Going out to eat is supposed to be a pleasurable experience. It's something we do to celebrate events and milestones, something we do to share time with a potential partner, something we do just for delicious food we don't have to cook (or clean up after.) But that doesn't always mean it's going to go well.
Improper food storage, terrible staff, unsanitary conditions and more can all potentially turn a night out into a night gone wrong. So Reddit user Squid50s asked food professionals of reddit to share some of the red flags that patrons should look out for when they head out to eat.
Their responses will definitely have us keeping our eyes peeled the next time we head out for a meal.
The Sprite Nozzle
If there's a self serve soda machine go ahead and take a napkin around the inside of the Sprite/clear-soda-available nozzle. If your napkin comes out pink, brown, or orange SKIP THE SODA.
A Sprite nozzle should come out clear. If it's pink or orange then it's slime mold. If it's brown, it's likely cola. But if the cola nozzle was put on the sprite dispenser and is still brown you know the nozzles aren't being cleaned properly.
Also go ahead and look closely at the ice chute. I see green algae in those a lot.
Sick waitstaff. If restaurant owners encourage their waitstaff to work while sick (or don't help to find a replacement), you can count on getting sick too.
Down In FlamesGiphy
You might have to be a chef to recognize this, but my red flag is going into a busy restaurant and noticing none of the tables have food ,or not many customer are yet eating. This usually means the kitchen is going down in flames.
One time I noticed this and could see some food slowly stacking up in the window, but no orders coming out. I mentioned it to the server and he replied," I wouldn't suggest ordering food". He brought our drink check and we left. He was tipped well for his honesty.
Prime Meal Times
The empty or almost empty parking lot at prime meal times. There is your sign. If you do venture inside, if it is dirty, imagine how the kitchen looks.
Not a chef but my best-friend is and he says a large menu. Chances are a lot of things on a menu means that they are frozen. Also, it's difficult to train people to be good at making 40 different things so the quality is going to suffer.
SOME places like Chinese or Indian restaurants that are different combinations of about 30 fresh ingredients are an exception.
Not a chef, but ex-restaurant manager. How happy is the staff? Do they seem like they like their jobs? If the staff are miserable, you're not going to get quality food or service. It's worth seeking out restaurants that treat their staff well. If they're treated well, they'll treat you well.
Walk into the restroom first thing. If it looks like cleaning there has been neglected, the kitchen is probably worse.
I've heard that if you actually smell fish at a sushi restaurant, it's in your & your insides best interest to hightail it out of there.
Sushi chef ringing on this one.
There are many factors that play a role in the development of bad smell, and pure fishiness has more to do with bloodlines (chiai) and blood than anything else. I'm seeing a lot of this and that, but no one is really hitting it on the head.
A fish smells like a fish. There's stages in its breakdown however, that change smell by removing different pieces of anatomy:
- whole fish -
Not much to say here, should smell and look like a regular fishymcfishfish. Flesh should be elastic and rebound after touch (not bruising or leaving dents), gills should be bright in color and not gray or dark brown, eyes should not be cloudy, and the scales or skin shouldn't be very slimy.
- head and gut (H&G) -
Scales generally intact (depends on fish, I would scale a bass here but not a salmon), not slimy at all. The fish should have been well cleaned with water and scrubbed then wiped down with a dry rag. The head is removed with the guts and the belly is opened.
And this is crucial boys, you bleed the fish out by making an incision on the spine inside the belly and thoroughly cleaning that out. Then dry it.
- filet -
Filleting a fish is basically removing the spine as it traverses from the dorsal fin to the spine. You do it one side at a time, but the end result is equivalent.
- saku/loin -
This is what's screwing people up real bad here. You still have to pull off the ribs to expose the belly meat, then separate the shoulder from the belly across the bloodline. The bloodline is where the spine USED to be but it's perpendicular to the orientation of the removed spine. It's removed as you separate the two pieces (belly and shoulder) ....
Which finally brings me to chiai. In traditional Japanese and Asian it can get left on. However, it goes bad faster than the meat. Since I'm not great at anatomy I can't really tell you exactly what it is, but to my American palate it tastes terrible alone. Leaving this on will cause it to go bad faster and you can greatly extend the life of the product by removing it before storage. It's generally removed after skinning and predominantly on the shoulder loin.
So let's recap. We've removed the head, guts, bones, scales, skin, blood, bloodline, and chiai. What's left?
Pure fish. It doesn't smell at all except for minor amounts of fish oil. If I catch even a whiff of fishiness while I'm working service with a finished product, it goes in the trash.
Gray meat? Trash.
