Everybody needs a zany go-to story when meeting a new group of people. It’s that handy little true story that makes the teller look brave, hilarious, crazy or…insert your adjective here. Of course, if someone is lacking a story of their own, here are a few zingers from some fortunate Redditors that are available on loan: just don’t get caught using them.
1. Almost Lost Her To A Pea
In 2004, I was dating this girl in my first year of university. I was definitely punching above my weight as she was gorgeous and also a year older than me. I never really got jealous of other guys trying to talk to her, because she would always pull me beside her when they did.
One night, however, we were at the student bar, and I didn't see her for quite a while. One of my friends was like, “Bro, your girlfriend’s totally about to cheat on you tonight". Now, I went looking for her...and what I saw has stuck in my mind.
Here I was: 18 years old, at a small student bar in New Zealand, and there was my girlfriend getting friendly with will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. He ended up just giving her free general admission tickets to his concert and bailed with his security guards before they did anything.
2. A Strange State Of Mind
I came back to the United States—Charleston, West Virginia to be exact—after living in England for four years. My friend failed to meet me at the airport, so I had to rent a car to drive 50 miles to my home. Confused by the new construction around the airport, I stopped at the first gas station to ask for directions.
I asked the clerk at the gas station how to get to the main road going east. The clerk said that if you go east, you'll go into the ocean. I was super confused. He then pulled out a map. I couldn't believe my eyes. Sure enough, I had flown into Charleston, South Carolina not Charleston, West Virginia.
I spent the night in a motel and flew out the next day with a good story and minus $300 in my pocket.
3. He Was The Top Story
My dad is Norwegian, and spent his first year of college at University of Windsor near Toronto Canada. There was some initial confusion on his part when it came to enrolling in courses, so he ended up not getting into any of the ones that he needed for his major.
He went to the registrar to complain about this, and was promptly told that he could blame himself. But he had the perfect revenge. My dad, having always been a clever jerk, decided to give the local new outlet—the CBC—a call. The CBC sent a reporter and a camera guy to my dad's dorm, and they proceeded to follow my dad around on campus.
It was a rainy day and the story looked like this: "A hopeful Norwegian boy came all the way to Canada to go to college, but didn't get to enroll in any of the courses he wanted. Here he is, sad and alone, standing alone in the rain on campus at U of Windsor".
So the next morning, my dad wakes up and immediately turns on the TV to see if his story is on the local news. They had told him they weren't sure whether it would be or not. To his disappointment his story is not featured, so he walks into the kitchen to make breakfast, TV still on in the background.
As the local news finishes, the national news broadcast starts. Turns out, my dad was the top story in all of Canada that day. He was immediately contacted by the dean of the university, who apologized frantically and assured my dad that he could enroll in whatever courses he desired.
4. Accident Changes Life
My first day of first grade, I was waiting for the bus with my mother. The street I lived on connected to a very busy huge hill of a main road. I watched this woman zoom down this curve on a bicycle going way too fast and hit a pothole. The worst happened. She flipped her bike and flew over her handlebars and hit a car that was coming up the road.
The traffic stopped and my mom ran to this lady. She took her shirt off and started wrapping her head with the bleeding. I stayed with this lady while my mom ran back to our house and called for help. This was the early 90s and cell phones weren't a thing.
I guess life was a little more trusting back then too, because no one thought twice about a six-year-old caring for a bleeding unconscious woman in the road. But here's the kicker. None of these passengers in stopped cars did anything but stand around and watch.
I truly believe it was this strange and horrifying moment that made me the terribly over-cautious paranoid child I was and pursue nursing as an adult. I will never ever forget that lady, and I never knew what happened to her either after the ambulance came and took her away.
5. From Black To White
I grew up in a place called Taupo, New Zealand, and just out of town is a volcano called Mount Ruapehu. One particular day, I was staring out the window when I noticed a thick plume of ash rising up and told the teacher that it had just erupted.
But me being the class clown, she thought it was just another one of my disruptions, until the quiet kid in class spoke up. She had told us to stay where we are and left the classroom to talk with the other teachers about what to do.
By the time she had come back, the ash had reached us. It was 11 am on a Tuesday morning and now it was as black as night. She then told us that if our parents usually pick us up then to wait in class, but if we lived close by then we could leave.
My best friend lived just down the road and we decided to grab our stuff and leave. I'll never forget the moment we opened the classroom door and stepped outside. Everything was covered in a thick coat of soot and ash and it was just so freaking dark, which made crossing the road incredibly scary.
You could barely see the headlights of approaching cars until they were right in front of you. Thankfully it was the only road we had to cross on our walk home and the rest of the way was through a gully that took us right to my backyard.
The next morning I woke up and it felt a lot colder than it usually did, but I just wanted to watch the morning episode of Captain Planet for once and went running for the TV.
My mother walked in and said "I thought you'd be outside playing with the others". I had no idea what she meant until I looked outside my window. To my amazement, everything was white. It had actually snowed at my house for the first time ever.
Apparently after a volcanic eruption it causes a "volcanic winter," which can make it snow.
6. Santa Or Satan?
Back in the 90s, I worked at an engineering supply shop. It was called Cogs Unlimited, and it was basically a huge warehouse with thousands of different types of cogs and other equipment.
My job was to answer the phone and take the orders, write down the serial numbers and quantity, then pass that on to the other guys who would locate the correct shelf and retrieve the parts to be sent to the buyers.
Anyway, our phone number was similar to the phone number of a Santa phone service. Basically, kids call the number and talk to a voice actor playing Santa. The problem is that we would often get kids calling our number, expecting it to be Santa, but instead are greeted by an unenthusiastic greeting of "Cogs Unlimited".
