Phew. That was a close one, right? There are moments in life where you just know you dodged a bullet and you get that simultaneous rush of fear and relief coursing through your veins. These Redditors shared their stories about times when they survived the most harrowing of close calls—and they’re utterly heart-stopping.
1. Slow Burn
I was born two months early, as my mom had to start chemotherapy. Right after I was born, I got an incredibly high fever. The medical staff couldn’t figure out why; they were completely stumped…until they made a gruesome discovery. After two days of trying to solve the puzzle, they noticed that one of the nurses had turned the incubator up too high. They were literally cooking me.
2. Gardening Angel
Years ago, I lived in Vancouver and liked to go for long walks (it was a beautiful city to do so). I was heading to a friend’s house first to drop something off and cut through a neighborhood with a lot of Southeast Asian immigrants (the ones I got to talk to were mostly from Vietnam). I was aware of a van behind me, but it was mid-day, and there were people out, so it was only a passing thought.
A lady was working in her garden, and as I approached her house, she started to look behind me. Then she came out onto the sidewalk and started talking to me in her native language. I understood none of it, but her body language was agitated. She kept gesturing for me to come with her up to her walkway. As I looked behind, I saw three men getting out of the van, which was now parked just behind me.
By this point, the woman had a good grip on my arm and dragged me almost to her porch. She kept talking to me and pointing to stuff in her garden, and I just listened, nodded, and kept a good eye on the men and van. I don’t remember how long we were there, but the men finally left. Both the woman and I let out huge sighs of relief. She then patted me on the arm, said something, and then went back to her gardening. I booted it to my friend’s house. I tried to forget about it—but the next day, I heard utterly chilling news.
The news ran a story on a woman who was kidnapped. The victim was grabbed on the next street over from the woman’s house, not long after my encounter with her, by five men in a van. The men were distinctive, and their descriptions and the van they used fit the ones I had seen. That woman saved me from something horrible, and I am forever thankful.
3. Call-In Carsick
I was supposed to go on a six-hour road trip with a friend and her family. She even promised me the front seat because she knew I get pretty car sick. But I decided not to go at the last minute—we had a bit of a falling out leading up to the trip and so they left without me. Little did I know that my decision to not go would spare my life. An hour outside of town, they rolled their minivan off the freeway trying to avoid some road debris.
The front passenger seat was completely obliterated by a huge boulder when they rolled. I would have been a goner. Sadly, her husband had to be cut out of the car and is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
4. The Chatty Bouncer
Back in the 90s, several of us went to a bar we knew had a dance floor. We’d been at a pub previously and were half intoxicated upon arrival. The bouncer checked most of our IDs as usual, but then tried to chat up my one friend. The whole time, he wouldn’t return her ID. She wasn’t interested and a line was building up.
He gave up and returned her ID. The rest of that evening was normal and we forgot about it. A few weeks later, we saw on the news that the bouncer had been taken in for murder. He’d memorized his victim’s address from her ID and again been totally obvious about being interested in her. He probably would’ve become a serial murderer if he hadn’t been dumb enough to get caught his first time around. It still freaked us all out—especially that one friend.
5. The Broken Belly Button
I once broke my belly button overeating at a company lunch. I went from an innie to an outie. Basically, I had a hernia. I put off going to the doctor for a few weeks before going to see a specialist. The hernia doctor agreed that it’s a hernia. He said that he could schedule me for whenever, but if I wanted to wait a bit, there shouldn’t be any problems, there was no hurry.
I decided to get it out of the way because they had a cancelation. So, I scheduled it for a week later. I wake up from surgery and the doctor says there was a complication. They didn’t get the hernia because when they were going in, they made a disturbing discovery. They noticed my appendix was about to explode, so they took that out instead. I asked about when they could fix the hernia, and he said the appendix looked funny and was going to send it to the lab and get back to me.
The lab was really backed up, so several weeks later, I got a call from the doctor. I really thought it was over—but I was so wrong. It was a really rare appendix cancer, something that happens to around 1,000 Americans a year. Not only that, but of the two kinds of appendix cancer based on lab work, I had the worst of the two, the kind that spreads everywhere really fast and cuts your lifespan down considerably even with treatment.
The first kind grows slow and stays put, but every once in a while, it will go into overdrive, differentiates, pokes out of the abdominal wall, and spews cancer slime everywhere that turns whatever it touches into more cancer. They cut it off, for it turning from the good kind into the bad kind is just a one-centimeter tumor, mine about one and a half centimeters.
Under the microscope, it had differentiated and they saw the cells that spew cancer slime had formed. There’s really only one treatment referred to as the mother of all surgeries which is its own ball of tactical nukes. I stew over that for a few weeks until they can get more tests scheduled. I go in for a barrage of scans, pokings, and proddings, and the scans are all clean.
There were no signs of the cancer spreading, for the most part. That was when I learned just how lucky I was. It had just turned from the slow-growing kind that stays put, into the fast-moving kind when they caught it. The tumor hadn’t had a chance to spew cancer slime outside the wall holding my appendix. If I had waited just a week for the hernia surgery, literally every day that I waited would have exponentially increased the odds of it spreading the mucin.
They think they got it all when they took the appendix out. There are a few things they want to keep an eye on that they’re reasonably sure is just scaring from the surgery, but they gave me an 80% chance of being cancer-free. I have more scans in December to make sure.
6. A Bumpy Ride
When I was in college, I used to work in an amusement park. I would come home from classes on a Friday afternoon and usually pick up shifts for the weekend. During the month that the park was only open on weekends, I was a manager at my “attraction.” One particular Friday, I got home and was too exhausted to do a Friday night shift, so I called in and decided to just work on Saturday and Sunday.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, my phone was ringing off the hook. My good friend who I worked with was calling, and what he told me was bone-chilling. He said that our attraction had caught fire and that there were casualties. A couple of my friends and coworkers were missing. Seven people lost their lives that day. My coworker went back in and pulled people out to safety. Thankfully, he was okay.
I was in shock for a few days. If I’d done what I usually did, I would have been there, in charge. However, I also know I would have gone in to help, no matter how exhausted I might have been.
7. A Real Blue Falcon Of A Teammate
I matched with a guy on Tinder who played for the Atlanta Falcons. He was really charming and he seemed nice. He asked me to fly down to Atlantic City for Memorial Day weekend, saying that he would pay for everything (airfare, hotel, food, etc.), but I had never met him before. He also refused to give me his phone number.
I was uncomfortable flying to meet a stranger, so I told him no. Two weeks later, he was on the news and my jaw dropped. He was taken in by the authorities for kicking (and ultimately, taking the life of) his girlfriend’s dog.
8. Not-So-Anonymous Tipster
I was driving home on the highway at 3 am. As I approached a bend in the road, I saw oncoming headlights. It was a divided four-lane highway, I was basically the only car on the road. The oncoming car whooshed by me, driving on the wrong side of the road, in the left lane. I pulled over and called 9-1-1. The next day, I turned on the news and my jaw dropped.
They had detained a 49-year-old woman who had a blood-alcohol level three times the limit and was driving the wrong way on the highway. They only got to her because they received an anonymous tip. It scared the heck out of me. If I was in the left lane I would have been roadkill.
9. Red Flag, Red Bumper
This happened before cell phones existed. I had a long commute home and, on a rare occasion, my husband drove into the city to meet me. I started for home about 15 minutes before he did. On the stretch of Highway 101 that I needed to be on for a pretty long stretch, there was a big rig in front of me that seemed to be driving erratically.
I got this weird feeling and just moved over to the next lane and accelerated past him. When I looked back, I saw something so disturbing, it’s unforgettable. In the rearview mirror, I could see the big rig run over the car in front of him and flip to its side, crushing the cars in the next lane where I had just been. My husband was behind the accident and as the officers were letting cars pass in single file, he saw one of the crushed cars had a red bumper.
He got home a couple of hours after me and said he’d never been so happy to see my red car in the driveway. He’d been holding his breath as he turned down our street because he really expected me to be under the big rig.
10. Forget And Forgive
I was searching my pockets for the keys to the front door of the building I was living in at the time. A friend of mine, who had given me a ride home, shouted at me from the car because I had forgotten something inside his car. The moment I got to the car, the most unexpected thing happened—part of the stone facade of the building fell exactly where I had been a few seconds prior.
11. Always Listen To Your Instincts
This is why I’ll never live in a condo again. We bought one a few years ago, and for some reason, I started feeling really claustrophobic—to the point where after only a few months, I begged my husband to sell the place and either buy or rent a house. He humored me because I was so uncomfortable and adamant. Less than a year later, the whole building burned to the ground.
It was something like a 12-alarm fire. The thing is, the building was an old, historic schoolhouse. We lived on the fourth floor, which was once the school’s attic. There were no windows, just skylights set into the slanted roof. There was also no fire exit since the building had been grandfathered in when safety codes were implemented—just one door in and out of the place.
The fire had started in my neighbor’s apartment (we shared a wall), who was a smoker. I was pregnant and newly laid off at the time, so I likely would have been home and thus trapped. Watching it on TV was so weird; seeing the flames coming up out of the skylight of my old bedroom was a little heartbreaking.
No human lives were lost because the other residents were at work, but I do think people lost some pets (so awful). Everyone was left homeless, and I think they had to completely raze the building. After that, I can’t share a wall with someone else. As to why I made us leave, the only thing I can think of is that I subconsciously registered the lack of fire exits and windows, and it set off a red flag…or eight. The result was an intense feeling of claustrophobia.
12. Swindled By The Sweetheart
I married my high school sweetheart when I was 23 and she was 21. We had been together for roughly five years at that time and were madly in love. We were married in April and she announced in mid to late May that she was pregnant. She had taken a test with her friend after feeling sick. I was so happy and excited that I didn’t take the time to ask to see the test…she had just thrown it away!
Fast forward a bit, and she wouldn’t let me attend doctor’s visits and I gave her the benefit of the doubt for privacy and such—but then, I started to suspect something was off. She wasn’t getting bigger at even the six-month mark. I was suspicious and confronted her about it and she went off on me with the standard barrage of, “How could you?!” and, “Don’t you trust me?!” As a rebuttal, she pointed out some weight gain.
I was skeptical but loving and supportive of my wife. She had a rough life growing up and I felt as if I needed to be more patient and understanding. I reminded her that I will help her find help if she’s not really pregnant; that I would love and support her and we would work through it. She said it wasn’t necessary. My wife started gaining more weight, especially in the belly, so I kept moving forward as if she was pregnant.
We had a name picked out, a full wardrobe of the first three clothing sizes, a fully decked-out bedroom, etc. My family was suspicious but still supportive. Around month eight, it was painfully obvious she was not pregnant. I had already found her ultrasounds on Google, the weight gain stopped because she had a pancreas issue that she couldn’t even eat enough to gain much weight so she had to be making herself sick to gain, and our relationship was deteriorating fast.
I was remarkably patient. The due date came and went and I asked what the doctor was saying. She would reply, “Oh, it’s ok, the baby can sometimes be up to two weeks past due!” I had my date. I gave it two weeks and then laid down the cold hard truth. I told her: “Go to the hospital with me to see what’s up with the baby/pregnancy or I’m gone right now.”
