getaway.
The officers chased her for a while through the night, tracking her down once more but she escaped again.
This is going to sound strange, but I regret going well out of my way to do something for my family. This is what happened: my grandfather passed on, and I turned down signing the lease of a new apartment with my best friends for a place that was around the corner from my school. Instead, I agreed to move in with my grandma, who lived an hour and a half away, to help support her.
Unfortunately, I eventually got into a car accident falling asleep on the freeway because of how exhausting the drive to school from her place was and messed up my knee pretty badly. Around the same time, my grandmother ending up moving to another home, so I was left to tend to my knee injuries all by myself. I hurt my shoulder using crutches and, at one point, used a rolling chair to pull myself back and forth to the kitchen.
I lost my “recruited in my field” job, racked up some medical debt, felt the onset of mental disorders from the weeks of solitude, dropped classes and my GPA, resented other family and friends for leaving me alone, and suffered a plethora of compensation injuries. Throughout all this, no one came to make sure I was ok. No one.
This was three years ago, and I am still learning to walk normally again. The one thing I can say is that my strength was tested and reinforced. When I close my eyes, I can remember moments when I made it through things that were far from easy. I also learned to never put anyone else’s needs before yours. Selfishness seemed like a bad character trait to me before, but now I see it as a necessity.
You have to look out for you first and foremost, because no one else will.
That’s So Karen
My family loves to overshare. This lack of filter sometimes has the tendency to get people into trouble because not all the information is provided, even when it’s meant harmlessly. My parents are a bit older—like prime “Ok, Boomer” age. I was talking to my dad the other day on the phone because his birthday dinner was in a few days.
I asked how mom was doing and he goes on to tell me a story about how my mom and Aunt Karen were at the store and the cashier made a mistake. My aunt went off on the cashier and asked to see the manager. My mom was mortified and tried to calm her down but she wasn’t having it. I then mentioned to my dad, “That’s such a Karen thing.”
He goes on to say, “Yeah, your aunt does that a lot.” I tell him, “That’s the funny part, the Karen meme is a real thing. It’s when an entitled, typically white woman gets angry at the smallest mistake and asks for the manager.” My dad found this hilarious and I explained in more detail. I also send him a few links to sites explaining it online.
He finds all of this even more hilarious, as my aunt even has the Karen hairstyle. This sends him down the Google Images rabbit hole and the next few days, he sends me random memes of “Karens” doing Karen stuff, adding, “your aunt did this last week” or “I think this one is about your aunt.” This leads up to his birthday dinner with extended family.
My dad’s birthday dinner is going well. Everyone is having a good time, good food, and drinks, etc. Suddenly my aunt, who was sitting a few seats down from me, leans forward and loudly shouts down the table “Hey [my name], what’s this whole thing about making a meme about me?” I respond “Huh?” She then tells me my dad sent her all these memes about things she’s done.
He didn’t even give her the context that it’s a generic meme from the Internet and what it’s about. Now, my aunt thinks I made all these memes about her real-life events. At this point, the entire family thinks I created this meme on the Internet about my aunt’s antics in public, and there is a back and forth discussion about it being really rude of me.
Basically, she’s pulling a Karen and starts chewing me out. Meanwhile, I am looking at my dad like what the heck, back me up here. My dad finally steps in to say that this is just a random viral Internet thing and that I didn’t make these up behind my aunt’s back. Even after explaining, though, she’s a bit irritated. It is apparent she is embarrassed that she is so much like a “Karen” that she couldn’t tell the difference between the stories online and her own encounters.
Don’t Do It, Kids
When I was 23, I did some of the white stuff for the first time. I had never done it and it was quite clean, so I only felt great the whole time. I had no idea how much was too much though, so I did line after line for about seven or eight hours straight. That night I slept maybe two hours. The next morning, I got up after two hours of sleep and, feeling terrible, I decided I would go to the skate park and skate it off.
Within about five minutes of being there, I had my first seizure. Never before in my life had any controlled substances, amounts of alcohol, or lack of sleep induced a seizure, not once. I have now been epileptic ever since. I cannot drink more than 4-5 drinks in an entire day without running a serious risk of having a seizure the next day, and I need at least seven hours of sleep if I want to avoid the risk of having a seizure the next day.
I had a seizure driving on the freeway once, totaled my girlfriend’s car, and woke up in the hospital. I had a seizure in line in security at Heathrow Airport, I had a seizure in Norway and woke up to be mandatorily hospitalized for two days. I live in California, a state with absolutely terrible public transportation, and I am now not allowed to drive.
It took quite a bit of time to truly understand how epilepsy affects me since everyone’s brain and habits are different. I’m not saying blow is necessarily the reason for my seizures entirely, but I wonder every day what my life would have been like if I had never done it that one time.
The Cry Of The Banshee
It was on the eighth floor of place my employment, inside the men’s toilet. I’m sitting there, doing my sit-down business because boss makes a dollar, I make a dime. I’ve just finished the dirty work and I’m about to perform my ablutions, but I delay it because I’m just flipping around on my phone. At this point, I feel something jump onto my balls.
This was something I had never hoped I would ever experience, let alone talk about on the Internet. I shriek. Not a barbarian shriek. Not a Viking shriek. Psycho-Shower-Scene shriek. A huntsman spider has crawled out of the toilet bowl and jumped onto my low-hanging fruit. I bat the spider off, smacking myself in the nuts, and keel over in pain.
The spider is now a corpse. Good news. My banshee wail has not gone unanswered. Bad news. Someone comes into the bathroom and knocks on the stall door. “Hey, are you alright? Have you fallen over? I’ll call an ambulance.” “NO. I’M FINE. EVERYTHING. IS. GOOD. JUST SLIPPED. FINE. NO NEED TO CALL AN AMBULANCE. YOU CAN LEAVE NOW PLEASE.”
I flush the world’s smallest predator to try and retain some of my inner pride, wash my hands, and make the very, VERY long walk back to my desk. My manager’s desk isn’t too far from the bathrooms, and he comes up to me afterward. “What happened in there, is everyone alright?” “Yeah… Everyone’s… FINE.” And then I make the dumbest decision of my life.
I explain to him what had happened. The audacity of the man: He LAUGHS. He laughs so hard he has to sit down so he doesn’t hurt himself. His hyena/kookaburra hybrid laughter has gotten the attention of some of the other members of my team. They’re looking to get in on the funny, funny joke. Bossman wheezes, “GET…GET HIM TO… TELL THEM!”
Because I’m incredibly susceptible to peer pressure, I tell them. Like a moron. I’m going to skip past most of the laughter because it went on for what felt like forever. I come back from lunch, and my boss and two other members of my team come up to me as I’m sitting back down at my desk getting ready to get back to work. My boss is holding a piece of paper.
“Look. We need to have a chat about something. I’ve brought two of your friends in the team as support since this is obviously not something that’s easy to talk about.” I am confused. “I have a blank HR report here. I’ll need you to fill this out. You confided into me that you were harassed in the workplace and it’s my duty of care to make sure the ‘POOPITRATOR’ is brought to justice.”
I accidentally gave myself really bad food poisoning in 2018. I wasn’t paying attention to how long leftovers had been in my fridge and I reheated them and ate them. BIG mistake. Just 24 hours of misery right? No. I became severely unwell with a bad stomach ulcer. After two months of suffering, I began to develop this insidious anxiety and depression.
Two different doctors did a whole bunch of tests on me and concluded I had pretty much nuked my gut biome, introduced something called H pylori, and that the anxiety and depression were a result of that due to the brain-gut relationship. So, they prescribed me some meds. I took one pill and immediately felt excruciating pain.
I threw up a load of blood and my heart started racing faster than it ever has before. Long story short, the medication was eating through my stomach through the ulcer. It took me seven months to recover. Now I suffer from OCD because I’m terrified I will poison myself again, or poison my family. The depression went away, but the anxiety has remained, along with a bad case of emetophobia.
Cooking meat is a big deal for me now. The main symptoms tapered off around October 2018, but then I developed IBS. My doctor tells me it will never go away. During my depressive state, I quit the best job I ever had. I’ll never get that back. I think that is probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. One little slip-up in the kitchen cost me an entire year of my life.
And I’m still paying the price.
A Swing And A Miss
Recently, I downloaded a dating app. I find a girl I’m really into and we connect on many things. She loves Star Wars, some games, and she even likes football although she completely chose the wrong team to support. Anyhow, I’m a bit wary she might be a catfish cause she’s hot as heck. At least a 10, maybe more. Meanwhile, I’m a 5 on my best days.
At this point, I ask her for a picture of her. She’s understanding and we exchange some pictures. Nothing special, but on one of the pictures I spot a prosthetic leg. Well heck, she’s probably a bit insecure about the whole thing, so I decide I must tell her I noticed but don’t care about it. Yeah, I think most of you probably think I’m an idiot already but don’t put the popcorn away just yet…it’s about to get worse.
I haven’t mentioned the prosthetic yet but I’m looking for an opportunity. We’re just throwing cheesy pick-up lines at each other as it is something we’ve been doing for a couple of days now. I ask if she’s ever been in trouble for stealing hearts. She responds to that with a “Do you think I’m a thief?” to which I respond, “I was thinking more about a pirate.” I haven’t had a response in 10 minutes.
What A Babe
This happened when my boyfriend and I first started dating. His mobile used to ping and light up when someone texted him, and once I saw that someone had texted him with the name “Babe.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, thinking I just hadn’t read the name correctly, but in the next coming weeks I saw her texting him many times.
He would also get really happy when the person texted, used to smile really big and all. I started thinking I was being cheated on, and the last straw for me was when the person texted, “Love you, too.” I confronted him about it and he stared at me for some time before he started laughing. I cried because what the heck? So he calmed me down and explained everything.
He told me that Babe is his grandmother. Her name is Baberuth and everyone in the family calls her Babe. She recently had gotten her first smartphone and he had taught her to text, so when she texted it was exciting for him to see her using emojis and stuff. I’ve never felt so embarrassed in my life. A few months later, he took me to meet her and I kid you not, for an 85-year-old Babe is a sport. We are best friends now.
Christmas Is Saved
Earlier this year, AncestryDNA had a sale on their kit. I thought it would be a great gift idea, so I bought six of them for Christmas presents. Today, my family got together to exchange presents for our Christmas Eve tradition, and I gave my mom, dad, brother, and two sisters each a kit. It turned into an utter disaster. As soon as everyone opened their gift at the same time, my mom started freaking out.
She told us how she didn’t want us taking them because they had unsafe chemicals. We explained to her how there were actually no chemicals, but we could tell she was still flustered. Later, she started trying to convince us that only one of us kids needed to take it since we will all have the same results and we could resell extra kits to save money.
Obviously, something was up, and my mom finally confessed everything. Turns out one of my sisters’ fathers passed shortly after she was born. A good friend of my mom’s was able to help her through the darkest time in her life, and they went on to fall in love and create the rest of our family. They never told us because of how hard it was for my mom.
Last night she was strong enough to share stories and photos with us for the first time, and it truly brought us even closer together as a family. Suddenly, my mess up turned into a Christmas miracle. This is a Christmas we will never forget. And yes, we are all excited to get our test results. Merry Christmas everyone!
I regret not riding with my brother years ago when he was collecting scrap. I was like 16 at the time, and my brother was collecting scrap for money, as he was down on his luck. I stayed home when he asked if I wanted to ride with him. He went to this lady’s house in town and knocked on the door to ask about the scrap laying in her yard, but no one answered minus a kid crying in the upstairs window.
