These Geniuses Beat The System
Yes, civilizations have rules for legitimate reasons. However, when you invent around those rules or find loopholes, does that make you a vigilante? It sure puts some people in hazardous situations, but for these rebellious minds, the rewards outweigh the risks.
Rank The Concertred and yellow light on a dark roomPhoto by Wesley Pribadi on Unsplash
When I was 16, a friend and I created a website with fake reviews of concerts in the Washington, DC area that we didn't actually go to. It ended up working out better than I could have ever imagined: Once we had built it up to our satisfaction, we used it as credentials to gain backstage access to a huge DC area music festival three years in a row.
A simple call to the radio station that sponsored the event got us free passes and access to hang out with and interview most of the bands, including Cypress Hill, Coldplay, Social Distortion, and Offspring. Nobody ever caught on, and oddly, nobody seemed to be suspicious of our age.
The Parking Spot Whisperer
I used to keep a can of white paint, a can of yellow paint, and a small paint roller in the trunk of my car. Why? Because I'm an evil genius, that's why.
Whenever I pulled into a full parking lot I just added a space. I expanded a total of four parking lots before I decided to quit. I also cut a “NO PARKING” stencil from two pages I printed off the internet. It didn't really benefit me in any way, I just wanted to see how obedient people could be. Turns out people are very obedient. I spent an entire day at my bedroom window, watching people drive up, almost park, then pull out and drive around the block looking for spaces. One of the better moments in my life.
Sorry, Wrong Applicant
I was applying to colleges, and having slacked off all through high school, I was getting rejected from every one of them. I finally applied to a university I had no chance of getting into, and marked down that I was "Native American", though I'm very clearly white.
A month later, I learned that I had gotten in, contingent on me completing a summer in a program for minorities, focused on bringing up their skills and background to their more-qualified peers. I accepted, had a very interesting summer—a whole other story—and graduated with honors.
You Here?men's blue collared top near silver MacBookPhoto by Austin Distel on Unsplash
When I was a teenager I worked for one of those crappy call centers with one of those horrible micromanaging plans. So they would divide us into "teams" with "team leaders". So one day they switched our teams and I noticed that they never placed me in another team—therefore, I was never accounted for. I had a crazy idea. I figured there was no way it would work, but I had to try:
I would go in every day, clock in, go home or whatever, then come back and clock out. Eventually, I got too lazy for this and just paid a girl to clock me in and out. This lasted for a month and a half before anyone ever noticed.
That’s Why They Hire Interns
When I was in Paris studying abroad, a large group of us had called a trendy club early in the night to reserve a couple tables, so we showed up around 1 am or so expecting to skip the line—which was a few hundred feet long at this point—and get our table. That's why you make reservations, right?
Well, naturally the bouncer apparently didn't get the memo and wouldn't let us in. After a few minutes of pseudo-arguing with their management, my friend pulls out his secret weapon: His ABC press pass—his expired ABC press pass—that he had from his summer intern work for ABC in London. He told them that he was writing a story on Paris nightclubs and that theirs was now going to be let off the list because they weren't letting us in. I started laughing thinking, "yeah sure Ted, good one, let's go home".
And then, boom, all of a sudden the velvet ropes open up and we get two bottles for free at our tables.
That was the coolest trick my friend Ted has ever pulled.
Have You Been A Good Boy?
This happened many, many years ago when I was still a kid. As I was old enough to figure out the truth about Santa Claus, mom took me shopping with her for Christmas. She was buying gifts for the whole family, so the shopping cart was quite full. The department store ran a well-publicized contest where each customer could have all their purchases reimbursed. It went like this: at checkout, the cashier asks you to pick an envelope. If you get the magic voucher, you just walk away and don't pay anything.
Obviously, she asked the "innocent kid" to pick the envelope. But, I quickly realized something: As the cashier handed me the envelopes, the lighting was well-positioned behind them, so I could see through. They're thin and I quickly realize most of them are empty; only one contains a piece of paper. The rest is family history. Not an impressive feat, but it made my day as a young boy!
Car Swapred car parked on parking lotPhoto by Krzysztof Kotkowicz on Unsplash
Working in the city, I really didn't want to pay $80/week for parking. I noticed there was very little differentiation between the “0” and “O” they used on plates. That gave me a crazy idea. I registered a custom plate—O101101—and parked my car on the street every day. 9/10 times, they would put 0101101 on the ticket. Never came back to me and I saved a ton of cash!
Not Lost But Found
Go to the library a day after it rains and tell them you forgot your black umbrella. Free umbrella!
Lose your phone charger? Go to the front lobby of any hotel and see if they have a match in their lost and found bin.
You Better Have My Money
There used to be a routine that you could do which took advantage of the lag between funds available and check processing with ATM deposits.
Basically, it worked something like this: You have two bank accounts with nothing in them. Write an uncovered $1000 check from one to the other. Wait a day and write a $1000 check from the second to the first. The first check will eventually clear using the phantom money from the first because funds were available faster than check processing.
With the right timing you could get a substantial amount of imaginary money flying around in a long cycle for more or less as long as you like. You could then take short-term loans out of the circulating money but managing it would be a lot of work.
I never did this myself, so I might have the details wrong. I had a friend who did this when he was short on cash. But he's maybe not a guy you should listen to... I'd check with him for the details—but he's currently in federal penitentiary.
Did You Beat The System, Or Beat Yourself Upsmiling boy wearing white crew-neck t-shirt during daytimePhoto by Moses Vega on Unsplash
When I was four, I was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes. When I was six, I took over the day-to-day management of it. That included testing my blood sugar and taking my injections, which then was twice a day—parents still supervised of course but didn't need to do everything and anything for me. It took a few months before I was capable but eventually, I was able to take care of it all on my own and therefore able to do all the other things my Grade 2 classmates did, like have sleepovers and go on school trips, etc.
Sometime later, I can't remember how old I was but I would have been under ten, I discovered how the machine that tested my blood sugar level did it. It would read the color of my blood.
For those who don't know, Type 1 diabetics need to test their blood sugar by pricking their finger and putting the blood on a small strip of plastic. That plastic then goes into the machine and the machine tells you what your reading is. Back in the 80s, it was a little different. I had to drop the blood on the strip of plastic, wait about 90 seconds then wash the blood off with water, then put the strip in the machine.
I figured out that the darker my blood was on the strip, the higher my reading, and the lighter it was, the lower my reading... and the lower my blood sugar, the more I would need a "boost"...like candy.
So my young self thought, “That's interesting”. What is also interesting is that the strip I have to put the blood on is white.
So I started doing my blood tests as normal, then not putting the strip in the machine properly. The machine was no longer reading my blood, it was reading the white strip and giving me a low reading—which to my young mind was full of win! Lollies, cake, and all the awesome things I was never allowed!