At first I would just let them know they had the wrong number, but as it got closer to Christmas, the calls became more and more frequent. I knew I had to do something. If it was a slow day and I got a call from a kid expecting Santa, I would just play the role of Santa, and ask what they want for Christmas, tell them they're on the good list, etc.
It was, however, different if the kid was rude. I remember one annoying little brat who called and demanded an unreasonable amount of presents. As Santa, I let him know that he was on the bad list and will only be getting coal. I went on to say that I'd sent some of my elves over to his house to hide in the garden and scare him.
A few minutes after I hung up, I received a phone call from his furious mother. She was demanding to know why I told her child all those bad things. I had the perfect reply. I told her we just sell cogs, and that she's got the wrong number, and I never heard from her again.
7. Four Years Had Passed
When I was 10, I rescued this three-month-old puppy from a shelter. I was a pretty shy kid, and I basically did everything with this puppy. She was my best friend. A few years later my parents divorced.
I decided to live with my father and shortly after the divorce, he began to see this younger woman who didn't like dogs. They eventually married and one day I came home from school and my puppy was gone.
My dad had gotten rid of my puppy to fulfill his new wife's wishes. I was heartbroken. But this story has the best happy ending. Fast forward four years later to my junior year of high school. My grandmother gets this call from a shelter who says, "We found your dog".
Despite being completely confused and perplexed as to what they were talking about, my grandma went to the shelter to see what they were talking about. It turned out to be my puppy.
Thankfully, we had put one of those location chips into her. Even though four years had passed, it didn't matter, I had gotten her back again and wasn't going to let anything get in the way. I am now 22, and it has been five years after getting her back. My almost 13-year-old puppy is still with me.
8. This Mission Seems Impossible
The first time I tried to watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I decided to go to the movie theater to see it with my girlfriend at the time. I was in the tenth grade and we had been dating for like five or six months.
I kid you not, as the previews for the movie end, my girlfriend decides that's the best time to lean over to me and start the whole "Look, I don't think this is gonna work out" thing. She broke up with me right then and there. We just kinda left the theater after that.
The second time, I went back to the theater with some friends. Well, after actually making it through the previews this time, the movie began. We're sitting there watching for about half an hour when the theater fire alarm goes off.
Everyone in the theater got up a little confused, and proceeded to leave through the emergency exit. Some idiot had pulled the fire alarm, and the entire theater was at the box office trying to get refunds. The line for refunds was ridiculous, so we just left.
The third and final time I tried to watch this godforsaken film, I was at a close friend's house, almost a full year later. His mom had cooked spaghetti for dinner, and we—my friend, his mom, his stepdad, and me—decided to put on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to watch while we ate.
I was just saying "Man, ya know, I seem to have bad luck with this movie..". when my friend's step dad started choking on the spaghetti. Like, really choking. We had to call an ambulance, and he ended up going to the hospital.
My friend and I waited at his house after being assured by the paramedics that he'd be alright. And yet again, I didn't finish the movie. I've officially decided it's for the best if I just never try to watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol again.
9. Thar She Blows
I was once asked to dress as a whale mascot for a parade. I rode on the bumper of an ancient fire truck on the hottest day of the year. It all went so wrong, so fast. Some combination of carbon dioxide and heat caused me to begin projectile vomiting within the costume.
Once I’d done that, I passed out. Luckily I had my flipper secured enough to keep me on the truck. The last thing I heard was some kid saying: "Mommy what's wrong with that whale?" as I began dangling unconscious for the remainder of the route.
I came to as they were loading us into a flatbed to get back to our cars. My dad made me ride on trash bags all the way home. This was over twenty years ago and I can still smell the moment.
10. Pick A Card, Any Card
We have an outdoor mall in my town, and it has a couple soda machines that take credit cards. I was going around trying out a card that I knew only had 43 cents on it. Obviously I knew I couldn't afford the bottles of soda, but I was bored so why not try.
To my amazement, one worked. I was surprised and tried again. It worked. I used a Costco gift card just for fun. It also worked. Then I got creative. I used my driver's license, which also worked.
So, of course I got my friends to join me and by 10 at night, we’d emptied the machine. Sadly, someone called the authorities because they thought we were breaking the machine. We got pulled over while we were leaving, and were told to wait there while another patrol car checked on the machine.
The machine was physically fine, so there was no reason to keep us. The officer asked why we got so many sodas from the machine—there were close to 100 of them—and I said I had a lot of change to use.
The machine worked for a couple months and I would stop by and get a couple sodas once or twice a week. I went one day and it was being worked on so I left. It didn't work when I tried again. In the end I got over 120 free bottles of soda.
11. The Pirate Of Las Vegas
During a time in my life—when I was post-divorce, deep in debt, living paycheck to paycheck on an impossibly thin budget—I turned in all my airline miles for a free solo trip to Vegas.
I had astigmatism, and couldn't afford corrective lenses, so I went to the optical shop for a free pair of sample contacts so I could see the strip in all its majesty. Little did I know, this would be my downfall. On my first day there, I put in the lenses and accidentally scratched my right eye. Overnight it became painfully infected.
I went to the clinic and was diagnosed with a huge corneal ulcer that threatened to permanently blind that eye. I was given antibiotics, but I needed to be seen several more times because the injury was so severe. I had no insurance and no way to pay for this.
The doctors were great, so I wasn't afraid of losing my eye, but the medical bills on top of my financial situation would have been devastating. I went to the Treasure Island casino gift shop and bought a toy eye patch to cover the wound. Skull and crossbones, of course.