Then suddenly, the woman who owned the house ran over and yelled at my brother, saying she saw him trying to break in. He stayed and tried to explain to her he just wanted to ask about scrap, but she was having none of it, and called her husband, and then 9-1-1. When her husband pulled up, he immediately ran up to my brother and pinned him against the door, screaming at him.
Then the offciers pulled up, and the woman told them she had watched my brother try to break in. My brother explained his story, but the cop basically told him that since two people were saying he was trying to break in, he was getting arrested. There was even a witness across the street that stood and watched the whole ordeal, but apparently he wouldn’t say anything.
Long story short, my brother spent six months in the clink and was forced to take a plea agreement for something he didn’t do, because we couldn’t afford his bail or defense. I have always felt that if I had just gone with him to collect scrap, I could have been a witness, and he could potentially have avoided all of it.
Welcome To The Void
So when I was 14, I got into a huge fight with my mother and she sent me to live with my aunt and uncle. It was an incredibly stressful event, and combined with my innate shyness about pooping anywhere but at home, at first I didn’t notice that I wasn’t pooping. After about two weeks I began to feel awful and tried, without success, to poop.
It had built up so much that I think it was impacted. To top it off, my aunt and uncle were weird about bathroom stuff, partly due to having one bathroom in a household of five people, and twice while I was trying to force it they knocked on the door and asked what was taking so long, which made the whole thing worse. I didn’t tell anyone, partly out of embarrassment and partly out of fear of getting in trouble.
They were strict and I did get in trouble for random things. Another very uncomfortable two weeks passed, until one day, a month to the day that I had first arrived and the last time I had pooped, I was sent out to rake some leaves and I was just in total agony. I went back inside and told my aunt what was going on. She was thankfully very understanding, although incredulous that I had waited so long to tell her.
She told me she’d had poop issues her whole life. She went out and got me laxatives, suppositories, and a fleet enema and showed me how to use it. At this point I was in so much pain and just sweating bullets and praying for relief. The remedies barely helped matters, but in an hour or so I hopped on the toilet and tried to make things happen.
I put both hands on the walls and pushed with all my force, knees up to my chin, straining with all my might. I’ve since given birth and I pushed harder during this than I did pushing out my son. It hurt so bad and I felt I was straining every muscle in my body to void this beast. After 10 or so horrifying minutes, I still wasn’t having any luck, and I began wondering if I should ask to go to the hospital, but the idea of a doctor digging poop out of my butt way just too much to bear, so I pressed on.
After 15-20 more agonizing minutes, grunting and straining and thrashing and pleading with my bum to cooperate, finally, finally, I heard my first heavy plop. Oh thank God! I cried from the pain and shock and relief. The first foot or so of poop wasn’t much easier, it was so hard and dry. I had to twist and strain for a while, but after that, it got a bit easier.
About 30 minutes in, I stood up and looked into the bowl. Have you ever had a poop so large, so complete that it entirely filled the rim of the toilet, halfway up the bowl rising above the water? I have. I have never, and I mean never, seen a pile of human poop like that and hope never to again. It was about the size of a large round birthday cake.
I flushed once, twice, plunged, and got back on the toilet for round two. Finally, the flood stopped, and I gingerly wiped, flushed, cleaned the toilet, and emerged from the bathroom a changed person. I ached inside for a few days after, but oh my god the relief was incredible. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live.
A Near Miss
When I was 13, I was practicing archery in my backyard. My backyard faces about a mile of woods, with nothing but trees and a hill at the end. I was messing around and decided to turn around and pull back my bow, and then spin around and try to hit the target without aiming. Bad idea. I lost hold of the arrow mid-way and it flew straight over my fence and into my neighbor’s garage.
They were both outside in the front yard and saw the arrow clear the fence, soar between both of their cars, clip the ground, and then slide into the half-open garage door. It stopped at the back wall. Apparently, they had just been in the driveway moments before it happened, and if it had happened a couple of seconds sooner, my arrow could have hit someone.
Me being a kid, I naturally was terrified as I ran around to the gate and into my driveway, screaming “Is everyone okay? I’m so sorry!” They were more confused than mad, and once I explained what had happened, they had a bit of a laugh at my expense. My parents were called and the bows were locked up for almost a year before I was allowed anywhere near them again.
And that was the closest I’ve ever come to potentially killing/maiming someone.
My cousin decided it would be a good idea to give my dad two squares of THC chocolate for Christmas, because he’d mentioned that maaaaaybe he’d want to get high. My parents are 75-year-old Republicans. That was a big maybe. Well, my mom is like an unsupervised puppy when it comes to chocolate. You put half a candy bar down and YOINK, gone when you come back.
You can guess what happened. My mom went sniffing for some chocolate and found it, then ate both squares of chocolate (~8-16 doses, depending on one’s tolerance) and got so high that she couldn’t move or talk. Her last words, high as a kite, were, “I think this might be the end?” before my dad, fearing she’d had a stroke, called an ambulance.
They took her to the hospital and when she came around a bit, the doctor asked her what she’d eaten and she said just two squares of chocolate. At which point I assume my father facepalmed and my parents had to tell the doctor that my mother was in fact, simply higher than the RedBull Orbit Jumper. Anyway, they ran every test in the world on her and found out she had major blockages in three coronary arteries.
So now she’s having a triple bypass tomorrow.
Knowledge is Power
At 19, I worked at a clothing store. One day, I saw that my manager and co-worker just ripping up clothes and breaking bottles of perfume and jewelry. I asked why they were doing it, and the manager said it was because they didn’t want people digging the items out of the trash later on and getting them for free. I asked if I could take a few of the perfume bottles, and he gave me permission to take them all.
I did so and gave some to my family and friends, but sold most of the bottles. I told the manager how much I had made, and he told me he would give me more if I gave him half the cash. I said sure. In the back of my head, I was suspicious, but me being young and green, I felt like I could trust the general manager. So for about a month, I sold the bottles for him.
Then, one day I came into work and was pulled into the office for a meeting with theft prevention and the district manager. They accused me of stealing from the company. They had images of the online ads I posted for the items I had taken home, and told me that if I didn’t write that I stolen over $15,000 worth of cash and goods, they were going to call law enforcement and throw me in the slammer.
I was terrified. I’d never been in trouble, and I tried explaining to them that the manager had given me permission, but they didn’t listen. I also told them I had never stolen cash after they informed me that they also had an entire deposit missing. I wrote down what they told me to because I was so scared, I basically gave a complete confession.
Kids, don’t EVER do this. I was naïve, and wish I would’ve just let them call. Instead, I did as they said and was escorted out of the building and told that law enforcement would contact me. I tried calling my manager to ask him what was going on, but he never answered, and the next day the phone was turned off or he’d blocked me.
I’m also pretty sure he took off with the deposit because he never went back to work after he heard what happened to me. Because I was a first time offender, I was charged with felony theft and given four years of probation with the option to defer when I finished. I spent a lot of years working bad jobs with low pay because my background check wouldn’t pass anywhere decent.
I became depressed and began to drink heavily. I was so deeply ashamed that it was hard for me to even look at my parents because I knew how badly I had let them down. It’s taken a long time, but I’m a harder person because of all of it. I’ve learned a lot about my rights and about people in general.
Good Day, Milady
This memory still makes me cringe. And cry. I had a job interview with a CEO, in person. I was super nervous, as per usual. Maybe even more than usual, because I really wanted this job. I tried to calm myself down, but by the time the interviewer showed up I could literally feel my heartbeat in my throat. He was about 50 years old, and walked down the stairs towards me, in his nice suit, but stopped halfway down.
I figured the interview would take place upstairs, so I got up to meet him. As I was walking up the stairs towards him, he put his arm up and his elbow out. And my brain just sort of went “ERRORRR!” I suppose it could have only meant two things. It could have meant (A) “Please take my arm, milady, so I can escort you to the room as if we’re strolling down the promenade together,” or (B) “Please give me an elbow bump, since we can’t shake hands in the pandemic,” which is really not an uncommon gesture at all in the Netherlands.
So what did I do? Yes, I went with option A and I eagerly locked arms with this strange man that I’d never met before in my life, as if saying, “Yes, good sir, let’s go for that stroll.” And then we just stood there! Arm in arm, halfway up the stairs, sheepishly staring at each other. I wanted the earth to swallow me whole. I just didn’t know what to do next and I don’t think he’d fully understood what’d happened, so neither of us moved.
When he’d finally gathered his senses, he said “I eh…meant to give you an elbow-bump?” after which I quickly put as much distance between us as I could and mumbled, “Right! Right, yes, that makes much more sense.” Because it did, let’s face it. And then we had the interview. Why am I like this? But guess what? I got the job.
Disappointing My Father
I robbed a bank when I was 20. This is actually the first time I’ve openly said this, as it makes me feel very ashamed. I was prosecuted and it completely changed my life. I’d go back and stop myself from doing it if I could. The worst part about it is when I was in court, I was required to answer the question, “How do you plead?”
They had me dead to rights on camera, so my attorney told me that I would have to plead guilty. Saying it out loud wasn’t the worst part for me, though. After saying “guilty” for the courtroom, I had to turn around and look at my father, and I saw the heartbreak written all over his face. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me.
When we left, he didn’t yell. He didn’t hit me. He didn’t do anything to me that I thought he would. He just looked ashamed. To this day I don’t think I’ve truly forgiven myself.
A Helping Hand
I was waiting for my order in the local coffee shop. Also in the store waiting for orders was a girl who looked around my age and a guy who seemed to be a bit older, like 35-45. I noticed the guy was talking the girl’s ear off and she didn’t seem very interested in the conversation. Next thing I notice, she’s approaching me and saying, “Brian?”
My name isn’t Brian, but before I could correct her I remembered reading something online that said, “If a girl ever pretends to know you, play along, she might be in trouble.” So I played along and started having a friendly chat with her as if I knew her. Well, not long into the conversation she looks at me and goes, “Wait, you’re not Brian.”
To which I respond, “I know, I thought we were doing a thing.” Then a bit louder and annoyed, she says, “Why would you pretend to be someone I know?!” Now the guy she was with before comes over and asks if everything is all right. Knowing I had messed up, I just told them honestly what I was doing.
Turns out he was her boyfriend and he was talking about fantasy baseball, that’s why she was so disinterested. She found it funny and thanked me even though I read the situation wrong. He was kind of offended but understood. I have never been more embarrassed.
I trusted the new junior engineer while working on a 30,000-tonne ship. I believed that he had done his work properly and not been lazy. I’d checked everything he’d done before then for the past month, but that day I decided he was trustworthy enough, so I didn’t double-check. It turns out he had left a job half done and hadn’t bolted a sea strainer down more than a few turns at each corner, yet still tagged everything in correctly.
I got the shout over the radio to open up the hydraulic valve and, within half a minute, got flood alarms across the entire compartment (roughly 200m²), the censors for which were at about a half a meter’s depth. Both of us got the reaming out of a lifetime and threats of being fired, demoted, castrated, and even defenestrated from the bridge window—rightfully so.
It took me until midnight to fully pump the place out into the bilge tanks because the junior engineer bailed on me. So yeah, I nearly flooded and sank a 30,000-tonne tanker due to misplaced trust. The junior engineer got his comeuppance a few weeks later, by being noticeably drunk on watch.