She went. I was not allowed to go back with her as she requested the doctors not share with me. The wife had told the doctors that she was there for an issue related to her pancreas issues. She never mentioned the possible pregnancy. I was permitted to “visit” her in her room and I looked her in the eye and told her it was over. That sucked. But, I avoided being gaslit and manipulated for the rest of my life.
13. The Difference Between Tragedy And Comedy Is Timing
I had some chest pains one night and woke up my wife to tell her. She got a little scared that it might be a heart attack and we agreed that I should go to the ER. The nurses were pretty sure it was a false alarm, but would run an EKG as is common practice. In my head, I was hoping that the chest pain would come back, not to prove a heart attack, but so that we can find out what the chest pain was.
The EKG was done by one veteran nurse and a new nurse. I was watching over their shoulders—and I didn’t like what I saw. Something was flashing on the screen that made both nurses look at each other with disbelief. They ran it again and one nurse went out to the station for help. The other stayed with me and very nicely told my wife and daughter to go back out to the waiting room.
A few seconds later five or six more people came into the room slowly and calmly and began preparing me for something. It turns out that I was having my second heart attack that night in the ER. The doctors and nurses found an obstruction in my heart and were preparing me to have it cleared and a stent placed. When I got out of surgery, the doctor who placed the stent told me, “You probably picked the best time and place to have a heart attack, right here in the ER.”
14. Timing Is Everything
When I was 16, I used a fake ID to go out clubbing. The drinking age in Ireland is 18, so I passed for it and did it all the time. One night, I felt sick and decided to go home. I knew there was a taxi stand in a small alley somewhere and I was looking for it when an older guy who was probably in his 20s offered to show me.
I said yes, but I quickly made a disturbing realization. The alley he brought me down was not where the taxi stand was. I tried to go back, but he pushed me against a wall and told me I wasn’t going anywhere. I just remember not being able to scream; like I was frozen. It felt like forever, but it was probably only a few seconds or a minute.
That timing was the difference between life and a quick and disturbing end. As I was stuck there, some guys I went to school with just happened to walk by the alley and saw me. One of them yelled out my name and when he realized the guy had his arm across my throat, he went mental. The guy jumped the wall at the end of the alley and I just burst into tears.
My schoolmate took me home and made sure I was OK. I’m in my mid-30s now, with three daughters, and I still shudder when I think of this.
15. Dodging A Dodge
I picked up my brother from the airport and had just dropped him off. It was around 5 or 6 am— I was waiting at an intersection for the left-turn light to turn green. The streets were empty. When the go-signal went on, I slowly started to turn. As I looked to my left, my face went white. there was a blue Dodge Dakota barreling right toward me. Clearly, it had run the red light.
I was a deer in the headlights. It was as if time stood still. The guy barreled into my driver’s side quarter panel and my car did a total 360. The airbag deployed and it took me a moment to realize that I didn’t even have a scratch. I got out of the car and saw the blue Dakota about 40 yards away at a complete stop. I assume the driver stopped in shock.
As soon as they saw me, they began to drive away. I sprinted behind them, but they still got away. I have never been angrier or had more adrenaline pumping through me. I assume they were under the influence. All I know is that if I had taken that light a little quicker, that car would’ve barreled right into my driver’s side door and I would have not been here, considering the speed of impact. Pretty cool.
16. Never Skip Meals
My husband, my sister, and I were hanging out around my parents’ house on a very boring Fourth of July. We decided to wash my husband’s new car sitting in the driveway because it was hot out and because it was an excuse to play in the hose. We were literally walking out the front door, and I said, “Eh, we should eat lunch before we get all wet and stuff,” and everyone agreed, so we turned around and went back inside.
I was warming up something in the microwave (a hot pocket, I think), when all of a sudden, I hear the loudest BANG I think I’ve ever heard, from the direction of the front door. My husband and I look at each other wide-eyed and run outside. I was greeted by the back-end of a Crown Vic, with plumes of smoke coming out of it, plowed into the tree in the middle of our yard. I was just stunned for a split-second, then I screamed to my sister inside to call for help.
Then I looked over to the driveway, at the car we had been planning to wash just five minutes ago. My stomach dropped. It was totaled. Completely totaled. A brand new 2011 G6, destroyed. The guy hit it so hard it did a complete 90-degree turn across the driveway. He actually hit it so hard that it ended up ricocheting and hitting the other cars in the driveway, mauling two of them in the process. It messed up the yard, it messed up the Crown Vic, and it messed up the tree.
We immediately assumed it was intoxicated driving, being the Fourth of July and all. I went over to the driver’s side and found a very old man; he was bewildered and unable to comprehend what I was saying, but he was conscious. I will never forget the look he gave me—confused, helpless, and scared. I was on the line with the paramedics as they sent over the ambulances and tried my best to follow their instructions (my sister was only 14 at the time, so I handled the call).
It turned out the dude had diabetes and had passed out behind the wheel due to low blood sugar, hit the gas pedal with his weight, and then plowed down our residential street at about 65 MPH. He jumped the curb, drove down the sidewalk past another house, then slammed into my husband’s car, and subsequently, the tree.
If we had been anywhere near that driveway, I have no doubt one or all of us would have been seriously injured or a goner. It was sheer dumb luck and timing that saved us.
17. Swimming With The Fishes
When I was 16, I had a good friend whose father was a wealthy businessman of some kind. This is in Chicago, and I guess his dad started screwing around with the wrong guy’s woman. My friend told me it had something to do with the wife of a scary guy. I never knew for sure, but do know that I saw firsthand his dad get threatened, at a tennis court of all places, by two well-dressed clearly-Italian men who drove up in a black Cadillac.
I was sitting right there with his friend as they talked to him, and it was exactly as I imagined it would be in the movies. My friend said there was a contract on his dad. He actually said it like it was cool, and at the time, I guess I thought it was too. I was invited to go with them on a fishing trip in Lake Michigan that week. It was supposed to be my friend, his dad, his dad’s friend, and I.
Two days before the fishing trip, something happened with a member of my family and we had to go to Cincinnati for a few days. When I returned, I got absolutely devastating news. I learned my friend’s body was found floating in Lake Michigan. He was wearing a life vest. His father, his father’s friend, and the boat were never found. Officers questioned me about what I knew and who I’d seen talking to his dad.
I think I was lucky that I said I couldn’t describe what they looked like and didn’t get wildly specific. Either way, the coolest kid I knew, Chris, was gone. And they never found his dad, the dad’s friend, or the boat. It was a nice boat on a calm day on Lake Michigan. And something bad happened. I always felt I dodged getting caught up in something I wouldn’t have escaped from.
18. Stranger Danger
When I was a kid, I lived outside of Buffalo, NY and I took a bus to get to school. There were a lot of young kids in my area, so we were all picked up and dropped off about a block down our street, at a busy corner. There was an ice cream shop there, so on nicer days, we often lagged around after the bus dropped us off.
They had put in some round, cement patio tables, so my friend Leann and I would play a game where we’d walk around the circular benches on one table, hop to the next, and so on. We’d then look into the sweet shop windows to watch them make some candy.
I moved out of there when I was nine and I only rode that bus until the first grade, so I was probably somewhere between five and eight at the time. One day, when we were lagging behind and whatnot, after my older brother had already started walking home, a car pulled up to me with two women inside. It was some kind of big boxy sedan, a dark maroon color. I immediately got chills up my spine.
The driver was older; what I would have considered “granny” age then. She was thin with gray hair. In the passenger seat was a heavyset woman with frizzy dark hair and thick-rimmed glasses. She kept trying to get us to sit in the car with them, promising to buy us ice cream and candy from the sweet shop. My friend was pretty much ready to get in, but I’d already seen quite a few episodes of Unsolved Mysteries and was not about to go.
I grabbed my friend and dragged her with me, running down the block towards home. We never told anyone, because Leann didn’t want me to get her in trouble and say that she was going to go with them. I had actually forgotten about it for years until something triggered my memory. It’s been eating at me to think that we didn’t say something.
It seems obvious to my adult mind that these women were looking to take some children and Lord knows where they went after they weren’t able to snag us. I’ve thought about trying to look up missing children from that time, but a part of me is scared that I will find one. It will be my fault for never reporting it.
My high school sweetheart and fiance was my close call. He ghosted me out of nowhere, no explanation—just gone. So needless to say, no wedding. I sent the ring back to his mom because I didn’t want it, and I was angry. I went on to live a great life; I found a wonderful guy, and we have been happily married for 21 years.
Twenty-five years later, I found out that officers took my old flame into custody for underage solicitation, inappropriately texting underage girls, possession of illicit graphics featuring children, and many charges for having physical relations with minors. Apparently, officers apprehended Mr. Big-Man-In-His-Community in a sting operation after this 12-year-old girl’s parents found a whole series of explicit texts and had found that he set up a “romantic” hotel room get-together for them.
The officers pretended to be her, and they caught him in the parking lot of the hotel. Even better, he was married to the same chick he apparently saw while we were together, and they had a couple of kids—all around the same age as his victims. Yeah, before finding all this out, I regretted that we didn’t work for a long time. After finding out this had been going on for at least 20 years…I was rather glad I got ghosted! I’ve never been so glad to dodge something.
20. Stopped For Speeding
Back in 2004, when I was only 20 years old, I was on a road trip with my friend and her dog from California to Washington. I was on the I-5 north at around one in the morning, using my cruise control to keep my speed right at the speed limit. I’d gotten speeding tickets in that part of Northern California before. I was familiar with this drive because my boyfriend was in LA and I lived in Seattle, so I made that trip a few times a year for a few years.
All that is to say, I had learned my lesson and used cruise control to keep myself from speeding. Never going more than five over the posted speed limit. So, it’s pitch black in the early morning. My friend has her seat reclined all the way, taking a nap on the passenger side, her dog on her chest. I see what I assume to be lights from a cruiser come up behind me.
The car slowly pulls alongside me, and matches my speed exactly. I kept my eyes straight ahead…but I had a terrible feeling. I knew this person was staring at me. I wasn’t panicking though, not like I had in the past when I’d encountered an officer on I-5, because I knew I wasn’t really speeding. I kept glancing at the speedometer to assure myself I was good. I may have even slowed down a notch or two, just to be certain.
After what felt like an eternity of this cruiser just keeping pace with me, he finally slows down, swerves in behind me, and puts his lights on. As I’m slowing down and pulling off to the shoulder, I nudge my friend awake and tell her I’m getting pulled over. She asks if I was speeding since she knew my history. I assured her I was not and had been using cruise control.
I was really starting to shake by this point. Officers make most people nervous—but something just didn’t feel right about this stop. I knew there was no reason for him to pull me over. It was pitch black, in the middle of nowhere. I hadn’t seen a gas station or rest area for miles. The guy strolls up to the passenger side of my car as my friend is using the lever to get her seat upright again.
When he finally gets to the passenger side window, he looks visibly surprised that I have a passenger. He begins to fumble over his words, claiming that I was going 15 over the speed limit. He was so flustered he forgot to ask for my license. I actually asked him if he needed it. He trots back to his car and my friend and I look at each other like, what in the world?
