Life’s a wild ride. Forrest Gump was right when he said: “Life’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” You truly never do. Even on a day-to-day basis you may think that driving to and from work will be the same old thing, but then you come across a spectacle of some sort and it reminds you that life is a bizarre gift. Full of unexpected occurrences that all we can do is sit back and enjoy.
That’s precisely what these Redditors did, they just went along for the strange ride they were offered. Regardless of your trivial intentions the universe always has another plan for us. Sure you might think, nothing weird could possibly happen when I go to use this washroom. And bam! There’s a guy handing you a bunny he pulled out of his pants. That’s what makes this world such a strange and awesome place to exist. “What a long strange trip it’s been” isn’t just a popular yearbook quote from the ‘70s, it’s also a rather apt description of life itself. Now please enjoy this long strange list of people sharing the most bizarre thing they’ve ever involved in.
42. Unhelpful Fire Department
My girlfriend’s neighbor’s house went up in flames, but when the fire truck came, it never stopped. It drove straight through the house and completely destroyed everything. Brakes just didn’t work at the wrong time.
41. Chemical Warfare
When I was 16 years old, I woke up just before sunrise to the intense burning sensation of ammonia in my eyes, nose and throat. I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t escape it. I frantically wiped my face with the sheets only to discover that they were also covered in the substance. It was everywhere, my bed was soaked and the walls and ceiling were dripping with it.
My room was in the basement of my house and the window was small and the type that opened from the top with a hinged bottom. After waking up my mom (I was screaming in pain) and showing her what had happened, I noticed the screen in front of the window had been very precisely cut twice at a 45 degree angle, both around 8 inches and was folded outwards. She called the police thinking it had been some kind of chemical attack, and since it was still dark she thought we may have still been in danger. An officer showed up 20 minutes later, looked at the window and then left saying it was probably some kind of animal.
My window faced our driveway and there was nothing out of the ordinary save an empty and odorless Folger’s Coffee tin which did not belong to us.
I was not very well liked in high school and I suspected a classmate had sprayed me with the stuff just to be cruel but I never found out what actually happened and never heard anyone at school bring it up.
40. A Beacon of Weirdness
I went to the Roswell UFO Festival one summer dressed, of course, as an alien. I was covered in latex body paint and looked pretty weird. First of all, a reporter from the History Channel followed me around and I got interviewed by a camera crew from the Smithsonian network. Then after the costume contest I figured I’d go to the Cover-Up Cafe for dinner before the parade, because I can’t possibly be the only freak in town going to the Cover-Up Cafe, right? Wrong. But the guy from the History Channel was there.
I sat down at the counter next to an old man in a railroad outfit—you know, blue and white striped overalls—who casually says, “I hate this damn festival. Brings out all the freaks and weirdos.” I made polite conversation with him and he told me about how Bill Clinton was a bisexual and a drug addict, and that he has personally seen documents stating that the United States has agreed to either give Mexico nine states or go to war. Then he bought my dinner. Several years later, I moved back to my hometown and someone I hadn’t seen in years recognized me from the Smithsonian Network special on Roswell.
39. Emotional Support Sunflower
Car slams on its brakes on a busy four-lane road. A woman jumps out and reaches into her back seat. Grabs what looks like a giant fake sunflower plant and swings it around her head. It seems like for a minute but perhaps it was only 30 seconds. She throws the sunflower back in and jumps back in the car and speeds off.
Me and four other people just stood there in disbelief at the entire sight.
38. When Everyone on Your Train Is Packing Something
I was riding the DART (Dallas public transportation) train back home from work when I was 17. It was my first job, working at a Boston Market my third-uncle managed.
Anyway, it’s about 10:30 at night and in my car, there are some odd characters: business guy, with a coat folded over his briefcase in his lap; obvious gangbanger guy, tattoos, big hoodie, slouched in corner; moderately hygienic homeless guy, two jackets, really messed up shoes, crazy hair, but perfect white teeth, can’t stop laughing to himself every few minutes; and white skater kids, some with boards, others with rollerblades, one with BMX bike. I sat near the white kids.