The Other Man
I still can’t stop laughing at this. So, five months ago I met a girl through a mutual friend. First she added me on social media and we talked for a bit and then exchanged numbers. About a week later we went on a date, and it went well. Then we started “dating.” We would meet up once or twice a week and do things together. We were doing things that normal couples do.
Sometimes she would come over to my place and stay for a day or two. So, around two weeks ago she said she wasn’t feeling okay and she needed some time alone. I said sure and did not really say anything. Yesterday, she messaged me we talked for a bit and she said she was now feeling better. I asked her why she wasn’t feeling okay. Her answer bowled me over.
She said it was because she broke up with her boyfriend. Turns out SHE HAD A BOYFRIEND even when she started dating me. When I asked why she never told me she said it was because I never asked and she was actually considering me more like a friend. Um. WHAT.
All It Takes Is A Few Seconds To Change Your Life
I used to work for a business that provided service for people with disabilities. Basically, it was a state-funded service that provided transportation for people who could not use public transit. Since we did some return trips from hospital to home for people who had gone to the hospital by ambulance, we had a spare wheelchair in the car, because these patients’ wheelchairs would be at their homes.
One evening I went to pick up an elderly man from a hospital with the car’s chair. As I arrived, I found out that the man was an amputee and probably over 80 years of age. When we arrived at the given address, the man seemed slightly confused and claimed that he had never seen the place. I took him onto the lift that was at the back of the car since I thought that the darkness outside and tinted windows on the back of the car had just confused him.
Yet even on the lift, where he could see the building, he didn’t recognize the place. And that’s when I made a huge mistake. I had been instructed to never take my hand off the wheelchair if it was on the lift, yet in the confusion, I did exactly that. I locked the brakes on the wheelchair so he wouldn’t accidentally roll off of the lift, and told him to wait a couple of seconds so I could check the list of residents’ last names, which was on the stairwell.
I managed to take two steps away from the car and wheelchair when I realized that I simply could not leave the man as he was. I either had to put him back into the car or lower him down onto the ground. As I turned around, I saw the man leaning back, pushing the wheelchair’s front tires off of the lift, while his hands were reaching for the knobs that release the brakes.
The man fell headfirst about 2.5 feet to the ground. I of course immediately called an ambulance, and a couple of minutes later, the man’s wife came to see what was going on. Tragically, the man passed on two days later in the hospital from blunt force trauma on the back/top of the head, which led to brain swelling.
I was prosecuted and deemed guilty. The sentence was just a 2,000€ fine. I could have continued in that line of work, but after a while, I had to get away from it. I just couldn’t do it.
Less Than He Bargained For
I have grapheme-color synesthesia. Basically, I see letters and numbers in colors. The letter ‘E’ being green, for example. A couple of months ago, I was explaining it to my boyfriend who’s a bit of a skeptic. He asked me what color certain letters and numbers were and had me write them down. Since then, he’ll randomly quiz me and compare my answers to what I said a few months ago.
My answers are always pretty much the same, of course. Still, he still seemed a bit skeptical, as if maybe I just memorized them really well. Tonight we were laying in bed and my boyfriend quizzed me again. I tried explaining to him I just see the colors automatically when I visualize the letters in my head. Then I asked him what color are the letters in his head.
He looked at me weirdly like, “What do you mean ‘in my head,’ that’s not a thing.” My boyfriend didn’t understand what I meant by visualizing the letters AT ALL. He didn’t believe me that I can visualize letters or even visualize anything in my head, let alone anyone else on the planet. Welp, it turns out my boyfriend has aphantasia. When he tries to visualize stuff, he just sees blackness.
He can’t picture anything in his mind and thought that everyone else had it the same way. He thought it was just an expression to say “picture this” or etc. It’s crazy to him that I can even picture his face without looking at him or a banana without looking at it. Now I have a boyfriend who is really upset. He feels like his world is turned upside down and everybody else has this cool superpower.
He’s been texting all his friends and seeing if they can imagine stuff and realizing I wasn’t pulling his chain. He’s pretty upset and I feel really bad. For what it’s worth, my boyfriend wasn’t being a jerk when it came to quizzing me, it was more of a fun curiosity thing or a science experiment. He never thought I was lying. I think it’s one thing to wrap your head around synesthesia when you can visualize normally, but it’s way harder when you have aphantasia.
Not Choosing My Own Path
I wanted to take six months off to volunteer before going to college. I was dating a girl who I loved, who was then a senior in high school. When she graduated, she was going to join the army, so I decided I’d take 18 months off for volunteering, hanging out with her, and working odd jobs. When I was ready to go to school, I found out that my school had messed up my grant paperwork as well as paperwork for a $750 book scholarship that I had applied for.
They said they would not be able to fix it before the enrolment deadline that semester, so I had to put school off another six months. Consequently, I started school two years behind my friends and peers and, since I hadn’t really been working to save up money, without a cent gained. The volunteering has not been much of a resume booster either, unfortunately.
But it got worse. On top of it all, four months after I started school, my girlfriend dumped me. I later found out she had been cheating for the last six months of the relationship.
The King Of The Shadow Realms
I messed up by jumping into a lake in my bra and panties to save a man…who turned out to be an elite military scuba diver in training. So, I’m couch-surfing with my sister and her boyfriend. I work for him at the lakeside bar, trying to pay for college. While I’m not thrilled, I need both the job and my sofa accommodations to make it work.
To give them their space, I take a run by the lake in the mornings. This lake is incredible and draws scuba divers to the flooded town at the bottom. Today, I was in my own head running when a dark mass floated to the surface 40 feet away. I was on the craggy side of the lake and this dude looked D.E.A.D. Facing away from me, his head was tipped back, eyes closed, bobbing like a fishing lure. No one else was around.
I thought he was quantum crazy out here scuba diving alone at the crack of dawn, giving himself the bends or some nonsense. Like an idiot, I didn’t yell at him to check in. Instead, I toed off my shoes and stripped to my skivvies to save the imbecile. The movie trailer in my head had me taking three glorious steps and launching into the deep blue water, black widow style. Instead, my tender feet hit the sharp rocks and I contorted under the pain like a slinky as I uncoordinatedly pitched myself into the water, doing a side-flop.
I was also wearing my contacts so I swam hard in his direction with my eyes closed. When I open them, I saw I horrifying sight. He was just staring at me like I’d lost my ever-lovin’ mind, so I blurted, “Are you okay?” He removed the regulator and incredulously said, “…Yes?” My brain blue-screened while I tread water. The lake felt infinitely deep.
Before I could terrify myself by hearing the Jaws theme song, I turned to nope the heck out of there, yelling over my shoulder, “I thought you needed saving” to explain my idiocy. As I pivoted, another dude cleared his throat from 30 feet away on the other side. I never heard a sound from him so I freaked out, flailing and belting an ear-wounding scream at him.
Both of them laughed as a few more heads surfaced around us. I was surrounded by divers, all wildly entertained by my ridiculous high-octane mess up. After pointing to me and the beach, the merman who was my original target cautiously swam toward me after I nodded and “escorted” me to the shore. The beach was much further than I had anticipated, so I was trying to low-key breathe, hiding my need to suck all of the O2 from the air.
Also, the comedy of the situation consumed me and I started to giggle. Finally, I joked, “Dude, you are lucky you weren’t actually dying because it would have taken everything I have to drag your sorry butt this far.” He chuckled before offering me a “tow.” “Heck no! Not gonna happen.” Even if I had to dog paddle, I wouldn’t openly accept that defeat.
He quietly mocked me the rest of the way to the shore. I’m a secret sap for it. They were cadets or recent graduates from a military college, here for the summer. They’ve been training in pools and were doing some “open water” exercises; they had been out there at least part of the night. I’m sure I blew up whatever drill they were running.
He’s training for pre-dive school (?) and since I am an expert googler, I’m guessing that means combat diving. At the shore, I did my best to throw my shoulders back and march out of the water in my sports bra and undies in front of what I can only imagine are some pretty tough men. I did invite him and his clandestine crew for an absurdly overpriced drink at the bar before shame-jogging back into the woods for my clothes.
At this point, I’ll admit there is a part of me that is attracted to his mysterious appearance from the shadow realm, and I’m definitely imaging that he’s constructed from some kind of aluminium steel alloy, but he was also funny and kind. I was vibing his proclivity for witty and sarcastic comments and have a million questions I want to ask him.
So, the night comes. I went full cute in a sundress and Jesus sandals. My sister’s boyfriend blabbed the whole thing and all of the staff was in full-on ribbing mode. Kinda great actually. It took forever, but he finally showed. Yes, I was as dorky as you would have imagined. He’s handsome and funny and he smells great. Yes, I hugged him.
I’m southern…it’s what we do…not the smelling, the hugging. He’s nice and smart and keeps defending me from my jerk friends at the bar, who have almost called him “merman” to his face. I think he low-key likes that everyone knew who he was. I’ve learned a lot about him, but it wouldn’t be fair to share without his permission.
His whole crew did not come—only one and his buddy immediately started flirting with my co-worker. That’s a good sign. I think. He also shared some of the stuff he’s been taking today from his friends for being “saved.” He has the same self-deprecating sense of humor as me. I think we are vibing. Now, though…well…it feels different to talk about him now that we’ve spent some time together.
I like him. There’s chemistry and similar interest. The merman, the frog prince, the dashing man from depths, the king of the shadow realm is still very much in my life. He’s better than I can describe with my mortal words. I hope something amazing and magical happens to each of you, and if it happens to be shamefully funny, I hope you will share because we all need as many laughs as we can get.
Some People’s Families…
As a nanny, I worked for a clueless couple who had no idea how to raise a kid. He wore the same outfit every day for a month until I gently suggested that he needed new clothes. His parents asked me, “Where can we get baby clothes?” This was slightly hilarious given that they lived above a Target and next to a baby boutique.
I had to have the same conversation once the child was old enough for solid foods. I was asked, “Where can we get baby food?” I had to explain that most grocery stores carry a baby aisle, or that she can mash up her own fruits at home for the baby. This family decided that sour cream would be a great first food for their baby!
I’ll mention that this was a wealthy family who went on vacation at least 2-3 times a month. By far the weirdest thing they ever did was try and drop off Grandma at daycare along with the baby.
I’m a 32-year-old woman who can never go back to my new dentist after two visits because I’m an idiot. My dentist is a very nice and professional man. Our first appointment was going pretty smoothly until he made some innocuous remark about us “being strangers.” My immediate reply was, “Oh, you’re not a stranger! You’ve been inside of my mouth for 20 minutes!”
I did NOT intend to make that kind of joke. His face turned red and he was clearly embarrassed, but he continued on like a true professional and we were probably both relieved when the appointment was over. I had my second dentist appointment today. I actually mentally prepared myself to be a model patient who didn’t say anything weird, thank you very much.
He had been working in my mouth for about five minutes when he started to seem really uncomfortable or something. His face was red and he was breathing a little heavier. I was a bit concerned and also confused. Like how could I have embarrassed him this time? I had hardly spoken! So he keeps working in there, and then I realize what the heck is happening.
My dentist was wearing grape-flavored gloves. I had been absentmindedly licking his fingers the whole time. Never going back.
Always Check The Decimals
I very nearly injected a premature baby who had Down Syndrome with ten times the amount of Lasix I was supposed to give him: I had put the decimal in the wrong place when I did the math on the dose. That baby would almost certainly have died if I’d given it to him. I had the liquid drawn up in the syringe and had the syringe actually in the port ready to push through before I looked inside the chamber and realised how uncharacteristically full it seemed.