Her dog, by the way, was going absolutely crazy during this entire interaction. I never saw that dog act like that before or after this happened. Now remember: I’d gotten a few tickets on that same stretch of road, within that same year or two. I was very familiar with this process and knew how long it should take and what to expect. In my previous experience, most officers go back to their cruisers for a good six to eight minutes.
This guy came back after about two minutes. He kind of tossed my license and registration into my friend’s lap, like he was annoyed, and yelled at me to slow down and told me he’d just give me a verbal warning for now. I thanked him, despite how creepy it was, and while I was putting my license back in my wallet and registration back in my glove compartment, he fired up his cruiser and floored it back onto the highway.
This is also not normal. Any time I’d been pulled over, they would always tell me to pull out ahead of them, so they could make sure I merged carefully back onto the freeway. My friend and I were freaked. She was more freaked out than me. I think I was trying to explain it away, give him the benefit of the doubt, at first. But the longer I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I became.
I couldn’t shake that nasty feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Fast forward many years later—and I learned the terrifying truth. There was this officer that had just been incarcerated. He’d been patrolling the I-5 N in Northern California during that same time period I’d been on road trips, stopping unsuspecting young single female motorists, and taking advantage of them in his cruiser.
His M.O. was to pull up alongside their cars, scan them to make sure they were single females, and pull them over in desolate areas at early morning hours. He ended up murdering one of these girls when she put up too much of a fight. I can’t remember his name and I don’t know what he looked like since it was too dark to see his face well. But, my blood turned cold when I heard that. I definitely dodged a huge nuclear life-changing, possibly life-ending, event thanks to my tired friend and her protective little dog.
21. Cut The Cord
One night, I was startled awake. There was a man beside my bed doing something. The noises he was making were unnatural enough—not loud, just…out of place. As soon as he noticed I was awake, he jumped on me and told me to shut up. He started strangling me, hard. All my confusion melted away at that moment and I realized I was going to die unless I got him off of me.
I started squirming violently and he lost his grip. I fought him off, screamed as loud as I could, and he fled. My parents then called 9-1-1 and law enforcement came to our house to gather evidence. They took pictures of the handprints left on my throat. Hours later, I went into my room to retrieve something, and to my dismay, I found that the extension cord to my stereo had been cut.
I started running over in my mind what could have happened that led to the cord being severed. That’s when I made a bloodcurdling realization. When the other end cleared into my view, I saw it had been neatly formed into a noose. The noises that he had been making were the soft sounds of him cutting my extension cord and forming a noose.
It was more than big enough to fit my head through. To this day, I cannot sleep soundly at night and I take a sleeping medication just to stay asleep. I obsessively check all the locks before bed. Any tiny sound will wake me up even though I take Ambien. It was only because I woke up when I did that I am alive today. If he hadn’t stopped to make the noose, he probably would have taken my life that night.
This happened about 20 years ago. Every day I have is a gift, but I live with a lot of fear in my life.
22. Pay Attention
I think I saved a baby’s life once. It was in a city center, crossing a major road with a whole bunch of other people. The dad was pulling the pram behind him onto the pavement while he texted on his phone, and the dumb guy didn’t realize he’d left the pram just…there on the road, while he was safe on the pavement.
Everyone kinda ignored it while the traffic lights kept that section of road clear. But then the lights changed, and the freaking moron still hadn’t looked up from his phone. I looked down the road, and my blood ran cold. A huge double-decker bus was bearing down on his offspring. Out of the whole crowd, I was the only one to push forward and pull the pram onto the pavement.
The complete imbecile gave a grunt of surprise and dropped his phone as the bus whooshed past, and he realized he’d utterly failed in his parenting responsibilities, which was some consolation. I hope his phone shattered.
23. Young Love Conquers All
This one is a doozy—it changed the entire course of my life. I was in high school when my mom passed on suddenly from brain cancer, which we didn’t even know she had. She and my dad had been split up for a few years and he lived about an hour away with his new girlfriend. By all accounts, I should have gone to live with them, and he assumed I would. I refused.
It sounds almost dumb now, but I had just started dating my high school crush and I REFUSED to move away from him. In my 17-year-old mind, I just loved him too much and I was already dealing with the loss of my mom, so I didn’t want to give up my wonderful boyfriend too. After much debate and convincing my sister and her husband to move into my mom’s house to stay with me until I was 18 (they got free rent out of it, so it was a good deal for them too) my dad agreed to let me stay.
Fast forward nine or ten months—I turned on the news as I was getting ready for school and what I saw was absolutely terrifying. It was my dad’s house. His girlfriend’s ex-husband had been stalking them for months, keeping journals of what they did, and he had waited in their front yard that morning.
He had a whole arsenal, as well as duct tape, electric cattle prods, and some rope in the trunk of his rental car. He ambushed my dad as he walked out the back door to go to work, shot him, then came inside the house to grab his ex-girlfriend as she was running out the front door. He ended up taking a shot at her too, then he shot himself. There were no survivors.
If I had been there that morning, I seriously believe I would not be here today. If I had not made such a huge stink about not leaving my high school boyfriend, I would have lived there with them. That boyfriend is now my husband, and we just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last weekend. I consider him my lifesaver.
24. Red Flags All Around
I interviewed at a company in New Hampshire that made jams, baking mixes, lollipops, and more for a technical job. The president, the owner’s daughter, spent most of the interview dumping on their current consultant and making fun of, of all things, his degrees. That initially turned me off. Then, speaking with the owner, he makes it a point to take a call and tell the person on the other end, “I’ll pay you when I pay you!” Did they have cash flow issues?
His question about my education was, “What can your fancy degrees do for me?” Then, it got even worse. When I met the VP of Marketing, she asked me how many recalls I’ve done. “Uh, none, that’s not what I do.” “Wait, what interview is this?” I declined their offer. Fast forward maybe five years, I’m talking to a guy about doing some consulting work for him, and we get into the subject of this company.
He had interviewed there as well. He also got the vibe and declined. Then he revealed what he later found out about this total joke of a company. As it turns out, they were planning on selling the company and were beefing it up for appearances. It also turns out, after the sale, that they had spent the previous months sending current clients to their next endeavor.
They almost got in serious trouble for their financial and business shenanigans. I would not have been happy to get caught in that mess.
25. Just A Little Sore
I was 24 years old and had a pesky sore on my tongue that was really bothering me. My boyfriend’s dad was a dentist, so when I was over at his house one night, I asked him to take a look. He recommended I go see an oral surgeon the next day for him to check it out. The next day, I decided I was feeling better. So, I tried to cancel my appointment.
But, my boyfriend’s dad insisted I go—thank heavens he did. I went, and the oral surgeon pretty much diagnosed it as cancer on the spot. It was aggressive and by the time of my surgery to remove it, it had already spread to multiple lymph nodes. They ended up removing over half my tongue followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
Given how aggressive it was, I often think that if I had put off the doctor’s visit any longer I probably wouldn’t have survived. I’m coming up on my 10 year anniversary in January.
26. Ride The Lightning
This happened when I was working on a survey crew. To set the scene: It was a cloudy overcast day. No thunder. No lightning. No rain. Just overcast. We were surveying an undeveloped part of a subdivision. There were new construction houses nearby and the area we were in had no houses. It was graded, but there was no grass or any roads yet. Just dirt.
My cousin was “holding the rod,” as we tend to say in the surveying game. I was using the scope. He was about 40 or 50 feet in front of a large dirt pile. I’d say the dirt pile was a little under two stories high, and I was about 100 yards away from him. As I was looking through the scope, I suddenly felt very “odd.”
It’s very hard to explain. All of my body hair, especially the hair of my arms and the back of my neck, started standing up on end. This lasted for maybe four or five seconds. It was long enough for me to be like, “What in the world?” As I backed away from the scope, I was looking at my cousin and suddenly, there was a “CRACK!”
A bolt of lightning hit the dirt pile behind him and it literally bounced him off the ground. He was closer to the lightning strike than I was, but I still consider 150 or so yards to be a close call myself. He immediately got on the walkie and said, “Pack it up, we’re going home!” With surveying, you have to tie back your progress into the beginning when you’re done, or else most of your data won’t be any good. That said, we lost that full day’s worth of work.
The funny part about the whole thing was that there were a couple of roofers working on a house nearby and we could hear them say, “Holy smokes! Did you see that? That almost hit that guy!” The other guy added, “I bet he just about filled his pants!” We were able to laugh about it later that day, but the car ride back to the office was filled with silence.
He didn’t talk until he opened a can and chugged half of it. He went back a couple of days later to check out the dirt pile and said there was a large scorch mark on the top.
27. So, How Do You Like Them Apples?
My ex-husband! He told me he wanted a divorce, but I didn’t. He agreed to work on our relationship and give it a few months. We set a date and went to work, and he acted like things were changing, and he wasn’t going to leave. He started encouraging me to take out debt and spend money out of our savings, etc. It turned out that he was lying to me and had every intention of leaving on the date we set and “crushing” me emotionally so I’d hate him forever. He’d encouraged me to incur debt because it was all in my name, and he’d get half the savings.
I only found out his little scheme because he gave me his Apple Watch (that we’d just purchased) while he was working on something, and I read his messages because I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. For those of you who don’t know, if you delete a message on your phone, it doesn’t automatically delete it from your Apple Watch.
I found a few hundred messages to his best friend and mom talking about how much better he could do than me; he had feelings for a coworker and knew she wanted him too (spoiler alert: she didn’t, she’s just a nice lady). I also read that he hated me, and I was the worst decision he’d ever made; he never really had feelings for me anyway, etc.
It was a bunch of savage, cruel stuff. Finding it rocked me to my core. I’d never imagined anyone could hate me like that, let alone someone I was married to! This happened like two weeks after he’d initially sat me down to talk. We were in public, and I cried after finding the messages. I went up to him, held up his watch, and quietly told him I knew his plans and to find a different ride home. His smile dropped, and the color drained from his face so quick.
I went straight home, and by the time he arrived, I’d packed him a bag of essentials, left it on the doorstep, and called both his mom and best friend to let them know he’d be needing a place to stay. He was crying, and we hashed it out on the steps, which wasn’t my proudest moment. I won’t lie though, to see him cry after what he had said about me was so satisfying.
The next day, I had the locks changed. By the end of the day after that, I had all his stuff packed and waiting neatly in the living room for him to pick up. By the end of that month, I had filed for divorce, and then we were officially and legally done forever.
He’s a freaking loser, and I absolutely dodged a terrible future. It’s been a long road to rebuilding my trust in people, though. I’m definitely better off having gone through the whole situation and looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened, but it absolutely sucked to go through.
28. Tables Have Turned
My manager was trying to have me fired for underperformance, and I was so depressed at the time that I believed I was an awful employee. The place I worked had a whole song and dance routine just to get someone a verbal warning, let alone fired, so she tried to get me to take a severance payment so that I’d leave and save her the trouble.
