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 Janine_18 asked: 'What's the one thing you'll never tell your SO?'
Full disclosure at all times with your significant other, right?
Yeah, good luck with that.
Let's get real—there are things we don't tell our partners for a lot of reasons.
Sometimes you just don't feel like having to explain something that doesn't really affect them.
Sometimes you're protecting them from something that will have a devastating effect on them.
These are probably going to be more that second one...
Reddit user Janine_18 asked:
"What's the one thing you'll never tell your SO?"
"She loves her siblings and hates her parents."
"I hate her siblings and love her parents."
"They were very tight with their parents for the first 3 years of our relationship, and in 2017-2018 all hell broke loose so to say. My partner has no personal animus towards her parents, she is however extremely close to her older sibling who has a heap of problems with their parents."
"My partner follows their lead and it guides her own relationship with their parents. And the reason her siblings have huge problems with their parents is that they retired, moved 20(!) whole minutes away from their childhood home and went on a vacation for a month.
"They are apparently 'selfish', 'inconsiderate', and 'don’t think of themselves as parents'. This despite the fact that they call and visit for every holiday, birthday, promotion, celebration of any kind. Dog and babysit. Frequently host. Communicate well."
"No the absolute truth is that my partner's siblings are black holes and not great."
"Would 'I radically dislike your one sibling and don’t trust the other at all” be a viable middle ground?'."
"A few years ago, my girlfriend put a candy bowl in our hallway at our apartment for Halloween. She came home that day to discover that nobody took any candy, and she was a little bummed."
"Over the course of that week, I'd take candy out before work or when she was asleep."
"She got so happy that 'the neighbors loved the candy'. She does this every year now, and I have to continuously swipe the candy and pretend it is the neighbors."
"It makes her happy, and I get free candy. Win win."
In It For the House
"That I know she cheated on me and the only reason I haven't left her is because the mortgage interest rates are a bit high so I can't comfortably buy her half of the equity we have in the house."
"I got a valuation, a mortgage pre-approval, and a lawyer all ready to go... But would only have about $21 per week to spare... I'd be screwed the first time a major appliance or the car breaks down..."
"That her mother is a bad person in disguise of a caring and beloved figure."
"My pet name for my girlfriend is Bambi."
"She thinks it's because has big brown eyes, but really it's because I want to shoot her mother with a rifle."
"That's my mother in law. For her daughter, she'll do anything... to the point that it's overbearing and controlling and difficult to deal with."
"And for everyone else, she is one of the least empathetic people I've ever met..."
"She CRIED when Rush Limbaugh died, and she literally said the Proud Boys are like the Boy Scouts. But she'll drop $2,000 on Christmas presents for one person like it's nothing, so she thinks she's owed respect and kind words."
"I literally had to tell her at one point, 'If you want me to stop calling you a Nazi, buying me more presents or arguing with me isn't going to do it, you have to stop saying Nazi-friendly sh*t'. But she didn't stop, of course."
"She thought COVID was no big deal until a family member died of it."
"She also makes tons of snide comments about my work. I'm a lawyer in Big Law, I make great money but it's soul sucking and I never wanted to do this forever, I want to work for the government."
"She'll see a postal worker and say 'That'll be you one day, government worker, not a great way to provide for my daughter'."
"Her daughter, my wife, is a DOCTOR who is going to make more than I do no matter what job I work, and she herself is a dentist who worked until her banker husband could retire at the same time as her."
"She talks sh*t about how I made her daughter an atheist (I didn't, she did that on her own), but she herself has NEVER read the Bible and hasn't been to church in 20 years."
"She unironically believes in aliens, Big Foot, and ghosts, and thinks she saw Mother Mary in the sky."
"All the bad things I tend to think about Republicans (they don't care about an issue until it personally affects them, they have no standards except double standards, they use religion as a cudgel but don't actively live a spiritual life, they believe insane sh*t with zero evidence, they're old fashioned and judgy and can't accept that the world is changing around them, etc...) is her to the letter."
Magic the Retirement Fund
"How much my Magic the Gathering collection is worth."
"They'll absolutely try to get me to sell some of it."
"It's my precious."
"When he and I first met, I was CERTAIN he was gay."
"He is very much NOT gay."
"And he will NEVER know I ever thought this."
No Llama Drama
"When me and my wife first started dating, I had a dumb canvas painting with a llama and rabbit on it that I found at Walmart. I showed it to her and told her how much I loved it just because it was just such a dumb random thing to find."