Suddenly, there’s commotion at the front of the train—we’re in the far back. Everyone peers down the aisle to see what’s going on: some tall, gangly black guy is running down the aisle, throwing haymakers seemingly at random every few seats. He’s rapidly approaching our section. Now that’s weird, but what happens next is the icing on this crazy-cake.
Moderately hygienic homeless guy fumbles around his jackets and retrieves not one, but two switchblades, sneaks those blades out like Wolverine.
Obvious gangbanger guy rears up to his full height, unfolding to something like six-foot-six, reaches into the front pocket of his hoodie, and suddenly the outline of a gun is clearly pressing.
Me and the white kids, we just turtle up in the corner, barricaded behind a phalanx of boards.
But business guy…he just gives a tired sigh, moves his coat to the seat next to him—this dude’s briefcase is handcuffed to his wrist. He unlocks it, opens it, reaches in and just rests his free hand inside.
Psycho haymaker guy makes it to our section, stands bewildered for about three seconds, frantically taking in this situation, then turns around and runs right back where he came from, punches another couple of people, then gets off the train.
I started carrying a knife after that.
37. Simultaneous Suffocation
I was in Rome walking down one of the main tourist streets—lots of high-end fashion stores, mid July, lots of people and right in the middle of this street there’s a big scaffolding erected against the side of one of the stores.
As me and my family walk under the scaffold there’s a big crowd of people ahead of us so the pace is pretty slow.
Out of nowhere, the people ahead of us start coughing, nothing noticeable at first but then it’s louder and it’s spreading further back. My brother is a little bit ahead of me and he’s coughing too. I can suddenly feel dust or smoke or something obstructing my airway and I can barely breathe. The street looks fine, no building dust or smog or car exhausts but around 30 people are coughing like we’re in a burning building and pushing each other to get out onto the street.
The panic was huge, I couldn’t stop coughing and all I can think of is getting me and my family the heck out of there. People are shoving and shouting and I can feel the crowd swelling against my back.
And then we make it onto the street and it stops. All 30 or so of us just stood on the street coughing and spluttering and trying to catch our breath in the midday sun.
And that was it. After about a minute we all felt fine and everybody walked away in different directions. No lasting effects, nothing. There was probably a really simple explanation but it was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had.
36. Purge: Origins
Fifth grade. I forgot the details because it was long ago and it was stupid kid drama, but basically my entire gym class hated my gym teachers. One day, some kid confronts one of the teachers, an actual fight breaks out between the two of them. The rest of the class just goes nuts. Some join in on the fighting, so in a matter of seconds it’s a bunch of 10-11 year olds fighting two screaming adult females, and the rest of class takes it outside to the playground.
Once outside, another group of students try to break some of the equipment, but everybody else for some unknown reason decided that marching around the perimeter of the playground while chanting was the best course of action.
I just chilled out on top of the jungle gym outside while this was happening since I didn’t want to get in trouble. So basically, inside the gym you have a group of students wailing on two teachers for some period of time, and outside a bunch of kids are marching in circles acting like they are doing some kind of freedom march.
Once the dust settled, every student was required to go to a counseling session… and that was the end of that. I don’t remember what happened to the teachers or the actual class after that.
This happened back in the 1999-2000 school year at Meadowcreek Elementary in Georgia if, by some giant coincidence, anybody who went there and sees this post can confirm.
35. Sometimes You Just Get the Urge to Play the Accordion
I was driving down the highway, just minding my own business. All of the sudden I see a car parked on the emergency lane.
The driver, a woman in her 40s or 50s, is standing behind the barrier, passionately playing an accordion and singing.
There was no traffic jam or anything, guess she just suddenly felt like she wanted to make some music. On the highway. Alone.
34. The Party to End All Parties
My friend invited me to a party once. It was a party being held by some social network site—can’t remember the name of it—only certain members got invited, mainly people who had helped contribute to the site and were a big part of the community. They each received odd packages filled with items such as marshmallows and other things, and a personalized invitation. Also, each member could bring one guest. I was a guest.
We traveled down to some warehouse in the middle of London and there is a massive queue, and drinks are being handed out by people who seemed to “work” there.
