Accidents happen. Sometimes they are the fault of others, but sometimes accidents occur because of our own missteps, or lack of common sense even. What’s worse is when we end up getting hurt from something so foolish, we can’t help but think, “Did that really just happen?” Here are some examples of the dumbest ways people have hurt themselves.
1. I Got Stumped!
When I was in middle school, I was playing baseball with some friends in front of the school. It had two gardens on either side of its entrance, and we were on the left side, which had a tree stump that wasn’t actually cut but had probably fallen over. Either way, the tree stump was incredibly jagged and dangerous. I was about to learn that the hard way. While trying to catch the ball, I tripped on a root.
My face landed right in the middle of the jagged stump. I had no time to react. I didn’t cushion my fall, I didn’t even have time to block my face. I knocked out two teeth and got cut on multiple parts of my face before class even started. I had blood flowing from my mouth and was absolutely screaming. I was shaking and in shock.
I think I was even crawling, while in a panic, and I probably looked like an animal after it had been wounded. My friend had to drag me to the nurse. Mind you, we were like 8 years old, and this kid immediately saw me faceplant into what was basically a morning star made of wood, yet managed to drag me while I was crying and in shock without losing his composure.
I don’t remember needing any hospital visits because besides my teeth being knocked out I luckily hadn’t been pierced, just cut in the face. All I remember was holding my mouth with my hand, seeing a bunch of blood and saliva on them, and screaming while he put my other arm over his shoulders and lugged me across a bunch of frightened, shocked children.
2. I Just Ran…I Ran So Far Away…
I was about five or six years old. It was a beautiful day out and I was stuck in the car with my mom going shopping. I kept bugging her to take me to the park, and finally, she relented. It turned out to be a horrible mistake. We first stopped and got lunch at a food truck that was there. I walked to the nearest picnic table which was about 50-60 feet away. I sat down and started eating when a bunch of seagulls landed all around me.
One landed on the table, screeched at me, and came after me. Then the WHOLE FLOCK came after me. I screamed and ran for my mom, who came running, while the massive flock chased after me. I hid behind her and she started to beat them out of the air with her purse. After she smacked a few, they flew over to my food and started to eat it. We ate in the car after that.
3. Taking A Bad Route
At the time, I was working at a furniture factory where we made the pieces for California Closets. We had a router mounted to a table from underneath that cut wood in a specific shape based on the jig that had an industrial vacuum hose attached over the top of it. They would both turn on with the flip of a single switch. I was using the router, and the sawdust wasn’t being sucked up.
That’s when I did the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I went to check the suction by sticking my hand in the area where the router and the hose met. The router, being connected to the same switch as the vacuum, was still on. My middle finger took the brunt of it. I broke the bone on my finger and in the split second my fingers were in there, the router hit it three times. It was just fantastic.
4. Stockroom Slip
I was working as a bartender and my shift was almost over. I was about to have my sweet freedom after I did the very simple task of stocking the wines. I grabbed a bunch of bottles to carry to the fridge for the next shift. One started to slip. I clenched up hoping that the errant bottle would stay on point. It did not.
The bottle started falling slowly onto the hardwood floor. I acted on instinct—and instantly regretted it. I stuck out my foot hoping to keep it from shattering and costing my employer a full $7.50 worth of bad Pinot Grigio. The bottle bounced away without a care in the world, but I got a nice healthy bruise on my foot. Apparently, those bottles are designed to withstand a lot of things, however, the human foot is not.
5. The Sharpest One In Class
I am a teacher and had a pencil holder in my classroom filled with 30 sharp pencils. They were all facing upwards. I dropped something and quickly went to pick it up but face-planted into the pencil holder. Luckily, I was only pierced by about three of them. One was about half a centimeter (about a quarter of an inch) from my eye. I still have the lead marks under my skin.
6. Let’s Play Kick The Cactus
I saw a cactus. I knew it was a cactus and kicked it anyway. I ended up with a needle pretty deep in my shin. When I pulled it out, a half-dollar-sized chunk of flesh came with it. I had to use a friend’s shirt and wrap it around the wound. My shoe was so full of blood, you could have tracked us by following the bloody footprint.
To add insult to injury, and more injury, a second needle went unseen into the toe of my shoe. It was just deep enough to only poke my big toe if something hit the front. For about two months, I would randomly get this stabbing pain and blood, but couldn’t find anything. I ended up tearing the shoe apart trying to get the needle out and had to replace my favorite pair of shoes. I don’t know why on earth I kicked that cactus, I just did.