But fish, good fish, should not smell like aged fish. Repeated encounters with unclean or relatively unclean surfaces can inspire bacterial growth that cause smell. Which is why I clean my cutting board and wash my hands regularly to reduce cross contact and remove biofilm. Biofilm is what bacteria thrive in. It's like nature's natural petri dish. It's why I remove the slime.
If You Can See The Kitchen Then Look For...
Worked in a bunch of restaurants in college. Many say look at the drop tiles in the ceiling but that is more indicative of the land owner than the restaurant owner. If I can see the kitchen I always look at the cleanliness of counters, floors, walls. What do the rags look like? Where is the trash in relation to the cook surfaces and prep stations. If the grease traps on the griddle exhausts look extremely dirty (should be removed and cleaned nightly). Is there any food out on prep stations possibly getting warm? Should it be in refrigerated stations underneath the cook area or in the walk in fridge?
For my NYC people "Grade Pending" doesn't mean that the restaurant is awaiting judgement on their health inspection. It means that they failed and are given a grace period to fix their wrongs.
Listen To Your Server
Not a chef but a waitress for several restaurants. If the wait staff recommends you don't get something, TRUST THEM. I used to work at a country club but the kitchen was horrible. Food was rotting in the fridge, raw and uncovered meat was put above uncovered desserts, etc.
If I noticed food going bad or set where it may be contaminated, and a member tried to order it, I'd straight up tell them, "I don't recommend that, but (insert menu item) is great!". Waitresses/waiters don't always do this, but if they do, listen to them! It might prevent you getting sick.
A Green Flag
More a green flag: if you're eating ethnic food and all the customers are of the ethnicity in question then the food is probably going to be freaking awesome.
Don't put too much stock in online reviews. You have to remember that people are more likely to review after a bad experience than a good one. At the same time, part of my job as a waiter was to write fake reviews for us on TripAdvisor. It was a really decent place too but we definitely drew the wrong crowd and struggled to get happy customers to leave a review. Not saying don't trust reviews at all, just be mindful of it.
Also if you finish your starters for instance and you're really not happy with the food or the service, just pay for what you've had and leave. Most of these nights that are on course to be disappointing are still salvageable and there's no point spending money on a sh!t night because you don't want to be rude.
The Substitution Conundrum
Watch for "No Substitutions".
If the place makes it's own food, they can sub virtually anything for anything else. While they may try to play it up as "Our food is perfect and we refuse to change it on moral grounds", its almost always a sign of "This was made 2 months ago and all we do is reheat it."
This can go either way. What you're saying can be correct, but there's more to it.
I used to work at a place that had no substitutions, but they made everything to order and as close to "from scratch" as possible. Why did they have the policy?
Because during the rush, people would come in and sub something so much that it wasn't even a menu item anymore. This would throw off food costs sometimes, and make tickets drag out of the kitchen a lot. You know what makes people complain more than anything else? Slow food on their lunch break.
It got to be so bad that the owners (who owned a number of restaurants) bailed on it and sold the place. I was briefly part of management there before it closed and got a look at the books, and they were in the black. The hassle of dealing with the picky yuppies at the location wasn't worth the amount of profit for them (they were in the black, but they weren't deep in the black), something I was told months later when I ran into one of them and asked why they'd sell a profitable business.
It more depends where you are.
I've worked in roughneck area's and mods are super rare.
But when I work in more so called "higher class" area's, people start getting more picky and demanding. Sometimes it's just because the customer wants to sound like they are more better/refined then they are, like wanting as steak "medium rare with no pink inside". By the way, that's literally not a real thing. If you don't want pink inside then it's not medium rare.
I dunno, I've seen some crazy stuff. Pizza no crust was one that particularly threw me for a loop.
"so... you just want sauce and cheese?"
"We can't run sauce and cheese through a pizza oven."
"Oh sure you can, just put in on some foil."
Queue asking the manager what the f they want me to do with this and a rather heated discussion with the guy working the pizza station, and that customer got their tomato sauce and cheese on foil.
Most subs are fine, but people will get way out there and start inventing their own stuff. Another of my favorites was:
"I see you have broccoli as a side"
"and you have chicken strips"
"And I see you have soy sauce over here on the asian hot wings"
"I want to order chicken strips no fries sub broccoli, and I want it stir fried and tossed with soy sauce, and some ginger if you have it"
And suddenly we're panda express.