My parents were scared and confused. The doctors were baffled as my pathology results were not matching my daily readings, the manufacturers were confused as when they tested my machine it was in full working order. I was getting all the awesomeness I wanted...and getting sicker and sicker.
Eventually, I confessed to my doctor. Although my parents were a little angry I think my doctor was a little impressed.
So there it is...not so much beating the system when all I'm doing is making myself sick but as a child, it felt awesome!
Throughout college, I had a sneaky way of cheating the system when studying for tests. Whenever it was time for me to study, I would send out an email to my entire class saying something like "Hey, I'm working on a study guide for the test...if anyone wants to send me a copy of theirs I will send you mine...just to make sure we haven't missed anything of course".
This is the genius part: Within an hour I would get several study guides sent to me...and I would just send them back a copy of another person's study guide. In the end, everyone is happy and none the wiser.
Thunder Buddies For Life
My swim team has meetings every Saturday morning. They tend to last between three to four hours. On one particular Saturday, there was a thunderstorm. Every time you hear thunder you can't get in the pool for 30 minutes, so the meeting got delayed several hours.
By the time the storm cleared up everyone just wanted to go home. So to encourage the officials to cancel the meeting, I walked out to the parking lot and hit a dumpster with my fist. The boom it created sounded just like thunder. From where I was standing, you could hear everyone in the pool area yell "THUNDER". Dismayed by another delay, the other team's coaches forfeited the meeting and we all got to go home.
You’ve Got Mailperson showing white envelopePhoto by erica steeves on Unsplash
Used to live in NYC for a long time. For personal mail within the five boroughs, I would put the recipient's address in the return address spot on the corner and my address in the center of the envelope. I'd "forget" to put a stamp on it and drop it in a mailbox. Inevitably, the mail would be returned-to-sender...to the address I wanted it mailed to. It worked every time.
Tweet All Your Worries Away
We all know customer service phone centers make it impossible to get good customer service, especially when you need to return something or get your money back. But I found another way.
Pretty much all large companies now have teams of people monitoring Twitter for complaints. Since hardly anyone uses Twitter to complain, I find that any time I complain via Twitter, someone contacts me almost immediately and rectifies the problem.
For instance, my dress shoes fell apart—Johnston & Murphy—and calling their phone center was really painful, but after I complained on Twitter, I got a brand new pair shipped to me the same day. Pretty decent move if you ask me.
My dad works in a chemical company as a scientist. One day, when he was cleaning out the old chemical closets, he found an unopened package containing one kilogram of solid Silver Chloride that had gone past its expiration date. Normally it would get thrown out, but my dad decided to take it instead. He took it to the kilns and decomposed the Silver Chloride back into elemental silver and chlorine gas, and managed to get about 700 grams of silver out of it.
An Endless Roller Coasterpeople riding red and white roller coaster during daytimePhoto by Gabriel Valdez on Unsplash
My dad and I waited in line for hours to get onto the fastest ride at Six Flags. Feeling adventurous, we decided to just see what happens if we don't get off the ride at the end. It turns out that in the rush, nobody notices that you're still on the ride. I couldn't believe it worked. We were only asked to step off after getting five or six rides, but by that time my dad had blacked out anyway.
Thinking Outside Of The Box To Get Inside Of The Bin
When I was in second grade, our school had a carnival with a bunch of different midway-style booths, run by our teachers. One in particular challenged us to build a paper plane, throw it about ten feet, and land it in a small trash bin. Nobody had succeeded in doing so, and I watched many paper airplanes veer off to one side, nosedive, tailspin, and so on. Cleverly interpreting the definition of "paper airplane", I wadded my piece of paper up into a really compact ball, aimed carefully, and tossed my paper ball into the trash bin.
They didn't award me the prize.
Doppelganger Saved The Day
Didn't happen to me but to a woman I met in Japan a couple of years ago, who had gone on a trip to China. After driving in a bus for two hours, they arrived at some destination only to be told that it was already crowded, it was late and they would have to return the next day. Well, one of the people on the bus looked a little like a certain ex-president's daughter, so they told the Chinese people that it was Chelsea Clinton. The place was suddenly open for business again.
Evil Twinphoto of woman's face reflectionPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
My friend really didn't want to go to her group meeting for a group engineering assignment in the first year of college. Every week, we persuaded her to make up an excuse and not go. After a few weeks, we've started to run out of plausible excuses. So we decided that she should have appendicitis. And then I had an incredible, devious idea.
I decided that it would be fantastic if she walked into her group meeting, pretended to be her own identical twin and told them that she had appendicitis. She did, and they ended up doing the whole assignment for her.
I took the SAT for my best friend. We had someone at our school store make a school ID for us using my picture and his name. When I got to the testing center I told them I lost my driver's license and this was the only ID I had. Worked like a charm. I scored a 1400 for him, which was better than I got for myself, and apparently was about 400 points higher than what he scored when he took it himself.
This threw up a red flag and the SAT people weren't happy. They told us—him—we had three options: get a refund and cancel the score, cancel the score and take the test again for free, or send in handwriting samples to prove it was really him who took the test. This is when we decided to roll the dice. We chose to put up a fight and take option three. I pulled a bunch of homework assignments that I hadn't written my name on and put his signature on them.
We sent them in but apparently, there was still too much of a discrepancy in the score and handwriting that they couldn't accept the score. And that was the end of it.
Cooperating With The Teachers
My school had trips to Spain offered every two years. As a fundraiser, we would sell candy bars. I was quite a bit more entrepreneurial than my counterparts, and offered candy bars on credit. This caused me to essentially corner the market to a point that one of the teachers went into competition with me.
The problem with that sales system was that we could only do it the year before the trip, not after. This is because it was, after all, a fundraiser for Spain. I decided that if I wanted to keep my business going I would need to get a little bit shadier.
The same teacher who ran the Spain trip also was in charge of Key Club. I gave 25% of my profits—not total sales—to Key Club in exchange for protection from the school authorities.
All in all, I netted around $1,600 in profit, or $3,200 in revenue—about 4 per person in my school—while going to school, without breaking the law. The year after was the Spanish fundraiser, so the teacher wouldn't accept protection money.
Like Having A Time Machinered apple fruit on four pyle booksPhoto by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
When I would have an assignment that was overdue, I would leave it somewhere under or around the teacher's desk. So, they would just assume you turned it in on time and that they had just misplaced it; I did this once or twice.
The hotel I work at has a membership to a full-service gym that's totally free for guests. All they have to do is show their room key, and bring a towel.
The cheating part comes from knowing that they don't verify that people with a room key are actually staying at the hotel. Hello, free gym time!
One Step Ahead
In college from—1998 to 2002—at the end of a semester, I already knew who my professors were for the next semester, and those professors used the same coursework every semester. So, I would download their entire website, where they had the current semester's homework/quiz/test answers. That info was very useful when I started the class.