7. The Dangerous Belch
I was showing off my ability to burp by swallowing air. I swallowed some air. My throat hurt a little bit, and I couldn’t burp it up again. I didn’t think about it again for a while. Within half an hour, I realized something was seriously wrong. I had to leave work because I was having chest pains. I went to the hospital. They quickly cleared any suspicion of a heart attack or lung malfunction. They assumed I had some sort of bacterial infection that was moving very fast, so they gave me antibiotics.
Eventually, they figured out that I had some air in my interstitial space, between organs in my torso. I had to stay overnight to have my body absorb the air. It seems as if I could have collapsed a lung by swallowing air. I felt a pain in my throat, so the doctor figured I had a small tear in my esophagus where the air went through into my chest instead of my stomach. The antibiotics probably saved me from getting an infection in the wound.
8. Next Time Don’t Be Sew Distracted
I was using a sewing machine in home economics and the teacher began talking to me. I think she expected me to stop the machine to listen, as opposed to looking away from the very noisy machine that was going a million miles an hour towards my finger. Well, I did the latter and ended up sewing my finger and fingernail.
9. Scooter Show Off
When I turned eight, I got a kick scooter for my birthday. I rode that thing all day when I was home. I practiced tricks like jumping over piles of bricks and spinning the base around. At the next parent-teacher conference, I took it along to show off to my friends. I couldn’t find something “worthy of my skill” to jump over, so I ended up choosing a crack in the hallway to show how good I was. I screwed up the landing and broke my leg.
10. Delivery Route Danger
While delivering newspapers one frigid winter day, I slid on ice and rolled down a hill, across a road, and into a snow-covered bush. I was bruised and banged up, but I was 13 years old, and therefore indestructible. So I picked up my newspapers and continued on my route. For the next few weeks, I healed up and thought I was okay. I had no inkling of the nightmare I was in for.
Soon, my right knee started hurting. I went to the doctor who said it was just growing pains and told me not to worry about it. So I limped around for a few more months and tried to ignore it. The pain got so bad, I could hardly stand on my leg, so I went to a different doctor. He did some x-rays and also told me it was nothing.
He told me to use crutches for a few months to take the pressure off of it and see if it’ll heal up and stop hurting. A few months went by using the crutches and it still hurt. Three years passed. I finally went to a sports physician who knew a thing or two about this stuff, and he found out that I had actually broken part of my bone at the knee joint.
He called it osteochondritis. Basically, a small chunk of bone broke off on the weight-bearing edge of the joint and was floating around in a sack of fluid, until I took the wrong step. Then the broken piece would stab back into the raw hole. Imagine stabbing yourself in the knee with a red hot ice pick and you’ll get an idea of what that felt like.
The doctor decided to do surgery to place two screws to hold the bone chunk back into place. I was on crutches for another six months. It hurt like the devil but it did heal. It’s been over 20 years since then and now I don’t have any real issues with my knee, except on days when it’s going to rain and I can feel a slight ache in it.
11. Pasta Sauce Projectile
We had pasta sauce that had been batch cooked and frozen in family dinner size portion bags. They were flat so they could stack and take up less freezer space. The floor around the freezer was ceramic tile. I had bare feet and dropped a sauce pack. It fell thin-edge down. The bag acted like a dull knife and smashed into my toes, breaking two of them. They took a long time to heal, but all anyone could do was buddy strap and splint them because they were clean breaks.
12. Waffle House Woes
I once ate at a Waffle House twice in one day. Then I didn’t poop for five days. I truly thought I was gonna rupture an organ. I was in serious pain and my coworkers suggested that perhaps I should see a doctor, to which I replied, “The only doctor I’m gonna be seeing is the medical examiner.” I took a couple of doses of laxatives and prepared for the worst.
I was so constipated that the laxatives merely brought me back to normal. Thankfully, my organs were still intact.
13. Did Someone Say Cake?
I was sitting on an armchair in the living room when my mom told me that she had just baked a cake. I was so excited that I quickly jumped from the chair to get to the kitchen fast. Instead, I ended up hitting my head on the door while in mid-air. I cracked my skull and now I have a little bald spot where I hit it.