Then, I took the twenty dollars I had in my pocket and went to work. I'm not really a gambler, but I knew the video blackjack machines had the best odds. I built up small wins, and had them cut down by losses, leaving me with only five dollars.
I went for a walk and tried to get my head right. I tried again and lost that five dollars too. I then went to my bank's website, borrowed a $20 advance, and took it out at the ATM. I tried again. This time things came together. I managed to grow that $20 into just over $500, enough to cover my bills.
I stopped there, not wanting to press my luck further. The toy eye patch now hangs on my refrigerator, next to a magnet from the ophthalmologist's office. It's a reminder of the time I gambled for mercy and won.
12. The Old Tape On The Door Trick
I was a part of a robotics team my senior year of high school, and we ended up winning in a regional competition in California and made it to the national in St Louis, MO. Two friends and I shared a hotel room and basically just hung out all night and played video games.
Around the wee hours of the morning, maybe 1-2 am, I decided I wasn’t ready to call it a night and wanted to venture out into the street to walk around St Louis. Upon opening the door, I heard the sound of something ripping.
Those sly chaperones did the ol' tape on the door trick to see who snuck out at night. Now, I was fairly straight edge in high school. I didn't get around to drinking or anything until after I had graduated and never got in trouble at school.
So I was not used to breaking the rules and I really wanted to get out of the situation. I was thinking that I'd be in big trouble and worrying so much about getting kicked out from the team or being suspended. I woke one of my friends up and asked what to do.
He just brushed it off and went back to sleep. So, in my worried state, I came up with a plan. What if all the tape was broken? Then they would have no idea who left their room at night. So, I proceeded to pull off all the tape from all the rooms.
This took a while as I was scared of waking anyone up and basically snaked it, hugging the wall and peering over every corner. Eventually, I had a huge ball of tape and I started wondering, how many rooms do we have just for our team?
Finally the deed was done and I disposed of the baseball-sized tape ball in some planter. By the time I got down to the lobby, I was too tired to go out, so I just hung out by some grand piano they have there.
By morning everyone was wondering who went out and I just kept a straight face, not wanting to get caught. While we're having breakfast downstairs, I overheard someone talking about the missing tape. It turns out there was another team—an all girls team on the same floor—who got in trouble before lights out for having a guy in their room and the whole thing was blamed on them.
In the end, I fessed up to prevent them from getting in serious trouble and had the lobby guy vouch for me that I was just hanging out downstairs hammering out some tunes on the grand piano.
13. How’d That Get In There?
I was in the backyard with my dog for poop time. The dog does a squat for five minutes, which is way too long. I inspect and see a red thing coming out of its butt.
I put a plastic bag on my hand and proceed to pull whatever it is out of my dog's backside. It’s stringy, short, but getting longer. What is this? His intestine? I finally see the clothing tag. It’s my sister's underwear: 100% intact, albeit a little dirty.
14. He Didn’t Wash Up
I was in a restroom, and I was standing next to a urinal just as the guy next to me had finished. I have good peripheral vision and my eyes followed him as he headed straight for the door. I immediately thought to myself: "That's disgusting, he didn't even wash his hands!"
That's when I noticed he was struggling to open the door for a very good reason: he didn't have any hands.
15. To The Left And The Right
My wife and I were scheduled to fly to New Orleans three days after Katrina hit. Needless to say, we had to reroute our destination. For a $50 rebook, we settled on Cancun. We had flown out of Charlotte and were about an hour into the trip.
The pilot came on the intercom and told us to look out the left side of the plane. We did and we were amazed to see the space shuttle taking off from Cape Canaveral.
We both thought this was pretty cool all by itself. But there was more. It was only 10 minutes later and the pilot came on the speaker again. This time he told us to look out the right side. When we looked, we saw that we were actually passing over an enormous hurricane, which I’m pretty sure was Rita. Both of those in one flight 10 minutes apart was pretty amazing.
16. The Real Me
I live in the UK, where the limit for going to a bar is 18. I was 17 and going clubbing with friends who were all 18, so I was using an ID that looked a bit like me. Incidentally, my brother had found this ID on the floor someplace.
I had already had ridiculous amounts to drink and stumbled up to the bouncer, and he asked for my ID. In my confusion, I gave him my real ID. The absolute confusion on his face made me realize what I’d done, so I managed to mumble out the words: "Oh sorry man, wrong one".
I then proceeded to swap the real ID for the fake one. To this day, I don't know why I thought that would work. Needless to say, it got confiscated. At least I got a free ride home from law officers.
17. Welcome Back!
I got special permission to work from home because I was a good programmer and moving to another city to be with my wife. Well, after six months we decided to move back. But this is where I got sneaky. I didn't tell my boss, and now I work from home in the same city as the company. It’s been about 10 years.
Every now and then they insist on a face-to-face meeting. I drive to the airport and have them come pick me up from my "flight".
18. Random Screamfest
This happened just about a week ago. I was riding my bike to the gym, and I stopped at a red light. Just then, a woman at the same light got out of her car, and looked me right in the eye and started screaming about how much of a jerk I was.
I had never seen her before, and I had just turned out of my neighborhood so I hadn't done anything to anger her. Everyone around me in the other cars looked just as confused as I was, so I just started laughing and she just got back in her car.
The rest of the ride to the gym was normal. I will likely never get an answer to this.
19. And Just Like That…
I was at a bar with some friends and a bachelorette party came over. They had these dare things going, and one of them was for the bride to kiss a girl. They came to my group and asked if anyone wanted to do it.
Since I’d had a few drinks, I said yes. This actually changed my life. We started making out and I really enjoyed it a lot. Way more than I imagined. And that's the story of how I realized I'm actually bi.