Taking Quality Notesflat lay photography of blue backpack beside book and silver MacBookPhoto by Matt Ragland on Unsplash
When I was in school—at the beginning of the year—we were supposed to deposit empty notebooks for each subject. Throughout the year whenever the teacher for that subject would give us a test, they would distribute the notebooks to us to take the test on at the beginning of the day.
After the test was completed and checked, the notebooks would be again collected and locked in the class cupboard. What I and some of my buddies did was, whenever they would distribute the notebook at the beginning of the day we would write the answers to most probable questions or important stuff on the last pages of the notebook. When the test was taken, we would copy the answers from the back pages. Once done with the test, we would quietly rip off the last pages before submitting the notebook to the teacher. We always scored well.
Hey, Can You Come Pick Me Up?
In high school, a friend of mine had a cell phone. During class, if he felt like leaving school, he would just call the classroom he was in, imitate a security guard's voice, have the teacher write him a note and he was on his merry way.
Losing My Religion
In grade nine math, I told my teacher I was Jewish—I'm not. She was from the Caribbean and had no knowledge of the Jewish religion. Whenever I would miss a day and she asked why, I would just say "Oh, it was Yum Kavandash" or whatever series of Jewish-sounding words I thought would work that day. Basically, this let me take two weeks off the class while playing cribbage with my buddies in the cafe.
Friend With Benefitsman wearing blue denim jacket and sunglasses taking selfiePhoto by Tânia Mousinho on Unsplash
I had a friend from Belgium of Moroccan descent.
This guy was the most charismatic human being I've ever met in my life. I used to own businesses on the Santa Monica Promenade in LA—in the 90s before it became a corporate dystopia—and he worked for me. I remember going to the movie Independence Day when it came out at the time and was about to pay at the box office for myself, him and two other employees who had all done a hard day's work in the sun when he suddenly stopped me.
Instead of "wasting my money" as he called it, he dragged us—a party of four—to the ticket checker and started sweet talking rapidly—something about a lost cell phone. The next second, we were all waved through without paying. We were all astounded but elated. We'd somehow hacked the system through this guy. And my wallet was heavier through not having to pay. He would have taken it as a personal affront if I had paid. He impressed me to the point that I still remember him 15 years later.
Soon after, I learned he had talked the California DMV into granting him a driver's license even though he was a foreign national. Also, not long after, I learned, he'd gate-crashed the Oscars dressed as a chef and hung out for the night with Oliver Stone. All of this I confirmed.
The guy blew my mind.
We Love Free Candy
My high school had a shop run by the student council and they kept all the candy and soda in a locked room by the gym. One day, I noticed they had left the key in the padlock. During football practice, my friends and I snuck in and looted several duffel bags of candy. We did this for the next few days until they finally changed the lock. The best part, nobody thought twice when they saw a bunch of kids making off with full duffel bags because it was by the gym and everyone had them!
Play The Sick Card
I was up the Sydney Tower and for some reason—I can't remember—they were delaying everyone going down the lift. The queue was approx 1.5 hours long to get in the lift down. They wouldn't allow me to take the emergency stairs—but I knew I had one card to play.
I stated I was a diabetic and I needed my injection which was in my hotel, since I never planned on being up the tower so long. They told me to wait in the queue and I agreed as long as I had a Sydney Tower letter signed by the manager stating that I told them I was diabetic and I was to wait in line delaying me getting my injection. They asked what I wanted this for, and I stated that it was so I had evidence to help my case to sue them when I fell into a coma. Needless to say, I got the next lift down.
Catch Me If You Canperson holding credit cardPhoto by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash
I used to fill out credit card applications: Platinum Visa, AmEx, Discover card, etc. It took about three weeks, but they'd send me cards. I used to go from store to store and just "charge it". After about two weeks, I'd call in and report the card stolen. Then just repeat. I guess based on their system, it's hard to catch or something. I would also buy stuff from the mall with said cards, then take the bags back and get the cash.
College On A Budget
College textbooks are very expensive, but buying used books at the Student Book Exchange (SBX) can save you some money. However, you need to act fast when the book is a new edition and there won't be many used copies available. Since everyone tends to sell old books and buy their new books during finals week, you need a game plan to lock in a deal, especially if you are short on cash—which was me.
What I used to do was cruise the bookshelves and find a used copy of the book I knew I would need the next semester that got turned in early, a week before the current semester was over. I wouldn't have my cash then as I had not yet traded my current books in, so I would create a bridge loan by taking that used copy from one shelf and sticking it behind a big pile of books nearby. The bigger the pile the better as that pile needs to hold up until I return the following week. Piles that are all new books last longer than a pile of used books.
The next week I would sell my books, walk over to the big stack and grab the used copy that I had stashed and buy that one at a lower price. Often that used copy I had stashed was the only used copy available.
When There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
When I was 16, there was a fire drill in my high school in Texas. My boyfriend and I were skipping class and walking around the hallways when we heard the alarm go off. We decided it would be really awesome if we stayed in the school while everyone left—there's about 2,000 kids at my high school. So, we hid and waited.
When we couldn't hear any more voices we proceeded to skip around the halls and goof around. I realized I had a pack of cigarettes in my bag. I told this to my boyfriend. The moment I said it I knew I had to smoke one, the irony was too much to refuse. So, while the fire alarm was still going off, and in the hall right in front of the library, I lit one and we shared it. He put it out on the wall and we ran away screaming with laughter.
Twenty minutes later, after everyone had already come back in, we decided to check out that hallway again. We come across the administration—the principal and a few of the vice-principals. They were sniffing around, clearly wondering why it smelled. I've never felt so empowered.
That’s Why They Call It “Payphone”gray phoneboothsPhoto by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash
There was a row of pay phones outside of my local movie theater. After finishing a movie with some friends, we all waited outside to get picked up by my mom. We were bored, just walking and looking around when I saw a quarter stuck in the middle payphone. I tried pulling it out but couldn't reach it, so I took a piece of cardboard on the ground and pushed it in. Little did I realize, I'd just hit the jackpot: A huge pile of coins came tumbling out from all the people who put money into the—malfunctioning—payphone.
The next few days I would pay a visit to this payphone and push the coins in the back and collect my payment. I even went so far as to create "Out of Order" signs and put them on a few of the other phones to encourage people to use the broken one. Eventually, the theater fixed the phone and put an end to my easy money, but I made away with something like $40 in coins.
Nobody Can Block My View
My house is on a very popular public beach. Tourists usually like to come on the holiday weekends and they will set up tent cities right in front of my house—blocking my steps and walkway to the beach.
So, I just started setting up a whole row of fishing rods and chairs near my steps and walkway. You see tourists start to walk up, take one look at the fishing equipment, and say to each other "Ugh, let's sit over there instead".