The Kitchen Door
If possible, take a good look at the yard/parking lot/whatever the kitchen opens to. Check if it's reasonably clean, if there's rubbish bins or the bags are left on the ground, if the bags look puffy (meaning they've fermented and therefore have been sitting out for a while) and/or with holes in the bottom area (that means rodents). If the bags are left on the ground, that means the kitchen's not the cleanest around, as they will attract all kinds of pests. It's a pretty huge sign that either the chefs don't care or the owner's too cheap to buy bins and / or pay for proper garbage disposal. And I don't think I need to point out that a cheap owner will not buy the fresh, more expensive ingredients if s/he can get away with the cheapest frozen sh!t.
Also, if you're close enough to the door, check the floor for cigarette butts or joints. Lots of cigarettes are not a problem: a busy kitchen is stressful and plentiful cigarette breaks are what keeps a chef or line cook running without cracking under pressure. Few cigarettes may mean the kitchen's understaffed, overworked or both, so they're likely to take shortcuts when cooking or prepping. Lots of weed leftovers... just choose another restaurant.
If it's an open kitchen, pay attention to how the chefs behave with the dishwashers. If they're respectful and treat them like human beings, or yell constantly and mistreat them. A mistreated washer is a HUGE red flag telling of a dysfunctional kitchen, stressed chefs, unacceptable shortcuts, and an idiot in charge, so you'll be better off eating somewhere else.
A Mafia FrontGiphy
My dad used to work in the restaurant business. We'll get back to that in a second.
One time, my wife and I went to a restaurant and had a very strange experience.
The place was highly rated, but we came in at an odd hour, so it was fairly dead. Like two other tables being served, out of thirty available. When the waiter comes to take our order, they have a list of specials longer than the regular menu.
The strangeness starts a little after that. We notice that there's, like, fifteen or twenty extra wait staff. Despite this clearly being a time of day that only needs a skeleton crew. Most of them are just, like, standing there. Not hanging out chatting, like happens at normal restaurants during a lull. Just standing there like they're expecting sometime to require their attention. But like seven people doing that, for three tables.
Somehow, despite there being thirty goddamn waiters for five people, we have terrible service. Despite seven people just watching stuff, no one checks in on us. Our food takes forever to come out. The waiters that are walking back and forth don't walk near or see us, so it takes us five minutes to flag down a manager. Some of the waiters may have had poor English as well, despite this not being an ethnic restaurant, although I may be mis-remembering that part. The managers promises to find out what's going on with our food.
The manager brings out our food. He tells us that he found it, since it was ready, but no one had brought it out. Because I guess all of the twenty waiters had more important things to do like standing around seeing if anyone needed salt or a napkin? How can I need salt if I don't have my food yet?
After some serious discussion, my wife and I conclude this must be a mafia front. All these people must be standing around appearing to be gainfully employed for money-laundering purposes. If the restaurant claims to be very busy with cash transactions during this time, the IRS will be suspect if there aren't enough payroll taxes to support waitstaff. So, they have real waitstaff. Maybe these people have extra duties on the side, not during business hours. Or something.
A few weeks later, my wife and I share with my dad our story of this ridiculous restaurant.
"First of all," we say, "the list of specials was like a mile long!"
"That sounds like it was a front," he says.
We are flummoxed. "OK but like... I mean, yes, it definitely was... but we didn't even get to the sketchy stuff!"
My dad explains: Restaurants need a supply chain. If something's on the menu, the restaurant needs a dependable source for those ingredients. They need to have it in stock, fresh, of acceptable quality, daily. Chefs spend a lot of time and effort sourcing ingredients. A good part of the Food Channel is spent in markets and whatnot.
If most of the menu is variable, then their supply chain is "my cousin has a box of fish that he says fell off the back of a truck, I guess halibut is on the menu today!" This is a reflection of their business practices in general.
So now we know: If the list of "specials" is longer than the menu, then it's a mafia front.
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Sous chef of two years (which isn't very long) at an Artisan Sausage Shop which is well respected. So other head chefs at local places come by and feel comfortable talking shit about other establishments and different chefs have some similar things to say.
Mainly in sushi restaurants if you go for sashimi/nigiri/sushi and if the meat isn't on that lil clear cold bar where they showcase the various raw fish, an hour or so after open, then that means the chef is lazy and hasn't prepared the fish properly so that it is preserved at a proper temperature. Says a lot about the laziness of chefs working there and the managers keeping tabs on them. Especially sketchy if you're in a land locked city/town and you know the fish is almost always frozen.
Oh also bathroom cleanliness will tell you a lot about how they stay sanitary.