Anyway, once I get inside I can only describe this as the strangest, most absurd party I have ever been to. And it was awesome.
At the entrance a dwarf leads you through a large “wardrobe of coats” (so you can’t see anything) and you eventually enter a jungle with a massive tree with a treehouse in the middle. Several free bars, you just had to jump on for a bit and help serve people. A hot tub and random caravans. Walk through and we found several different rooms, such as a cinema, slaughterhouse, granny flat, the “white room” (a room fully padded out and filled with huge white cushions) and loads more I can’t remember.
I met some interesting people, got drunk, had a nap in treehouse and woke up with another guy I had met earlier curled up next to me, and the rest of the room chatting while two girls get it on in the middle.
We left at about 11 in the morning, as did many others about that time, but apparently, the party went on for another couple days.
It was surreal but incredible at the same time.
33. The Beginning of a Wonderful Friendship
I was paying off a bushel of parking tickets when I was approached by a man dressed in a three-piece suit. He asked/offered me $100 to be a witness for his wedding, saying that his best man wasn’t going to be able to make it. I said heck yeah. Walk into the room and it was myself, a judge and two dudes. Was I surprised? Yes. I thought the best man was running late. Again, wrong. Watched two dudes get married. Didn’t bother me. Even made money. Went to bar afterward to celebrate with them. Coolest dudes I have ever met. Got another parking ticket. Still friends today.
32. The Power of Nature
I watched my neighbor’s house burn down. It was surreal. There is no way to describe the magnitude of emotions and shock of seeing something there for seven years and gone in two hours.
I can still feel the heat when I close my eyes. It felt like you had a blow dryer in your face even though we were sitting on our deck 100 feet away. I’ve seen fires on TV. It was nothing like that other than looks. I felt terrible for the family, but from a clinical standpoint, seeing that big of a fire in real life was awe inspiring. It felt so powerful. An immense power of destruction. It was a very bittersweet experience.
31. I Would Go Back Every Night
It was the first year in college and I joined this club called the chocolate club and I had no idea what it was.
The first session, there were like eight people plus the leader, and the leader led us to a graveyard and told us to stand in a circle facing inwards. He then proceeded to hand us each a chocolate ball and told us that we had to hold it in a specific way with only our middle finger and our thumb. He then mumbled some random words and then signaled us to eat it and so we did.
Never went back again.
30. Certainly a Day to Remember
About 12 years ago, I was friends with a girl who worked in a professional dungeon.
I was visiting her one day between sessions, and she got called to work early. I stuck around in the breakroom, and after about 20 minutes, the owner walked in and asked if I could help them out. Seems my friend’s client wanted an audience.
I said sure. Walked into one of the lounge areas with said owner, and plonked down in a chair.
Down the stairs comes my friend, who’s grinning ear to ear, followed by her client. He was about 40, short, dressed in a blue satin dress with white lace and massive petticoats, with a crinkly nappy on underneath, and was wearing a curly haired wig with a large bow. At my friend’s urging, he proceeded to do a little dance routine while singing The Good Ship Lollipop.
Afterward, we applauded and congratulated him on a wonderful show.
I can never hear that song now without remembering that day.
29. Two Cats Meet on a Fence
While smoking on the balcony of my apartment, I was watching a cat staring into the night sky while sitting on a brick fence for a good 10 minutes. Then I watch as another cat appears out of nowhere walking towards the first cat and they proceed to have cat intercourse. It was really weird, as if they had planned to meet there or something. This literally happened five minutes ago.
28. When the Owner Is Away, the Dogs Will Play
I was at a coffee shop on Friday, and this big dude had two little miniature dogs with him, sitting on the table—we were outside. One was a little white poodle-mix and the other was probably a dachshund but looked a lot like a mini golden retriever. Anyway, this other lady comes outside and sits down, and the dude walks over to her and says, “Hey, are you going to be here awhile?”
“Uhh, yes I am…?”
“Would you mind watching my dogs? They’re well behaved and they won’t hop off the table, but if they do could you just pick them up and put them back on? I just have to run an errand just around the corner but I’ll be back shortly.”