14. As Seen On TV
When I was a kid, I wanted to imitate a TV show where they did different challenges in an old prison fort. One challenge had the contestants jumping on a contraption that made cannonballs fly and hit some targets. I built my contraption with a wooden plank that I balanced on a rock like a seesaw. Then I put a rock on one side and jumped on the other side. I didn’t realize what was going to happen until it was too late.
The rock flew right in my face. Half my face was blue for quite some time after.
15. A Giant Fell On Me
While I was in the 7th grade, I was doing lunges in the gym during gym class. It was raining so everyone was doing whatever they were doing inside. My friend who was also in 7th grade was being chased by others and was running backward. He was a very large guy. He didn’t see me doing lunges and he lost his balance and fell onto my knee.
The force of him falling pushed my kneecap all the way to the side of my leg. I let out a noise that I have never been able to make again while I shot my leg straight, popping my knee back with the most sickening pop. I’ve dislocated my knee fifteen times since then because it just pops out of place now.
A couple of years ago I was down at our local soccer grounds, while one of my daughters was training. I was playing around with my other girl by the goal post. The ball went into the goal, and through a hole in the net. I tried putting my foot through the hole to get the ball, but my daughter ran around and got it. She ran off with it, and I went to give chase, but my foot was still in the hole in the net.
I up-ended myself, came down hard on my chest, and fractured four ribs.
17. Shear Madness
When I was little, my mother and I were gardening. I asked her what the knob in the middle of the shears did. When she didn’t answer, I turned it in any way. The shears didn’t seem to change in any noticeable way until I tried to close them and I found out that it was to make the blades easier or harder to open. I put in the usual amount of force I needed to close them, but it was now drastically too much.
I closed them so quickly that I lost control and they cut my upper lip in half. It’s a cool scar.
18. The Plan That Went Astray
One time in grade school I was in gym class. There was a table against the wall that had wheels. Usually, everyone in the class would sit on the table while we waited for our coach. One day I wanted to fake hurting myself to skip class. So, when everyone got off the table I was still sitting there and slowly leaned back against the wall, carefully pushing the table from under me.
The table moved really fast and I fell behind the table, which was my plan. What wasn’t in my plan was to land on my arm and twist it so badly to the point where it became dislocated. After that, I had to go to the school nurse, who put ice on it. I don’t remember how my arm came back, I just assume someone came and relocated it.
19. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Touch It
I was in a Staples store once and I saw this new-age stapler that looked like it was hanging open. I thought it was broken, so I put both hands on it, with both my thumbs on the part that the staple comes out of, and tried to pull it closed again. The stapler was not broken, and it fired a staple into both my thumbs and stapled them together.
20. The Ang-kler
My mom bought me a red fish at the market to eat. It looked cool, so I wanted to send a picture to my dad. I asked my boy to take a picture of it since it was too big to hold it with one hand. I realized the light in the kitchen was bad and decided to take the picture outside in the garden. I was so excited, I was walking very fast and ended up missing a step.
I flew into the garden and hurt my ankle. I wasn’t able to get up, so my boy brought me the fish and took a picture of me holding it while laying on the grass.
21. Scarred By Social Media
I was following a celebrity/Instagram hack that was trending about taping your bust to give it a cinched look, especially in low-cut tops. I tried it. It ended up being an excruciating mistake. When I removed the masking tape, it ripped out a good chunk of my skin, leaving a nasty scar that ran from just underneath my armpit all the way to the lining of my underboob on both sides. It took almost three weeks to heal. I couldn’t wear a bra and had to wear loose clothing because the slightest chafing would cause the scab to tear and the wound to reopen.
22. Breakfast Bacon Burn
I was cooking bacon in a skillet and was using the rendered fat to make breakfast gravy. I had left bits of bacon in there as well. A small piece of bacon popped out of my cast iron skillet and landed on my foot. Since the bacon piece was covered in the gravy, it stuck to my foot. By the time I could get it wiped off and my foot rinsed, it had burned my foot so bad that it was impossible to wear a shoe for a few days afterward.
23. Hand Washing Hazzard
I was doing the dishes by hand and dropped a glass. I instinctively put my foot out to catch it, forgetting that I had bare feet. The glass cut my foot open about an inch. It looked deep but didn’t bleed a lot. I figured I needed stitches. I tried to put a shoe on, and my big toe didn’t work. That’s when I realized it was much worse than I had thought.