Side note, expect your food at 'nicer' restaurants (30+ per person) to be touched by chefs without their gloves, meaning their bare hands and they sometimes won't wash their hands for an hour or so. So lots of hands touching food and then other food so on. Freaks some people out cus if you've worked in service industry you know chefs can work high intensity during rush and they be getting swamp ass and itch their ass subconsciously and then plate your food.
"It's quite obvious..."
The sauce tops. It's quite obvious if it's been cleaned or not. Chances are it will tell you if the bottle is sanitary.
"After one health infraction..."
I worked in a high end seafood restaurant one summer in Vancouver. After one health infraction, they stepped their game up and ensured everything was fresh and all kitchens were cleaned top to bottom every night. I started as a dishwasher and move up to prep-cook. They had like eight of us stay one or two hours after closing to deep clean the kitchens. We would remove all the overhead vents, clean every seal on every fridge, remove things from shelves to clean out. They would check every night meticulously to ensure the kitchen was 100% clean before we can leave. They of course, paid us extra and we received a portion of the tips. I was pleasantly surprise the amount of time and detail they would undergo. Pride in every detail was made known and it only helped the business.
If a restaurant has a theme to it and you walk inside to find that the inside doesnt even match said theme then that probably means they dont know how to run a restaurant.
"I have worked in diners..."
I have worked in diners for over half my life. Look at the condiments on the table people. If they are an unkempt mess, are grimy and look old then the kitchen is this way too. Nobody cares in this joint.
"The food may not be horrible..."
When they have a large menu with different cuisines. Like, if it's an Italian restaurant, it shouldnt be selling burritos. The food may not be horrible but if it's not focused, it ain't gonna be the best thing either.
"It's just been marinating..."
When you see servers walking around with the ticket presenter shoved in the back of their pants, just know that they've had that same ticket presenter since they started working there It has never, ever, been cleaned or washed in any way. It's just been marinating in ass sweat.
Health inspection scores are really based on the individual inspector. They all have their personal "pet peeves" that they will flag and other things that they will ignore. They can be wildly inconsistent. For instance I had a health inspector for about 2 years who never gave me below a 98. She had a child and took some time off. The inspector taking her place came in and acted like my restaurant was a dump. Gave me a low score and even took two points off because he didn't think the lights in the kitchen were bright enough. I hadn't done anything differently.
Then I got another health inspector that was filling in and I told him that I got brighter bulbs to solve the light problem. He said "what?? You were docked points for the lights?? that's ridiculous!" Then he took points off because I was reusing pickle buckets to store dry goods in. I consistently kept my place very clean. Yet my score would vary depending on which inspector showed up. It was beyond aggravating.
"Investment in good staff..."
For me it is if the design of the restaurant looks really fancy and they invested massively in furniture and such. But the waiting staff has an average age of 19-20. For me it is a classic mistake that loads of restaurant make nowadays. Investment in good staff is way more valuable than looks. Even though a qualified and talented restaurant staff is hard to come by, in the Netherlands at least.
"Look for places..."
Big menu means it's highly likely the food is from the freezer. Look for places with a small(ish) menu and the food should be fresh.
"Don't ever go..."
Dont ever go to a restaurant that's about to close in 30 minutes. Many start cleaning and all the dust and cleaning solution is making its way around the food.
"It's literally all I handle..."
Sushi Chef here, please stop eating at seafood restaurants if you have a severe allergy to fish. It's literally all I handle all day and having to properly sanitize my station in the middle of the weekend rush is the last thing I wanna do.
"If you're not willing..."
If you go out for sushi, please stay away from sushi tracks. They are very sketchy and having sushi just sitting out to get warm is not good. Fish will always be expensive, if you're not willing to pay the extra few dollars for the good stuff, stay away from all types of raw fish.
"I generally stay away..."
Chef here...I generally stay away from meals that seem out of place or dont have some of the same ingredients as other dishes. Product for the not so popular items may not be as fresh. For example...tuna salad at a gas station deli. You know they're not selling enough of that for it to be fresh everyday.
"Only an idiot..."
Actual former chef here. These comments saying, "don't eat (whatever food) on a (day of week) because it's leftovers..." This is called utilization. Specials are just that. Things that we'd rather sell than throw out. Those of us who actually know what we're doing, carefully cool down and store things so they have as much menu life as possible. Only an idiot would throw away perfectly good, saleable food if it didn't sell on the first night.
"There's literally nothing..."
If you're gluten free, for whatever reason, please don't go to a "from scratch" Italian restaurant.
There's literally nothing we can do to get that crap out of anywhere. Thanks to the flour, it permeates the air.
"If there's a funky smell..."