Paediatric IV doses of anything are simply tiny. I was supposed to give him 0.1 mls, and nearly gave him 1.0mls. I needed a very large cup of tea after that.
Pay It Forward
My buddy and I ordered a pizza last night. Unaware that I already paid with my debit card, I walk to my door with $30 and gave him a 20% tip on top of that which had been paid online. The driver was about in his mid-30s, barely spoke English, and he was driving a beat-up car. He said, “Thank you!” very enthusiastically, which made me realize in about two seconds that I just gave him double the money for the order, which he would obviously receive as a tip.
I was about to admit my mistake and ask for the money back…before I saw his reaction while he was walking to his car. He had a smile from ear to ear like he struck gold or something. He even did this little mini jump before he hopped into his car. I’m not exactly Bill Gates, I still have debts to pay, but I’m glad I messed up to help someone who needed the money more than I did.
Anyways, I felt pretty dumb after, but the joy I saw in that man made my week. It was pretty cool for me, as my dad moved to Canada from across the world with only a bike and a few hundred bucks.
About 10 years ago, I got a part-time job that miraculously offered health insurance. Unfortunately, the paperwork they gave me when I started only listed the insurance rates for full-time employees, which was something like $60 a paycheck. I didn’t even realize there would be a difference for me until I got my first paycheck and it totaled about $20.
I called HR in panic mode certain that there must be some mistake only to be informed that for the number of hours I was working, health insurance was $400 per paycheck. And no, I couldn’t cancel my enrollment unless I had a “qualifying life event.” I took home $20 paychecks for four months until open enrollment ended when I could finally cancel.
Luckily, I had another job at the time so I wasn’t out on the street, but it certainly taught me a lesson about carefully reading paperwork.
Standing Up For Yourself
My son was born with a condition called Pectus Excavatum. In layman’s terms, his chest is sunken in. His condition was so bad that he only had two and a half inches between his sternum and his spine, and his heart and lungs were bruised because of it. In December, he had surgery to correct it and they put two nickel bars in his chest to give it space and train his bones to grow correctly.
About three weeks after his surgery, a kid punched him and dislodged the top bar and he had to have another surgery to put the bar back in place. The kid has been through a lot. Well, the doctor cleared him for most activity last week, just no skateboarding or bike riding, but he could now lift his backpack and go hang out with friends and play pick-up, or non-contact sports.
Unbeknownst to me, a kid in his class had been teasing him all semester. And because my son was afraid of getting hit again, he just took it. Well, the evening he was cleared he came to me and said, “Dad, I’m cleared now. A kid has been hitting me for months. Can I kick his butt?” Well, my son isn’t really a fighter. He’s fought with his brothers but never anyone else, and he’s always gotten his butt kicked.
So I just figured he was just talking. But this is the first I had heard about the kid and I was concerned. I could tell he was distressed about the situation, so I told him to knock the guy out. He just nodded and went to his room. Now, his older brother is a tough guy. He had a traumatic brain injury two years ago and he missed a year of school so he’s in the same grade and coincidentally takes the same class.
I talked to him about it and told him to handle it but don’t get in trouble. He told me that the kid walks in every day and punches my son in the head. I asked him why he allowed that to happen and he said he wanted his brother to get tough and once he was tired of getting hit, he would do something about it. While I kind of agree with his thinking, I instructed him to handle it without getting in trouble.
The next morning I took them both to school, then drove back home to get my younger daughter who goes to a different school that starts later. On the way to take her to school, my wife calls me. “Have you taken her to school yet? Well, after you do, go pick up your son. He got in a fight.” I just assumed it was my oldest son. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the school office to see my younger son with a grin from ear to ear!
He was beaming! He pointed to another kid sitting in a chair holding an ice pack on his face. “I warned him,” he said. I was so proud. He had walked into class, sat down, and the kid popped him in the head like always. My older son got up to intervene and before he could, my younger son decked the kid with one punch.
He said the kid was bawling on the floor and that it was the best day of his life. He got suspended for three days. So yeah, I gave my son permission to beat up his tormenter because I didn’t think he would…and he did it. My son has some social anxiety and since the fight he has made a LOT of new friends. He used to hate going to school but now he’s disappointed that school is out for summer. Crazy!
At the company where I worked, there was a new trading assistant named Eli on the floor who thoroughly believed he was The Guy. He was going to take the world by storm and decided he was next in line to make partner. Only first, he was assigned the task of sending in an option exercise one Friday afternoon in order to capture a particularly large special dividend.
Poor Eli knew how to do it, but he was in a bit of a rush. He sent the fax through to the broker and then left before getting the confirmation. The fax failed and the options weren’t exercised, costing the firm about $150,000. Poor Eli was met by a very angry head trader at the door on Monday morning and he got his walking papers. Poor Eli.
In The Pocket
I was at a party and saw a girl across the room. She was wearing a skirt, holding a drink in one hand, and had the other hand in her pocket. I saw her skirt, thought to myself how cool that skirt is having pockets. A lot of women I know complain about not having pockets, so this is a very progressive thing. A bit later, I got around to talking to her.
I complimented her skirt, and how having pockets in a skirt is great. She looked very confused, then said, “My skirt doesn’t have pockets, why would you think that?” I mentioned that I had seen her earlier with her hand in her pocket. Her face went bright red. Then she revealed that her hand was amputated. What I thought was her hand in her pocket was her stump resting against her hip.
I apologized immediately, but luckily she thought it was funny because she’d never heard that comment before. I’m still crying inside though.
Time Is Money
I work in rail traffic. When you receive rail cars from the railroad you only get a certain amount of time to load and unload them, which typically takes about two days. If you don’t return the car to the railroad in two days, then you start getting billed late fees called demurrage. When I first started, I had the understanding that the timer didn’t start until you received the car.
So, when our facility was full, I would tell the railroad to hold on to the extra cars coming in until we can clear out some of the cars we already have. What I did not know what that the timer starts either when you get the car or when the railroad would have given you the car if you hadn’t stopped them. I had about 30 cars held up at the railroad for about a month.
Boy was I shocked when I received the $20,000 demurrage bill at the end of the month.
Every Dog Gets His Day
I hope people appreciate how much I’m laughing but also how many horrible regrets I have over this situation. Let me start by saying it’s important to note that whenever I cook hotdogs, I slice the package, take out a few, roll the rest back up in the plastic packaging, and fasten it all with some good old-fashioned elastic bands. Today…I did not.
I couldn’t tell you why my dumb brain decided to just fold the plastic over a few times and place it back on the shelf, but here we are. So my spouse comes running down in their few minutes between endless meetings to make their lunch quickly. We are the only two in our house, plus our little rescue dog who was a stray and an absolute MOOCH.
I mean, this dog will weave between your feet, eyes GLUED to the floor, hoping for even a single speck of crumb because woe is him, he’s never been fed a day in his life. So we’re all in the kitchen, I hear the fridge open, and it suddenly dawns on me in horror that my spouse is MOST DEFINITELY going to go for those hotdogs I wrapped like an idiot.
I quickly turn around to say something, and in slow motion, my spouse wide-eyed stares at me as the hotdog package unrolls like a fruit-by-the-foot commercial and DOUSES my dog’s entire skull in too-much-to-be-reasonable-in-one-freaking-package of hotdog water. My dog lost his MIND. Like a Christian grandma with the second coming of Christ, my dog just tears across the entire apartment with the worst case of the zoomies I think we’ve ever seen him have.
He proceeds to spend the next 15 minutes singing our praises as the greatest humans alive as he rolls across every piece of furniture we own. I’m talking every. Piece. Of. Furniture. Now I don’t hate hotdogs but the smell is weirdly overpowering, and every time I sit down on something now all I can smell is godforsaken hotdogs. My dog loves it though.
And now I’m figuring out how to shampoo out hotdog water from my life. I have so many regrets.
I threw my keys away. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I threw them down a chute into a large apartment trash compactor so retrieval was impossible. I had to pay a locksmith to let me in my apartment since it was the middle of the night. Then the next day I had to pay a tow truck to tow my car to the dealership which was huge ordeal because he couldn’t fit inside the parking garage of my apartment complex.
We had to break into my car, have a dummy key made, jimmy it into neutral and push it down the ramp. Finally, I had to pay a nice chunk of money to get fancy new keys made. I then had to contact the realtor for the house I had just bought and received the keys for that same freaking week and explain what happened and get a new set of keys made for the house.
And this all made me miss a day of work. That was a fun day.
Make Yourself At Home
My friend Jenna moved into a nice, new condo last month and I finally got a chance to check it out for the first time today. I ended up arriving before she got home from work so she told me to let myself in with the spare key under the potted plant and to make myself comfortable. I made myself a sandwich and was meandering around eating and checking out her swanky new place when the front door opened and a really large and unfamiliar man with a duffel bag came in.
This dude was intimidating and I’m a 4’11” woman, so I was immediately scared. He looked shocked to see me. I’m looking at his duffel bag and realizing that I surprised some piece of trash burglar! I panicked and threw my sandwich at his face and then locked myself in the bedroom. I’m shaking and he pounds on the door yelling at me to get the heck out.
I start screaming at HIM to get the heck out and that I’m calling the authorities (total bluff because I didn’t have my phone). His response made me stop in my tracks. He then yells back that HE is calling the authorities on ME. This gives me pause. At this point, I look around and realize the bedroom I’m in definitely appears to be of the male persuasion.
I ask him through the door if he knows Jenna (last name). He tells me yes, she is his next-door neighbor. WELL. Apparently, Jenna’s neighbor ALSO keeps a spare key under a potted plant. So, today I messed up by letting myself into my friend’s neighbor’s place, smacking him in the face with his own sandwich, and then screaming at him to get the heck out of his house.
Price Of Affairs
I didn’t know it would be a mistake yet when I planned this, but my ex cheated on me for three months before we were supposed to get married. Once I found out, we had sunk quite a bit of money into a house we bought together. A house neither of us could pay for on their own. So, we had to sell that and I’m pretty sure we made a little more than we bought it for, but we put way more money into it with a new kitchen and shower, and other stuff.
We had bought furniture which could only be partially returned. The rest was sold via eBay and maybe returned half of what we paid for it. Then there was the cost of the wedding. We already had a venue that had a cancellation fee. We both already had a wedding outfit. We already bought tons of small decorative stuff. None of it could be returned.
So much of that we had to pay to cancel. It was horrible. Altogether, I think this cost me a little over $20k. And I was only 24 at the time, so, pretty much all of my savings was gone!
Clean Up Crew
The other night my wife and I were getting ready for bed and being kind of flirty. I had to use the restroom, so stayed downstairs while she went up to bed. While I was sitting on the toilet I got a text: “Bring a bucket and a mop.” Oh darn, I think, one of my kids must have thrown up. I finished my toilet business and went down to the basement to check the cleaning supplies.
I found a bucket, but couldn’t find a mop. I found one of those squeezy sponge things, but the sponge was missing. Figuring the vomit was probably congealing by this point, I just grabbed the bucket and a bunch of paper towels and ran upstairs. I got to the upstairs bathroom…and found no mess. I carried the cleaning supplies down to my kids’ rooms, but found no vomit.
I went to our bedroom and found my wife lying on the bed. She asked what had taken me so long, and I said I couldn’t find a mop, and where was the mess? She started rolling around on the bed laughing. Suddenly I realized “Bring a bucket and a mop” was a line from “WAP.” My wife had been in the mood, and I had spent 15 minutes looking for a mop.