As it turned out, I had cut the tendon leading to my toe. I needed surgery and spent two nights in the hospital and five weeks in a cast.
24. I Got Smashed, Even Though I Wasn’t
During a high school event, we had to participate in an “impaired driving exercise” using goggles and a large trike. I did it, but I got distracted and ran into a wall, hand first. I ended up breaking two knuckles and had a spiral fracture in my main hand bone. Now I have seven screws and a plate in my hand. What a mess.
25. Hung Up On Boredom
This was the consequence of deliberate planning and execution conducted by a very stupid 12-year-old me. My mom worked at my school and often stayed late, so I was stuck there too. I raided the school snack cabinet and supply closet to find some way to occupy myself. I found chocolate pirouette sticks and ate them all.
The popsicle craft sticks were also now gone. I had glued them all together to make a bunch of throwing stars and ambushed my little brother. I found a good length of rope in the supply closet and decided to head out to the playground to do something. At the playground, I found that the rope was too short for a rope swing.
My little brother chose to chase lizards instead of coming to the playground with me, so I couldn’t tie him up to the flagpole. That’s when I had a truly terrible idea. I decided to make an elevator. I would tie a loop in one end, throw the looped end over the monkey bars, put my feet in the loop, and pull on the tail end of the rope until my feet reached the top of the monkey bars. A simple pulley of sorts.
I situated myself according to the design and attempted to actuate the elevator. I was not moving. I was obviously not pulling hard enough, so I yanked the rope hard. I landed on my neck, with my feet caught in a noose, up in the air like a caught mackerel. I learned a very important lesson about the physical properties of the natural world.
26. Lit Up By Curiosity
When I was 17, I was with my mom at a used car lot. We got into what I believe was a Nissan sedan, and I noticed that it had a lighter with the actual lighter part still attached. I wasn’t thinking, so I pushed it in and waited a bit. I pulled it out and said, “Do you think it still works?” I pressed my thumb into the red hot coil on the underside.
My mom laughed so hard she immediately called my aunt, told her what just happened, and then they both laughed at my misfortune while we did circles around the car lot.
27. Midnight Run
I was camping in a hammock and had to go pee at around 2 AM. When I came back, I went to hop into my hammock to go back to sleep. Instead, I ended up hopping OVER my hammock, which I had hung at the edge of a small ledge. I fell backward and broke my wrist. I went into shock. I slept it off and hiked out the next morning.
28. The Travelling Pants
I tried to walk from my bedroom to my washroom, which was directly across a hallway. I decided to do this without buttoning my pants. My pants fell down. I ended up tripping and kicking the door frame hard enough to crack my baby toenail. This happened five minutes before I had to leave for work. I walked with a limp all night.
29. High School Musical
It was during the day of opening night for the school musical, for which I was drumming. I got up in English class to ask the teacher a question but my leg had fallen asleep. I ended up sprawled on the ground and sprained my ankle. I crawled to the teacher to ask the question though, but I couldn’t use my normal bass drum foot for the concert, as I had to have it elevated the whole time.
30. I Was Almost Fin-ished
When I was a kid on vacation, my parents bought a whole catfish to eat for dinner. They told me to carry it home, so, being the excitable 7-year-old I was, I started swinging it and skipping like Mary Poppins, until I jabbed myself with the side fin of the catfish. I ended up with a sizable hole in my leg and some blood, but I put a bandage on it and continued. Then things took a turn for the worse.
Over the next few days, I started throwing up and got a high fever. I had gotten an infection from the catfish. I spent the rest of my vacation drinking Gatorade and eating plain bread because anything else made me projectile vomit.
31. End By Chocolate
I woke up and went to the fridge to drink some chocolate syrup directly from the squeeze bottle, and pushed a bunch of air out into my lungs, instead of that delicious chocolate. I dropped to the ground in my boxers, choking nonstop for a solid 20 seconds. All I could think was how they’d find me on the floor in my boxers.
32. Happy Endings
I was pleasuring myself in the shower when I slipped on some soap. I fell in an awkward position and hurt my ribs. They weren’t broken, but they were bruised for a few days. I remember thinking, “Darn, if I had landed on my neck I’d severely paralyzed or worse.” To make things worse, I still lived with my family at the time. So if I had passed, they would’ve seen my body with my junk still in my hand.