If there's a funky smell that's even slightly (or stronger) urine like, the restaurant probably has a rodent problem. Best to leave.
"What cleaning jobs..."
Overworked staff. What cleaning jobs do you think are getting missed if staff are far too stretched and or unhappy at work?
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Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.
What could possibly go wrong?
It turns out there are so many variables that can contribute to making the bride and groom's celebration a major matrimonial miss.
Curious to hear examples of weddings gone wrong, Redditor lolf**kno asked:
"Those who have been to a ruined wedding, what happened?"
Dramatic brawls and speeches plagued these weddings.
Catty Attendees And Booze
"Very beautiful wedding in a huge barn at this apple orchard. They must have spent a ton of money on the decorations and catering because it looked like something out of a magazine. The ceremony was great, the flower girl did her thing, the vows got everyone choked up. Everything seemed to be going well. Not even 15 minutes into the reception the mothers of the bride and groom getting into a full out brawl, hair pulling, red wine being thrown. Their sons jump in to defend their honor, chairs start being throw, tables are flipped, parents are grabbing children and running for their lives."
"The bride and groom are horrified and leave immediately and head back their honeymoon suite. My fiancé and I left after this as well but we heard from some other friends that most people ended up staying and getting wasted at the open bar on the bride and groom's dime. Apparently, the fight started because one of the groom's sister complimented the bride's grandmother's dress. The bride's mom thought she was being sarcastic and called her a b*tch, then the drama ensued. Mind you they had all been pregaming the wedding pretty hard."
Playing For The Drunk Uncle
"I played a wedding where as we started playing the set, everyone ran outside and nobody was to be seen for the rest of the night."
"I originally assumed it was because nobody liked us but the bride came in afterwards and said there was a huge fight involving multiple members of both families and everyone basically went home upset, injured or in a police van."
"We couldn't stop playing since we were payed and it was our job, and the only person watching was the drunk uncle dancing on his own asking for requests we didn't know."
Maid Of Honor Speech Goes Off The Rails
"Was a guest of friend of the bride, did not know anyone attending. Very expensive over the top place, several hundred guests of this very Italian wedding. Maid of honor grabs mic at the cocktail hour begins her speech, rambling, drunk. Quickly devolves to stating the recently deceased mother of the bride was against this wedding and that's basically what killed her. Plus Vinny will never give up sex workers. She is tackled by several people and dragged away."
"The happy couple is separated and divorced within a year."
This is what happens when bad luck crashes weddings.
Tumbling Into The Sunset
"I work at a golf course with a lot of history behind it. We do wedding venues inside the clubhouse and the actual ceremony is held outside by the historic water fountain and large pond."
"First problem was the weather. I live in the high desert and it was very warm. A solid 90 degrees that day and it was also pretty windy. So everyone's outside, no umbrellas, no ezups."
"The next problem, and probably the worst, was the golf cart incident. The bride and groom wanted to 'ride into the sunset' on one of our golf carts. Drive around a little bit on the golf course. To be fair, it is beautiful on the course during sunset. However the cart had somehow gotten a nail in the tire, tire went flat, battery on the cart went crazy and the cart ended up freaking out. It came to an complete stop from 15mph to zero. The wheels and mechanisms locked up, almost seizing. Both the bride and groom (fairly overweight mind you) both fell out and rolled over a few times. They were totally okay, just a few bruises and perhaps a bruised ego or two. So retrieving that cart was fun."
"And last but not least, the power inside the clubhouse went out to do the high winds. There was no after party available. Only the cake was cut, hardly any food was given out. Yeah, not a great day to cover for someone on your day off."
"I was not born yet, but my parents rented the observation deck on the Hancock building in Boston for their reception. Tallest building in the city, beautiful view. My dad pored over historic weather charts to figure out what day was statistically most likely to be nice out. Day of the wedding comes and of course, thick fog unlike anything they'd ever seen before. Couldn't see a thing out the windows of the room they had picked specifically for the view."
"Worked out well though, they were happily married for nearly 30 years before cancer took my dad's life a few years ago."
"There's one other funny anecdote from that wedding: The wedding was held in Kings Chapel, which is an incredibly historic church here in downtown Boston that's somewhat of a major tourist attraction. To close that on a weekend afternoon for a wedding, it turns out, was not very expensive. The tourists waiting outside to see the church didn't know that, though, and someone started the rumor that my parents were incredibly wealthy, maybe even Kennedys. As a result, there were tons of people taking photos of them when they left the ceremony. Not sure if any of them ever figured out that my parents were most certainly not rich or famous."
"I was best man at my sister in laws wedding (stepped in for the brother of the groom, that's another story entirely)."