She was laughing so much that the mood was basically gone.
I used to work in the inventory department of an aerospace company. They did repairs mostly on Boeing hydraulic units. There are some very expensive parts on those planes! One in particular was about an inch long, and cost over $11,000. I saw the price tag and couldn’t believe my eyes! I’d seen expensive parts before, but never one so small.
Being the idiot that I am, I took the part out of the little baggie that it was in, snapped a picture of it to show my friends, and put it back in the bag. I came back to my desk later that day to put it back in inventory, and it was gone. I lost it. I had absolutely no idea where the part went. I was a bit panicked, but I didn’t think it was too big of a deal.
The part had never been needed and had been in our inventory for over two years collecting dust, so I felt like I had some time to search for it. I kid you not, the following day, we had a job that required that part. I almost passed out right at my desk.
For All To See
So, anyone that has an Apple device may have noticed they do these “memory videos” for 2020. Anyways, I had just discovered this feature and was watching it with my girlfriend. Slowly, other immediate family members joined around us after having heard the “chill” music that played along with the montage. We saw some cute pictures of our pets, museum visits, my girlfriend and I spotting deer, us decorating our new apartment, time spent at my mom’s house, visits to forest preserves, and other activities.
Then it happened. About three minutes into the montage, it shifted from a picture to a short clip of me doing something very intimate to my girlfriend. Time froze. Someone said, “Oh my” in the tone of an antebellum-age southern lady, and I whipped my phone down. People walked away, but a proverbial fly on the wall would have collided with the amount of tension in the air, which would require more than a knife to cut.
I’m now home laying in bed typing this and thinking about how 30 years from now, this is going to be one of those embarrassing memories that keep me up at night.
Sharing Isn’t Caring
I had joint accounts with my ex-husband. He cleared out our accounts, including a loan from my grandmother, and left me with absolutely nothing. I had to borrow money from my parents to make up the rent on the lease we had, sold my car, and took another job. He shut down our accounts and took his name off of all our bills including ones I didn’t know about.
At that point, I just wanted to be done with him so I paid for the divorce with the promise that his parents would pay me back because he was a jerk. It’s been 11 years and I’ve not seen a penny.
The Master Snooper
About three weeks ago, I began preparations to get a nice gift for my boyfriend, who I’ll call “Ray,” to celebrate four years of dating. We live in a terribly humid place, and all summer he’s been complaining about how sweaty his butt and balls get whenever he goes outside. He’s been buying the same brand of cotton boxer-briefs since we started dating.
I thought it would be a nice homage to our great relationship, and a great way to take care of the butt I get to squeeze on the regular, to splurge on a mail subscription service to some silky micromodal underwear. They are pricey but known for being wicking, cooling, and overall very nice on the buns and balls. I ordered the first pair to present to him on the day of, and set up for a pair to be delivered monthly thereafter.
I used his email on the sign-up so that I could simply pass on the account to him after the first pair came. That way, he’d have full power to pick his colors and style every month, and easily return any if there were unexpected problems. One small problem: The receipt for this whole transaction is now resting in his email where he can find it and spoil my surprise.
So I sneakily hacked into his computer while he was out, by which I mean I entered the password he’s shared with me, because he foolishly trusted me not to wreck his stuff, and opened up his email. I simply archived the existing emails and set it up so that future emails from the company would be auto-marked as read and then archived as well.
I know how to do this because I’m a brilliant hacker (I Googled it). While carefully double-checking my devious work just to ensure nothing slipped through the cracks, a new email pinged on arrival and caught my attention. A SHIPPING CONFIRMATION FOR AN ENGAGEMENT RING. I immediately noped off his computer, and of course, I didn’t open the email, but the damage is done.
Secret’s out! My heart fell right through my butt, you guys. I probably should have pretended I never saw that, and taken the secret to my grave, but I was too pumped and couldn’t keep it in. Within the hour, I broke down and called Ray to sheepishly confess what I had done. He wasn’t angry, but sadly disappointed that I spoiled the surprise.
Here’s the kicker: he hasn’t actually proposed yet, and still intends to make a thing out of it. My punishment for snooping is that the suspense is RUINING ME. I’ve been forbidden from telling anyone that we’re getting engaged until it’s official. Every time we go out, the suspense that this may be the night drives me crazy! A romantic date at the beach the other evening ended with me saying, “Darn, I thought for sure we were getting engaged tonight.”
“Why would you think that I’m going to propose to you?” He said. “That sounds like something you wouldn’t know about because I’d keep it secret IN MY PERSONAL EMAIL!” Now he’s started intermittently faking me out. The other day, he walked into the kitchen and presented me with a little hinged box, which turned out to contain a tie pin from his work.
He keeps getting down on one knee…Looking up at me…And saying, “Gotta tie this shoe!” The emotional stress of keeping this exciting secret within me, not sharing it with co-workers or family or anyone, is MADDENING. Every false start sends my heart right back into my butt. One more thing: I somehow messed up the email settings anyway.
The shipping confirmation for the underwear didn’t get archived on arrival, and he saw it within a few hours. So that surprise got spoiled, too. Turns out I’m not a master hacker, and my attempts have only brought woe into this house. I guess it’s not all bad: He reports that the pair of boxer-briefs that arrived are very nice to wear, and I do indeed enjoy squeezing his buns in them.
If we ever do actually get married it’ll be nice to be hitched to a guy with sweet, silky buns and balls.
In my second year as a lifeguard for my local parks district, I was instructed on how to change hair catches and rid the air in the tanks of the pump house. Well, one day I mismatched the order in which to shut the valves off when filling the reservoir, and created what is called a “water hammer,” a burst of air that carries a backwash up through pipes.
I thought it was normal cause the pumphouse had been there since the early ’50s so I didn’t make anything of it. Then I looked out the window—and my blood ran cold. Down the hill by the local library parking lot. The entire place was flooded. The water hammer found a rusted water main below the library parking lot and burst through the pavement.
The maintenance men said it cost the city over $800,000 to fix the main and keep the library from flooding and ruining the books. Thankfully it was an accident and not malicious or else I’d be living in said pump house.
What A Scream
This was a few years ago. I took the family to Ginnie Springs, a beautiful Florida water spot, for a day of swimming and a little picnic. So as I was swimming in the crystal clear water, watching my son floundering around in his water wings and just having a good ol time, my son suddenly stopped, pointed at the water and said, “Look daddy, a lizard!” I looked over and my jaw dropped.
I saw that no, it was NOT a lizard that was swimming over to us, it was a snake. After a quick examination, I realized that this was a Water Moccasin, and a large one at that, heading right for us. So yelling for my son to back away, I waded out to grab him and dragged him back to shore. The snake was making a beeline for us, which is weird because most of the time they avoid human contact.
I started to splash water at it, trying to slow it down enough so I could reach the shore before it got too close. So as I was backing up, slapping water at a poisonous snake with one hand and dragging a laughing child (who had no idea what was going on) with the other, I reached close enough to the shoreline to grab a branch that had fallen from a tree.
It was long and pretty sturdy. It was perfect for what needed to be done. As the snake got in close, I went all caveman on it and bashed it a dozen times with the branch. It worked. The snake started to float away. I then realized that all the people swimming around in this water would not take too kindly to bumping into a four-foot Moccasin corpse.
So using the branch, I launched the snake into a stretch of woods off to my right. Well, I guess the snake was not balanced right on the branch, and I was full of adrenaline, so instead of the woods, the snake flew high into the air, drifting off to the right where PLOP. It landed square on a picnic table. To make matters worse, it landed on a pile of shoes that a girl scout troop had left when they went wading in the water.
“Oh God!” was all I could think, as I began to quickly swim across the spring to remove the snake from the table. But as I was swimming, I heard them…the giggles and laughter of little 12-year-old girls returning to get their shoes. I stopped cold. I was too late. I began to swim away, trying to hide myself as I saw the first curly-haired head approach the table.
There was laughing, there was chatting and talking…then there was a pause. And that is when the screaming started. If you have never heard a dozen 12-year-old girls scream in horror as they saw a large, bloody snake draped across their shoes, I cannot even begin to explain the sound. Even as I dove underwater, I heard the screaming. Sometimes…at night…I still hear the screams.
My brother had his medical weed card and he had just picked up when a cop pulled him over. The cop smelled weed in the car and my brother, being a freshly minted 18-year-old, submitted to the search. The cop found his stash. My brother had all of his documentation, but this was in Huntington Beach, which has a policy of writing all possession tickets and letting the cardholder work it out in court.
He wasn’t willing to risk trying to defend himself based on having the card and getting a ticket on some technicality that he didn’t understand. He figured $1,500 for a lawyer was worth it rather than having to explain a possession charge any time he’s going for a job that runs a background check. The lawyer got it thrown out immediately.
He did about four hours’ worth of work and got paid very nicely. My brother even got to go down and pick up his stuff from the station, which he said was really bizarre, but he was out the $1,500.
You Went Too Far
My girlfriend and I were laying down on our bed and watching funny videos on YouTube. She was laughing really hard, so much so that it caused her to pass gas more than once. This was obviously not intentional, which made it both hilarious and adorable. After the third time it happened she said, “I’m really gassy.”
I took this as an opportunity to quickly press down on her stomach, which then almost immediately triggered an enormous one. I lost it! It was so funny and I could feel the vibration as the pressure caused her to do it again and again. I couldn’t help myself and kept doing it. This is how I screwed up. After a few successful attempts I tried for a final push.
I wanted to end it on a huge one. It was so funny and she was laughing so much! I pushed down, and nothing. So…I pushed again, but this time MUCH harder…Now this is where I should note that she was wearing nothing but one of my t-shirts. Hence, she had no underwear on. Well, my girlfriend sharted. And then she had a SEVERE follow-through all over our bed.
She was mortified. It went from pure joy to absolute chaos and horror. She was just staring at me blankly. I didn’t know what to do as she went quiet. I stared right back, gently held her hands, and we walked together to the shower without looking back at the bed or down at my legs, which were covered in poop. We didn’t say a word.
I cleaned up my legs before leaving her to clean herself up. She made me promise not to go into the bedroom. I adore her completely. She looked so scared when I left her in the shower and wouldn’t let me clean up despite my offering to do so. Eventually, I walked in the bedroom to help. She was so apologetic although I assured her that it’s completely fine.
There was a leak from my bathroom upstairs to the kitchen right underneath it. Every time someone would shower, water would slowly begin to drip into the kitchen. I thought there was a leak somewhere in the drainpipe and I took the kitchen ceiling down looking for it. And this was an old home, so there was this cement type of plaster with metal latticework through it on top of wooden slats.
It took forever to expose the drainpipe…only to find out that the little knob thing on the shower faucet that you pull up to turn on the shower had broken and I just needed to replace that. That piece costs me $7. Then I had to completely replace my kitchen ceiling.
So there’s this girl I like at work, and we’re really good friends. We’re having lunch and we’re making those ironic depression meme jokes as most friends do. For some reason I got the idea to say “Well hey, you know what’s just one letter away from sad? DAB!” and promptly did the deed. Also, I have the ability to cry on demand so I just stared stone-cold at her and let two tears fall down.
She finds it funny. Extremely funny. So funny she drops to the floor and starts laughing her butt off. After a good 30 seconds, she starts grabbing her chest and coughing. I asked if she was okay when she starts wheezing and begins to convulse a bit. Freaking the heck out and thinking she’s having a seizure, I start to reach for my phone.