I had to take sick leave shortly after that conversation, and while I was gone, she initiated the formal process to have me fired. I was able to drag things out for a couple of months, and during that time, I discovered she’d falsified documents to make me look like a lost cause. Well, I got my revenge. I presented a dossier to HR demonstrating how her statements were probably misleading, and documenting every time she failed to follow proper procedures, which turned everything around.
I got moved to a better job on a better team, and spent a solid year rubbing it in her face how well I was doing, and ensuring it got back to her whenever I got praise from the department head. It was pretty annoying that she didn’t get fired, but there would have been too much blowback on management if she had. Still, I went from the verge of unemployment to unequivocal success.
29. Stuck In The Middle With You
When I was 17 years old, I finally got my driver’s license. My mother, ever the cautious one, wouldn’t let me get it prior to that because I was “irresponsible.” She was probably right. Unbeknownst to her, I had made a copy of her car key one night at a local Wal-Mart. She was out of town at the time; probably down at the lakes.
My then-girlfriend and I decided to take her car to that same Wal-Mart that night to shop for school supplies. I was driving back along the interstate after purchasing droves of notebooks, pens, and folders. I was in the middle lane, going 75 in a 50 through town.
It was stupid, but I just told myself everyone does it. My old “behind the wheel” instructor told me once that it’s safer to go with the flow of traffic than it is to go against it. That’s exactly what I was doing when I noticed something absolutely terrifying—a one-ton truck coming into my lane. I didn’t have time to think, so I laid on the horn of my mom’s little Pontiac Sunfire and felt helpless as this much larger truck pressed against my car.
It was forcing me to fishtail into the lane to my left…where another truck was waiting to sandwich me. The rest was a blur, but I’ll relate as much as I can recall. I was slammed into the other truck and got crushed against it while going 70 or 75 mph. The truck that caused the accident got clear of the tangle and I ripped the wheel to the right, lest I force the second truck into the concrete dividers along the interstate.
The other driver had the same idea and he ripped his wheel to the right as well. During all of this, my girlfriend was screaming and my head was absolutely on fire from the good whack that I took to the noggin against my window during the initial impact. The driver of the truck hit my rear quarter panel in an attempt to steer himself away from the dividers, and my car spun out.
It was the late afternoon—rush hour, even—in my modest metro. I went into a series of three terrifying 360-degree spins and somehow came to a rest along the side of the interstate. Both of the trucks continued driving, and at this point, I couldn’t even see them ahead of me. Moments after coming to a stop, a huge knot of cars went racing by us.
They would have hit me during my spins if they had taken even a few seconds longer to get out. I probably should have lost my life there on that desolate patch of the interstate. Instead, I walked away from it virtually unscathed. I had to call law enforcement, who apprehended the man at fault a few miles down the interstate.
The second truck driver had also called 9-1-1, and we all met at a gas station a few exits up from the accident scene to give statements and exchange information. The kicker? The at-fault drive claimed I had hit him. Thankfully, the second driver stated that he’d seen the whole thing and told the man he was an idiot.
The best part was when I looked over at the at-fault driver’s truck. There was a wide-eyed toddler just sitting in the back seat. Truly classy.
30. Shots Fired
I took my wife to an indoor shooting range. I had been at this range many times and safety was always their top priority. They would make you sit through a safety video, take a quiz, and get a temporary certification before they allowed you onto the range. The place got really busy and their safety policy became less stringent as time went on.
One day, I noticed that the lane next to us had three people in it, which was already against the rules. They were two big guys and one tiny woman, probably in her 20s. They were handing her various pieces and laughing when she couldn’t handle the recoil—another big no-no there. This girl was literally muzzle-sweeping everyone, and at one point, I just had a really, really bad feeling.
I told my wife to pack it up because we were leaving. As soon as we started walking away, BANG—that girl had fired a round right where my wife had been standing just a few seconds prior. I told the range officers that they needed to get in there and do something about those idiots. I have only been to a range a few times since that happened, and now I don’t even go at all. Too many idiots.
31. There’s Something Fishy About Those Ducts…
My dad and a few friends went on a big fishing trip in Michigan. Ever since I was really young, I’d been fishing with my dad. I went fishing anytime he did—except for this one trip. This was because I was too young, the water on the Great Lakes can get a bit treacherous, and the weather was always bitter cold when they went (but still a great time to catch big walleye).
Long story short, this year was the year I was old enough to go. I was sooo excited I could barely contain myself. But about three days before we were to leave, my dad decided at the last minute that maybe I wasn’t old enough after all (I was about 15). So, I didn’t go. They usually stayed in these run-down cabins because they are “manly men” and don’t need a nice place to stay or anything.
When my dad walked into the cabin, he noticed the heating ducts were on backward (essentially causing heat and such to leak out into the room). That night as they slept, carbon monoxide filled the room. Luckily, my dad is diabetic. And by that, I mean he has to wake up to pee roughly five-plus times per night. When he woke up, he was extremely dizzy and had a pounding headache, so he started yelling for his buddies to wake up.
Everyone went outside, and luckily no one lost their lives (because they were all pretty big guys). They bought a carbon monoxide detector and put it in the house, and even after a couple of hours of airing out the place, the ratio was still off the charts. I am a tall, lanky kid, and especially being only 15, there was no doubt I would’ve passed in my sleep. Good call, dad.
32. Hyuk, Hyuk
My girlfriend and I were going to see Cats, the movie. Our Uber pulled up, and straightaway, we noticed something about the driver. To this day, we can’t articulate what it was, other than to say he just felt “off.” We got into the car, already hesitant and a touch anxious. He looked at us in the rearview mirror and made a comment like, “Two lovely ladies in my car tonight,” or something weird.
A few minutes in, he made another semi-carnal innuendo about “riding” with him. My friend noticed the handle of a knife just poking out the side of his jacket. She said, “Hey, can we stop at 7-Eleven? We need to grab a Gatorade real quick.” So we went in and refused to come back out. We considered whether to call for help not (it was so creepy, but what would we say? “Ah, some dude was creepy to us?”).
While we were hesitating, the driver wound down his window, brandished this freaking hunting blade at both of us, screamed something about devil-women, and then just tore it out of the parking lot. To this day, my girlfriend and I are so thankful that we got out of that Uber. Otherwise, we would have made it to the movie in time, and we would have seen Cats.
33. So Sad
My first husband and I were separated. He showed up at my apartment building unannounced, and someone let him in because they recognized him from when he lived there. He wanted to come upstairs, but I met him in the lobby instead, where there were cameras and other people. He had never been violent towards me, but it didn’t feel right to allow him into my space.
He asked me to go for a drive with him, and I refused. I offered to help him get help (he had mental health issues that he refused to treat). He declined and drove away. I didn’t know it yet, but I’d had a disturbing close call. He was missing for a few days but turned up several states away visiting a friend. A few days after that, he took his own life.
Later, we found out that he’d headed straight out of town when I refused to get in the car with him. To this day, I am thankful that I never got in that car. He’d never even talked about hurting himself, and I had no idea he was armed. Who knows what would have happened.
34. The Physics Fling
Back when I was a physics major, I was in quite a romance with a fellow physics major starting when I was a teenager. He was always talking about marriage and the like. I was rather infatuated, so I didn’t mind the marriage talk, but was definitely a bit unenthusiastic when he kept talking about how we’d be having our first kids by the time we were in grad school and stuff when I was about 20 years old.
Oh, and I was dealing with harassment from a professor at the time, and when I told him he said, “That sucks, but it’s going to happen to women in physics.” Anyway, when we broke up, it was because he chose another girl who was an artist. I actually got to hear his reasons why. It turns out he really liked that, “She doesn’t know what I’m talking about when I get back at the end of the day,” and had the chutzpah to add in, “And she’s even a good cook!”
20-year-old me was really devastated because I really liked this guy, and shouldn’t have hung back. Now that I’m in my 30s and a professional astronomer, while he kept to the schedule we’d discussed and has three kids, last I checked. I’m just relieved it didn’t happen. You don’t know everything about yourself at that age, and holy Batman we were just so incompatible and he was kind of really rude with traditional attitudes.
I’m not sure I would have had the rich life and career I have had if we stuck together, that’s for sure.
35. Lucky Landing
My dad was an oilfield truck driver in Canada. He worked a lot of long hours every single day. So on the weekends, he would bring my younger brother and me along on some of his jobs. One day, we were on location with my dad, and my three-year-old little brother and my 10-year-old self were waiting for him and playing in the cab of the truck. My little brother opened the passenger door, and my little arms closed it.
When we finished for the day, we started our trek home. We were going about 35 KPH (22 MPH) when suddenly the door flew open, and I got sucked out of the truck. I remember doing about 10 backflips as I tumbled out, hitting the ground on my back a few times and rolling my way to a stop. I stood up before the truck even finished braking, in absolute shock.
The next thing I saw was my dad looking for me, and he burst into tears. It was the first time I’ve ever seen him cry. I’m 33 now, and he still won’t talk to me about it. Luckily, the rig was in a farmer’s field when it happened, so I landed on softer dirt. I didn’t have a single scratch on me. My dad thought he ran over me with the trailer. I don’t think we ever went to work with him again. I work for the company now.
36. Big Brother Is Watching
I dated a guy for a little under a year and the relationship went sour quickly. The last night I ever saw him, we were in the middle of a heated argument when my best friend showed up on my doorstep in tears. She had come to tell me that her mom, who was like a second mother to me, was on a heart monitor for the next few weeks. She was rightfully scared out of her mind.
The guy I was dating at the time looked at my sobbing best friend and he said something so horrible, it’s unforgettable. He asked her if she was blind and could not see that we were in the middle of something. My best friend lost it and reminded him that he was a guest in my home and that the situation with her mother took priority over whatever petty bone he was picking with me.
His reaction was chilling. He took a sip of his bottle and launched it at my best friend and me. As you can imagine, the situation exploded rather quickly after that. My roommate picked up the phone and called my older brother. Within three minutes, my big brother and his best friend were walking into my apartment, telling me: “This situation is out of your hands. You, your best friend, and your roommate can go now…”
Fast forward four months—I went into the bar I work at and one of my coworkers handed me a folded-up napkin. She told me this guy came in on a date and handed this to her, to give to me. I unfolded the paper napkin and there was his name, phone number, and a “Please call me” message scribbled on the napkin. I threw it straight in the trash can without giving it a second thought.
Two days after that, I got a phone call from a mutual friend asking me if I’d heard the news. I asked her to explain, and what she told me was devastating. She said that the guy I dated was locked up for attempted murder. He’d beaten up the girl he’d shown up to my workplace with so badly that she barely made it out with her life.
I thank God my big brother and his best friend were there to handle that situation for me because looking back on that night, things were getting pretty intense until they showed up.
37. Snow Day
At the beginning of 2008, my family and I were visiting some of my siblings in Denver. We were driving home and had to drive through Wyoming. We stopped in Laramie to grab lunch and noticed that it had started snowing lightly. By the time we were done with lunch and got back on the road, it was coming down pretty hard.
We stopped at a truck stop before getting out of town to grab some snacks and my wife overheard some truckers saying that they were getting ready to shut down the interstate. We decided then we better grab a hotel. I drove to the other side of the interstate to a Best Western, but by that time, the snow was so heavy, I could only see 50 feet in front of me.