She agrees, and so the guy hops on his bike and takes off. The golden dog is just chilling on the table, but the white dog is standing up and watches the guy leave on his bike. As soon as he disappears around the corner, the white dog looks down at the golden dog, walks over and starts humping it. In the middle of a coffee shop patio. In public. At two in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the lady who was watching the dogs and my table of friends are just cracking up and not knowing what to do. The golden dog didn’t care at all. Just let it happen. And that is how the dog do.
27. Cruises Are Full of Disturbing Experiences
Alright, so when I was 16 my family along with my best friend’s family—we were best friends since preschool—went on a carnival cruise together. It was a seven-day with our itinerary starting in Florida and going to the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel.
Well, at our first stop in the Cayman Islands we were getting ready to depart then the captain came over the intercom looking for a family that apparently never showed up, they never got back on the boat and they never met up with us at another stop.
Then, myself along with my best friend and his older brother were pulled out of our rooms the next night at around 3 am to sit in ship jail while we were questioned about a girl who went missing on the ship because she had been seen entering my room (I had my own balcony room so we threw a small party in the room). Well, after hours of questioning they started searching rooms and found her in an older man’s room, drugged.
It was pretty uneventful after that until we were going back to Florida when, with extremely drunken eyes, we spotted a blue speck in the distance. We tell a ship employee and they make a phone call, after about 10 minutes we started floating towards the speck, once we got close enough the ship operator turned off the engines and we were standing on my balcony looking down at a boat full of Cuban refugees.
Being Hispanic, I could hear what they were saying, we were about 15 miles from port and they had been on the water for over a week. It was four men and a pregnant woman. We threw water bottles because they were out of water, they were shouting phone numbers to I guess call their loved ones and then, the sadness hit. They came over the intercom and said that we would have to wait there until coast guard showed up. When the coast guard showed up the men fought and resisted for a few minutes but eventually with the urging of the ship passengers they gave in. It was a surreal moment for me.
26. Exorcism of Becky With the Good Hair
I was at a party with a bunch of friends. There was a girl who was feeling ill so we went upstairs to help her relax. Long story short, it turned into an exorcism and two big guys were needed to prevent her from hurting herself and even they had trouble with it.
25. Where is Children’s Aid?!?
My sister and I were driving to Clearwater, FL from St. Pete one day and traffic on 19 is always crap with the stoplights. Well the car two ahead of us kind of throws/drops this bundle on the ground. Well the woman in the car in front of us gets out and picks it up, it’s a freaking baby. The people in the car that dropped it jump out and take it back, and this is right when the light had changed so basically jump in the car and drive off. It made the local news from what I remember.
I remember thinking if I were that woman they would have needed an act of God to get the baby out of my arms. YOU JUST THREW IT OUT OF YOUR CAR!
24. Does This Count as Animal Cruelty?
I saw a squirrel get hammered. We’d had a huge house party at this valley resort and there were red cups and shots left out on the patio…a bunch of hungover people were standing by the window and I went over to see what was up. A squirrel climbed up on a patio table, put its nose in a shot glass, and started lapping up pure rum—really getting in there. Once it was finished and turned to get off the table, it was stumbling around like crazy. I was in awe.
23. Fellowship of the Fandom
A friend and I were hanging out at the mall when suddenly a dude dressed like Gandalf the Gray appeared out of nowhere and said: “We must take the Ring to Mordor!”
Welp, look, I’m a huge Tolkien fan, I love random stuff, so I looked at my friend, she nodded, we went with Gandalf. We traipsed through the mall with him, slowly gathering six more people who were willing to play along. Gandalf assigned each of us a name matching the members of the Fellowship. I was Pippin. My friend was Merry.
Eventually, Gandalf leads us to a conference room in a building next to the mall. There are pillows, blankets, popcorn and sodas. We watch all three of the LOTR movies together back-to-back. All of us are giggling and laughing and having a great time. At the end of it, Gandalf reveals he’s conducting a social experiment for his class. We fill out a small survey and we go on our ways. Still friends with everyone in our Fellowship.