"For a whole year of planning all the bride (SIL) wanted was a dove release while they said handwritten vows to each other. Very small, non denominational (most of the family are atheist anyway) wedding."
"Day arrives (early summer) and something is off with the bird handlers. They show up a bit late and are sourcing help from the wedding party to get everything in line. When the time comes to say their vows I help the handler carry the chest with the doves in it over to what is to be the altar where the bride and groom are standing."
"Vows are just about wrapping up and the handler gives ME the signal to open the chest. I open it and see 20-30 DEAD DOVES IN THE CRATE!!!! I immediately close it to try and limit who knows what happened. Too late. The look of horror on the bride's was all that was needed. We spent the next few hours trying to cheer everyone up but by the end of the reception the entire wedding party had organized and filed animal cruelty complaints on the handler. It was all anyone could focus on."
Tragic losses unfortunately befell leading up to or at a couple's nuptials.
The Wedding Guest Who Left Too Soon
"When I was 6 or 7 I went to a cousin's wedding. Everything was fabulous for little me, so much sugar everywhere, basically heaven. The reception was in a big community center that was reserved for the occasion. Went to the girls' bathroom, passing by the men's room to see my uncle on the floor. Went back to the main room to tell my dad my uncle was looking weird. Well, uncle had a stroke and had died."
"The bride spent the rest of the afternoon crying, and everyone except close family left."
"Bright side is the mariage is still going strong 20 years later, despite what happened that day."
A Terminal Diagnosis
"Leading up to my friends wedding his father had been battling cancer after a terminal diagnosis. And it was touch and go whether he would be well enough to attend the wedding, in the end he was too unwell to attend despite wishing that he could."
"Just as we got to the wedding reception my friend was informed that his father had just passed away. It was devastating."
"Happened to my classmate. He is successful middle level manager, divorced, about 35yo or so. Found a girl of his dreams but from a provincial poor town. The girl insisted to have the wedding in her town to show off her 'success.' The wedding is crashed by her old friends including male friends who are not that sophisticated and have some tense feelings towards the successful groom from the city. Somebody starts a fight in the middle of wedding, groom is trying to stop it and got stabbed in the back. Died right there. And he was my classmate."
An Unfortunate Trespassing
"The wedding was at a state park that's famous for its giant gorge/waterfall. I don't know whose idea this was, but someone suggested a photo overlooking this gorge and everybody was game. The wedding party went around a stone security barrier and the maid of honor literally fell off the cliff to her death. It was like 500+ feet."
With a lot riding on a wedding to go off without a hitch, the mounting pressure is one where something is surely to buckle.
And because wedding guests are usually inebriated and high on the buzz of celebration, they throw caution to the wind and make some choices they wouldn't make under normal circumstances.
People's ill-advised actions can have regretful consequences, but no one expects death to be an outcome.
Fortunately, the weddings I've attended or heard about from friends were not as catastrophic as the anecdotes mentioned above.
While the Redditors' stories are sorrowful, it gives me a sense of relief these devastating examples are rare occurrences.
Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.
But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.
People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,
"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
"We delight in the deaths of others as long as we feel it was justified. But when the reverse happens we act all high and mighty like we wouldn't engage in the same behavior."
"Slaughtering each other..."
"Slaughtering each other via warfare to solve political differences. It's standard policy worldwide."
Indeed it is. And it seems impossible to stop.
"Littering. Especially dropping cigarette butts on the ground/flicking them out the window.
The world is not your personal ashtray/garbage bin."
Every now and then I find new trash in my yard and I am constantly amazed by how nasty people can be.
"Mobbing someone because of their opinion or for a comment they made a long time ago, even if that time was yesterday."
"Xenophobia. The fact that racism and racial violence still exist is an indicator that we're still tribal primates in fancy clothes."
And it makes no sense! It's not based in reality. We are truly a tribal species.
"Shouting while arguing, refusing to listen to the opinions of others, basically the inability to debate and maintain proper communication."
"Letting people die..."
"Letting people die of curable conditions simply because they can't afford healthcare."
Probably the biggest reason why much of the Western world looks at the United States with shame in their eyes.
"Parents forcing their kids to hug family/friends despite the kid being uncomfortable doing it. They feel uncomfortable for a reason."
"During the holiday season..."
"During the holiday season, customers take products off of our online fulfillment carts. Y'all have legs. Get your own."
"Using phone speakers..."
"Using phone speakers in public. I don't care what you and your friend think about that restaurant, or how much that Spotify jam speaks to you. Nobody else wants to hear it."