We quickly checked in and brought our luggage up to our room. The lobby was pretty deserted, but when I came back downstairs, I was shocked. About a half-hour later, the line to check-in was practically going outside. I heard somebody at the front desk tell a colleague to call Hotwire to stop booking rooms because there weren’t any left.
Before I went to bed, I looked out the window started counting the semis waiting for the interstate to open up in the morning. After I counted a hundred, I just quit. That wasn’t even counting the cars that had to wait it out overnight. God, that must have sucked.
38. Caught In The Act
When I was 17, I was dating this girl who had mega-rich parents. They were all really nice people and all, and even though people didn’t believe me, I was dating her because I genuinely liked her. Anyway, a couple of years into the relationship, her parents decided to take us on a cruise. I rarely leave my state, so I was incredibly excited to leave the country on a luxury cruise ship.
It was better than you think. Amazing food, awesome shows, fantastic atmosphere. All of this built up to a “romantic getaway” for me and my girlfriend. Her parents were always off doing their own thing, so we spent the entire time on the boat together, usually alone. Well, being teenagers “in love,” we decided to take this fantastic opportunity to “become one”…or whatever it was she said.
I should preface this next part by saying I live in the South. Dads are generally pretty protective of their little girls, especially if they are the youngest. So are older brothers, which she had several of. And they were hunters, so they had an entire arsenal at their disposal. Just as we finished up our little ritual, we heard the door being unlocked. My heart stopped in my chest.
There was literally nowhere to go. The door was six feet away and it was a straight shot with nothing to hide behind or anything. All we could do was pull the covers over ourselves and close our eyes. The door opened and I was petrified. I just did their daughter in their bed on the cruise they took me on and I was stuck with them for another week.
In that split second, I made up my mind to jump ship and take my chances in the water. Then we heard, “Oh! I’m so sorry!” and the door closed. It was a maid. We got dressed as fast as possible.
39. Company Cutting Costs
I worked for a company years ago which had a rather autocratic head. They randomly appointed a new manager to oversee our team one day. He was swiftly promoted and the two of us would butt heads every other day to the point where I was made to look like a complete troublemaker. Meanwhile, I just pointed out inefficiencies and possible regulatory abnormalities in their processes.
His promotion, I would later learn, was due to his appointment having been aimed at restructuring the company to get rid of “troublemakers” from the get-go. He was appointed to stir and eliminate. Myself and a few senior staff at the company were served with retrenchment notices. I was livid and wanted to take matters further, but the other “retrenches” told me to be patient.
The staff who weren’t retrenched refused to speak out or have our backs…they were pretty smug and feigned sympathy. For a moment I wanted to concede, give into their demands and beg to save my job and income, but luckily I didn’t. The CEO who retrenched the other seniors had bargained on majority shareholding as he’d assumed the other directors would sell their shares to him on exit.
He had less than 50% at the time, and their shares would have secured his majority shareholding. He’d dangled a pretty juicy carrot in front of them. Instead, they collectively, and legally, came up with a devious plan. They sold/handed their shares to an opposition company and did so pretty stealthily. They did this months after I’d already left, so I wasn’t there when the pawpaw hit the proverbial fan.
The retrenchment plan aimed at ousting us few to make a point and eliminate non-conforming staff backfired. I ended up with a pretty nifty settlement and given the nature of my exit I could immediately contact their direct opposition for a position. The staff who remained ended up under the employ of an international corporate entity. Many of my coworkers had to accept demotions, pay cuts and/or were prompted to relocate. I would not have been in the same space in my career today had I groveled and stayed on.
40. What A Trainwreck
I grew up close to a set of railroad tracks. There were three tracks that ran parallel to each other. When I was 15, a couple of my friends and I used to walk the tracks to get back and forth to each other’s houses. One day, we were all walking down the tracks and there was a train approaching on the track directly to our left.
We were on the outside track and the train approaching was on the middle track. As the engine was closing in, one of the operators was literally hanging out the window screaming at the top of his lungs and pointing behind us. We could not hear what he was yelling, because when you’re right next to a freight train going 70 mph, that’s all you can hear.
Well, we looked behind us and our blood ran cold. There was another train on our track coming at us at full speed. It was probably 30 to 40 yards from us at that point. I was the furthest from the right and had both of my friends in the way, so I never would have made it if I had tried to jump in the same direction. At that point, I had a train coming directly at me at 70 mph, a train going in the opposite direction on the track directly to my left at 70 mph, and my two friends directly to my right leaping for their lives off the track.
I had about one second to get out of the way. Leaping to the right was no sure thing, so I did a sort of half jump to the left and laid down in the small space between the two trains. I would say I was about six inches from either train. I have never been so scared or shaken in my entire life.
41. Lucky To Be Ghosted
In 10th grade of high school, I was in love with a man who was at least 21 years old. He ended up ghosting me and dating my best friend. I was devastated, to say the least. Well, fast forward a few months, my beautiful ex-best friend with green eyes and a pretty body suddenly started dressing in oversized men’s clothing, she stopped participating in sports, and stopped going to events.
She looked tired and sad all of the time. It turns out this man was a manipulative, controlling, crazy person. He was extremely controlling of her and forbade her from talking or interacting with anyone at school, unless absolutely necessary. He got her a cell phone and made her call him in between each class, so he could be sure that she wasn’t talking with friends.
He knocked her up our senior year and, soon after graduation, he moved her to a new town where she didn’t know anyone, basically to isolate her and further control her. I look back at that and think that could easily have been me. I was a sucker in high school and boy crazy. I know I would have fallen for his trap.
42. The Cool Youth Minister
My dad worked at a church when I was elementary-aged. The youth minister was fun, had all kinds of cool stuff in his office, and my brother and I liked spending time with him and playing with his nerf guns and whatever else he had for students. We established a tradition where, on a monthly basis, he would take us to a restaurant for breakfast.
My brother and I thought it was awesome that he paid us any attention, since we were younger than the students he worked with for his job. But, he still took time for us. He had a parish which we’d visited, multiple car issues in which we occasionally would have to walk somewhere, and plenty of opportunities where we weren’t in public.
He took another job a couple years into this at a different church—that’s when we found out the chilling truth about him. He was incarcerated shortly after for molestation. People came forward from both before and after he was at our church, but none that I’m aware of from when he was there. So my brother and I were groomed by an experienced creep and we were clueless at the time. Nothing happened to either of us, we have no idea why because the opportunity was there.
43. Took A Real Turn
I really liked my professor advisor in college, and in my senior year, I took a graduate course he offered. It was on nuclear fusion history and technology, and he was an expert in the field, and it was a really interesting and challenging elective. As a senior in a graduate class, it was really interesting having a class with just two or three other students.
All of them were graduate students, and at least two worked with the professor at the side company he had founded. As the year progressed and as I tried to figure out where I was going after I graduated, the professor offered me a spot in his graduate program and a job at his company. I had recently married at the time, and my wife had already graduated from college.
The place she worked, the lead tech support for a start-up ISP, offered her a full-time business analyst job which was her dream job at the time. After much consternation, we went a different path and moved away. We had no idea just how much everything could’ve blown up in our faces. Within the next couple years, the start-up my wife worked for went out of business less than a year later and my professor was incarcerated while returning from an overseas seminar, for sharing classified nuclear information.
In addition, he ended up serving time in prison and his company was closed and one of his employees, a graduate student, also pled guilty and served time. I believe he was one of the other students in the class. One of his employees was identified as a foreign national and was both incarcerated and deported. I believe he was another student in the class. Often in life, you make decisions with the best information you have, and you’ll never really know if you made the right one. In this case, I know beyond a doubt that my wife and I made the right decision.
44. Rock Hit Bottom
My father would take our family to swimming holes in the Vermont area. This particular spot had a waterfall that you could swim under, as well as a boulder you could stand on. Long story short, there were some local yahoos walking around the top of the waterfall messing around. At some point, they started pushing massive boulders over the waterfall.
I hadn’t noticed because I swim breaststroke and the sound of the waterfall muffled the sound the boulders were making. I came up for a breath after feeling something run down my side. My dad, who was sitting outside the water, looked over, and apparently, his face went white. He started yelling at the top of his lungs at these kids. I later learned that they pushed a massive boulder just as I went under the waterfall and the boulder grazed my shoulder.
My father was certain it had crushed my head like a melon until I re-emerged from the other side of the waterfall soon after.
45. Hit The Road, Jack
This happened in my school’s automotive lab. I was the only kid in my grade willing to jump through all the hoops needed to get into auto servicing as a freshman. Generally speaking, people don’t get admitted into the lab until 10th grade. Anywho, being the only freshman also meant I was also the smallest in the class; both in height and bulk.
One day, we had to replace a sensor on a transmission. Unfortunately, both of our hydraulic lifts were in use, so we just jacked the car up and crawled under. As I was watching, I heard my teacher call out from under the car: “Hey you, get under here. We jacked up the wrong side and I don’t feel like fixing it.”
I was eager to prove my worth, so I rolled right under there and started fixing stuff. Since the teacher was no longer there, the group of kids slowly went away until it was just me and my pal Alfonso. He was talking with me as I tried and get this little piece into place. In the middle of our conversation, we heard an echoing BANG.
“Whatever,” we thought to ourselves. “We’re in an auto shop. These types of noises happen.” A minute or two later, Alfonso leaned against the handle of the car jack and it rolled straight under the car, bumping my elbow. After a couple of seconds, everything clicked. That jack wasn’t there before. It was supposed to be holding up the car…
…the car whose transmission was DIRECTLY OVER MY STERNUM. Swallowing slowly, I looked over to the safety stand that we were required to put under the frame. It had caught the car by just barely a quarter inch. If the frame had been one pinkie width closer to me, that transmission would have been one foot lower…roughly halfway into my chest cavity.
I got out from under there and didn’t work for the rest of the class. The teacher was understanding once I explained. Five years later, I still haven’t told my parents.
When I was about seven or eight, I went on a vacation to Vermont where we own a house at the top of a rather isolated mountain. It was the middle of winter and having lived in a more southern region, the amount of snow was baffling to me. Well, my dad, my brother, and I ventured outside the morning after arriving and decided to have some fun in all the snow.
We walked around to the corner of the house where my dad pointed out some huge icicles. I was amazed at them and just watched as they dripped. I then looked at the holes in the snow that the icicles’ dripping had made. There were about two to three feet of snow, so I tried to see how deep the melted water dripped. I leaned over the small hole to get a birds-eye view of the depth.
Then I heard a loud creak. That’s when I froze in fear. I looked up at the icicles and right as I whipped my head, they breezed by my face and impaled the snow where my head just was. My seven-year-old self didn’t know how to react, so I grabbed the icicle and ate it. I didn’t really notice how close that was until years later.
47. What’s On The Other Side?
When I was younger, I used to skip school. I would hide in the garage till my parents left and then go back in the house. One day, I was in there waiting for them to leave and I thought they had already, when I heard their footsteps approaching the garage door. This had never ever happened before as they always just got in their cars and ran.