20. Things Went The Other Way
There were four guys at my school who used party it up and then drive to parties or somewhere else. One night they came to a roundabout traffic and one of them had this glorious idea. Hey, why don’t we drive in a roundabout backwards. Yeah! Let’s do that.
So they turned the car around, kicked in the gear and drove in there backward. Sure enough: “BAM!” They hit another oncoming car. They were completely messed up and now freaking out. Not long after, the authorities arrived.
For some reason, the officer went to talk to the guys in the other car first. It resulted in the most bizarre event ever. After a few minutes the officer comes to the four guys and tells them: “Well boys, you can go. The other guy is heavily under the influence and claims that you drove backwards into that roundabout".
21. Lost For Four Days
I was backpacking solo in the Ventana, California wilderness, and I was about 13 miles out in a loop. Suddenly, the ground beneath me gave out and I took a pretty big fall. When I’d recovered from the shock of falling, I took stock of my injury.
I’d hurt my ankle pretty bad—I later found out I’d torn two ligaments and had muscular damage. It was only because of my sleeping bag and pad that I didn’t have any serious damage to my tailbone. The big problem was this. I had to get out of the wilderness all by myself and with an injured ankle.
The first two nights it rained, which was especially bad because I’d lost my tent in the fall. One night was spent between rivers. I had to get water from plants and rain catchers. I couldn't eat the first day due to shock, so I ran out of electrolytes and then couldn't even think about food without vomiting.
I tried to press on until I completely ran out of juice in the middle of the Devil's Staircase, which is as brutal as it sounds. I laid there until I realized I needed salt. Luckily I had a bullion cube in my bag, so I took a bite of it and watched the color return to the world over the course of a minute.
Now thinking clearly and able to eat, and I was able to get out in another two days. In all, it took four days to get myself out of this predicament. I arrived to safety just about an hour before my brother was going to start my route backwards to find me.
22. Lighting Struck Twice
I've always loved to gamble, so I had this grand and crazy plan since I was 18. My birthday is on the 22nd of the month and I was going to go to roulette table 22 on my 22nd birthday and I planned to put $22 on number 22 at 22:22. There was so much great numerology in all this that I thought I was going to definitely hit the jackpot.
I got there at 10:15 and me and my mates were waiting for the glorious moment. A few of them were yelling "it’s time it's time!" But my watch still said 10:21. So I said I'd wait. The croupier spins it up, says no more bets and ding ding ding it lands on 22. Everyone was shocked and frankly quite annoyed at me for messing it up.
I was drinking—and rather cocky—so I simply said: "No, now it's 10:22" and placed my bet. The ball spins and spins. We’re all watching it with so much anticipation. It's actually incredible what happened. To our amazement, it lands firmly in 22 again. We all went nuts, even the croupier.
I cashed out my $770 and hit the bar. This is the best story of my life so far.
23. A Smack From God
Several years ago, I was in med school and it was finals week. Of course that meant I was completely sleep deprived. After my last test, I was ready for the long drive home, and knew it would be hard not to fall asleep.
I lived over 30 minutes from LA County hospital, so it was freeway driving. In an attempt to prevent myself from falling asleep at the wheel, I did everything: loud music, windows open, and even smacked myself in the face.
Sadly, nothing was working. I'm driving about 40 mph, because it was LA and that's fast moving traffic, dozing off when all of a sudden I get smacked in the head. My head snaps to the side, I swerve the car, but do my best not to lose consciousness.
I control my vehicle back into my lane, and collect my thoughts to see if I was dying. Suddenly, a freaking pigeon rights itself in my back seat. It flaps its wings a few times and flies back out the window.
That's right, a pigeon smacked me in the head, flying through my window, on the Ventura highway, while I was going 40 mph, woke me up, and the thing survived and flew away. I thought that I was losing it.
Of course I did not fall asleep the rest of the way home, but I thought for sure no one would believe me. Even the drivers around me tried to avoid eye contact with me, as they were probably freaked out. When I got home, I thought how am I going to convince my wife that I didn't just make it up? Thankfully, in the back seat was one large pigeon feather.
24. It Was A Little Fishy
I was 12 years old and attending a summer camp with a good portion of the lake front as part of their campgrounds. If a kid wanted to swim in the deep end, they were required to tread water for 60 seconds by the dock while a lifeguard watched.
At the end of my swimming test one day, the lifeguard on duty told me I could swim to shore or pull myself up on the dock. Well, kids weren't normally allowed on the dock, so I went with the obvious choice and began to pull myself up when I noticed a weight on my left chest.
It wasn’t really pain, but a noticeable pressure and weight. It was enough for me to stop mid-stride and look down. To my horror, I saw a fish hanging from my chest. I was so confused, and I didn't know what to do.
I knew the fish probably wanted back in the water, so I lowered myself down. As soon as it was submerged again, it swam off. There were teeth marks, and—oddly enough—and little pin pricks of blood, but not enough to form even a droplet. For the next two weeks straight, my left chest was hard and tingly.
25. It Was Ceremonial
I was at a volleyball camp sometime back in high school and it was at the Islamic academy senior high. Don't ask me why, because I don’t know. Anyways, about halfway through the day, I had to pee pretty bad. So I excused myself and went to look for a bathroom.
Eventually, I found it and upon entering discovered that there was no urinal. I thought this was strange. Every washroom in schools usually has a urinal. I checked to make sure I wasn't in the girls. Nope, guys.
Then I saw this little passageway tucked behind the stalls. In that room was this trough. I thought: “Ok, I guess this isn't the richest school around but it works”. Anyways, I finished up my business and returned to the group.