In that exact second, my manager randomly decides to come in and sees this big guy towering over this poor little girl on the floor. I only manage to cut off her impending rage by saying I think she’s having a seizure and I’m calling 9-1-1. Fortunately, I was able to explain to her what happened after the ambulance came. Turns out she has asthma, and my joke caused a flare-up, and she was waving her arms to try to tell me to get her inhaler. Whoops.
Speed Cart Driver
I was in a French supermarket when I was three years old. To keep me entertained, my parents supplied me with one of those little shopping carts you occasionally get for kids. I quickly showed why you don’t always find them around anymore. Naturally, my little shopping cart was, in fact, a racing car, and I was its small but determined driver.
We went whipping round corners, evading shelves by mere inches, it was wild. However, my control wasn’t what I thought it was, and as I went in for a turn into the aisle, I lost control of the cart. Off the cart and I went straight into the wine shelf. I watched as this long aisle of wine wobbled back, and then slowly came back forward, sending all the wine bottles crashing down onto the floor. It was everywhere.
The supermarket was very good about it and didn’t accept a cent back. But I never did get one of those little shopping carts again.
A Hairy Situation
I am committing one of the greatest societal taboos and revealing a secret that heretofore has been zealously guarded throughout the ages. It is a correlate to childbirth in that just as post-menopausal women wouldn’t dare tell an expectant mother how truly agonizing childbirth is, no man in his 50s would traumatize a man in his youthful prime with fears of the anatomical horror that is to come.
But times have changed and new technology places men in grave danger, so now you must know of this biological atrocity, in order that you might avoid my disastrous screw-up: Sometime around midlife, men’s hair follicles undergo a revolting mutation. While the hair atop one’s head thins and drops, new hair grows in places you never imagined.
Bristle-stiff tufts sprout outside and inside of ears, and up nostrils. Eyebrows become bushy, unruly, and coarse. Hair down there turns gray and scraggly, I kid you not. All these hairs grow alarmingly fast and require constant attention, lest you become that guy with a bunny paw sticking out of his ear. Their eradication is a battle men wage stoically and silently throughout the second half of their lives.
And, as with any battle, there are casualties. So one day, I found a great nose hair trimmer in the As Advertised On TV aisle at CVS. It looks like and operates like a miniature hedge trimmer. It’s virtually impossible to cut yourself but mows down the hair. Yesterday I was trimming ear, nose, and eyebrow hairs after a shower.
I was so happy with the results that I decided to try it on my nether regions too. It worked great! Soon I had gone a bit overboard and pretty much shaved everything. I liked the new look, but there was a little spot in the most sensitive area. I positioned a make-up mirror on the bathroom floor and laid down spread eagle, knees up, so I could see and trim everything well.
Where once just a few wispy hairs prevailed, unbeknownst to me a virtual forest had arisen! Trusty new nose hair trimmer in hand, I prepared for battle. Suddenly, my butt hairs wrapped around the trimmer blade like Rapunzel using a superheated curling iron, pulling the device tight against my skin and jamming the blade. The hairs were being ripped from my flesh and the pain was excruciating.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remove the trimmer. Wiggling it tugged the hairs more; restarting it was a double down that I lost—the hairs were wound even tighter against the blade. I frog walked to my bedroom, one hand holding the trimmer tied between my butt cheeks, and searched for my cuticle scissors. No luck. I did, however, find a carpet knife.
Unbearable pain breeds desperation. Back on the bathroom floor, I tried in vain to cut myself free, nicking the tenderest of flesh twice and drawing the first blood of battle. I was making little progress, and it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice. After a suitable prayer, I gripped tight on the trimmer and committed reverse hara-kiri, Brazilian wax style, ripping off the trimmer blade along with its hair trap.
Blinding pain left me curled fetal, hyperventilating, while blood slowly trickled down my butt. I decided to share this and expose life’s cruel secret in the best interest of mankind, that others may avoid falling prey to the technological wonders of As Seen on TV hair removal tools. Young men, I beg of you to heed my warning. Do not go gentle into that good night.
Chain Of Command
I was working for an international manufacturer that serviced clients in Asia. I got a call from a stressed Chinese woman at my factory. She had been on the phone all day, trying to reach someone who could make decisions because there was a problem with the way the print was outputting during manufacturing. It was Christmas Eve and none of the important decision-making types were answering the phone.
She needed approval to correct the print plates and needed it right away because we were due to load onto a container to ship via sea to LA. The issue wasn’t caught until late in the process, and as such, the fix would cost us over $250,000 in lost product. I made a few phone calls, left a few voice mails, but ultimately the decision came to me.
I told her, in my bravest voice, to make the fix—soon, I’d realize just how massive of a mistake I’d just made. I unknowingly set off a chain reaction that made the ship leave port late, more than doubling that $250k figure. After my boss’s boss’s boss, some VP, reamed into me, he asked if I had anything to say for myself, and I asked him what I was supposed to do and that even he didn’t pick up the phone.
My boss coughed back a laugh, and I was shipped off to a doomed on-site account.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
We’ve all been seeing the recent craze of DNA testing and whatnot, so my dad and I decided to jump on the bandwagon and we bought two from 23andme. We got our results back a few days ago and I went into the DNA relatives section to check out my matches. At the top it listed my dad as only sharing 29.2% DNA with me and being predicted to be a half-brother, which is impossible.
This didn’t make sense to me since we just look so alike, so he was definitely my father. My cousin also had taken the test a while back and she shared 24.6% with me, also predicted to be my half-sibling. We’re supposed to share around 12%, being first cousins. I couldn’t think of a genetic relationship that would explain what I was seeing and I had doubts in the accuracy of the percentages, so I asked the company for help.
Basically, the shared percentages are extremely accurate and highly unlikely to be false. The only realistic explanation for what I was seeing was that my uncle, my cousin’s father and my dad’s brother, is my father. Reality hit me in the face like a flying bag of bricks. All the dots lined up and I felt a sense of loss. I sat in my room for an hour just in shock, and then I had a feeling of anger come over me.
I needed some freaking answers. Without even thinking, I rushed out of my room and confronted my mother downstairs. My mom is a businesswoman and is often away on business trips. She had no idea my dad and I had done one of these tests since she was away on a trip and just got back. My mother and I never had a traditional relationship.
She was always focused on her work and my dad ended up mostly raising me. My irrational self didn’t even sugar coat it. I asked her if she cheated on my dad with my Uncle David. I have never seen the color drain from someone’s face so quickly. She looked dumbfounded and then mumbled, “What kind of question is that? Of course not.”
I told her everything: the test, percentages, DNA matches, ALL OF IT! My mom fell to the ground crying, begging me not to tell dad. I left her there and went back into my room. I called my cousin (now half-sibling) and told her everything. She ended the call screaming. My dad (now uncle) then came home and stumbled into my room asking what’s wrong with mom.
I told him everything too. He didn’t say anything after calming down. He left the room and I locked the door. For the next few hours, I heard my entire family fall apart outside my door. My parents got into a heated argument and my grandparents rushed over to see what was going on. My aunt-in-law and David showed up shortly after and I’m pretty sure I heard my dad and David get into some physical fight. Utter chaos.
I feel awful. I know it’s not my fault but I can’t help feeling that this is all because of me. If I had spent my birthday money on something else, none of this would have happened, but another part of me is glad to know the truth. I’m too scared to go outside. I don’t even know what the outcome was. The only noise I hear in the house now is the occasional sobbing coming from my mother, and I’m sure my dad is out of the house.
I’m a chemist and was working on a reaction with a new palladium catalyst that we had just ordered. Since I was a dumb undergrad, I didn’t really make the connection that I didn’t need to put in equal amounts of the catalyst. I weighed out 200 grams of the catalyst and put it in the reaction. I mentioned to my boss later that day that we’d need to order more because I had used up almost all of it already.
It was at that point that he mentioned that it had cost about $15,000 for the 250g bottle and that I should have been using about 3 milligrams and not 200 grams. Not only was it very expensive though, it had taken over a year to come in after they had ordered it. I was very lucky that I didn’t get fired and that we were okay to use the remaining 50 grams for the next few years.
Hair Of The Dog
I have a five-year-old dog, and I’ve had him since he was three months old. I love him so much. He’s an amazingly playful dog—a Jack Russell. A few years ago, he started developing really itchy red skin on his toes, and the poor pup would constantly lick his toes to the point where he was making them almost hairless. I took him to the vet, and they said it was allergies.
They prescribed him medication. We’ve been buying this medication for him ever since, occasionally skipping a few weeks and using a mini-dose of Benadryl until we purchased more allergy pills. The pills helped, as in he wasn’t constantly licking his toes all the time, but he would still lick them so it wasn’t a sure-fire solution. Let’s say 80% cured.
Now, on to the screw-up. We tried giving him the pills with nothing, and he just puts them in his mouth and spits them out. So, we started putting them in a little bit of peanut butter, which he licks off a spoon, and the pill gets swallowed along with the peanut butter. A few weeks ago we ran out of peanut butter, so we used Jell-O instead.
It worked just as well because he swallowed it right up. Over the next few days we did the same thing, and he wasn’t licking his toes AT ALL. We had a light bulb moment. We took our dog to the vet to get an allergy test, which we should have done FROM THE START. Test Result: Our dog is allergic to peanut butter. We’ve been giving him his allergy pills dipped in the substance he’s allergic to. He’s a happy dog now with no more itchy toes!
When my dad passed on, I was given his house 2+ hours away. At the same time, my wife and I had a newborn and were working full time. I let my lifelong friend move in for monthly rent and he actually helped fix up the house and keep it in good condition. His girlfriend started staying the night once in a while at the house, and then more often. If I had known what she would do, I’d have kicked her out on the spot.
He and his girlfriend had a falling out. He left and stopped paying rent as we discussed. I sent family over to check on the house and apparently someone’s living there. I check on house that weekend. It’s my friend’s now ex-girlfriend living there. She asks for one week to move all her stuff out that I didn’t even know was there.
I had my new family in the car with me and was not prepared for having to remove someone and all their stuff so I said ok. I was to come back the following weekend when my schedule allowed and she would be gone. Well this final week let her have a full 30 days living at my house, and she had proof, so she was now a resident and needed a full offical eviction to get her out of my house.
When you’re involved in an eviction, there’s all sorts of help and organizations and websites for the person living at the house to get answers. For the “landlord” evicting the tenant, I found almost nil. SO, I had to pay a ton of money and had to drive to the county courthouse 2+ hours away like 6-8 times over the next two months to get her out of my dad’s house.
During this time, I set up cameras on the neighbor’s property with their permission, attempting record damage to the house, parties, theft of my property still at the residence. I didn’t get jack squat. And I was not allowed to enter the house. She did about $40k damage to the home, took a lot of my dad’s belongings that were hidden in the attic, and cost me an insane amount of time.
Well, really, I did this to myself by letting my “friend” move in. It took almost two full years of going across the state every weekend to work on the house. I guess I can pay more money to go after her for the damages to the house, but she was living off stolen means and state aid during this whole process and would never be able to pay me back.
One final kicker, the house was heated via fuel oil in Michigan and we have cold winters. This woman ran out of fuel oil in late December and she didn’t have $150 needed to get a fuel oil delivery that you have to pay because you have to order a minimum amount to get them to drive out to your house and put fuel oil in your tank. Instead, she used electric heaters and had several of them running all winter to compensate.