33. Lost Connection
I was in my junior year of high school. I woke up at 6 AM with a bladder ready to burst. The night before I got gone out of my mind. The thing was, my bedroom was upstairs and across the house from the only working bathroom. I knew I wouldn’t make it in time, and on top of that, a journey of that length would make it impossible for me to fall back asleep.
But my stupid half-asleep teenage self had a plan. The window in my room led out to a roof I could pee off of, so in my jelly-brained haze, I ran to the window. However, when I was climbing out, I slammed my foot into the wall. It hurt like mad, but all I could think about was peeing. I did what I had to do. The sweet relief quickly drowned the pain out.
I came back inside and promptly went to bed. I didn’t even think to look at my foot, but later when I woke up again, I realized that it had bled all night and my big toenail was sorta half disconnected. I could pull it off the bed of my toe a little bit, but it couldn’t fully disconnect yet. It was like a wiggly tooth.
Since I couldn’t pull it off, I hoped it would reattach. For a while, I bandaged it every day hoping that would give it time to heal. At night when I would check on it, it would always pull slightly farther off the toe, but still never quite enough. After a few agonizing months, I stopped using the bandage. It was clear it wasn’t going to reattach.
One fateful day I was at the beach, running barefoot through some wet sand. My legs bore deep into it, sometimes sinking at least eight or so inches. At some point or another, while enjoying the sun, the toenail had finally decided to part ways with my foot and me. I noticed after coming back to the dry beach that it was gone. Part of me felt an overwhelming relief, but part of me wondered if it would even grow back. Sure enough, it took a year but it did.
34. Push Up Pop Out
I ran down a hallway, jumped, and grabbed my Iron Man pull-up bar. I used my momentum and touched the ceiling with my feet. It was super cool. I went to do it again, but beforehand, I told my sister, “HEY CHECK THIS OUT!” I then proceeded as normal. My feet touched, but the bar popped off the door frame. I fell upside down on three stairs.
35. Halloween Horror
My wife told me I could use a normal knife to carve a pumpkin and that I didn’t need a carving kit. I was used to using a carving kit. I was carving the first pumpkin, and three cuts in, I cut my finger to the bone. I had 4-year-old kids watching me as I horrifically bled all over the place. It was a special Halloween indeed. It was dumb and I’m never listening to her again.
36. Poolside Pain
When I was 12, I got in an argument with my dad at a pool. The emotional preteen that I was, I stomped my foot down in anger. Then the pain hit. There was a gap between the cement and where the pool railing was attached to it. When I slammed my foot down my big toe was forced into the gap. The nail on my big toe had ripped completely from the front and was hanging on by a thread towards the cuticle. My toenail has never grown the same since.
37. Freight Train Fumble
There was a freight train that ran on the tracks behind my house. My brother thought it would be cool to try and jump on it like in the movies, so I went ahead and tried. I waited for the train. I went up close and tried to run it down as the last car passed. That was a no-go. The train was going too fast to try and catch the last car.
So we waited for the next train. This time, I ran next to the train as the cars were passing and grabbed a ladder to get onto a car. I was successful. I jumped off and tried again. This time when I jumped off, I was facing the wrong way. I slammed my back straight into the ground and ended up with a three-inch scar on my back.
38. High Flyer
When I was in 4th grade, I was OBSESSED with riding my bike. I’d wake up at 6 AM and just go. The rule was, every 10 laps around the block I had to run to the front door and check-in. For Christmas, I got a speedometer for it. One day I was blasting down this hill at 30 km/h (18 mph.) It was the fastest I had ever gone as a nine-year-old. I was flying.
I then realized I had a huge turn coming up. If I went straight, I would fly into this canyon, and thus into oblivion. If I turned, I would scrape my knee and I knew that wasn’t a cool feeling. So I decided to run right into a stop sign. I got a severe concussion and broke my arm. The cherry on the top was the hot neighborhood boys who were two years older heard the bang and came to investigate.
They found me all crumpled up. They were only in the 5th grade and instantly knew I was in trouble. They made a splint for me out of wood they found and carried me home. They even wheeled my broken bike home. When I got to the hospital and was explaining everything, I realized one simple thing. I could have used the brakes.