We truly need to stop all of these, don't you think?
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.
This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"
Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:
What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Have we met? That is an actual question I asked a gift giver once. (Who shall rename nameless) Football tickets. FOOTBALL TICKETS?! Who? What? I can't.
Looks FamiliarBroad City Wow GIF by Comedy CentralGiphy
"My own scarf. Yes, that's right, my mother went into my room took my only scarf, wrapped it and gave it to me like it was a new scarf."
"Thought I was getting a bike for my 15th birthday but my foster parents announced that they were sending me to a group home after living with them for 11 years. Devastation! That place was a wake up call. More independence then at my foster home but those kids had it really really bad, 12 year old heroine addicts, abuse... what the entire hell! I hurried up, graduated from high school at 16 and got the hell out of that place. I turned out ok, work in the legal field, live in Las Vegas. I did forgive my foster parents before they died."
The Forgotten One
"My brother and I worked for a farmer one summer, and he paid us with a used car. At the end of the next year, my brother graduated high school, so my parents paid me out for my half of the car, and that was his graduation gift. I gave them all a big discount compared to what it was worth. So like $500 for my share of a $2500 car."
"2 years later, and I needed $50 for some graduation fees, so I borrowed it from my mom until I could get to the bank. (Before mobile banking and ATMs everywhere.) Later, when my mom is telling me they invited all their friends over for a 'graduation' party, I asked if they had gotten a gift for me. "Well I gave you fifty bucks."
"I paid it back the next day, and she didn't blink. The 'graduation party' was just my parents friends, who said congratulations to me, but it wasn't really for me. A few years later, my little sister graduated, she got a car. They bought a used car for her, and our other little sister got the same when she graduated. My parents are mostly nice, and I never felt like they singled me out at birthdays or anything. Just my graduation seemed like I turned invisible."
Office Party Fail
"HR complaint from two subordinates fighting over how to throw me a surprise birthday party."
"I've never worked in an office environment, but the stories I've heard of people being required to buy a cake for the whole office and to celebrate their birthday with their coworkers would be enough to keep me in blue collar work for life, were it not for the fact that I love being active and working with my hands and could never sit at a desk all day anyway."
Basicslaw school finals GIFGiphy
"My Asian mom's gift was "no extra Kumon homework after school homework" so my birthday gift was that I didn't get extra homework from her."
Regifting is trash behavior. Do better. I'd rather you just say I forgot. Or... I just don't care for that much. But regifting? No.
"Stomach flu and my first ever period, at the same time. I think it was my 13th birthday."
"Omg, exact same story for me. It was my 13th birthday and my family took us kids to visit our relatives in Subsaharan Africa for the first time. I was sick, jetlagged, overheated and riding down a bumpy road in a Jeep driven by my dad in the complete darkness. We had just eaten at a restaurant where I found a giant scarab beetle in the bottom of my soup bowl. I have flashbacks to this day."
"My grandparents have been gifting me (and my brother) the same set of three vice grips for almost 10 years. Collectively we have 60 vice grips. I don't know if they bought a pallet of them, or where they are coming from. GET A GRIP GRANDMA!"
"I had a friend who's father was famous for doing Christmas shopping at the last minute. One year she complained that she went downstairs on Christmas morning and found, sticking out of her stocking, a spatula. Her birthday was a few days after telling that story, so myself and her friends all decided to get together and get her spatulas for her birthday, as a gag gift."
"Well, when it was our birthdays she retaliated. Which lead to a counter-offensive. And soon a new tradition was formed. And guys, I have so many spatulas now. Everything from dollar store cheap plastic, to hand-carved spatulas, a golden spatula, and even a replica of the famous Malaysian fighting spatula."
"I've got seasonal spatulas. As in, today it's time to pack away the Christmas spatulas and bring out the heart-shaped Valentine's day ones, followed by the bunny-shaped Easter ones. We've also been passing around this clip from the Weird Al Yankovic movie UHF. "Spatula City, we sell spatulas, and that's all!"
Their ultimate whack-a-doo move...
"A pair of homemade custom pajamas. Only problem was that they weren't made yet. It was just the fabric and a promise to make them for me. I had to give the fabric back and I never got the pajamas."
"Nothing legal just at our wedding they gave us a card that basically said 'have some land.' When the dust settled I asked what they thought we would do with it, they said build a home. I said ok, gonna need legal ownership for like building a house. They said sure we will get right on that. Then they decide to sell out and retire and never mentioned our wedding 'gift' again."