Solution Is One Button Away
Recently? Big conference. 18th floor, top of the building. Everyone was going down the limited number of elevators at breaks. Big lines.
People are not going down the stairs by one floor because if you hit down you'd just get a completely packed elevator. My solution? Go down one floor. Hit “up”. Board empty elevator. Welcome people on the 18th and enjoy my quick trip down. The greatest hacks are the simplest.... though it would have been better if it didn't fail the categorical imperative.
Of course, if I wasn't an American I'd just take the stairs all the way down.
Let’s Reset The Tankperson holding black corded devicePhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Several local gas stations near me would switch from "regular'' pay to prepay-only at a certain time of night. Let's say it was 10 pm. I'd pull up and start filling my tank at 9:58 pm—making sure to keep filling as the clock rolled over to 10:00. When it hit 10, the pumps would go into the pre-pay mode and reset themselves. I'd finish filling my tank and only have to pay for about two gallons.
This stopped working when gas went to $4/gallon and drive-offs became a huge problem, making all the stations go to pre-pay-only full-time.
Life Hacks: Airport Edition
As a college student that lives on one coast and goes to school on the other coast, I have to get a lot of stuff across the country every year. This trick saves me a ton in overweight bag charges.
Go down to the nearest Army/Navy surplus store and pick up one of their backpacks. These fit a ton of stuff and don't look all that big. Pack two backpacks—one regular, one from the surplus store—plus your personal item. When you get to the airport go through security as usual, they don't care if you have more than the usual “1 bag + 1 personal item rule that the airlines use.
After getting through and to your gate, go up to the counter and say you're worried the flight is too crowded and/or you think your bag won't fit—don't let them see the other bag. Ask if there is some way to check your bag now. Most likely they'll "check the bag gate side" for you. Which means they put a tag on your bag and when you walk down the ramp there is a spot to put it. They then put it below with the other checked bags. On the way off the plane, you pick up your bag and you're on your merry way. Best part is you don't get charged for it.
For two years that I was in the dorms, I picked a roommate who said he was going to pledge and join a fraternity. That way, a few weeks into the term, he would move out. It would take another one or two terms to get the paperwork in line that I needed to get a new roommate. I would pick another guy who was soon joining a fraternity. I had roommates in my closet-sized dorm room for maybe two months of my two years, and I only paid for 1/2 the room.
Photoshop Your Way To The Topman in grey shirt using grey laptop computerPhoto by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash
I was a junior in high school, and I was transferring schools due to a recent move. However, my grades at my previous school were mediocre to say the least. The awfulness of my grades didn't stem from stupidity—I'm quite brilliant, mind you, but rather I had problems with undiagnosed insomnia for a very long time and never went to school because of it. My new school required a personal interview between the principal and myself. During this interview, I was told the school had very strict GPA requirements—my grades didn't cut it.
They'd requested a copy of my transcripts from my previous school, and as I was walking out of the office, I saw a sealed envelope on the secretary's desk—it was from my previous school. I took the envelope from the secretary's desk when she wasn't looking and proceeded to go home with it. I opened it up and sure enough, they were my transcripts.
I took the transcripts to Kinko's and had them scanned at the maximum resolution and quality possible and took them home with me on a CD. Then, I meticulously photoshopped the transcripts and changed my GPA from a mediocre 2.3 to an astounding 3.9. Finally, I had a buddy of mine whose dad worked for the US Postal Service don his dad's work uniform and deliver the transcripts the next day.
Needless to say, it worked. I went on to graduate with a 3.8 GPA in my senior year—I got my stuff together—and was accepted to one of the state's best 4-year institutions. I've since graduated and have a very rewarding career.
Is It A Six Or A Nine?
I went to a conservative university that had a nightly curfew. If you went away for some period of time, you'd have to fill out an overnight leave form online which would need to get approved by a student dean or dean or something. One fall break, I needed to fill out one of these forms for 10/03/06 to 10/06/06. I purposely filled it out for 10/03/06 to 10/06/09—in my mind, hitting a nine instead of a six was a legitimate typo if I had to explain myself. Their online system didn't automatically check for this kind of discrepancy, and the student dean overlooked it when he approved it because the month and day columns looked correct. It got me three years without curfews. I never had to worry about it again.
Think Simple, Think Fast
There was this really nice apartment complex next to our not-nearly-as-nice apartment when I was in elementary school. During the summer, it got really hot and the community pool was not walking distance. Unfortunately, the complex was pretty well fenced so no one without a key could get in—and they had a really nice pool which everyone was envious of. On top of that, the people living inside were pretty strict and would never just let us in. One day, I realized I could stick my hand through the metal grating of the fence and open it from the inside. I swam a lot more after that.
Don’t Overthink Itwhite plastic laundry basket beside yellow front load washing machinePhoto by Anca Gabriela Zosin on Unsplash
I used to live in a condo building that had three clothes washing machines and two dryers on each floor. Often all of these machines would be in use at the same time that I wanted to use them. My solution: Go to another floor and use the machines there. There are 18 floors in the building, that's 54 machines to choose from, so that I could wash my clothes simultaneously, in parallel. It's kind of obvious, but when I first realized this, it seemed pretty cool to me.
Okay, so in Ireland we have two official languages, Irish—Gaelic which is the first—and English. Because of our constitution, all services provided by the state have to be in the two official languages. The funny thing is though that the majority of Irish people cannot speak their mother tongue—Irish. Whenever I do my taxes or any other business with the state I always conduct it through Irish or demand that it be conducted through Irish. The advantage of this being that the queue/line and waiting time for things to be processed for things such as passports, tax credits etc. is always minimal or practically nonexistent.
I don't like the way my co-patriots don't speak our language, but it sure is a massive advantage to me. Also, if the state cannot provide the service through Irish, they try to fast track you through their system of whatever so as to try and not to offend you so you wont complain. I love it.
We’re Here, Obama!
My friends and I went to the Obama inauguration and since driving and walking were out of the question, we took the Metro. Well after the ceremony ended we headed towards the nearest metro stop which happened to be near the Air & Space museum. The stop was closed with a huge crowd of people trying to get in, so we went back to the museum and played poker for an hour and a half. After that we checked back at the station, still closed, so we walked up three blocks to another station, also closed. Then we were told we had to walk all the way across the mall.
At this point it was like four or five in the evening and we had been up since 3:30 am. So, we sucked it up and walked the mile or two across the mall to the one open station, and there was a line because it wasn't open yet...so we waited in a nearby food court for an hour until the station opened, and then we got back in line.
After we got inside the station, there was a solid mass of people trying to get back to Virginia, it would have easily been another hour or two waiting for the train. Then, I noticed that the Maryland-bound platform was nearly empty so I said, "Hey let's ride up a few stops then get on the train headed the other way".