The coach asked what took me so long, and Iold him about the hidden urinal. "Please don't tell me you peed in that". I replied that yes I had. It turns out it was a foot washer basin. A ceremonial foot washing basin for a religious purpose.
I guess that explains why it didn't flush and that there was a tap. For the rest of the week I was THAT guy.
26. He Wanted To Look Like A Cool Kid
My grandpa on my mom's side was a real character. He was a from a medium-sized town, but he was the guy who knew everyone that lived there. Running errands with him would take four times as long as it should have because everyone wanted to stop and talk to him—and he wanted to stop and talk to everyone.
When I hit my growth spurt, I ended up being about the same size as him, so he always joked, "When you outgrow your clothes, let me have them, so I can look like one of the cool kids". It never failed. Every time "Hey, nice shorts. Let me know when you get tired of them. I want to be cool and hip".
A few years ago, my grandpa had a stroke late on a Friday evening. I got a call from my mom letting me know about it on Saturday morning, and she said she'd call back when they had a prognosis. I was at bid day for my fraternity, getting ready to go to a football game with all the new pledges, and I got the call that I should come on home because it wouldn't be long.
I made it back home in time to get to the hospital to talk to him before he went into a coma. He wasn't able to talk, but he was able to squeeze my hand and let me know he understood what I was saying as I told him how much I loved him and what all I was going to do to make him proud.
I hung around for a while on Saturday, and when he slipped into a coma, my parents and my grandma both told me to go on back up to school, because there was no telling how long he would stay in that condition. Monday morning, I got the call that he had passed.
To be honest, I was thankful it was then, and not some long, drawn out process. Fast forward to Tuesday morning. I took the week off from classes because I just couldn't focus. So I slept in a little on Tuesday, and was going to wake up and pack my bags to come home for the funeral.
When I was home on Saturday, I had brought my suit down so my parents could take it to the dry cleaners with all of the stuff they had. This was including my grandpa's suit they intended for him to wear in his casket. On Tuesday morning, I get a frantic call from my mom.
She is in hysterics. I think that something has happened with my grandma. What she said instead surprised and confused me. I hear this: "Go to Dillard's. Get a new suit. Save the receipt". I ask what she's talking about, and she repeats herself and hands the phone off to my dad.
He explains. It turns out, there was a mix-up at the dry cleaners. So when they took my grandpa to the funeral home to be prepared for the funeral, the dry cleaners sent the wrong suit. They sent my suit. So, my grandpa, who had always joked about wearing my clothes so he could be "cool and hip", was now wearing my suit.
They couldn't get it off of him to return it to me, because they had to cut it into pieces to get it on to him. So, my grandpa, who always joked about how he was going to take all my hand-me-downs, was buried in my suit. And every time I wear the new suit that I got that week, I can't help but laugh, because I know if I could talk to him, the first thing he'd do would be to crack up laughing while saying "I told you I was going to get your clothes".
27. He Earned His Name
In middle school, there were a couple kids who were really into anything related to Japan. They were kind of weird and outsiders, but actually really good kids. They never had anything against anyone, but sadly a couple known mean boys had a habit of picking on them.
One day I saw, again, those guys picking on those kids. For some reason, I decided I had enough. I went to those guys and asked them nicely if they could stop picking on those kids who never bothered anyone. They went at me physically and, well, I had to use my own physical force against them.
There were three of them and I managed to beat two of them to the ground, and the third one ran away. After the dust had settled, the principal expelled me for two weeks. When I got back to school two weeks later, everyone was calling me Tetsu.
I found out that those kids I’d stood up for had named me that. A couple years ago my friend told me that Tetsu is Japanese and means "Iron". They’d given me a tough guy nickname, and everyone has called me that since.
28. They Waited On Pins And Needles
Back when I was a kid, my dad was in the army. I was living in Germany at the time and my dad was working at a different base for the week. Friday night came along and he got invited to take a helicopter back to the base we lived on to get there Friday night at a decent time. Alternatively he could take a van and get back in the middle of the night.
So we’re waiting for my dad to arrive on the helicopter. Then we get some horrible news. The helicopter ended up having a mechanical failure, crashing and no one survived. This was in the time before cell phones, so we still didn’t know if my dad had chosen the helicopter or the van.
My family got together and waited to see if my dad would be in the van. In the middle of the night, my dad walks in the door. He had not heard about the crash and was curious why we were all up. I remember that feeling I had when he came in the door and we realized it was him. It was an amazing moment.
29. He Went Over The Handlebars
My fad was cycling home one night from work. As he lives and works in a pretty rural place, there was no light on the road save for his bike light. He comes down a really steep hill, so he's going too fast to pedal, when this flash comes out from the side of the road that he doesn't have time to react to.
The bike instantly stops, he goes flying over the handlebars, and smashes his collar bone. My dad stays still at the side of the road, trying not to vomit from the pain while his bike lies across the middle of the road. A car comes and pulls up.
The driver gets out to see if he's OK, while the other passengers just wander over to his bike and seem to stop there, just staring at it and shaking their heads. A few more cars pull up—remember this is rural, people get nosy—before the ambulance arrives.
Soon there's a crowd of folks standing around his bike as well as around him. When the paramedics cart him past his bike to the ambulance, he realizes what the fuss is about. There's a cat's body caught up in his front wheel.
The stupid little fluffer had gone and run into the side of his wheel so fast it got its head stuck between the spokes. My dad loves cats so he was horrified. Anyway, he's 60-odd so the bone wouldn't heal properly and he ended up getting a sympathetic "frozen" shoulder on the other side after a while, meaning he temporarily lost use of both of his arms.