I crept to the door to listen closer, but then I heard a sound that made my heart stop. They started messing with the lock. I ran out the back, the other side of the garage, out into the garden and into the bushes. I was so scared. When about half an hour later, I dared to look back, I couldn’t see anyone. I went inside and made a terrifying discovery.
The place was trashed. My parents had actually left at the normal time. We had been burglarized and I had stood maybe six inches from the burglar on the other side of the door and made a run for it, because I thought it was one of my parents.
48. Quick Thinking Saves The Day
One time, my sister, my buddy from work, and I all had company tickets to see the local NBA team play at the new huge arena that had just been built. On the way there, I positioned myself in the left lane of the freeway. At one point, there was an on-ramp that merged into the left side. Well, right as I was passing that ramp, this one car that was winding around the cloverleaf made the most dangerous move I’d ever seen.
He jumped the solid white line into my lane as soon as his ramp was parallel. The driver must not have looked or anything because he just came right on over. I checked my blind spot, which was thankfully clear, and I swerved right hard. Then, I laid on the horn and somehow avoided what would have been a bad collision in the span of a second. It was so, so scary. Always check your blind spots before merging into fairly heavy rush hour traffic, kids.
49. A Total Cheat
I was briefly engaged to a man who has since cheated on his gorgeous, intelligent, sweet wife hundreds of times. They are separated, but have two children and will likely reconcile. I broke our engagement when he said that he thought it was perfectly fine for a man to cheat on his wife if they’d been married for a while and “he’d gotten bored.”
Oddly enough, he didn’t believe a woman was entitled to do the same. I feel so badly for his poor wife now. He began cheating on her two years into their marriage when she was pregnant with their first child.
50. It’s Snot Fun Being Sick
A few years ago, I had pneumonia, but my whole family insisted that it was just a postnasal drip, which runs in the family. After a week or two, I woke up in the middle of the night, and I couldn’t feel my arm. After I got to the emergency room, the doctor took one look at me and his jaw dropped. He said that mine was the worst case he’d ever seen, and he was surprised I wasn’t in the morgue.
I had three pounds of mucus cut out of my lungs, and I spent another two weeks in the hospital while the rest of it siphoned out. For three months afterward, I could barely walk half a mile without starting to pass out, and I still can’t run for more than 200–300 yards without collapsing.
51. The Chronic Liar
I was dating this coworker who lied all the time. I told her from the beginning that I didn’t want to start anything if she wasn’t serious and if there was someone else. She assured me no, and that she had deep feelings for me. One day out of the blue, a random girl stopped by our workplace and asked around for the girl I was dating.
In a building filled with hundreds of people, I happened to be the only one at the front, and asked what’s going on. As it turns out, this random person was pretty much there to start a fight. The girl I was dating was sending photos to this girl’s boyfriend. Whoops. If I had not been at the front, I would’ve never found out. One angry text later, I never heard from her again.
52. A Saving Grace
I was driving home from visiting my brother in Vermont when a snowstorm started. I didn’t have much experience driving in serious snow and I completely lost control. The car careened off the road and I was heading for a giant boulder extremely quickly. I felt time slow down and I reflected on my life for a moment and then said goodbye to my body.
Suddenly, I was jolted out of it by an abrupt impact, but I could see that the boulder was still quite a few feet away. When I got out of the car, I saw that I had hit a little skinny tree that I could have easily grabbed with one hand. However, it had a giant root system that lifted the car off the ground and stopped me. The car was totaled, but I was completely fine because of that little tree. There is no way I would have survived the other impact.
53. Gas Tank Goners
Yesterday, I was helping my fiancée’s dad cut some tree limbs from his yard. He was on a lift trying to cut some limbs that were dangling dangerously high over a steel propane tank. The tank itself had $1500 worth of propane. The keyword is “had.” He cut off a limb and it hit the tank with the largest bang I’ve ever heard. Propane came pouring out the top like smoke from a mortar. He struggled to get the lift down enough to jump out and run for his life.
We would later find out that the limb hit the gas valve and it fell straight down into the tank. If it had sparked once, it wouldn’t have mattered how far we ran. We would have been goners. Him, me, and my fiancée who was showering inside, unaware. Now he has no gas, is out $1,500, and almost lost his life. There’s no way we should be alive. The gas is still leaking out even after 24 hours.
54. Nail In The Coffin
We came up shy of our financial goal for a wedding and decided to save again for another year. We were gonna go on an adventure and elope. I’m so lucky we didn’t. Our relationship fell apart in the following year. Both of us put nails in the coffin. I was the only one to acknowledge mine. She could do no wrong, and I was being gas lit pretty bad.
When we split, my depression evaporated. I was able to go off my medication and realize just how deep she had her claws in me. I thank god every day we didn’t get married or my mental health would have been horrendous.
55. Toys In The Attic
When I was five, I was at a kid’s house who my parents didn’t know too well. He took his dad’s pistol off the top of the refrigerator to show me. It made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t like being a tattle-tale, but I did tell my mom when I got home because I just didn’t feel right about it. At first, she didn’t believe it was real. Then she decided to call the parents. There was no answer.
The next day, we heard the chilling news. Just a few hours after I’d left, the kid had another friend over—and he’d accidentally shot him. That’s why my mom didn’t get any answer when I called because they had been dealing with a big emergency. There were ambulances, law enforcement, etc.
56. Location TBD
About a year ago at my job, I was offered to switch from my current team where I was already established to a new department that had just started to kick it off. It was a lot more work for the same amount of pay. I figured “Why not!” and went. Turns out, that would end up being the best decision I’d ever make.
Soon after, the company announced that it would be closing the HQ office that held my old department. Everyone in that entire part of the company would have to either move to an office in one of 14 random states that they couldn’t pick from, or they were going to be fired.
Thankfully, since I became part of the new department, I wasn’t included in that mandate. Phew.
57. Driver’s Reeducation
When I was in my early 20s, I used to be a delivery driver for a vending company. I drove a big, jacked-up Ford F350 that took up a whole lot of road. One afternoon, at a somewhat busy intersection, I pulled up to turn right. I was looking over my left shoulder, waiting for a break in the traffic, and was about to step on it. What happened next still haunts me to this day.
I hesitated for some reason and turned to look in front of me. That’s I saw a wisp of hair above my hood. I waited and saw three small children appear to my left. The truck was so high that while they were on the crosswalk, there was no way I could have seen them, and I was too busy looking to my left to see them approach.
I was a pretty aggressive driver in those days and had a demanding schedule. On any other day, I probably would have flattened them and might not have even known it. This single event completely changed the way I drive and I think about it often. Some 20 years later, it still gives me chills.
58. The Sonic (The Hedgehog) Maneuver
This happened after watching a movie at the local theater with some friends. We all agreed to go to a nice Italian restaurant that was a short walk from the theater. My friends went ahead of me as I had to go to the restroom first. As I made my way across the street at a crosswalk with a stop sign to meet them, something caught my eye. I gasped when I saw it clearly.
It was a woman going far too fast on a tiny, two-lane road. She was passing a busy shopping center, just blatantly speeding above acceptable levels while talking on her phone. I was right in her path. Knowing I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, my instincts and reflexes told me to jump and curl into a ball as best I could, which I did.
I landed on the hood of her car, cannonball-style, shoulder first, and proceeded to roll over the roof. I broke the antennae that were on the back as I rolled off and hit the pavement on my back as I uncurled. I was bruised as heck when I stood up, but it was better than getting smacked into a coma…or worse.
59. On The Razor’s Edge
I once walked into the trees to relieve myself during the night while camping. Looking back at the campfire, I decided to go a little further into the trees as I had a shy bladder at the time. Luckily, after a few steps, my laziness overcame my shyness and I decided to just do it. After I finished I turned, around, went back to my tent, and fell asleep.
The next morning, I got up and went once more to the trees. That’s when I made a chilling realization. We were actually on the edge of a massive cliff, roughly 400 feet high, and it was about three or four steps beyond where I had decided, randomly, to stop to pee in the middle of the night, the night before.
Because we had been traveling on foot for about two hours after dark the previous night, I had no idea we were camped beside a tree-covered cliff-line. The “responsible adult” in charge was too stupid to tell everyone this important information.
60. Quick Save
I had a field service engineer working on one of my big robotic liquid handlers. He decided to bypass the safety pin that prevented the heads from moving with the cover open while having a diagnostic program queued up on the computer. What he didn’t know was that the instant he reinserted the safety pin, the machine would execute the queued instructions and start moving, and he still had his hand inside it right in the danger zone.
I grabbed his shoulder and yanked his hand out an instant before the machine crushed it. He stopped ignoring me when I told him to stop bypassing safety lockouts to save a few minutes.
61. Super Cool
My newborn needed to be rushed to a super high-level NICU to be put into a state of induced hypothermia because he only had hours left before suffering permanent brain damage. Unfortunately, I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere. However, the small town next door had just barely upgraded their hospital with that exact hypothermia suite. It was one of only a few in Texas, my home state.
He’s doing great now, with no sign of any damage.
62. Zombie Mode
I stayed up all night before taking a day trip to Hong Kong. You know that daze when you haven’t slept; you’re just kinda robotic and doing the human stuff, with nearly zero awareness of anything? Well, I went to cross a street, and my friend behind me SNATCHED my shoulder and yanked me backward just in time to feel the WHOOSH of a double-decker bus breeze past us.
I just looked at him like, “Oh, thanks, man.” It took a whole extra minute for my brain to process that I would be a freaking goner had he not grabbed me.
63. The Summer Sociopath
I went to summer camp between my junior and senior years of high school, and became friends with a group of guys. For reference, I’m a girl. I dated one of the guys in the group. It was both of our second relationships ever, and so we were a little handsy with each other, but I flat-out refused to go all the way with him, because I sure as heck wasn’t losing my virginity to a summer fling I’d only known for a couple of weeks.
He was a little pushy about it, but ultimately backed down after I repeatedly refused. We broke up when summer camp was over and remained friends, though he lived in another state. After the breakup, not only did he start to emotionally harming me, threatening his own life if I stopped talking to him, saying he’d never had anyone understand him except for me, that sort of thing…but I found out from one of the other guys in the group that he’d made jokes about attacking me in my sleep. I blocked him on all social media and haven’t talked to him since.
64. Saved By A Stud
Our kids were out of town with my parents, so my hubby and I spent the day together. We ended up crashing on the futon in the living room. Early the next morning, we were awakened by a loud bang. My husband thought it was a shot, but I convinced him it was probably just the neighbor banging a cabinet. We ended up going back to sleep.
A couple of hours later, we got a knock on the door—it was an officer. He came over to see if we were alright. We came to find out a shocking truth. The neighbor’s two-year-old daughter had gotten a hold of the father’s pistol and shot into the wall adjacent to our apartment. The officer searched and searched for the exit point, but couldn’t find it. It must have hit a stud.
Measuring it from the neighbor’s apartment, it would have passed two inches above us, right at the height of my daughter’s bed. We lost our minds, especially after we found out the father was merely cited. We moved very soon after.
65. Stay On Your High Horse
I once got chucked off a horse. I hit the ground so hard that I felt my soul leave my body. I started to cough up blood and was having trouble breathing within 30 seconds. They rushed me to the hospital and the doctors were running down the hallway with me on a backboard. At the time, I was sure I was dying.