22. Missed Connections and the Brazilian Salsa Club
I was on my way home from a night out in Barcelona and it was still regularly early for Barcelona standards, around 11 pm. I was on the metro on the way back to my apartment and this group of really attractive Brazilian people wearing all white gets on. They’re in all types of outfits, pants and tank tops, sundresses with sandals, loose pants and tanks, etc. They all look amazing—really trendy in an effortless way. They were all taking pictures of each other.
Well, I was pretty tipsy, so I decided to photobomb them. I was like 10 feet back and doing jazz hands and making dumb faces. They noticed and warmly welcomed me into their pictures, putting their arms around me and introducing themselves to me. I posed with them on the metro, but I figured they were going to get off at a different stop than me. They ended up getting off at my stop, and so when I got up, we took even more group pictures and they put me at the center. Keep in mind, they were speaking Portuguese and I only knew Spanish and English, but they were so warm and welcoming of this slightly drunk stranger.
I was ready to say goodnight to them, figuring they had plans and I wouldn’t come along. But no… I was invited to wherever they were headed. I figured “yolo” and went along. They were headed to this AMAZING salsa club in this totally quiet residential neighborhood. You would’ve never known there was this club inside with live music and hordes of beautiful people dancing on the inside. No long lines, no booming music outside. I went in with them and they all paired off to dance…Not like grinding provocatively, but actually salsa dancing, sure their hands were on each others’ hips and there was some closeness, but it was because of the passion between the two people dancing, not because they were gettin’ freaky.
I was paired off with this beautiful man named Jofre. He taught my white girl self how to dance, and led me through the steps while holding me in a traditional way, but I didn’t feel like he was trying to cop a feel—he was genuinely teaching me how to dance as was traditional and as he knew. It was sensual without being gross. He bought me mojitos and we didn’t really talk, just danced. He led, I followed.
Anyone else would’ve looked like a dummy in the outfit he was wearing, but he was just so suave; a loose white short sleeve cotton button-down, a white newsboy hat, well-cut white pants with strings for adjusting their tightness. He was so passionate and we were surrounded by all his passionate friends, dancing to this amazing live salsa music. I said goodbye to him about two hours in and he gave me his number so we could do it again.
We never did meet up again, which bummed me out really hard. The phone I gave him the number to was stolen so I couldn’t communicate with him. I tried to talk my friends into going to the club with me, in hopes we might meet up with my Brazilian friends. Alas, that never happened. So I hold the memory of that night dear, surrounded by my all-white clad Brazilian dance troupe at that mysterious salsa club in Barcelona. I hope they look at those pictures of them with that white girl they met on the metro and smile.
21. Celebrity Encounters While Celebrating Osama’s Death
This happened to my sister. It was May 2011, and she was living in DC at the time. She was out at a bar when the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced. She saw on TV that there were crowds gathering at the White House and decided to go. Being a photographer, she wanted to find a place to get some good shots of the crowd. She meets a few people and they start talking and taking pictures. One guy offers to help her up a tree, then joins her to take some more pics. About 30 minutes later she meets up with her friends, and shows them some of the pics. Her friends start freaking out and asked her if she knew who the guy was. She had no idea. It was David Arquette.
20. All Hail the Great Ogrelord
I went to a religious Shrek service dedicated to the great Ogrelord above us all. The sermon was pretty good, but the songs were terrible.
19. The Floor is Lava!
I was at Subway in Vancouver and I was enjoying my cold cut six-inch sub when a homeless person came into the Subway and decided that he wanted to jump on a table. He hopped onto one of the tables and started running and jumping from table to table while yelling about how the ground was lava. He was coming directly towards me at great speed. In a panic, I got up and he stepped right on my six-inch sub, slipped and fell onto the floor. He immediately sprung back up and started yelling “I’m on fire, help I’m on fire” while running in circles. The employees called the cops and he was arrested. On the positive side, I had gotten through half my sub and they made me another one for free so I got to eat 1.5 six- inch subs for the price of one!