Then, the doctors decide they had to pull some bone off his hip and graft it onto his collarbone and plate it up to get it fixed. They do the preliminary blood test to see if he is fit for the surgery, and find out he's got leukemia. So yeah, lucky for him in a way, cause now he's getting chemo for the leukemia that would've probably got him fairly quickly if he hadn't hit the cat.
30. This Animal Story Is Crackers
I was in my front yard—in a heavily populated suburban area—when I heard a person screaming "It’s gonna get Riley, it’s gonna get Riley!!" I looked around, and saw a bunny rounding the corner of the house in front of mine. Shortly behind the bunny, I saw a dog rounding the corner.
Shortly behind the dog, I saw a kid, probably about 16, rounding the corner. The dog was gaining on the bunny, the kid gaining on the dog, and just as all three met, a falcon—yes, a freaking falcon—swooped down into the mass of creatures.
I dropped my laundry basket and ran over. When I got to the bunch, I did a lightning fast ocular assessment on the scene. The kid was laying on his stomach holding the rabbit with the dog nipping at the rabbit, and the falcon nipping at either the dog or the rabbit.
My reasoning was that the falcon seemed to be the most dangerous, so I was going to try to kick it in the head to get it away from the kid, dog, and the rabbit. For some reason, I couldn't kick this falcon.
So I grabbed it by the throat—nobody ever believes this part—and picked it up and slammed it down on the ground a little ways away from the fight. Surprisingly, the falcon for some reason stayed on the ground.
I did another ocular assessment and saw that the kid was wearing some camouflage clothes and was holding the lifeless rabbit and didn’t seem to care about what had happened to it. The dog had calmed down, and I noticed that the falcon was wearing leather. Suddenly it clicked. The kid was a falconer.
He was hunting rabbits, and I had just slammed his probably very expensive falcon on the ground—and almost kicked it in the head. I apologized to the kid and asked him if the bird was his. He said it was and that it was okay.
He left with his deceased rabbit, dog, and falcon. It was a weird day for me. I still don't know which one was Riley.
31. Dancing On The Ceiling
I was helping my dad clean up his friend’s house once. My dad had me climb into an attic over the garage in order to clean it out. I'd never been in an attic before and wasn't told that you need to stay on the rafters.
So, about five minutes into the job I fell through the ceiling. And what did I land on? Right on top of my dad. I was in a cast for the whole summer, but hey, I've got this story.
32. The Man, The Legend
I once met Jim Carrey when I was eight years old on a trip to Florida. When I saw him, I ran up to him and proudly proclaimed "I saw your movie!" Jim Carrey grabbed his chest and yelled: "You saw my boob-ies?!" And I said "No, your movie!"
He then shook my hand and told me, "I saw your movie too, and it was very, very good!" It's funny because now I'm getting ready to head to film school.
33. Don’t Do It Harry
I was at a theater in Boise, Idaho for the midnight premiere of the sixth Harry Potter movie. The theater is absolutely packed, and nearly everyone is dressed in their Potter garb.
So, the movie is getting near its climax, and it gets to a super suspenseful part. I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, I kind of got dragged there, but I'll try to recall the scene.
Harry has to try to save Dumbledore, or something like that, by getting water from a sacred pond or something that has all these creatures in it, and Harry knows that these creatures will attack him.
Anyway, as the suspense is rising and Harry approaches this pond, I witnessed an amazing sight. This one guy in the theater—he’s really tall, super built and looks like a college football player—stands up in the back row dressed all in Hufflepuff and yells "Harry, don’t do it. Harry, I swear to God don’t do it. Harry. Harry!"
And then of course Harry does it and gets pounced on by the creatures. The guy at the back says: "I told you Harry, I told you" and walks out of the theater.
34. Blinded By The Light
So, I’m on vacation, and one of my friends decides to go take a shower, or so we think. He's actually taking a bath. The light switch was on the outside of the bathroom, and we decided to play a harmless prank on him: the classic "turn off the light while you're in the shower" trick.
Well, apparently as we turned off the light, his head was underwater and his eyes were closed. So, as he arose from the water, it was pitch black in the bathroom. The poor guy was convinced that he had gone blind.
He flailed around and jumped out of the tub. He then proceeded to thrash around the room screaming for help because he'd gone blind.
35. Covered From Head To Toe
I went to France about three years ago when I was 22 to visit my dad's side of the family. We're Armenian, but that's where his family lives. His nieces are all in their 40s and two of the three are divorced.
The first night I got there, they insisted on taking me out to a club, which they call a discotheque. So we went and grabbed seats at the bar. I was clearly the youngest person in the place by at least a decade.
The bartender brings our drinks, and as I'm reaching to grab mine, an unforgettable moment occurs. Everything suddenly just goes black. I open my eyes and realize I’d blacked out for a half second.
I feel something on my forehead, and as soon as I reach to touch it, I feel a huge flow of blood just gushing from the top of my head and I'm quickly covered from head to toe. None of my cousins noticed what happened, so I tapped them on the shoulder, they turned around and nearly had a heart attack.
I noticed a bloody scotch glass on the floor, so that had to be the culprit. I went to the bathroom to wash up. The glass had hit me square in the middle of my forehead, yet I never felt the impact. The owner of the bar comes rushing in, freaking out with his hands and legs trembling and speaking to me in French.
I look at my cousin and shrug my shoulders and say I'm fine and don't need stitches. The man was near crying from the thought of a tourist getting hit in his bar. Anyways, I cleaned up as much as possible but there was blood everywhere: on my shirt, pants, shoes, laces, socks, even my watch.
I head back out on the floor in my bloody outfit. The funniest part was that some woman took my spot at the bar and didn't realize she had her elbows sitting in a pool of blood. I pointed it out to her and she ran out of the bar screaming.