Everyone agreed this was at least a better idea than waiting. After two stops, the platforms were empty and we got off that train and right on to another headed towards home. I was quite pleased as we rode past the platform of people who would be stuck waiting for empty trains for hours.
Like Father, Like Sonperson using phone and laptopPhoto by Austin Distel on Unsplash
I got a free trial cell phone and just didn't give it back. It stayed free for like 7 years, until someone took it from me.
Also, me and my dad used to tell the cable company that C-SPAN wasn't broadcasting clearly—like there was static and stuff. They would come over and remove some "block" which allowed us to watch HBO for free.
Also, in 1999, my dad worked in the IT department of a large insurance company. For Y2K, they needed one person to stay in the building, in case everything exploded or whatever. To determine who would stay, there was a tournament of coin flips throughout the company. Out of the hundreds—maybe thousands—of people who worked in the building, my dad was one of the final two people. It all came down to one coin flip, between him and his former college roommate. My dad said, "Okay, if it's tails, you stay, if it's heads, I don't". Apparently, the guy did not realize that either way, my dad would win.
Also, my friends and I inadvertently realized how to get free food at fast food establishments. You go through the drive-thru and tell them something like you spilled a drink in your car and you need some napkins. Something that they won't make you pay for. Then you pull up to the first window, they just wave you on, because you didn't order anything. Then you get to the second window, and usually, you'll get the food ordered by the people behind you. The two windows don't communicate. The first one just assumes you're going to ask the person at the second window and not take someone else's food.
Does This Ring A Bell?
When I was in high school, we had a bell system that sounded through a tone in the phone that was in each class instead of an old school bell. That gave my friend a brilliant idea. Realizing that this "bell" sound had a very digital ring to it, my friend and I decided to record it one day. Now having acquired the tone, I was able to replicate the sound of the bell, thus fooling my fellow students—who instinctively would get up and leave once they heard the bell—and the teacher into believing that the class had ended.
I was able to use this to end class early throughout a large part of the year until the administration caught on and started changing the tone daily.
This one time on a road trip me and my friend stopped at a local restaurant and bar to grab lunch. Halfway through my friend knocked over the salt and I told him to throw some over his shoulder for good luck. Unfortunately, the man behind us didn't enjoy it so he came over—he was much, much larger than us—and secreted a fluid out of his mouth right in my friend's burger.
Disgusted, but wanting to get back at them, I came up with a great idea. I went over and apologized to him and his friends and offered them a round of beers. They of course accepted and then, me and my friend headed over to the cashier. We said that this man and his group of friends felt bad and wanted to pick up our tab. The girl was skeptical at first but we pointed him out, and he signaled for what he thought was his round of beers. The waitress obliged and we headed out of the restaurant with a free lunch!
Count Me Twicegray computer monitorPhoto by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
About 10 years ago, I had a summer job that used online timesheets. When I started, my name was spelled wrong on the system. I had it corrected and received a new login, but they didn't disable the old one. That gave me an idea. For two months I completed two timesheets every week and got paid double. Nobody ever found out.
Confidence Is Key
My best “cheating the system” moment wasn't even clever or really even cheating the system. It was just outright lying mixed with extreme confidence. When I was seventeen, a bunch of my friends who were already eighteen wanted to go to an adult club. I didn't have a fake ID, but I didn't want to miss out—so I just went with them anyway. As we're walking in everyone gives the woman at the front podium—there was no outdoor bouncer—their IDs. I'm the last in line and I just gave her my real driver's license.
She looks at it for a minute, and then looks at me with confusion on her face: "This says you're only seventeen". Figuring there's nothing to lose I just went for it: "No it doesn't". She looked back at it, back at me, shrugged, and said, "Okay, go ahead".
BOOM, adult club jedi.
Reddit user xgc_promathia asked: 'How did your first love end? Do you still think of them?'
CW: Eating disorder.
Everyone remembers the first time they were in love.
Or, at least, the first time they thought they were in love.
Some people might very well have a true "one and only," remaining with their first love for the rest of their life.
For the majority of people, however, the first love is, indeed, their first.
The person who shows them what it is to love and be loved so they know when they've truly found the person they were meant to be with later in life.
With this in mind, some people find ending relationships with their first love easier than they might expect, as deep down, they knew it was never going to last.
Others, however, remember ending things with their first love as the first time their heart was truly broken.
Redditor xgc_promathia was curious to hear how people ended things with their first love and the lasting effects it had on them, leading them to ask:
"How did your first love end? Do you still think of them?"
The Folly Of Youth
"I was a dumb, selfish 23-year-old who wanted more than I had."
"Yes, all the time."- grow4road
"We talking love or 'true love'?"
"My first love was a girl I met at summer camp."
"Shel lived and hour away and since we were both 13 we relied on our mothers to shuttle us back and forth, swapping weekends at each others house."
"The next summer at camp we decided that since we would both be going to high school the following fall that we should enjoy that summer camp time together then break up."
"The last night they had a farewell dance and we spent all night dancing to every slow song."
"I still think of her from time to time but haven't talked to her in over 35 years."
"I spent a hour or so looking her up online and I'm pretty sure I found her but it's been so long and age changes people so I can't be 100% sure."
"I do hope the woman I found is her because she has a beautiful family and from what I saw on FB she's doing really well for herself."- StuckInNov1999
"My first true love, we were together for almost a year."
"I we lost our virginity to each other."
"We were making plans to elope after high school I broke up with her because I felt like she was hiding an eating disorder from me."
"She kept on losing weight and she started to look unhealthy, I kept on encouraging her to get help, I even offered to go with her and be there for support when she brought it up to her parents, she kept on refusing."
"I then broke up with her."
"I absolutely crushed her."
"She literally cried in school all day for a month straight."
"I felt really bad about it."
"Then she went NC with me for a few years and I stated to really resent her."
"We then reunited and buried the hatchet then remained friends."
"I haven't seen her in person for about 15 years."
"We are friends on Facebook."
"We comment on each other's posts."
"I think about her every now and then."
"Not so much the person she is now, but the fond memories."
"I have of 2 16 year olds intensely in love with each other."
"I wonder if we were really soul mates but we just met too early in life?"
"She has a nice husband and she seems happy."
"I'm happy for her."- Ill-Indication-7706
Forgive And Forget
"We were high school sweethearts, but we broke up shortly after high school because we were no longer good for one another."
"It was an ugly breakup, and we went several years without contact after I left the state."
"Five years later, my mother sent me a box of my stuff, and one of his old creative writing notebooks was mixed in with it."
"I reached out over fb to ask if he might want it back, and from there, we became friends again."
"Ten years later, we're still friends to this day."- Forward_Ad6168
Unable To Go The Distance
"Joined the military and long distance wasn’t working so I broke up with her."