Because she was on state aid or something, the company couldn’t shut off her power in the middle of winter, so she racked up an average of $1,700 a month in electric bills over the winter. When I went to put the power back in my name, I was told that I have to pay her $6,300 balance before the power could be restored. This was because I didn’t set up some landlord program with the power company in the first place. This took another three months or so, and a couple hundred to a lawyer, to get straightened out.
The house is fixed up and sold now—for less than half the profit we originally anticipated. I lost so much money.
The Joke Thief
Tomorrow I’ll be turning 32. As we were waking up this morning, my wife asked me if I was excited for the plans we’d made for my thirty-second birthday. I responded that it was going to be tough to do everything in half a minute, but I was looking forward to it nonetheless. She looked at me, blank-faced for a couple seconds. I thought she was just trying to make sense of what I had said.
Instead, she suddenly smacks my chest and yells at me that I ruined a joke she’s been holding onto for years. I didn’t believe her until she showed me an email from 2016 that she had sent to herself to remind her to set a calendar event so she wouldn’t forget. It took her 10 minutes before she was calm enough to talk to me again. Unfortunately for her, I’ve known and used the 30-second birthday joke for years.
My best mate was in a bit of a rush to buy himself a car. He had a nice little nest egg of $20,000 put aside just for this purchase. He did a bunch of private inspections around our area, but he just couldn’t find one he wanted. He finally stumbled across the perfect car for him, great mileage from all country driving, full-service history, and in excellent condition.
The only problem? The buyer was on the other side of the country. For whatever reason, my mate decided to contact the dude and organize the purchase. After the money transferred, the ad disappeared and so did the car owner. I just have no idea what was going through my mate’s head, it’s been five years and they never caught the fraudster and my friend never got his $20k back.
I’m Coming Out
My husband and I have always had an inkling that our son was on the LGBTQ spectrum, so my son coming out to me was not a shock in the grand scheme of things. It happened like this. I went up to my son’s room to ask what he wanted for dinner. I knocked and went in. I was tired after work and things weren’t really registering.
He just said, “Mom, I’m gay.” For some reason, it just didn’t register that he had just told me something so major for him. I don’t know what part of my brain thought this was a good idea, but I just said, “Ok, do you want pizza for dinner?” It took a few minutes for me to realize what I said and that I did not react properly. I went back to him and apologized and gave him the whole “I love you just the same” spiel and we laughed about my reaction, but I’m still SO embarrassed and mad at myself.
It definitely wasn’t the way I had always planned to respond!
I had a vacant house up for rent for a few months without any takers when during a particularly cold week the batteries in the thermostat failed. Without any heat, the water in the toilets froze and cracked the tanks. Once the weather warmed up the toilets began to thaw and began leaking water. The leaking continued for what I believe was about a week before we checked on the house and noticed the damage.
It was absolutely brutal. The drywall and ceiling were sagging off, the kitchen cabinets had all warped, the carpet was completely destroyed, etc. Also, because my home insurance did not cover vacant homes for longer than 30 days, they basically told me to go away. Myself and the co-owners of the house had to pay for all the repairs out of our own pockets while continuing to pay the mortgage over the course of a year while we fixed the damage.
We ended up selling the house for the same as we paid so all the interest payments since we bought it, plus the cost of the repairs, were all losses. Somewhere between $30 and $40 thousand I recall, split between the three of us. The lessons I learned from that experience was to always pay attention to your insurance policies to make sure you are properly covered and if you own a vacant house, turned the water off! Seriously, what were we thinking?
Water is Wet
My parents left the country one summer for two weeks and left me alone, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to have “some” of my “closest friends” over often. My ‘rents lived out in the middle of nowhere with the nearest neighbors 100 yards away; plus, the house had a pool and a hot tub, so it was a perfect set up.
The first night I had people over, the hot tub got nasty because we may have exceeded maximum capacity a little bit. My bright idea was to siphon all the water out of the tub directly into the pool, and refill the tub with the hose. It worked perfectly—the hot tub was clean and the pool a little warmer.
The next night, word was catching on…and the group of friends increased some in size. Again, the hot tub water was almost opaque by next morning. No problem! Just did the same trick from the previous night. The hot tub water went into the pool. And I refreshed the tub with clean hose water. The last night was just…yuck, but I knew the drill!
I just used my previously successful trick and the hot tub gunk got dumped into to pool. But then I couldn’t see the bottom of the pool. Now I had a problem. In my efforts to keep the tub clean, I had neglected the pool water, which had been slowly turning into a sickly grayish-green color! Uh oh.
I thought that the filters could take care of it by the time my parents came home at the end of the week. But I wasn’t sure how to make the pool water crystal clear for my spectacularly anal parents. That’s when the genius idea bulb went off in my head. Twenty minutes later, I had tens of thousands of gallons of water roaring out of the pool working its way down the mountain like a grand liquid chlorinated avalanche. I thought I had the perfect solution—but I had no IDEA what I was getting myself into.
I was feeling smug about my dirty water problem solution when I noticed the shape of the inside of the pool becoming less defined. There’s a vinyl skin for the interior of the pool, and the water held it down against the concrete. To my horror, the blue skin was methodically sucking itself off the walls and bottom like a yawning college student extricating his hungover body off his gunky bathroom floor.
Immediately I stopped the exodus of water with the pool only a couple feet deep in the far side. The shallow side was a “little” wrinkled, but I could salvage the deep end. I had to think of a different way to refill the pool, then I remembered my trusty water hose that I used to fill the hot tub. I was sure it could fill up the pool in five days! So, I turned on the water confident that the pool would be full of clean well water presently.
What I didn’t realize was that the house used well water. And after a few days of pumping, the water didn’t flow out so quickly anymore. Five days from the beginning of the refill, the water was just reaching the shallow end, and Mom and Dad were coming home the next day.
At work, I had a pallet of beer on the jack and I ended up taking the corner too fast and then it all went sideways. When it fell, it seemed to go in slow motion and when it landed, the noise was incredible. In the end, I think they salvaged like 12 boxes with an estimated total of $2,000 in wastage. I had glass in my hands for days and my work pants still smell like stale Waikato Draught.
Once, I made my company throw away 46,000 lbs. of ham. I dropped my screwdriver into a vat full of ham it got stuck in an auger and chipped a piece of the handle off. Since it’s plastic and very soft we obviously couldn’t use a metal detector or an x-ray since the hams are so thick once cooked. I guess they sold their tainted meat to dog food companies so it wasn’t super bad but still expensive.
I had a ‘99 Miata that I loved. It was the most fun thing I’ve ever owned with nice coil-overs and sticky tires. One day, I noticed my oil gauge was doing wonky things. It was jumping from 0 pressure to normal randomly. I actually drove back to where I was parked to see if there was oil on the ground. Nope. I looked it up and everyone said, “Oh, don’t worry about it. The oil gauges in these cars are mainly for show. If you change your oil regularly, you’re fine.”
Oh, how I regret listening to those fools. Apparently, a lot can happen in between oil changes because one day, maybe two months after my oil gauge started acting up, I’m driving and suddenly, “TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK. TICK,” like the loudest ticking I’d ever heard. I gave it a rev and it went, “TICK. TICK. TICK.TICK.” I drive it home and check my oil levels. It’s at 0.
Now I don’t know how this happened because I wasn’t leaking oil and some serious witchcraft had to be going on for me to burn that much oil in a convertible car and never smell or see it. But I refilled my oil and prayed that somehow it would go away even though I knew it wouldn’t. I knew it was bad and my car didn’t have much time so I drove it to the DMV to get my motorcycle license to have a way of getting around while I figure out what’s wrong.
As I pull into the DMV parking lot, I heard a loud crack and then my car turned off. The tow back to the mechanic cost $400 and was expensive because I requested a flatbed tow truck because my car is so low. But then they brought a regular tow truck and then told me, “Oh we can’t tow it with this truck. We need to get our flatbed,” which I had already said but apparently I still had to pay for their mistake.
They quote me $4k for a new engine, which is almost as much as I paid for the car. I only paid the insanely expensive tow and did it myself, which cost me $1,200. But still, I could’ve saved $1,600, if I had just checked my dipstick when my oil gauge acted up. Now, I check my oil religiously on all my cars.
I was traveling across the states with my friends and six days in, we got to Miami. We got drunk in Wet Willies and met a couple girls and we decided at 3 AM that it was a good idea to go skinny dipping. We all got naked and ran into the sea, leaving EVERYTHING on the beach. We got out of the sea after playing around for a while and someone had stolen all our stuff.
They took everything. I lost my wallet with $300 in it, my iPhone, my passport, and not to mention ALL of my clothes. We all had to run back to our hostel naked which was a good mile away. I still got laid. But I’m an idiot.
I rented a U-Haul to move from my apartment to a condo in the same town. I bumped one of the balconies in the alley behind the condos. I made a very small dent in the canopy part of the truck and when we returned the truck, they told us since we didn’t get the insurance, we would have to pay for the fix within 48 hours. They said that it would cost $4,800 to fix and they refused to let me take it to a third-party mechanic for a quote.
Then they said that if we didn’t pay within 48 hours, it would go to court where it would be doubled. I wasn’t too well off then, financially, and maybe too naive, but we decided to pay to avoid having it doubled. My wife was in tears at the counter as she gave them her credit card.
When working at a video game company, we had three trespassing incidents in just one summer. All three times, it was students from a nearby art school. And all three times, they snuck into the building to cold-crash the art director into a job interview. The first time, we just figured it was some young student oblivious to the multiple levels of security and protections around our IP.
He blended in with a bunch of company employees out in front during their break. When they started heading back in, he walked in with them. Once inside, this guy just started wandering the halls looking for an office with an “art director” plaque on it. This kid was let off with one heck of a stern warning, but nothing beyond that.
Very detailed emails went out to all employees to keep our eyes out for unfamiliar faces without badges, and to keep our own employee badges visible. A week later, it happened again. A student from the same campus walked in through the side door with a group, but they figured something was up. When they asked about his ID, he lied about having a job interview with the art director.
They tell him to stay put in the hall, but he doesn’t. He follows them anyway, right into the art director’s office. In the two seconds it takes the director to call security, this dope is already going 100 into his “tell you what, am I the artist for you!” pitch. He is told to never apply for our company, and his name gets shared with all associated dev studios under the publisher’s umbrella.
Again, emails go out, security is tightened, and side doors are now exit only. A month later, it happens again. We don’t even know the details. The company email didn’t specify how yet another random student from this art school managed to actually locate and sit himself down in our art director’s office. Even worse, this student entered his office while the art director was out at a meeting.
He just arrived, took a seat, and waited. When the art director returns to his sanctimonious keep, he is startled by an excited “Hello future employer!” Just…What the heck? At this point, the authorities are called. We have had enough of this, and a message needs to be sent. Stop trespassing into our offices, you idiots. The student is escorted out, and is met by two officers at the front door to take a report for yet another case of trespassing.
But as this student is getting questioned and processed, we discover what is happening. It all makes sense. We now know why it is this one particular art school. There was a teacher at that campus that was encouraging students to sneak in and force directors and managers into cold interviews. He explained to them how easy it is to just follow a group of employees in during their break, to just meander the halls aimlessly as long as you “look like you belong.”