The rest of the night consisted of random French people buying me drinks, toasting to the American.
36. Heads Or Tails?
My aunt lived in Canada, and she had relatives there and here in the UK. While both sides liked my aunt, neither of the relatives were exactly fond of each other. When my aunt passed, both the relatives here and in Canada wanted her body to be buried where they lived.
They couldn't agree, so they came up with this horrible solution. Her body was chopped in half and the legs were flown over here to be buried in the UK and Canada kept the top half. I just can't work out who got the better deal?
37. His And His And Hers
I was living in a house with two other friends, and both of them had their girlfriends living with them. I had my room in the basement and they had theirs upstairs. One day I was getting changed when I heard the doorbell ring.
I wasn't dressed yet so I grabbed a towel to answer the door. A little decency can go a long way. I open the door and find a pizza delivery guy. One of the guys had ordered the pizza for himself and his girlfriend.
I give him a shout while I hold on to my towel, making sure this doesn't end up as a dropped towel story. My friend comes down the stairs, turns the corner, and I see he is also wearing a towel.
So there we are, two 20-year-old guys hanging out in a house wearing only towels. The pizza guy’s face is contorting as he was trying not to laugh—because he's a professional.
My friend and I realized what it looked like and burst out laughing. We're giving the standard "it's not what it looks like" response and the delivery guy is giving us the “sure buds I believe you” look.
My friend's girlfriend, hearing all the laughter, decided to come down the stairs to see what all the noise was. I heard her coming down the stairs, turning the corner...and sure enough there she is wearing a towel as well.
Now the pizza guy is looking at the three of us standing around in towels like we were at some European bath house. We decided against explaining and just paid him.
38. Only The Good Die Young
I'm a junior in high school, and last year a really well respected and well liked teacher passed due to health complications. He was only 32. It affected most of the school, even those who didn't have him as a teacher, as he was always popping into random classrooms to say hello.
After we finished our finals, my buddies and I loaded up two cars with cases of cheap brewskis and went up to Martha's Vineyard for the weekend. We lucked out, and ended up staying in a massive house on a beautiful property, complete with a private tennis court and a zipline across the front lawn.
There was absolutely no adult supervision the entire time we were there. At around 1 or 2 am on the first night of summer, we stopped partying for a while. We gathered on the front porch and lit a few candles.
We dedicated these few moments to our fallen teacher, and we each said a few words about him. We played "Only The Good Die Young" by Billy Joel once everyone had said something. We had our peace, and sat together quietly, remembering that wonderful man. Tears were shed.
39. Please Sign Here
In college, me and my roommate were flat broke. We were literally living off of a loaf of 99 cent bread and skateboarding to class—because the car was out of gas. My mom decided to MoneyGram me $100 to get me through the next month until a student aid check came in.
She couldn't send a wire because my bank account was $100 in the hole, so I would have netted zero. This is where the story got really good. While at the grocery store claiming my MoneyGram, they were doing shift changes, and the new assistant came in distracted and not paying attention. She opened the register and pulled out a stack of $100 bills.
To my amazement she counted them off to $600. She asked me, "Please sign here, Mrs Dominguez". I am male and don’t look at all latin—let alone female. I gladly signed the receipt, stuffed the $600 quickly into my pocket, and bolted out the door.
I immediately filled the car with gas, picked up my roommate, and started throwing “hundys” at him.
40. He Sang Right To Me
A few years ago I went to see Willie Nelson in Waikiki. I could only afford the trailer-trash tickets, which had me seated on the lawn all the way in back—but that was fine. I get a drink, and noticed that the sectioned-off reserved spaces had some empty seats.
This is common in Honolulu, as people from neighbor isles buy tickets, then can't make the show for whatever reason. So, Willie started playing, and I just moved to a seat about 10 rows back. Now, security was all over, checking people's tickets and making them move back to the cheap seats where they—and I—belonged.
But I just thought to myself: "I am invisible, I am invisible". At my height—which is like a basketball player—it was pretty hard. The ticket guys asked people all around me for tickets, but nobody even looked at me.
So, after a while I needed another cold one, went to the long line, went back to the front to see that all the seats were now full, except one—right in front of Willie. I thought, "there is no way I can pull this off".
I sat in the chair, security still rousing people left and right, and Willie sang his old heart out about a meter away for the rest of the show. Not once did anyone hassle me. I found out later that it was a $400 seat, and I think I paid about 18 bucks.
41. It Wasn’t What She Thought
After the horrible tsunami that ripped through Asia, I went to Thailand with my church group. We were there to help with the cleanup. Even though I wasn't on holiday, I thought I would buy my husband a souvenir and decided on a cigar.
I carried this in my luggage all the way from Thailand, to Hong Kong, to LA, and back to Texas. I gave it to my husband and we realized it wasn't what I thought at all: It was an enormous joint.
42. It’s For My Dojo
I'm in a show choir at my school, and all of the guys are a pretty close group, hanging out all the time and just generally being stupid. We have lots of stories but this is one of my favorites. One night a while back, we were driving about, bored, and decided to go to the nearest Walmart for some good old Hide 'n Seek.
Once in the store, I took off to the section that held the bean bags. I climbed up on the shelf with them, and buried myself with a single bean bag covering my face. Sitting there, I thought I was safe as it was late and not many people were around.
Because I'm a planner, I decided to come up with a ludicrous story in case I'm caught by an employee. I finish my story in my mind, and I’m sitting contently in my fort. Suddenly, the bag in front of my face is pulled away and I come face-to-face with a lady holding my bean bag and looking at me in shock.