"We tried to make it work but it was taking a toll on the both of us."
"Didn’t want to break up with her but I felt like it was the best decision for the both of us."
"This was over 3 years ago and yes I still think about her."
"I actually reached out to her for the first time since the break up last week lol."
"Was just curious to see how she was doing."- ReckSaber3664
Truly Love At First Sight
"I married him!"- Complex-Half8338
Ended Before It Could Truly Begin
"All the time for last 20 years."- Deep_Ad_1874
Wrong Time, Wrong Place... Not Meant To Be...
"I was 18."
"He was 20."
"He was my first real boyfriend, my first sexual experience, and my first real love."
"We argued a lot all the time basically, I still thought we were good together."
"One day during an argument after he threw a plate of food at me I told him to get out."
"That was something I said a lot and it was a trigger for him because everyone in his life either died or abandoned him or kicked him out."
"He left, like actually called a cab took everything including his New flat screen TV and left."
"Eventually though after three years I moved on and met my daughter's dad."
"I have love for him and see that he’s now in recovery and having a baby with a new gf."
"This was over 12 years ago when we dated."
"I’m happy for him but also moved on and grateful for that."- SubstantialLove8330
"The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth..."
"Long story short, my first 'real' love ended when she left to a different state."
"We were best friends for a long time but after she left, friendship ended too."
"We were young and I was too immature for a relationship."
"I was the one pursuing it and she wanted to just be friends which was one of the reasons it pushed her away."
"Like I said immature of me because I didn't consider her feelings and respect her answer at the time."
"Many many years later, I reached out and apologized for everything."
"Because I was the problem."
"She was in a broken relationship at the time and I didn't want anything but to say I'm sorry and become friends again."
"A few years later, she brought it up about a possible relationship with me and I agreed (and no I wasn't thinking about a relationship at the time because in my mind, that ship sailed LONG ago)."
"That caught me off guard."
"Years later after this conversation, we are married and have children."
"Not saying everyone's relationship will turn out this way but this was my experience."- VailStampede
As Nat King Cole once famously said, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return."
Sometimes, to know what it is to truly love, we have to have our hearts truly broken.
Making the chance to have a "first love," be it at age 15 or 75, a right of passage everyone deserves.
Everyone has those brands that they love and will stay loyal to until their dying day.
For me, that brand is Bryers. Whenever I go to the store for ice cream, I first check to see if Bryers has the flavor I want on sale before I settle for anything else. If it's been a while, I sometimes splurge and just buy it at full price. That's because, to me, Bryers is the gold standard when it comes to ice cream.
Redditors have those brands that have their undying loyalty are ready to share which brands those are.
It all started when Redditor Loesser asked:
"Which brand are you actually loyal to and why?"
"Scrub Daddy makes one hell of a sponge."
"I'd been aware of them forever. "Just a sponge," I thought."
"Tried them last month and my mind is blown."
"Dawn dishwashing liquid cuts through grease like crazy. Mix it equal parts with white vinegar for an excellent bath rub soap scum remover."
"I used to wash dishes in a restaurant. A LOT of dishes. They rotated through a few food service-grade dish soaps for a while, which I always assumed would be a little stronger because they're commercial-grade, and they aided in destroying my hands every night (steel scrubbers and hot water certainly played a major role, of course."
"Then we switched to Dawn. It wasn't some special food service formula, just regular Dawn. Same exact blue one you get at any grocery or convenience store. That was the first time I would soak the hardest-baked-on crap and practically be able to wipe it off after 15 minutes. I have never found a soap even close."
Q's Way Or The Highway
"Every other cotton swab is inferior, and I think I've tried them all. Either there isn't enough cotton, or the stick is too flimsy. Only Q-tips get it right."
Strong And Sturdy
"Osprey. Super comfortable hiking backpacks, and their lifetime warranty is actually legit. They will repair or replace any damage or defect for any reason on any model ever made."
"I beat the sh*t out of mine and it’s in perfect shape. All the zippers work, no rips… amazingly constructed bags."
"My company gifted me one this year and I am in awe! I love useful backpacks and i always saw them and never went for it….so glad I have one now because I take it everywhere and I’m so confused how the little guy fits so much."
"Not sure if this counts but Wikipedia - I've been donating since given the option and I appreciate that it's remained generally unchanged unlike most modern platforms/services."
"Yesterday while chatting with my wife I mentioned how I donate Wikipedia every year. She had no idea and it blew her mind a little bit, she asked me why and I tried to explain just how frequently I use that site. Any time I remember some random historical event or criminal case or famous scientist etc. etc. I'm straight to Wiki. It's an absolute treasure trove of useful and useless information alike and I f**king love it."
All Intents And Purposes
"Victorinox - cuz Swiss Army knives rock, and they make great watches too. Add top-notch customer service, and they've made me a happy customer for life."
"Edit: forgot about my awesome Swiss Army card that a friend brought back for me from Geneva. I keep it in my car, and it's pretty fantastic too."
Created To Last
"Fiskars. Everything they do is top quality. That brand is like a national treasure to Finnish people. They do plenty of products with metal and plastic and pretty much everyone around here has had a pair of Fiskars scissors for up to 20 years. Sure, their products are more expensive but they're made to work and last for an eternity."
"Everyone else always complained about their "house scissors," how horribly dull and awkward to use they were, and I never understood -- my "house scissors" were indestructible and so sharp I wasn't allowed to touch them until I was 10. A few decades later I realized why: they're Fiskars. Those scissors are older than I am, and they're still going strong."
"Ain’t no cream cheese like Philadelphia cream cheese."
"In Brazil cream cheese is just basically called "Philadelphia.""
"Brother Printers, especially the laser variant. It just keeps working and there is no cartridge nonsense like that other brand."
"I would recommend it to everyone, always. Nobody ever has issues with them."
"Their software is also far less obnoxious. Pretty solid brand for <$500 printers."
The Best Store
"Costco. It's not too expensive of a membership, and you get some great savings on gas (pretty big here in California) and buy in bulk items. Of course, I probably buy a bit more than I need to for my family, but the 3 month hassle-free return policy is very generous. It's kind of a game changer for expensive devices like laptops since we can always return them if they suddenly break within the first few weeks or were defective."
"Not to mention the $1.50 hot dogs, average but affordable clothes (esp. socks & underwear), and Costco Travel isn't half bad with some of the discounts when it comes to rental car & hotel packages. Sure there's cheaper ways to get stuff out there, but, generally speaking, Costco delivers pretty good value for the price."
Saving Me Money
"Aldi. They were there for me when I was broke and currently keep me from going broke with grocery prices these days. Some of their brands are superior in my opinion eg. salsa."