39. Caught In The Hinges
One morning I was standing outside of a class waiting for the last class to come out when one of the building’s large fireproof doors was open. I was clutching the frame and when someone walked in, they shut the door behind them. My index and middle finger were between the part of the door where the hinges were. Needless to say, it hurt, I had soft tissue damage and had to wear a finger splint for a week and a half.
40. I Should Have Just Gone To School
My mom would randomly ask me if I wanted to stay home from school. I think mostly she just wanted someone to hang out out with at home. Well, I was probably about 12 when this happened. I woke up and she asked if I wanted to stay home. I was stoked and of course, said yes. I got back into my pajamas and wrapped myself up in a blanket.
I went and grabbed a freezy popsicle out of the freezer for breakfast and went to sit down. I was so excited about doing nothing all day, I jumped into position onto the couch and somehow managed to jab my eye with the freezy. I didn’t want to bother my mom at the time, so I pretended I was fine. When my mom woke up, she saw my eye.
It was all red and swollen and decided to take me to the doctor. I had a gnarly scratch across my eyeball. It went across the cornea or something like that. I just needed some eye drops to fix it, but my mom was probably more embarrassed about the story than me. We laugh about it now, but I still have no idea what I was thinking at the time.
41. It’s A Slippery Slope
I tried to surf on a children’s sled down a very slight slope in winter. I quickly realized I was going to fall off and caught myself with my feet in an awkward manner. I broke my foot and had to have crutches for weeks thereafter. I had an operation scheduled for a month later. It was funny in hindsight, but not so fun to wear crutches during my recovery. My friends still tease me about it sometimes.
42. The Dog Did It
My big goofy golden retriever was an absolute liability when she was younger and we went through a bad period where she kept unintentionally injuring me. One time I was walking her and stopped to look at the scenery. She must have seen something she wanted in the distance and suddenly tried to bolt towards it. Unfortunately, I had her leash draped casually around my ring finger and she broke it pretty badly.
I had to attend weekly hand therapy for five months and wasn’t able to work for ages because I was wearing a splint and needed my hands for my job. It finally healed. I gleefully said goodbye to my hand therapist and was excited to get back to normal. The next week I took my dog to my parents’ house for a visit. They had three labs, and for some reason, they started fighting.
My dog wanted to jump in so I struggled to hold her back while my parents’ dogs were separated. The result was that I re-broke my newly healed finger AND broke my index, on the same hand. I had to go back to hand therapy. This time it was way worse because almost my whole hand was out of action, so it was a struggle to even drive etc. Yet the worst was yet to come.
The very next day my alarm went off and my dog got super excited because she knew this meant I was going to get up soon. She did a running jump onto the bed to say hello, but overshot a bit and landed on my face. She, unfortunately, managed to break my nose. It was really hard to breathe out of it for months. I’m pretty sure people thought I was in a violent domestic relationship or something because “my dog did it” sounded so ridiculous.
43. One With The Ball
I had been bowling almost my entire life and was on my high school’s bowling team. I had just gotten a new bowling ball, and it was being drilled for my grip in the pro shop that was attached to the bowling alley. The guy that ran the shop came over and showed it to me. I was so excited that I wanted to try it right away.
However, because he hadn’t put the fingertip grips in yet, my fingers got caught in the ball when I tried to throw it and I went flying onto the lane. I was in pain, but I went home to sleep it off. The next morning, I had to text my dad to come upstairs to help me out of bed. We immediately went to my doctor’s office where we were informed that I had strained every muscle in my back.
44. Bunk Bed Bruising
When I was eight or nine years old, I woke up one morning while I was in the middle of falling out of my bunk bed. I landed on my back on the linoleum floor. I had the wind completely knocked out of me. I legitimately thought I was dying. I remember running to my parents’ room, and neither of them were there. My dad was laying on the couch and I just remember laying with him until I was able to breathe again.
I had bruised my back and walked with a limp for two weeks. It was terrifying.
45. Running With A Jelly Arm
I was sleeping at an awkward angle one afternoon and all my weight had fallen on my arm. As a result, my arm fell asleep too and got seriously numb. The phone started ringing and the sound somehow blended in my dream, causing me to dream about a fire alarm going off. I became panicked in my sleep and that panic continued when I realized that the ringing wasn’t just in my dream, it was happening for real.
So I popped up, sleepy and confused, and started running towards the source of the noise. My arm was so numb that it was beyond my control and was flailing randomly by my side, crashing onto nearby walls and furniture as I was running towards the sound. It was like running with a jelly-like arm. Anyway, I don’t know which of the crashes and bumps was the one that did the job, but I dislocated my pinky.