In a panic, I launched into my story just because it was there. I put my finger to my lips and told her "shhhh..". I then proceeded to explain how I was in karate in the city and how we had gotten special permission from Walmart to do a stealth exercise here.
I told her not to tell anyone, as people would ask too many questions and want to do it themselves. "It's for my dojo" I told her again and again. "It's for my dojo. Now please put the bag back, and walk away". She put it back, looking scared, and backed out of the aisle quite quickly.
Five minutes later, when the round was over, I returned a victor and a hero.
43. There Was Spirit In This Guy
When I was about 15, I was just starting to play guitar, and was obsessed with the song called "Spirit in the Sky". I was listening one day, and thinking, "Man, that is a really cool guitar tone, I wonder how he did that". This set off a strange chain reaction.
So anyway, later I'm fooling around on good ol AOL, and I stumbled upon a website owned by Norman Greenbaum, the guy who recorded the song.
On his website I noticed there was an e-mail address. I figured he wouldn't actually be posting his personal email, would he? I emailed him anyway, and asked about his guitar and gear on that song.
I never really expected a reply. Fast forward a few days later: "You've got mail!" And wouldn’t you know it, I actually had a reply from Norman himself . He emailed me and told me all about his gear, and about when he recorded the song.
Not only did good ol Norman respond, but he also attached the sheet music for the song in the email. That was a pretty cool experience.
44. He Was On The Ball
I was golfing with my family, and I hit a ball out of the course and down onto the highway near the course. I chuckled, and for some reason said: "A homeless man is going to find that ball, and it's going to make his day". Later, when we were walking down the fairway of that hole, we saw a homeless man walking down the sidewalk.
He was holding the ball up and called out to us: "Is this your ball?” Needless to say, it was my favorite golfing moment.
45. It Was A Smashing Party
I was throwing a massive house party in Madison, Wisconsin somewhere around 1990. This was going to be a huge party, and I’d even hired a band to play. Well, the band I hired had to cancel at the last minute, so we needed another band to play.
I took a buddy of mine and we went down the street to the Student Union to see if "that one band that always plays there" would come over and play our gig when their set was done. They agreed to do it!
The night totally rocked and maybe I should mention the name of the band that played: The Smashing Pumpkins. Yup, little did we know how famous they would become.
46. Behind Door Number One
I am an American who was doing business in China. I arranged a meeting with a client from Germany at his hotel. So, I go to his hotel and he texts me that he’s coming down in the elevator. The elevator opens, and the only western face I see is a guy who’s also looking for me.
He introduces himself with a thick accent. We talked for half an hour...and then realized our massive mistake. We both figured out that we were supposed to be meeting other people. And, yep, there they were in the elevator area waiting for us: another American and a German. Go figure!
47. One Thing Missing: My Clothes
It was the first time my parents left for a week and left me in charge of the house. At the time our dog was recovering from leg surgery, so she couldn't go up and down the stairs. I had to sleep in the TV room on an air mattress.
I decided that with my parents away it was “walk around the house with no clothes” time. So I undressed and crawled into bed. I was also a neurotic teenager, so I locked the door that led to the garage.
About 30 minutes later, I decided I wanted a snack from our small garage fridge. This was my biggest mistake. I went into the garage and thought I had unlocked the door. But I hadn't. There I was, without a stitch on, locked out of my own house at 10 pm. What was I going to do?
My first plan of attack was to find clothing in the garage and ask our neighbor for the spare key, but all I could find was a rain jacket and a towel. It would be glaringly obvious to my neighbor what had happened. At this point my dogs were barking like crazy as I tried to open the door.
I eventually found an old gift card in the door of my car, and—after trying for a really long time—unlocked the door. What a relief.
48. Inked And Regretting It
When I was coming back from Afghanistan—I was 23 at the time—the boys and I had a few too many with some guys in Cyprus. I woke up the next day with a tattoo. This wasn’t so bad, except it was a Wu-Tang tattoo and it was on the lower back position—a place usually reserved for women.
To make matters worse: two of my buddies got Wu-Tang symbols on their butts—with my name in them. I'm now 29 with two children and I hate this thing. I tried laser tattoo removal, but it's junk and doesn't work.
So, I just had my Wu-Tang tattoo cut out by a plastic surgeon. It cost me $1,600. I’m now in the hole for $3,200 if you include the failed laser removal. Wu-tang is not forever and neither are inner demons and shame.
49. A Curious Combo
My mom had her eye make-up tattooed on, and was in some pain after the procedure. She asked my brother and I to go to the store for a couple of things. It wasn't until we were in the check-out line, receiving funny looks from the clerk, that we realized that we were two lone men buying nothing but cucumbers and vaseline. Somehow, I made it so much worse.
Without thinking I blurted out: "No, it's okay, he's my brother!" We received major stares. I finally just stopped talking, figured there was nothing I could do to salvage the situation, and just accepted the judgment.
50. These Answers Did Not Vary
One test day in college, the teacher had accidentally stapled answer sheets to the back of every test by mistake. A few minutes after passing the tests around, his phone rang and he stepped out. Of course, everyone had noticed the answer sheet, and we had to decide what to do about it.
The consensus was: we would all use it and tear it off after. Our thoughts were that, hopefully, he would never notice. So I checked each of the answers and they were all correct except for the last one—which was a flowchart. We were to draw a flowchart that explained a process.
I checked the answer sheet, and it just said: "answers will vary". So, I drew my flowchart, tore off the answer sheet and walked to the front podium to turn the test in. When I got to the podium I had to know.
I needed to see what everyone else had drawn for their flowchart. I still laugh at what I saw. Almost everyone had written on their test: "answers will vary". I don't remember what the teacher did about it.