18. There’s So Much More to This Story Then We’ll Ever Know
Dec. 24, 2012—Woke up at 3:30 am and traveled 150 miles, met with 50+ strangers all dressed as Santa Claus and snuck past a live security team whilst entering the abandoned National Gas Turbine Establishment. Pyestock, UK. Took this group photo whilst standing on top of the test chamber for Rolls Royce Concorde Engines.
All in all, the strangest day of my life.
17. Squirrel Murderer
I was hanging outside of my apartment with my buddy while he was smoking and my neighbor comes out eating a peach. He was looking over his garden and complaining about the squirrels eating his tomatoes when he spots a furry devil sitting on a fence about 15 yards away.
As he finishes his peach, he chucks the pit at the squirrel and freakin’ nails the sucker right on the noggin. The squirrel has a sort of seizure or stroke and falls off the fence and dies instantly. The best part is my neighbor’s girlfriend was watching from inside and as soon as the squirrel hits the ground she comes flying out of the apartment screaming, yelling, and smacking him for “murdering the poor thing.” You can tell he was visibly shaken and in shock that he hit the squirrel let alone killed it. I have never laughed that hard in my life.
16. I Mean He Kinda Asked for It By Dressing As Jesus
I go to anime conventions, but since there aren’t many long-haired, bearded anime characters, I cosplay as Jesus. Someone who’s never been to a con might be kind of surprised at how many black people go too. Maybe I was just prejudiced, but I was expecting all white people. Anyway, one time a whole huge family of black people (10 to 15 people) ran up and crowded around me and all started singing church songs while clapping, dancing, stomping, shouting amen, and generally acting like they were feeling the holy spirit inside them. I’ve never been so confused about how to react in my life, eventually, I just collapsed laughing.
15. Chicken Crowning
Just last night I attended a coronation in Minecraft. I play on a large political server and heard that one of the cities was crowning a new king. So I spent 45 minutes on the rail network to reach the city, took part in a guided tour and went to the cathedral for the first part of the ceremony. It was only then that I found out that the new king is, in fact, a chicken.
After that everyone went to the palace where the king was put on his throne. We then went to the town square and started to consume copious amounts of pufferfish. At this point I killed someone for revenge for something they did 10 months ago and I logged out.
14. When the Rage Bubbles Up Inside You
I wouldn’t necessarily label it strange, but I had never seen it happen before. I was driving home from class and get to an intersection where everyone was slowing down for seemingly no reason. As I got closer I noticed two cars had stopped, both driver side doors were open and the men driving those cars were fist fighting in the middle of the street. Zero context, but I guessed road rage, chuckled, and continued home.
13. When Does the Raiding and Looting Happen?
Probably not the strangest thing I ever did, but years ago I was part of the Bainbridge Island Pirate Attack. Local singer Jason Webley asked his fans to all dress like pirates and board a specific ferry boat to Bainbridge Island. Turnout was a bit bigger than expected, with a few hundred participants on the boat. We sang sea shanties, screamed obscenities at passing boats, and marched to a public park once we got to the island. This was back in 2002 or so, before flash mobs and pirates were cliché.
I made a fake press badge and went to a Nazi rally as a “press photographer.” That was fun. Pretty disorganized and undisciplined for people trying to emulate the most ruthlessly organized military/political entity in modern history.
11. Hell Hath No Fury Like a Menopausal Woman
Not me, but my great aunt who is Basque. During the ’60s, she was a flight attendant and didn’t put up with anyone’s crap. One day, they were flying from Australia to some other country that she couldn’t remember, when two guys go into the cockpit and attempt to apprehend the plane. They say over the loudspeaker that their course will change to another such and such country.
My aunt, being the woman in her 40s, slightly menopausal, will have none of that. She went into the cockpit, hit both of them with a fire extinguisher and untied the pilot and co-pilot. All because she didn’t want to go to that part of the world.
10. Humans: We Are Such a Strange Breed
Last year I went to the music festival “TomorrowWorld” down in Atlanta. I remember very clearly at one point while I was packed in a crowd of 30,000+ people high as a kite on some amazing substances with a group of Mexicans to my left and a group of Swedes to my right while I aggressively smashed my frontside on some girls backside that I had just met and we were all screaming and dancing to music so loud my ears are still ringing, bass punching us in the teeth, smiling and jumping up and down and sweating and at that point I took a step back and realized how freaking weird the human race is.