Gross...Disgusted Steve Carell GIFGiphy
"My grandma got me a hairbrush with a plastic horse head handle. The horse head was all chipped up and there was hair in the brush."
"My Godfather sent me a Birthday card each year which said, he paid 100 bucks to a bank account which I was supposed to get, when 16yo. He then got into alcohol, used all the money and died."
Oh for God sake, why even bother giving anything at all? Lint rollers, used brushes, homemade pjs... y'all ever hear of a gift card? Just put five bucks on it and call it a day. You can't hide cheap, so stop trying.
I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.
I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.
But let's compare thoughts...
Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:
What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
I definitely wouldn't turn down an excursion to AREA 51. I'd like to poke around and get a sense of the place. I've never personally been up close and face to face with a "non-Earther." Not sure I'd like to be...
TV Truthx files monkey pee GIF by The X-FilesGiphy
"UFOs/Aliens are a cover for all of the secret projects that the government is working on. Actually stole that from the X files."
"How human birth parallels alien abductions:
- Babies are taken from their home (womb)
- They still developing sight, so they see bright lights and grey figures.
- They hear an "alien" language they don't understand.
- They suddenly feel cold after leaving their womb.
- They are in a surgery room being poked with tons of instruments.
Long story short: some people suggest that abductions are just people who had memories of their birth."
In the Mind
"I just don't think anyone will ever see this. But I think that UFO's are the projection of our unconscious collective mind. Everything that exists in reality, also exists, in our immaterial mind. Is it possible that the insides of our mind are also just one drop in the ocean of consciousness... and together we create the material reality were in, simply by experiencing it in a real way, inside-out through our senses."
"My father was an aircraft mechanic and fabricator for test and spy aircraft for the USAF. He spent 75-85 working with test aircraft. He said that when they were going to do a test, that could possibly be seen by the public, they would make a betting pool on how many UFO reports local authorities and flight towers received."
Under the Seasci-fi ufo GIFGiphy
"I like the idea that some UFOs aren't machines. Instead they are some sort of Upper-Atmosphere Jellyfish. I found the issue of Fortean Times that had this article. Here's the cover: http://ft.gjovaag.com/q/images/a/ae/FT291.jpg"
Interesting. There are some ideas we can look into. None of it proof, but possibilities. There are certainly plenty of future film ideas.
"We are like that un contacted tribe and everyone agrees not to bother us."
"I've heard it explained from a channel (idk if you know what channeling is) kinda like this. First of all, we as a species tend to freak out, shoot first and ask questions later. Most humans would have a literal psychotic break. You have to believe in vibrational energy as it relates to our consciousness."
"The aliens (certain ones) are at such a higher level that it would be jarring for us to come in close contact with. We are slowly getting there but it's a process. Like 2012, end of the Mayan calendar, wasn't the end of the world it was the end of an energy cycle that we as the human race had never made it past before."
"Previous civilizations have been destroyed or destroyed themselves before they got this far. We passed a point where we are very unlike to destroy ourselves anymore. This doesn't mean we won't see some real bad hardships yet but we will keep progressing."
"train your eyes"Dancing GIFGiphy
"I was a firm believer in t em when I was in high school and kept googling theories and info in my spare time and during my study halls. They said their bodies were so lightweight or something that the reason why you can't see the evidence is that they disintegrate before hitting the ground."
"And then LOL it was so funny, some people would swear you could "train your eyes" to see rods... HhhahAHAHAHA. Like there were these experts. Video showed him walking around with a serious face, then pointing. And he's like, "that was one just there." "You can't see them, you have to be used to them... like me."
"I've spent many years immersed into hunting them finding them. That's why I can see them." And then one day China, who loves occult stuff, had like a lab that set up a nighttime camera to capture footage of rods at night... then realized they were normal bugs at overexposure. lol"
"The Dark Forest theory. Basically the theory that the reason we haven't made contact is because all the other civilized life in the universe/galaxy knows not to broadcast their location. They've learned that there's something awful or predatory lurking in the dark forest of our galaxy, and that it's better if they keep to themselves."
"That the universe is so vast that we haven't been discovered yet."
"This makes sense to me because traversing the distance to or from even our our stellar neighbors would require technology that is not known to us now or likely to be known by us anytime soon if it's even possible at all. To assume without evidence that aliens could possess this technology and have visited us does not meet my skeptical standards."
Back and Forthback to the future great scott GIFGiphy
"Time travel exists, and UFO sightings are actually future humans coming back to our time. That is why they are so discreet, and never openly make contact."
I hope time travel exists. Now that I'm onboard for. If aliens do exist... just come on out guys. We could probably use your help.