"For some reason she took that as I love llamas and that they are my favorite animal. So now, every time she sees one or something with a llama on it I see her brighten up to show me and I get excited with her!"
"Llamas are not my favorite animal. Never have been. I don’t know how she made this connection, but i will never tell her otherwise because seeing her face light up every time is way better."
Relationship by Google
"I spend a couple hours doing research on how to make relationships work and keep her happy in the long run."
"She thinks I'm this awesome perfect guy but I just do what the internet tells me."
"He thinks I don’t fart around him because I’m too shy or polite."
"It’s really because they are so bad they could kill a horse."
Are There Raisins?
"I don't like the potato salad she makes, and she always tries to make it as a treat for me."
"It's my mom's recipe, but doesn't taste like mom's."
"The spot you make me sleep in on the bed is uncomfortable but I lay there because you're comfortable where you are."
"We’re both in college, and last semester we both had a cold at some point. He had it much, much worse than I did, so I went to class and he skipped."
"Afterwards, I went to his dorm to share notes and take a nap. I was almost asleep, and I’m assuming he thought I was, because I felt him squeeze me and whisper, 'I love you so f**king much'.”
"It was the sweetest thing ever and I’m never telling him I know he did that."
Maybe a Farm Upstate?
"I definitely didn't kill that massive spider, and I have no idea where it went."
So, these weren't too awful, right?
What secrets are you keeping?
We all have that moment where someone we know says something so completely absurd, the only response we think of is 'WTF is wrong with you?'
Sometimes, it's something woefully inaccurate that you can't wrap your head around the fact that someone believes that.
Othertimes, it's something completely offensive and you regret your association with that person.
My college roommate was a girl I knew from my high school. I didn't know her too well, but we had some big things in common, so I figured it'd be fun to live with her.
This girl was half-Korean and talked a lot about racist people. At first, I let her rant, figuring maybe she or someone in her family faced some racism. I faced some myself, and I agreed with most of the things she said about racists. Eventually, however, I realized she was equating the word 'racist' with the word 'white.'
I spoke to her once, telling her she can't use 'racist' and 'white' interchangeably. She agreed to stop doing that, but within a few days, she started doing it again. She was a very bright girl, so I was a little concerned about this, especially since her own dad was white and was possibly the nicest man in the world. Not to mention, this made her and her siblings half-white too. Did that mean they were all half-racist?
I stuck by her for a while, but when she started saying things about what she wanted to do to racist people (once again using the word 'white' instead of 'racist'), I realized I couldn't be around her anymore. She couldn't talk about anything else after a while, and every time she spoke, I wanted to say, 'WTF is wrong with you?'
We did not room together the next year.
Redditors have stories similar to mine (and some even crazier), and they are eager to share.
It all started when a Redditorasked:
"What did the person do/say that made you go "what the f**k is wrong with you?"
How To End A Friendship
"In college I used to kill time between classes hanging out with a guy who was from the same redneck county as myself. We didn’t really have much else in common, but he was nice enough and seemed eager to socialize so I figured why not. I wasn’t overly social myself and didn’t know a whole lot of people."
"One day we decided to go somewhere off-campus, and he drove us. While driving, on an interstate mind you, he proceeds to show me his handgun that he kept in his truck - not in a menacing way, but in a “Ain’t that cool?” way."
"I was not immediately frightened, but I respect firearms enough to recognize we are going like 60-70mph on an interstate in daylight, and nothing good can happen in this scenario. I calmly asked him to put it away because I was not comfortable in this situation at all. He then tells me “Oh it’s not loaded” and presses the gun to his head before pulling the trigger."
"Thank f**k he was right, but still it was a wild and frightening display of reckless disregard for his own life and mine for that matter in the event that he’d accidentally killed himself while driving us. I didn’t hang out with him much after that, certainly didn’t get in a car with him."
"“It’s not loaded” famous last words of many an idiot."
The Worst Kind Of People
"When my dad was in the nursing home, they weren't running certain expenses, like ambulance rides, through his insurance. When I took over his financials, he was tens of thousands in medical debt that shouldn't have ever been charged to him in the first place. He was in numerous collections, and his credit score was tanked."
"When I complained to the nursing home director, he said, "Well, it's not like he's going to be buying a house or a car!" Then he laughed."