"OXO. Most of their kitchen stuff is fantastic. I don't deliberately set out to buy OXO, but it winds up being the best choice on a lot of things."
Everything Else Pales In Comparision
"Heinz Ketchup. Not Hunts, nor Red Gold, especially not Sir Kensington."
"Honda, both cars and motorcycles. That sh*t just does not break."
Honda is the definition of reliable. Those are the kinds of brands to stand behind!
Nobody is perfect.
That is lesson number one when looking for love.
No one person is going to check off every box.
So that means that every red flag or warning is not life-altering.
That is called compromise.
But as long as they aren't buying bodies and storing organs... there is a lot that people can handle.
Redditor Cerseiriously wanted to hear about what warning signs people can live with when courting romance, so they asked:
"What’s a red flag you don’t mind so much in a potential SO?"
I can handle cheap.
Cheap to waiters? No.
But frugal for the future? Yes.
I Get ItStop Motion Yes GIF by MouseGiphy
"Someone who isn't close to their own family. I'm not close with mine, either. I'd actually think it was refreshing to be with someone who understood and felt the same way."
"A certain type of dating history. Everyone has their own style of dating. For example, Person A has a history of 3-4 year LTR but has never married while Person B doesn't have any relationships beyond 6 months. Person A thinks it's a red flag that Person B 'can't commit' when the reality is they simply end a relationship they don't see going long-term."
"On the other side, Person B thinks it is Person A who can't commit based on the fact they have years-long relationships but don't progress. It's all relative to how you compare the person's history to your own style of dating."
As an older person...
"Not having a lot of prior relationships (as an older person). When I met my husband, he was 34 and had had only one serious relationship up until that point which was 15 years prior."
"Now I know a lot of people would see that as a waving red flag and think there was something 'wrong' with him, but the reality was he was in a male-heavy specialty (engineering college to an engineering job), had a job where he traveled about 90% of the time and, when I met him, had just moved back to the area where he had grown up after being away for over 10 years."
"None of that was conducive to meeting people or a relationship and, beyond that, he's not a particularly social person or someone who really revels in the company of others, which didn't help."
"We met online, we clicked, we started dating, we got married 2 years later, and are still married 18 years later."
"Not being very communicative or chatty through text. Some people simply aren’t into texting. I dated a guy who was like that. At first, I took his lack of communication and short answers as not being interested… when in reality, he simply wasn’t much of a texter. I just accepted that’s how he was. In person he was great."
Dear MamaHocus Pocus Halloween GIFGiphy
"'How a man treats his mother is a sign of how he'll treat you so be careful.'"
"Or if he dislikes his mom, doesn't want to help her, be there for her, talks bad about her. It could be because she's horrible and it's just a sign of how she treated him."
Oh the mommy issues never end,
Love her. Hate her.
It'll all get covered in therapy.
The SocialsSocial Media Facebook GIFGiphy
"I’ve been told my lack of social media is a major turn-off and a major red flag. But I find a guy that doesn’t have any social media or very little attractive. It’s all about perspective."
I blame all the Wattpad stories...
"I don't mind some mild (MILD) possessiveness. In fact, I think it's kind of hot. I blame all the Wattpad stories I consumed during my formative years."
"Same! My husband and I joke that we're both stage 5 clingers to each other 😂 not really that bad as we don't control each other but we're best friends, have all the same hobbies, and love spending all of our free time together. There's nothing better than a hard day's work and coming home to someone who is excited to see you, even if it's just a Monday."
"Someone who’s been single for a long time! I find jumping from partner to partner more concerning. Some people never figure out who they are on their own."
"You just described me, I got to a point where I am not just going to jump into a relationship with someone not compatible like I used to do before I knew who I was, I’d rather be single, but when people find out how long I’ve been single they think it’s a massive red flag."
Tell Me More
"Absorbed in their hobbies/their work. I love that. Go buck wild, even if it’s obsessive. Also because bruh I have a terrible rest/production ratio. I need someone who understands. LOL."
"I see you've met my partner. Well, he's a grad student, so he doesn't have much of a choice in his workoholism. I'm trying to get him to balance it out a little bit, but I love his passion. He could spend hours telling me about his research, about a conference, or just about a paper he read once, and I love listening to that."
Let Gofriends cling GIF by Nick At NiteGiphy
"Clinginess. I like it when she always wants to be around me and up under me."
Cling. In love. Dependent. Co-Dependent. In love.
Is there really a difference?
For some people, flying is the epitome of great travel and adventure. The thought of entering the air is exhilarating.
For others, however, flying is to be avoided unless totally necessary. There's an underwater highway connecting the continents, right? Or an impossibly strong bridge?
But as laughable as it might seem to see someone dread flying, sometimes there's a key experience that can explain all of those negative feelings they have connected to buckling up and locking their tray tables.
Curious about others' experiences, Redditor prettyKaitlynn asked:
"What's the most horrifying thing you've experienced on a flight?"
The Sudden Loss of a Loved One
"On a red-eye flight, everyone was asleep, but I can't sleep on planes. A few rows behind me, a girl started screaming, 'Mama!? MAMA!?'"
"The flight attendants walked over and then ran back. Then ran over holding a defibrillator. Then they walked the hysterical girl, who looked to be about a teenager, to the front of the plane. Then they walked back with blankets."
"When the plane landed, no one was allowed to move. A stretcher came on board and wheeled the blanket-covered body out. The sobbing girl followed behind."
"I can't imagine losing a parent on a flight, with nowhere to go and no way to contact anyone else for help, surrounded by nosy strangers in tight quarters."
"Oh my god, that poor girl. I traveled a lot with my mom when I was her age, visiting my big brother at college. I can’t even imagine the horror of this situation and how traumatic that must have been. I hope she is happy and thriving somewhere now…"
Fallen Flight 4184
"On Halloween night in 1994, I was on a United flight from Vancouver to Chicago."
"Back then, 'Channel 9' on the inflight entertainment system let you listen to air traffic control. That night as we approached Chicago, I was listening to Channel 9 when suddenly ATC told all the other planes to quiet down."
"Then they started calling over and over for another flight, American 4184, and asking the other planes if anyone else could see an ATR."
"This went on for a few minutes and then, CLICK, channel 9 was switched off. I felt a chill go down my spine."
"When I got to my hotel, I switched on CNN."
"Flight 4184 had gone down in a field in Indiana and everyone was dead."
Worthy of 'Final Destination'
"Just after takeoff from Ixtapa Mexico, we were climbing out over the ocean at about 1000 feet when I looked out my window. Headed directly at me about 500 feet away was a twin-engine Beechcraft (I think). I would guess it was three to four seconds from impact."
"Fortunately, the pilot of the aircraft saw us and pulled up sharply just in time, missing us by maybe 25 feet."