9. Alexa Play Kung Fu Fighting
Threw a house party in high school. Got out of hand, as these things do. Couple extra hundred people showed up; a large fight/riot ensued and spilled onto the front lawn and into my neighbor’s yard.
My neighbor was a Sensei, owned a dojo, and generally kicked butt. He emerged from his house during the brawl wearing a gi and proceeded to break his fence in half with his hands presumably as a warning shot. When that didn’t work he just started kicking kid butt, laying out whoever came near the perimeter of his property. It was straight out of a Kung fu movie.
Friends helped me throw the remaining people out of my house as I locked the place down and prepared to abandon house. With police lights in the distance and ready to make a run for it the last thing I remember seeing is the Sensei taking on a fat kid in a cast swinging his crutch around in the air at him. It was a heck of a party.
8. This List Involves More Animal Fornication Than I Ever Intended
The strangest thing I’ve ever seen happened at the end of my freshman year of college. I had moved to San Diego for school, and when the end of the semester came, we piled a van full of people, booze, and firewood and headed to the beach. We were having a wonderful end of school/beginning of summer bonfire, and all of us had reached a decent level of intoxication.
Later in the night we saw a single figure walking down the beach towards us, which was unusual for the time of night—the only other people we had seen were two lovebirds thinking they were covertly hidden behind some stairs.
So, in our state of mind, and with our curiosity piqued, we decided it would be a good idea to talk to this dude and see what he was doing. As we got closer to the water, where he was, we clearly saw this man was a photographer.
“Hmm, wonder what he’s taking pictures of in the dark—Oh my GOD.”
And right there, right in front of my eyes, I witnessed my first grunion run.
“What the heck!?!” I slurred at the photographer, eyes popped open in surprise. He seemed very knowledgeable about the events unfolding before me, and certainly much calmer. Because what I was witnessing was the sand coming alive and writhing. I was witnessing the sand in a white, slimy, flailing form, and my visual cortex was becoming overwhelmed by the sight. And then the photographer came to the rescue of my spinning brain. “Welcome to the grunion run. Those are fish. And they are screwing.”
While San Diego or other SoCal residents may be familiar with such an event, I had never before witnessed something this bizarre IN SUCH SCALE. Now that I knew that these were fish, I realized that the turbulent tides stretched on as far as my eye could see. Endless. Screwing. Fish.
You see, grunion fish are pretty unremarkable. Except that they breed every year OUT of the water, washed up and writhing in the intertidal as I witnessed that night. They lay their eggs in the sand and then leave. All of this happens with such astonishing annual predictability that grunion watches and even grunion hunts are organized by the more off-beat individuals of San Diego.
That night, not only was my mind shattered, but I was introduced to one of my new favorite features of this city I call home.
Crazy stuff, nature.
7. That Says It All
Dwarf tossing in a strip club.
6. Just Call Him Randy Johnson ‘Cause He Killed That Bird
I was at a cricket match when this happened. Basically, a fielder threw the ball back to the bowler and it happened to hit a pigeon in midair and stone cold killed it. The weird thing was that he just stood next to it for ages wondering what to do then he eventually picked it up and slung it over the boundary.
There was an insane amount of pitch invasions that day. One guy ran on to the pitch and laid on top of it. There were loads of fights in the crowd as well. Including one guy who punched an old man then ran away but was caught by someone else and absolutely pummeled in the face. It just isn’t cricket!
5. And Then Two Pigs Flew Overhead
I saw a blind guy holding onto the back of another blind guy who was leading him around. I saw the blind leading the blind.
4. It’s Britney Bar
I was in South Africa and planned to go out with a bunch of friends for someone’s birthday. When we got to the restaurant, they told us there was a wait of like 20 minutes, but since the place was really small and we were a large group they told us to go wait in the bar next door. Sure, no problem, we’ll grab a drink and then head over.