"My dad was paralyzed from the waist down and needed lifelong care, so he was never going to leave the nursing home. Even though he was technically correct, I gave him the "WTF is wrong with you look." Then I complained to HIS boss and he got canned a couple a weeks later. My dad's insurance was fixed pretty quick, too."
"“Sorry, what was funny about that? Could you please explain.”"
"MIL told my wife she should divorce me bc I googled whether a lasagna should be covered with foil while cooking."
"This is my first laugh of the thread lmao wtf."
"It actually ruined this entire trip. It was at my BIL’s wedding, which was only close family (siblings + parents) and they had the caterer make a lasagna for an evening dinner."
"Father of the bride was gonna pop it in the oven and asked if it should be covered. I googled lasagna cooking instructions and said yes it should be covered and cooked at this temp. MIL said absolutely not!"
"Me and the father of the bride kinda gave each other a look and he covered it. MIL was furious and texted my wife that I was an a hole and she should divorce me before we had kids."
Hostile Work Environment
"Boss at old job told the team we needed to ‘get used to a healthy level of conflict, fear and anxiety in the workplace.’ I dipped so fast after that."
"Similarly, a boss told me that I owed him my loyalty because he was paying me."
How To End A Relationship
"A girl I was with while we were still together just looked at me while I was driving to her house and said.” You know I would get over you faster than you’d get over me” I was like …… Tf did you just say?"
"Huh. And just like that I'm over you."
"Honestly, that would absolutely do it for me. When I was younger, I would be stupid and hurt and argue. I'm past 50 and I got no time for that nonsense."
There Are Other Ways To Stave Off Boredom
"I was DD for some buddies who wanted to go to a particular dance club in Baltimore. They're all hammered, it's too loud and we've been there for several hours. Casually an older woman next to me chats me up and notices my eyes are nearly crossing from boredom. I explained what I was doing there and casually (stupidly) mentioned I'm a bit bored. This psycho BITES ME on the chest! Afterward says "Well ya ain't bored now, are ya??""
"Well, were you bored after that?"
"I must say, I was not!"
That Goes Both Ways!
"I'm a man who works with kids, and when I started this job, I was talking to one of my old coworkers about how every once in a while I'll get weird looks for being a man working with kids and my coworker said I deserved it because some men can't be trusted with kids. I was shocked and she went on to say that I did it to myself and deserve to be questioned about it. I immediately stopped talking to her."
"What? What in the actual f**k? Doesn’t she know there are women who can’t be trusted with kids?"
That Escalated Quickly
"The lady that accused my kids of cutting the line. (They hadn't, I was watching). When I went to ask her what was wrong, she told me to go back to my own country with that sh*t. (I was born in Massachusetts.)"
"The line was to pet dogs at a Renaissance Fair."
Everything All At Once
"While alone with a coworker, he told me that "women in the work place will lead to the decay of the fabric of society" to me. A woman. He also asked me out, got an attitude when I didn't say yes and continues to walk around with huge incel energy. He always complains that he has no one to go home to yet refuses to look at himself as a possible reason."
"Sounds like they should learn something from the phrase, "if you meet one a**hole, they're the a**hole. If everyone you meet is an a**hole, you're the a**hole.""
"I told a coworker my wife had died."
"Her response: "You're one of those bald middle aged guys with a dead wife.""
"I want to think this was a wholesome thought that came out wrong. An awkward attempt at dark humor."
"Had an otherwise normal co-worker who was completely convinced windmills will cause the earth to stop spinning."
"WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!"
These are all crazy 'WTF is wrong with you' stories, but that last one blew my mind in 'how is it possible people think that could be true' sort of way!
One of the possible wonders of adulthood is home ownership. But homes come with so many things that can break.
And the last thing you want is a nonfunctioning furnace when temperatures dip below zero or no water when you're covered in dirt and grime.
That's what routine maintenance is for—to make sure things work when you need them.
Reddit user drop_user_table asked:
"What is a home maintenance task most homeowners are probably not doing but should?"
"You know the exhaust from your dryer that vents outside."
"Pull the vent off, take a dry vac and vacuum the lint out of there."
"You’ll be surprised."
"Cuts down on dryer fires."
"There are a shocking number of dryer fires!"
There are TikTok and YouTube channels of just people cleaning dryer vents and dryer hoses.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
"Not sure I'd call it 'maintenance' but installing a carbon monoxide detector is a good idea."
"You can get ones that just sit on a shelf somewhere."