It was a good hit, and my finger stood at a really weird angle afterward. I had to go to the doctor to put it back in its place. It hurt like crazy too.
46. The Broken Brake Line Was Not A Fluke
I had gotten a new bicycle, but for some reason, the brakes weren’t working. I rode it anyway—with disastrous results. I couldn’t stop and crashed into a giant planter, breaking it and getting myself all scratched up. The reflective mirror on my handlebars also broke, exposing sharp edges. The next day I thought the brakes not working was just a fluke.
I decided to go on another bike ride. This time I was going much faster and couldn’t slow down enough to make a turn onto a bridge. I went flying into the riverbed and landed face-first on my broken reflective mirror. It sliced my face open right down to the muscle layer. I had to get three different layers of stitches, over 150 stitches, and had to get reconstructive plastic surgery. I don’t ride bikes anymore.
47. No Sprain, Much Pain
I was trying to get to my car to beat traffic. I was rushing down a flight of stairs at my high school when I started to stumble. I thought I’m either going to tumble or I can jump and maybe land. I jumped and landed, but my ankle gave out. I started going into shock. A circle formed around me and the weirdest part was that a kid that I did not know, leaned down and POKED my ankle.
My ROTC friend sprinted to the scene, told the kid not to touch me, then sprinted to the nurse. Shockingly, my ankle wasn’t even sprained.
48. Bee More Careful Next Time
When I was 11, I was playing soccer. My neighbor kicked the ball just right so that when it hit the planter box on the side of the house, it popped straight up 30 feet into the air. I tried to replicate this, unaware of the beehive inside the planter box. A swarm of bees engulfed me, stinging me over my entire body. If that sounds like a nightmare—just wait. One went right for my eye.
He used his little legs to force my eyelids to stay open and I got a very National Geographic-like memory of watching him curve his butt downwards, the stinger emerging from within, and him injecting my EYEBALL. That sting permanently damaged my eye. It is now thirty years later and I am still legally blind in that eye.
49. Totally Wired
During my adolescence, I had a 70cc Honda dirt bike without any lighting (such as headlights) of any kind. So naturally, I decided to take a midnight cruise by sneaking out of the house and rolling it from the garage to the end of the street before starting the engine. About five minutes into the ride, I traveled to a familiar stretch of backroad. I knew it was stupid—but I never imagined what was about to happen.
I figured I would go wide-open throttle to the end of the road. It turned out that a new resident of this private road had stretched a section of barbed wire fence across the road to keep out trespassers. I saw the moonlit reflection of a metal “No Trespassing” sign about half a second before I hit the barbed wire at 72 km/h (45 mph.)
What followed was me hitting the ground and being completely wrapped in wire, and being burned by the dirt bike exhaust as it had been wrapped up with me. To this day I don’t know how I’m alive, I could have been borderline decapitated by this wire or permanently disfigured. I was able to calmly untangle myself and the dirtbike from the wire and, of course, the Honda started right up.
I rode back to my house a few county roads away and took a look at myself in the light of the garage. I looked like a victim from a horror movie. I was cut up badly, blood slowly dripping on the concrete. My dad was a Paramedic/Firefighter so I went and woke him up. I don’t even remember what he said or how he took care of me. I guess he figured I had already learned my life lesson on all that.
50. A Taste Of My Own Medicine
One summer when I was 16, I was burning ants in our backyard with a magnifying glass and was getting bored. I decided to up my game. It was almost the last thing I ever did. I scooped up some ants and threw them in a plastic pail and added gasoline to light it up. It worked really well—too well. The flames became too high and I was afraid my parents would catch me.
To put out the fire, I thought kicking the pale on its side would extinguish it. It didn’t. It just spread on the ground and the heat from the fire melted the plastic pale when I kicked it. It splashed on the shed and onto my right leg and sure enough, I was on fire. I tried to stop, drop and roll but that didn’t do anything.
Luckily there was a water hose nearby and I was able to put out the flames that were cooking the side of my leg. I was in flip-flops and shorts at the time. It left me with a nasty second-degree burn. I am lucky enough to have hairy legs, so it doesn’t show too much. I remember removing strips of burned flesh from my leg in the shower a few days later. It was the nastiest thing ever.