So we go to the next door over and immediately think there must have been a mistake. The door seems to lead to nothing but a long, dark, narrow alley with a massive set of stairs at the end. No way the bar’s up there. We go back and double-check, but the hostess insists, yep, the bar’s up those stairs.
So we head over and start climbing. The stairs are extremely steep and very narrow, and there’s mysterious water dripping down the sides of the alley. We’re all getting a pretty weird vibe, but we continue on anyways. Eventually, the stairs come up to a short hallway, and at the end of it is a door which looks like it leads to someone’s house. It’s the only way out of the hallway, though, so we open it and walk in.
It was the most surreal experience of my life. It was like walking into a ritual worship of Britney Spears. There was a DJ at the front projecting the music video to “Hit Me Baby One More Time” onto the wall for a crowd of people all dancing along like it was 1999. The room was probably 85 percent male and many of them had Britney Spears MASKS on their faces so we didn’t even know what people really looked like. After a few solid minutes of gaping in shock, my friends and I turned and hightailed it out of there.
The weird thing was, a few people arrived late to the restaurant, so obviously, we shared the story and promised we’d take them up afterward. So when the meal ended we climbed the long, narrow stairs again, and walked into—nothing. It was a completely regular bar. No traces of Britney anywhere.
3. Bunny Savior
About a month ago I was eating at a VERY NICE sushi restaurant in my city and I had to go to the bathroom. I got up and walked in at exactly the same time as a guy at a table across the room, we walked in and there was only one urinal so I beckoned him to go ahead as a kind gesture. He thanked me and I leaned against the wall and pulled out my phone to check messages.
The guy looks at me over his shoulder and says “Wanna see something weird?” I think about it and say “Maybe?” And he reaches his hands down his pants farther and fishes around for a second to pull out a live baby bunny. He then hands it to me while still peeing and says “Here.” I grabbed this rabbit and petted him, looking into his eyes thinking of so many different questions, “How sanitary is your hand when you handed him to me?” “Why do you have a rabbit in your pants?” Or any other question, but for some reason my brain decided to ask, “What’s his name?” The guy looked at me confused and said “Koah or something, I don’t remember, we got him today.” I responded with “That’s a good name for a bunny.”
“Well, I think I’m going to eat him in a few days, they taste great.” He replied. As he zipped his pants up and started washing his hands.
“You shouldn’t eat bunnies, you should love them,” blurted out of my mouth. The guy looked back at me like he was deep in thought, dried his hands on a towel and said “Maybe I will.”
Then he smiled, took back the bunny and placed it in his pants and walked out.
I like to think I saved that bunny, but he probably ate it.
2. This Is My Favorite Story Ever
I was a junior in high school. I was walking with a friend to our fourth-period class when we noticed that the campus was littered with flyers. Which is slightly unusual, sure, but nothing too weird, right? It wasn’t until a flyer smacked me in the face that we realized that they were falling from the sky. We looked up and, lo and behold, there’s a… flying… contraption… thing. Like a lawn chair strapped to a fan with a paragliding sail.
And astride it, circling above our campus, was a man, screaming about the apocalypse and the Matrix. Every few seconds he could reach into his backpack, grab a handful of flyers, and toss them down at the students now congregating in confusion. But the fourth or fifth time we watched him reach for his flyers, his hand went a little too far and caught on the large fan that was attached to the back of his DIY flying machine. Instantly we see a burst of red as his fingers are sliced off by the blades. He starts screaming and loses control of the machine, violently jerking back and forth until he flies directly into the chain link fence of the football field. Teachers began to usher students into class under threat of expulsion, and police showed up a few minutes later. The football team had to fan out shoulder-to-shoulder later that day to try to find the dude’s severed fingers.
Turns out crazy guy was a student’s father. She never talked about it, and I haven’t seen her since I graduated almost a decade ago. Still feel bad for her.
1. A Sometimes Food
I was in a Subway and this tall, lanky man who was obviously on drugs dances through the doors yelling “I’m the Cookie Monster!” repeatedly until the people behind the counter gave him a cookie. As he was walking out he throws his cookie at my head and gets about two feet away from my face and says, “You gotta have a daily dose of cookies to be a Cookie Monster like me,” and then danced out of the door.