He was giving them strategies and techniques to blend in, not raise suspicions, and locate who would be best for an interview. As you could imagine, he was probably teaching “They’ll be impressed by your initiative. They’ll know how much you want the job if you do that.” I mean, wouldn’t be that far-fetched? I personally have had college teachers (also with backgrounds in art and media) encourage the same thing.
It’s funny, because they always sign off with the same assurance: “Besides, the worst thing they can do is say ‘no’.” Surprise. The worst thing they can do is a misdemeanor trespassing charge and a hefty citation, as well as blacklist you permanently in the industry as a security liability. It’s so unfortunate that these students were the ones who were punished.
They’re just impressionable kids putting trust in a stupid art teacher. We don’t know why this teacher thought this was okay or what decade they think they’re living in, but it’s unnerving to think that kids are paying so much money to receive bad advice from some delusional lunatic with no idea how the real world works.
Their teacher should have been severely reprimanded for doing this to his students. However, after intercepting a fourth prospective infiltrator in the front walk before getting inside, it was pretty clear this teacher was still employed.
Silver Screen Dreams
There was this woman I knew a few years ago. She had a job, but she was convinced she was supposed to be a movie star. She never did any acting, though. She also told me about the married man that she had slept with: “He loves me, but he can’t leave his wife…” She actually did stop sleeping with him, but they still hung out.
Polite Dinner Conversation
This happened about a year ago. I was 18 years old at the time and I was dating a boy named Jacob, who was also my age. His father was a mechanic, and his mom was a homemaker. They were a pretty typical white suburban family in the south and had asked Jacob if they could meet me even though we had only been dating for a month.
At the dinner, I met his mom, dad, older brother, older sister, and her newborn daughter. The dinner went well and I was chatting about my volunteer work at my college’s blood drive, to which his father explains that his doctor told him he was O negative and a universal blood donor. My boyfriend mentions he is also O, but his siblings casually mention they are both AB.
I don’t think anything of it because my boyfriend had mentioned that his mom was married once before and was widowed. The following conversation went like this: Me: “Oh that’s really cool. You’re a really rare blood type. If you don’t mind me asking, is your mom’s blood type A and your dad’s B, or your dad’s A and mom’s B?”
Older sister: “What do you mean? He’s O.” She gestures to my boyfriend’s father here. Me: “Oh I know. I was just asking about your biological father, but of course, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” I notice his mom get really pale, and it was in that moment I realized I screwed up. Older brother: “What do you mean biological father?”
Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it.” At this point, Jacob’s dad got real quiet and was looking at his wife’s face. He knew instantly. I look over to Jacob who I think was starting to put the full picture of what was happening together. Dad: “Are you saying they’re not my biological kids? Because my wife swore up and down in marriage counseling (by “marriage counseling” he means with a pastor) that they were my kids and she would never cheat on me.”
At this point, I’m putting together that she never had any kids from her previous marriage. Mom: “I would never cheat on you. They are your kids.” The dad turns to me and says, “So why do you think they’re not my kids?” I tried to excuse myself because it was very clear the cat was out of the bag, and with a quick Google search from my boyfriend, he starts cussing out his mom.
She starts to sob and apologizes over and over again, and I am forced to explain 9th-grade biology to his father about the fact that the only kids he could have produced were with the blood type: O, A or, B, but absolutely not AB. Jacob was the only one with the possibility of being his son. They all start screaming at one another, and the older sister eventually leaves because her newborn is screaming too.
His mom goes and locks herself in the bedroom. His older brother follows her, screaming and asking who his real father is. My boyfriend is trying to figure out if his dad still wants to be their father. I eventually have a friend come pick me up. Yeah…we broke up shortly after, but not before figuring out through paternity tests that none of the kids produced from the marriage were the dad’s. They divorced soon after.
Step Into My Office
Ever since I was a kid, I loved to fiddle around with staplers. Playing with the automatic ones and doing dumb stuff like any child would, opening the manual ones and swinging it around, stuff like that. One of my favorite things to do was to open up a new strip of staples and break them apart before putting them in. Running my fingers through the staples, counting them, and breaking them apart…I loved it.
There are 210 staples in a standard strip and sometimes I’d break off each individual one until my fingers hurt. I’ve even found strips with 209 and 211 a few times. This progressed from me messing around with staples in Ms. Grady’s second-grade class, to buying a box of staples every other payday to play with, to literally having a collection of different brands and sizes of staples in my college dorm to break apart.
I had a problem, but no one was hurt, so who cares? Well…Fast forward to present day. I am a functioning middle-class adult with a wife and two children. I have a home, a normal car, and an office job. I am by all accounts a normal human being, and I still love staples. Working in an office with a supply room full of staples was a problem.
I’d spend my lunch break in the room opening boxes and breaking apart staples to get my fix before returning to work. It got so bad over the course of a couple years that my boss changed our supplier because the boxes all had broken apart staples and were sometimes ripped. So I had to stop doing that…I turned to Amazon first, buying 10 boxes of staples at a time for about 20 bucks a pop. It wasn’t enough. I went to 20, then 40.
My wife got curious then and asked, “Why are you buying all of these boxes of staples,” but I brushed it off as a work issue that I’d get reimbursed for and knew I had to change my methods. Over the course of a few months I enabled myself. I started using cash only at different office supply stores around my town and neighboring towns.
I would sit in my car and break apart staples before going to the next store. I began to stay out late and tell my wife I would be home soon, so I could go buy more staples from different stores. I opened up a new credit card to put online so she wouldn’t know, but she caught it in the mail. She then got suspicious because things weren’t adding up.
This past Thursday after one of my “late nights,” I get home with a trunk full of broken staples and 10 freshly broken boxes in my passenger seat to see my parents’ cars at my house. I walked in and everyone is sitting around like it’s an intervention. Because it is. My wife asked if there was anything I wanted to tell them, and to tell the truth about my problem.
I sat down and kept saying, “What are you talking about?” until my mom said, “Honey, we saw the pictures.” Then my wife tells me that my late nights, excuses, and general weirdness about the credit card, and some other little things made her hire a private investigator. This man followed me around to office supply stores and watched me “do something” with what I had in the bag from multiple stores.
It basically looked like I was a drug runner for Office Depot who was using some of the product for myself. At this point, my wife started to cry and my dad shook his head. I had to come clean and all I could muster was, “I…I like staples.” The “what the heck” looks I got afterward turned into disbelief, then concern, then fits of laughter when I showed them my car.
I came clean. I backed this up by showing my secret stash of used staples in my attic and explained the purchases on the card to my wife. Right now, my only concern is my dad. He didn’t laugh—just kind of shook his head continually in disappointment without saying a word. Believe it or not, I think therapy or addiction meetings may help, as my wife gave me these suggestions the day after. I was told that although the addiction is not typical in its damage regarding my mental or physical well-being, I do need help.
I am going to go through addiction counseling like any other addict would. Just tailored to my specific issue. Apparently, part of fixing my brain is to know that it is not okay to continue this level of staplephilia. That included cleaning out my car, attic, and not garnering more attention through memorializing pictures, and stuff like that.
My wife initially thought I was having an affair. She didn’t think I was doing substances until she got the pictures. The PI just told her what he saw, and she deduced that I had an undercover type distribution thing going with someone in the office supply business. She admitted that she didn’t think it all through, but her mind was racing and conclusions came as they did.
I do not have autism or any diagnosed mental disability. I am just an addict, and an idiot. I know how stupid the addiction is and so I tried to hide it. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things I guess, but my embarrassing white lie just spiraled out of control.
Put It In Writing
The other day, my 18-year-old brother-in-law got married to his high school sweetheart in a parking garage so that they can live off campus at their Christian college together. The girlfriend’s, now wife’s, mother is an ordained minister. His parents, my in-laws, were very upset and he couldn’t understand why because, “it’s just a fake marriage for school.”
Oh no, sweet boy. You are MARRIED. I just laughed and laughed. I love him dearly. He is an idiot.
I had a friend who insisted she was in a relationship with a C-list celebrity whom she met once during a comic convention. All the celebrity’s Instagram and Twitter posts were for her and everything had a meaning behind it. When the celebrity got married, she said that it was just for the media so she and the celebrity could live a quiet life.
When he didn’t do anything for her birthday, she had a breakdown. She went to therapy not long after.
All Good Things Come To An End
I woke up without an alarm, had breakfast, took a bath, and drove half hour to my work feeling great. I even thought to myself on the way, “Lucky me, the traffic is very nice today.” Just when I arrived, the security greeted me with the worst words possible: “Good morning, sir, working even over the holiday?” I drove all the way home and had a nap.
This One Will Make You Sick…
When a “good” friend of mine who I worked under had cancer and wasn’t able to pay some bills, I loaned her $200 just to help. I was only 18 years old at the time and I felt bad because she had kids. It was right around the holidays and I just wanted to help however I could and be a good person in life. She promised to pay me back when she could.
Turns out she lied about having cancer, was embezzling money from the company I worked at, scammed my other coworkers, and would come in after skipping work for her “chemo” to make fraudulent returns while I was overseeing the store by myself because of her absence. I eventually got her fired and got promoted to her position.
My uncle is a deputy sheriff, and one time, he was at an airport speaking to my aunt over the phone in Spanish. Once he was done with his call, some nearby Karen who overheard him went up to him and started demanding to see his green card. Huge mistake. My uncle decided to mess with her and said he didn’t know what a green card was.
He told her he had never even heard of it. She became more upset and kept demanding to see it. He messed with her more and then eventually went, “Well, I don’t have a green card, but I have this,” then brought out his wallet and showed her his badge. She immediately walked away while my uncle just kept laughing at her.
That’s No Scratch
I’m a nurse, but I was working in the ER when a guy came in for a scratch on his neck and “feeling drowsy.” We start the usual workups and this dude’s blood pressure TANKED. We scrambled, but he was dead within ten minutes of walking through the door. Turns out the “scratch” was an exit wound of a .22 caliber rifle round.
The guy didn’t even know he’d been shot. When the coroner’s report came back, we found that he’d been shot in the leg and the bullet tracked through his torso, shredding everything in between. There was really nothing we could’ve done, but that was a serious “what the heck just happened” moment, and for a good while we thought we had made a fatal error.
Taking The Fall
So, I work in a workshop, and we often engrave stuff for customers. This particular guy wanted a really nice wooden jewelry box for their wedding anniversary with a custom message he emailed me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop. Not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever.
The guy’s wife starts to look confused and tear up: “You don’t remember the date?” Guy turns pale, looks at me with a deep stare, says: “No, I’m sure it’s a mistake.” Me: “No, I’ve copied it straight, can’t be wrooon…waaait a minute, oh my god, it’s my fault, I’m so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift…”
Wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. But that wasn’t even the best part. Guy comes back next day and pays triple the original price without a word.
We went to a movie. During the movie, she got up to go to the bathroom. After she left, I thought I could run to the bathroom myself, and be back before her (for some reason, I thought it would be rude to leave her alone). When I came back to our seats, she was already there but I didn’t give it much thought.
I hung out at her place for a bit afterward, gave her a kiss goodnight, and went home thinking that I just had a pretty nice date. A week later, after she wouldn’t return any of my calls, I asked our mutual friend who introduced us what the deal was. Turns out that when I went to the bathroom, I accidentally walked into the women’s room.
I peed in the stall next to her, and she recognized the boots I was wearing. She was totally freaked out. When I finally got a hold of her and tried to explain myself, she told me she was moving to Turkey to get back together with her ex-boyfriend.