Later, I came to find out that I broke two bones in my back and had collapsed a lung. Once I less out of sorts, a nurse handed me my helmet and said: “It’s a good thing you were wearing this.” When I looked at it, my blood ran cold. It had been cracked almost in half. If I hadn’t been wearing it, that would have been my head, and I most certain wouldn’t have made it, or I’d have been permanently disabled. Wear your helmet, kids.
66. Got Hit By Cupid’s Arrow
I had two job offers in different states at the same time. The one I didn’t take was offering more money, but I just didn’t gel with the guy who would be my boss and I really liked the guy at the company with the lower offer. The better offer was in a state I had always wanted to live in, for a company I admired, but something felt off so I went with the lower offer.
A few months later, the company that had given me the higher offer abruptly closed and laid off their entire staff with no severance. If I had taken that job, I would have been stuck on the other side of the country unemployed and with no money—but that’s not even the best part. I ended up meeting my wife because I took the job with the lower offer.
67. Danger Vibes
I had a high school teacher who was wicked sarcastic, and witty while also being a hard grader. To me, he was the perfect teacher; the class was challenging, but we were all laughing and having a good time. He was a great mentor, and I continued to visit his class even after I graduated. One time, post-graduation, I was sitting in his office, and I had just given him some art to decorate his classroom. He was so excited that he blurted out, “I could KISS you!”
Something about the intense eye contact unsettled me, but I laughed it off (I was a 17-year-old girl, what can I say). Then I finally learned the dark truth. A couple of months later, officers apprehended him for having a physical relationship with an underage student.
68. Don’t Play With Sharp Objects
There was a pile of things that people would leave at our house after parties when I was at university; coats and stuff. On moving day, we found a random samurai sword within the pile. We were messing about with it and trying to make it go “swoosh.” I stood facing my brother while he was swooshing it when the blade suddenly dislodged from the handle, flew straight past me, and stuck horizontally into my headboard.
So yeah, my brother nearly impaled me while messing around with a random sword we found after a house party.
69. Saved By The Spill
I was at a bar with my friend and she was talking to a dude she met on Tinder. When she turned around, I saw him put something into her drink. I knew I had to do something. I walked up to him, pretended to stumble, and knocked it out of her hand. Then, I apologized, told her I’d buy her next drink, and when we walked over to the bar, I told her what he did.
We left right after, decided to grab drinks of our own, and played Mario Kart at my place that night instead. I had only tagged along because she asked me to, and I’m so glad I did. We talked to the bouncer later, who then spoke to the owner. He said he banned the guy from the bar before, and a few days later, he added one of those “angel shot” menus in the girls’ bathroom.
70. What A Way To Go
My brother followed through with a knife and hit my neck. We were installing a piece of drywall vertically. We were staggering the boards, so he was standing on a stool or something as there was already a half piece below. So this board was a few feet off the ground. I was standing to his left and he was on my right with his right hand trying to carve a hole into the board for a plug.
He is working the blade down to his left where I am standing. My head is at his waist, as I am not standing on anything. All of a sudden, it slips and the follow-through hits me hard in the neck. At this point, I am like, “This is it.” What a tragic way to go. Getting hit by your brother in a freak drywall accident. I immediately start feeling for my neck, think Richard Zednik.
It is completely dry. I look up and the thing has no blade. I look further and I find the blade lodged in the piece of drywall. I walked away with an intact and sore neck.
71. Missed It By A Hair
About a decade ago, my grandma had a hair appointment. Just before she left, the house phone rang, so she went to answer it. The person on the other end was just chitchatting, and grandma was too polite to say she was running late. At some point, she finally got off the phone and rushed to the hairdressers, prepared to profusely apologize for her tardiness.
When she arrived, she was taken aback by the sight of the scene. there were tons of law enforcement officers there and the whole place was taped up. It turns out, a disgruntled customer had come by and shot her hairdresser. Had my grandma been on time, she probably would’ve been there when it happened.
72. Quick Thinking
A girl I knew had a few drinks and decided to hitchhike home to a town about 40 minutes away from the one in which she’d been drinking. Note: It’s very common for people to hitchhike in this area. She got picked up by a car full of guys, and all seemed fine until she pointed out they could drop her off just up ahead, but they ignored her and kept driving.
She had that “instant sober” feeling that only comes with sheer panic. She played it off like she was clueless and totally down to keep hanging out with them, and she acted like she’d had a few too many. In the meantime, they were passing through a more forested area of the highway. She fake dry-heaved and said she was about to puke, and really put on a show, so they stopped to let her out. She booked it into the bushes and just didn’t look back until she was safe.
73. No Rooms Available
About 15 years ago, my girlfriend and I were young and she was eight months pregnant. We rented a nice apartment that was currently being built, and it was a few weeks away from being ready for us to move in. So, we decided to stay at a hotel until then. There was a really nice small bed and breakfast that we had heard about and wanted to stay there, so we called them to make sure there was a vacancy.
There was, so we made the drive up. But, when we got there, apparently there wasn’t a vacancy according to the owner and the woman who we spoke to on the phone had made a mistake. About a week or so later, the entire place burned down and several guests had perished in the fire. I tried to find more detailed information on it, but never could.
All I know is it was some sort of electrical fire, it started in the middle of the night when everyone was asleep, and six people perished that night. It’s terrifying to even think about.
74. The Beautiful Boston Hero
Before I moved here, I got stuck in Boston overnight in the heavy rain with nowhere to stay. My phone battery was dunzo, so I couldn’t call anyone or use the maps app. As anyone who’s ever been to Boston can attest, the whole city basically shuts down after two in the morning. Unfamiliar with public transport, I got on the last train that I hoped would take me to my friend outside of the city, but at the last second I realized the train was going in the opposite direction.
I ended up asking this girl where I was, which she then responded to with, “Do you not have anywhere to go tonight? Come with me!” So, I followed her in a daze, not really sure what was happening. She was absolutely gorgeous, so I was sure I was about to get mugged. She took me to her house, blew up an air mattress and let me use her spare phone charger.
The next morning, I thanked her profusely and offered money, but she just smiled and waved it off. We said our goodbyes and I left. I still don’t know her name.
75. Stay At Home Mom
I used to be engaged and made a lot more money than my then-fiancée. She had a son and we planned on having children together, so I was supportive when she talked to me about quitting her job as a New York City teacher to be a stay-at-home mom. It made a lot of sense. She ended up quitting her job at the end of the year.
But, a couple of weeks into summer, she offhandedly mentions how she wants to look into hiring a full-time babysitter for her son. I asked if she was going back to work in the fall, but she said no. She just wanted someone to watch her son from roughly when I left for work until I came home. I pointed out the whole point of leaving her job to be a stay-at-home mom was to do that very thing.
I already paid people to clean the home, do the landscaping, and vacuum the pool while I did most of the cooking. It’s not like I expected a whole lot. We ended up fighting a lot about this over the next couple of weeks until we broke off the engagement and broke up altogether. She’s still friendly with my friends’ wives/girlfriends and I’ve since learned she married a guy who basically works 24/7 to keep her in a life of luxury.
76. One In A Million
When I was 15 years old, I was suffering from dizzy spells and constant tiredness. They figured I had some kind of anemia. I had a blood test done on me and they found an abnormally high white blood cell count. This usually meant one of two terrible things. I either had Leukemia or Sickle Cell Anemia. Well, it turns out I had a one-in-a-million third option.
Genetically, I have much denser bones than a normal person. The doctor was suspicious of this when it took such an abnormally long time to get a bone marrow sample. Usually, it’s done in five minutes, but it took him nearly twenty minutes to jam the needle into my sternum. Denser bones accounted for higher white blood cell count. I was, and remain to do date over thirty years later, perfectly healthy.
77. Thanks, Universe!
I had a cardiac arrest about four years ago and dropped like a bag of rocks in the middle of my shift. I found out after I woke up about a week later that: A) The manager who saw me fall was a former lifeguard and knew proper CPR, B) An ambulance happened to be passing by about two blocks away, C) Probably the best cardio unit in my state was just a ten-minute ambulance ride from where it all happened.
I walked out of the hospital about two weeks later and made a full recovery.
78. No Doubt She Lost Interest In Her Job Afterward
I worked at a bank, and I would often fill in for other branches that were understaffed. One day, I offered to fill in at another branch in place of a newer girl who was terrified of being robbed, but I got told that she needed to get over her fears and start doing her job. The bank got robbed that day. The poor girl had to lie down on her stomach with a weapon shoved in her face while being yelled at by a large masked man.
I hate that it happened to her, but I’m glad it wasn’t me.
79. Going Into It Blind
When I was 11, I started losing vision in my left eye, and eventually went completely blind in about two to three weeks. After lots of testing, we found that I had a brain tumor in my left optic nerve that would likely spread quickly. They gave me a year and a half to live in the best-case scenario with treatment. They got the eye surgically removed, started me on radiation and chemo, and luckily I responded well to it.
The cancer’s long gone, I am now a cyclops, and happy to be disease-free.
80. The Blitz
I was once walking down to the beach when a massive ball of flame leaped over the seven-foot wall next to me. It missed me by the skin of my teeth and detonated all over the van that was parked there. When I found out where it came from, I was livid. It turned out some kids had filled a football with gas and set it alight. Presumably, in a parallel universe where I take a second longer to find my keys, I would end up looking like the Phantom of the Opera.
81. Save The Last Trance
My father was driving and my younger sister and I were in the backseat. We were stopped at a traffic light about a block away from our house. When the light turned green, my father just sat there, staring straight ahead like he was in a trance. Weird. We tried to get his attention, but he didn’t respond. That’s when it happened.
A car going about 90 mph sped through the intersection, followed by a ton of flashing lights. My dad suddenly came to his senses, but he still didn’t really react to what just happened. I looked at my sister because I felt like I was going crazy. Sure enough, she was looking back at me with the same scared expression that I must have been giving her.
82. Junkyard Funeral
My fiancée saw cars stopping ahead of him, so he slammed on his brakes. When he came to a stop, he looked up in his rearview and saw a semi coming at him full speed. In just a couple of seconds, he was able to maneuver his car so that he didn’t take the full brunt of the impact. Thank God he was alone and that no one was in the backseat.
He made it out with a concussion and a couple of head staples. The car was obviously totaled. When we went to clean out his car from the junkyard the next day, their reaction was devastating. They asked if we were “the family.” My fiancé says it was his car. They asked if he knew the driver, and his fiancée said HE was the driver. They were shocked, and they led us outside.
They had a cover over his car. The owner said they only covered up the cars when the driver or passengers die. Apparently, they saw the car and thought there was no way anyone could have survived.
83. You Are Not The Father
Back in college, my ex-girlfriend cheated and got pregnant. She blamed it on me, involved her family and all. I was willing to file a case in court as needed. My ex-girlfriend got too pressured as I was talking to her dad about medical tests, etc. Out of nowhere, she admitted that I wasn’t the father and that it was some classmate she had a fling with.