"My wife, who's deathly afraid of flying, asked me, 'What was that?' I said, 'Nothing,' and pretended nothing had happened until we were on the ground in the US, and then I told her."
"Without question, if that pilot had pulled up even a second or two later, everyone on board both planes would have been dead."
Fear of Flying
"As soon as the engines revved up for take-off, a woman started screaming like she was dying."
"The flight attendants couldn’t get up to go to her until the pilot rang the bell, about five to ten minutes. She was screaming the entire time."
"Turns out her daughter put her on the flight even though she was terrified of flying. An attendant held her hand the entire flight, walked her all the way to meet the other daughter, and told her to never put mom on an airplane ever again."
"Just so everyone knows, if you are afraid of flying, tell the stewards when getting on the plane."
"They will make sure you are checked in and will pay special attention to you to make it easier."
What Dreams Are Made Of
"Flying out of Chengdu China in the early 80s on an old Russian turboprop, It was a wicked snowstorm, and I thought there was no way we were taking off in that mess. Visibility was only a few hundred feet."
"I looked around in panic and I realized the guy sitting across the aisle from me was the spitting image of Buddy Holly. I recall thinking that if this guy pulled a guitar out of the overhead bin and started singing 'Peggy Sue,' we were all f**ked."
"Oh sweet, you're a Steven King character."
Allergic to... Flying?
"This was in 2015 (luckily not during the pandemic as I probably would have been kicked off the flight). But suddenly I felt a tickle in my throat, so I started coughing."
"But I COULD NOT STOP COUGHING. No matter what I did, I could not get that tickle out. The people around me were understanding, but I decided to go to the back of the plane just to be courteous."
"The flight attendants gave me ice and that was the only thing that would give me any sort of relief."
"We finally landed. That night, I went to bed and woke up at 5:00 AM with a swollen shut eye, huge f**king lips, hives ALL over my body, and a tightness in my chest."
"Turns out I was having a severe allergic reaction to something I ate (?) at the airport or something on the plane. My throat was literally CLOSING on the plane. That’s why the ice was helping because it was bringing down the swelling."
"But here’s the weird f**king thing. I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life before OR since that incident. So it’s a huge freaking mystery. The hives also showed up in different places on my body each morning for two weeks after."
Take Off Mysteries
"On a flight from San Francisco to Denver. The plane was loaded and it was time to take off, but we just sat at the gate. The pilot announced we would be leaving soon and that we were late taking off because they had to balance out the luggage."
"Finally around 30 minutes after we were supposed to take off, the plane backed out and went to the runway. Once again, we just sat on the tarmac, this time for another 30 minutes. The pilot got on the PA again and said we had to return to the gate because the plane was low on fuel from all the idling."
"Back at the gate, three armed law enforcement officers entered the plane and escorted a man off. After that, the pilot announced that we were finally ready to take off and that the previous wait was actually due to a security issue."
"Just (but didn’t feel like 'just' at the time) really bad turbulence; people’s purses hit the ceiling of the cabin and I think some people who weren’t belted in injured themselves too. People were screaming, praying, and crying (I was in that last category)."
"I wasn’t crazy about flying before, but that experience put me into phobia territory and I didn’t fly after that for probably about ten years, and still weigh it as a cost-to-benefit thing whenever I travel. It’s helped a bit to learn that turbulence isn’t really a thing that causes plane crashes, as far as I now understand, but it can feel very different in that moment to the illogical mind."
Oh, the Humanity
"On an airplane, but not technically a flight."
"Sitting at the end of the runway, the pilot was doing his pre-flight or something. There was a fireball in one of the engines. Passengers panicked, flight attendants popped the emergency doors, and the emergency slides deployed."
"It was mayhem; people knocking others down, crawling over the seats, lots of screaming. Several people were injured."
"Of those I saw, one man fell off the wing; I found out later he broke his arm and collarbone. Another fell off the middle of the slide. She went away holding her wrist, not sure of what happened. The guy in front of me on the slide tumbled face-first at the bottom of the slide, and got up with a bloodied face."
"Emergency slides are not fun. It's not like in the movies."
"The ironic thing was, there was no danger to the aircraft or passengers."
Not a Question You Want to Hear
"The scariest thing was being asked by the guy on the other side of the plane if there was oil spraying out of the engine on my side, too."
Happily Ever After
"We took off after a seven-hour delay. The plane climbed for a little bit and went into a pretty tight bank turn."
"The Captain came on and said there was smoke in the cabin, and we were going in for an emergency landing. As we were coming in, there were the fire trucks and emergency vehicles waiting for us."
"Long story short... it was a wiring harness for the coffee maker. They swapped it out without even having to deplane. We got free drinks for the rest of the flight."
No Small Talk Welcome
"We barely had our butts in the seat and a woman turned to us and said, 'Are you two teachers?' as an icebreaker."
"We responded with 'no,' and then she said, well, she was a teacher, and she then proceeded to talk THE ENTIRE nine-hour flight about herself."
"My husband pretended to fall asleep within the hour, and I find it painfully hard to stop conversations with friendly people, so all I could do was listen to her ramble."
"Ugh, AND we were seated right beside the toilets which smelt of old pee."
"That would be my personal h**l. Just let me read my book, lady."
"Captain here. Two hours in on an early flight, and the in-charge Flight Attendant advises us we have run out of coffee."
A Strange Turn of Events
"I had a woman next to me on a 15-hour flight, with two kids under the age of five. She sat next to me with the kids on the aisle, and the first thing she did was apologize for what was to come."
"It was terrible, stuff constantly knocked onto the floor, a drink spilled on my leg... but that was just the woman herself."
"She soon swapped seats, and the kids just did normal kid stuff. They were not so bad at all, aside from the occasional accidental bump when they squirmed, while she continued to drop stuff on the floor: food, drink, phone, basically anything on her tray table was going to be on the floor sooner or later."
"This weirdly sounds like something out of a rom-com."
"Her: 'I'm sorry for the trouble that will be caused.'"
"Him: 'I understand, kids will be kids.'"
"'No, I mean me, I'm a super klutz when flying.'"
"Strangers to Lovers. Annoyance softens to Endearment."
"Instant love story."
A Fuzzy Passenger
"Flying in a small eight-seater from the mainland to an island, a kitten got loose, climbed over the pilot's shoulder, and generally was frantic."
"That's the type of scene that disaster movies start with!"
"Something similar happened on a flight. It was kind of funny, though, because the pilot got on the P.A. to ask whoever was missing a kitten to please come to retrieve it, in a very official, somewhat annoyed, pilot-ey voice. Pure comedy."
While some of these stories were amusing in the end, most of these were absolutely chilling, and it's no wonder that these Redditors don't enjoy flying or refuse to travel by airplane ever again.
It's pretty safe to say, honestly, that most of us would choose the same thing if we experienced something like this.