84. Hard Over Scrambled
I was doing construction labor and I climbed up between two large scaffolds. There were big wooden beams running lengthwise at the top. A tower crane swung a heavy load of column steel into the scaffolds making them crash together…but the kicker? My head was between the beams.
It split my hard hat and lifted it off my head. My head was about three inches from being crushed like an eggshell. I grabbed what was left of my hat and went back to work…I didn’t really think much about it at the time, but it was very close.
85. Authorized Avoidance
I was driving my brother to his first-ever Packers game in a rental car. I was going about 80 mph and got pegged by an Oshkosh trooper about 40 miles from Green Bay. I was very polite and apologetic, explaining that we were very excited because it was my brother’s first-ever Packer game and it was his 15th birthday. He took my license and ran it.
It turned out my license had been suspended due to a ticket from four years earlier—I’d paid the ticket but not the reinstatement fee, so I had no idea. That’s when the officer said something that blew me away. Outside the car, he told me: “I don’t want to ruin your brother’s birthday, so I’m gonna go back to my car and if you drive off, well, there’s nothing I can do I guess.”
I still got $400 in fines, but I did not end up with a messy towing situation. I shook his hand and thanked him. We made it to the game with plenty of time to spare and I drove the speed limit the entire rest of the trip. The Packers beat the Titans 55-7 that day and it was something my brother will never forget.
86. Two For One
I moved to California from Reno a couple of years ago. When homecoming rolled around, I had two options:1) go to my first homecoming, or 2) go with my dad to the Reno air races like we usually do. I chose to go to homecoming. At the football game when they were announcing the king and queen, I got the most chilling news—a plane crashed at the air races.
It crashed into the tent that we sit in every year and took the lives of seven people. I would have joined them if I had gone—but my night didn’t end there. I went to the homecoming dance, where my crazy ex-girlfriend charged at me with a knife. There was an officer nearby who saw the whole thing go down. He tackled her and detained her.
I’m not talking small pocket deal, either…it was a 14-inch Bowie that she duct-taped to her inner thigh to sneak in. My school never did a pat-down before a dance until after that night. She was expelled and I haven’t seen her since.
87. Closer To Home
My father-in-law was working on the construction of a power plant and was scheduled to work Sunday. He was a union pipefitter. On Saturday, he got a call from another company asking him to run a job much closer to his house. I think it was a five-minute commute vs 50 minutes, so he accepted and didn’t go to the power plant job Sunday.
That day, there was an explosion at the plant, and people in the crew he was working with wound up dying in the explosion.
88. Best Not To Buy
My wife and I were prepared to buy a nice riverfront property in 2019, but the owners, who were her dad and uncle, were dragging their feet. We had our down payment, we were approved for the mortgage, and we had even been living there paying rent. Then, the river rose 30ft (10m) and we had to evacuate. The water kept rising. The house was destroyed before we bought it. So, we didn’t buy it.
89. Mother Knows Best
It still gives me chills to this day. I had just gotten my permit and was driving with my mom. We were at an intersection and my mom was telling me that I should always wait for a second or so after the light turns green at that particular intersection, because people tended to run reds there. Sure enough, not even half a second after she said that, the worst happened—a car came whizzing thru the intersection way over the speed limit.
I was in my mom’s van, so I probably would’ve been better off than the other guy. Still, my mom was in the passenger’s seat, so she may not have made it.
90. Dancing With Danger
I went to a small and seedy club that had dancers around 10 years ago. I nursed one drink because I was driving and didn’t want to be over the limit. My friend wanted to stay, but since I wasn’t drinking and we’d been there long enough, we left. I dropped him off at home and jumped on MSN Messenger to talk to another friend. She asked what I did tonight and I told her “I went to the club.”
Her reply made my blood run cold. She wrote: “Isn’t that the place that just got shot up?” She then linked me to a news story about how somebody went in and opened fire inside the place. It happened in between the time I left and dropped my friend back off at home. Now, the place wasn’t very big, so there’s a good chance that we could’ve been shot.
91. Making It Literal
I was out kayaking on a lake and several bullets whizzed by me. There was a distinct buzzing sound as they went by. I think some people were just out plinking in their back yard, adjacent to the lake, and I didn’t think a backstop was necessary. This also happened to me a few weeks later when I was paddling on a small stream. They whizzed by above the bank, just over my head.
I don’t think anyone knew I was there either time. Regardless, when you go out and shoot stuff, you should always make sure there’s a backstop. I don’t know how big they were, so I’m unsure which was actually the biggest one dodged.
92. Near Mississippi
In 2005, my friend and I evacuated New Orleans two days before Hurricane Katrina—but that was just the start of our nightmare. We drove to Mississippi with the little money we had. We were trying to decide on where to stay for the night, and it was between a mid-range hotel or the really cheap motel. We decided to spend a little more on the hotel.
During the night, the eye of the storm came through Mississippi and flattened the roof of the motel we had decided against.
93. Just Far Enough
We were in Italy on a school field trip. We decided to play “schweinehaufen,” pig pile…dogpile? Anyways, one person is declared the pig and everyone has to jump on them. We played this on a beach at night. Just sand, no danger, right? Well, during the last round, we got up and realized we formed this pile next to a metal pole sticking out of the ground.
It was maybe ten centimeters away and could have easily impaled the first three or four people if we were just a bit closer. We didn’t play that game again.
94. Let’s Go To The Tape
A colleague checked out of the mediocre but adequate hotel where we were having a conference and checked into a 5-star luxury resort. She then submitted an expense report for her stay. She claimed that she felt unsafe in the original hotel, but did not elaborate. Someone called the hotel, which checked the security camera footage. We all thought she was crazy, but we were proven way wrong.
At least four separate men tried to enter her room that first night. No wonder she left.
95. The Pains Of Being Pure
My fiancé proposed to me about eight months ago. We decided on having a relatively small wedding, which is in two days. Everything was going great. He seems absolutely perfect and we are very much in love. I am a virgin and so is he; he wanted to save it for marriage and I wasn’t fussed, so I agreed to saving it, too.
He has told me before this that in his family, the father checks the virginity of the bride the night before the wedding. I laughed this off as it seriously sounded like a massive joke. I was so, so wrong. He was super serious. He wants me, the night before, to open my legs up in a small ceremony-type thing so his dad can check me while he, his brothers, and uncle can watch so that they know I am still “pure.”
I told him fat chance I am going to do that, and he was begging to me to go through with it and saying how important it is for him. He said he knew it was slightly embarrassing for me but his mom did and it will prove how much I love him and that I have nothing to hide anyway, as I am still a virgin. I left and he was crying, it was very dramatic.
So I went and talked to him this morning I told him that his father is not going to look at me and he needs to respect that. He was adamant that it needs to happen, and then it got more brutal. He accused me of lying about my virginity. I was trying to be calm and rational, but he was not having it and just became angrier and angrier.
I told him if he really loved me, he would stand by me on this and tell his father no. Instead, he slapped me and said he didn’t need to prove anything. So I ended it and left him. I am currently at my friend’s house being miserable and eating pizza, which at least is pretty fun. Either way, I can’t help but think that I dodged a bad ending with this one.
96. Gut Feeling Saves The Day
My dad left for work, got a weird feeling, and drove back home. When he walked in, he entered a nightmare. Everyone in the house was unconscious. He had to drag or carry them all outside one by one and call the ambulance. It turns out that my mom and her entire family had severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Because he trusted his gut, they all survived.
97. The Party’s Over
In high school, at a graduation party, I had a really bad feeling about the guy me and my friends had gotten a ride there with. I’ll call him H. I didn’t know him well, but I saw him drinking and wasn’t sure how much. He was supposed to be our ride home when the party was over. My one friend said she trusted him and that I should not worry.
Well, I couldn’t tell myself not to worry like she could. I said again to her that I didn’t think it was safe to drive home with him. She insisted it was fine. Meanwhile, I had made a new friend that night. The first time I saw him, I felt like I should talk to him. Turns out he drove there alone and was intentionally staying sober to drive himself home safely.
By 5:00 in the morning, everyone was talking about grabbing an after party coffee and some snacks. People were piling into cars. I told my friend one last time that I wouldn’t drive with H. I got in the car with my new friend, knowing he was 100% sober. We pulled out onto the country road, as it snaked through the trees. H came speeding out and passed us way too quickly.
As we drove around the next corner, we went through a cloud of dust and debris. When I realized what it was, my stomach dropped. H’s car was wrapped around a telephone pole. Two of the four passengers were deceased, including the kid who got in the seat I would have been in. My friend was alive but has permanent injuries to this day. I appreciate everyone listening to my story. Please don’t drink and drive, and please help your friends realize how much damage it can cause.
98. He Made You An Offer You Can Refuse
It was the mid-1990s. I had traveled to northern New Jersey with a friend from college. It was his hometown. We had plans to visit New York City and see a former roommate who had graduated the year before. I’ll call that person Friend 2. Well, apparently Friend 2 had been quietly dabbling in the business of low-level organized mobsters since his last years in college.
We had some knowledge of this but were not involved. He invited us to an associate’s house with plans to go out afterward. We declined. Not our scene. In fact, both of us had applied to law school. I planned to pursue a career in federal law enforcement thereafter. We both wanted to distance ourselves from that nonsense and steer clear of any association with it.
We tried the following day to reach Friend 2 for a low-key lunch before heading back out of town. No answer. Well, local authorities found his body two days later, along with two other bodies, at the very house to which he had invited us. Everything went down at the meeting/social gathering that he had invited us to. So it could have been us too if we had accepted the invitation.
I knew those guys were bad news.
99. Better Now Than Later
I dated a woman for over two years before I finally decided to pop the question. The first time she said, “I don’t know.” A couple months later, I asked her again, and she said “maybe.” I was pretty bent out of shape, but then I found out the horrible reason why she turned me down. She was sleeping with several of my friends, so I guess I dodged a bullet there.
100. Accidental Exposure
I accidentally found out that my ex of three years, before we were about to move in together and with whom I talked about marriage regularly, had a very creepy obsession. He was constantly soliciting photos/cybering with random girls online. He had an entire hard drive worth of creepy photos of random miscellaneous girls from the internet he had been accumulating for years since before our relationship and during.
I was absolutely mortified that this guy never ever mentioned anything about this during our entire relationship. He said to me, when I asked him if he ever planned to tell me, “I planned to tell you after we got married, I knew it was a problem and was committed to seeking help once we got to that point.” So many layers of messed up there I’m so relieved I didn’t ever end up married to him.
101. Stamp Of Disapproval
Years ago, I went on a first date with someone I met online. We met at a bar and the bartender carded us. Even though we were both older, they were still doing stings in the area, so he was carding every single person. I handed mine right over, but my date was a real jerk about it. The bartender checked mine and handed it back to me.
Then, he checked my date’s ID, and rather than handing it back to him, he placed it on the bar right in front of me. When I saw it, my blood ran cold. It had the sex offender stamp on it, which is a thing in my state. The guy picked it up, looked at the bartender, looked at me, and then got up and walked out. I immediately Googled him.
He was on the registry and had been in prison. Lesson learned. Always Google. And that bartender? We’re still friends.