"A $20 carbon monoxide detector saved my life. We put them in when we moved in, the previous owners didn't have any."
"A year later it went off, hot water tank malfunctioned and dumped gas into the basement. The firefighters confirmed the levels in the house would have killed us."
"It's surprising how quick the gas can get through your house. A family of 6 lived there before us."
Smoke detectors have become common in homes, but carbon monoxide awareness isn't quite there yet.
"I worked with a lady who once told me (when I asked if she had plans for the weekend), 'Well, it is the first of the month, so it is time to wash the baseboards'."
"In my house, they only get washed if something spills in them, we are painting, or we are getting ready to sell the house."
Washing baseboards monthly might be excessive, but you should dust, mop or vacuum them when you do the rest of the room to keep dust and allergens down.
"Turn the main valve for your water off and on once or twice a year."
"If you do not, eventually it will corrode and stick and when you have a major leak you will not be able to shut the water off."
"Only do this with hardware stores open in the event it actually is defective and in need of replacement because consequences."
Locate your main water shut-off BEFORE you need it in an emergency situation. This can be especially useful during cold weather since in-home plumbing can freeze.
"Caulking around your roof vents every 3-5 years. That stuff deteriorates and it WILL leak."
"I can’t count the number of homes I’ve seen with interior water damage as a result of deteriorated sealant around the roof vents."
How to create a watertight seal around a vent pipe.
"Cleaning the gutters."
"My husband goes up with a leaf blower and blows them all out. So much easier, but much, much messier."
Leaf blowers make the job quick and easy.
Working Fire Extinguisher
"Having FIRE EXTINGUISHERS on hand and turning them upside down to prevent settling."
"Minimum once a year. My company does fire extinguisher inspections."
"An annual inspection for a fire extinguisher is turning it upside down for a few seconds and then removing the hose and checking for obstructions/debris."
Routine inspections of your fire extinguisher will ensure it works when you need it.
"Clean out the filters/traps in your dishwasher."
"This is one I truly didn’t know. First time homeowner and didn’t know about that until about 3 years into owning the house."
"Apparently the previous owner didn’t know anything about it so that first cleaning was a doozy."
Cleaning your dishwasher improves efficiency.
Hot Water On Tap
"Drain hot water tank and check anode rods if you've got an electric unit."
"We replaced a rod a couple of years ago. That thing was scary looking!"
"The couple we bought our house from apparently did no routine maintenance, so we've had to do almost everything listed in this post."
Replacing a water heater anode rod extends the life of the tank.
There are a lot of things to add to the to-do list here.
Is there anything else you'd add?
One the strangest and most perplexing things about being a human is the fact that we can only experience what's going on inside our own bodies and minds. Sure, we can ask someone questions, we can listen to their accounts, and technology is increasingly closing the gap, but there's still nothing like a fully immersive experience.
For this reason, it can be easy for us to think that we're the only one having trouble with something, like the only adult who can never seem to keep their laundry pile caught up, but on the reverse side, it can also mean missing something that's abnormal.
It's, quite frankly, shocking how many people live with some kind of physical abnormality while assuming that it's normal.
Fascinated, Redditor amistakewasmadehere asked:
"What did you think was normal about your body until someone pointed out that it wasn't?"
A Double Uvula
"I have a double uvula. That little hangy thing in the back of your throat... Mine looks like a ballsack."
"I thought that's just what they looked like, because how often do you look in people's throats? I remember seeing cartoons as a kid where they'd zoom in on a character's mouth when they were screaming or something... And I just thought the artists were lazy, drawing a simple droopy line. But no, that's what most people's look like."
"When I was in my 20s, I went to the doctor for something unrelated, and she checked my throat and just said, 'Huh, you have a double uvula. Neat!'"
" I went home and told my roommates and they all had to look in my mouth. I thought they would think the doctor was the weirdo but they were all shocked..."
"I'll never forget one saying, 'You've got balls in your throat!'"
A Popping Jaw
"My jaw pops whenever I open my mouth. I thought it was normal for your jaw to just "unhinge" because how else could you open your mouth wide? Turns out, nope."
The Wrong Number of Organs
"The first year of menstruating, I had intensely painful periods and severe constipation. The periods would last two weeks, with two weeks in between each one."
"Everyone told me things would calm down and even out."
"Then one night, at a friend’s sleepover, I was in so much pain that I was sobbing on the bathroom floor. My parents rushed me to the hospital."
"Everything I was describing, pain-wise, made it sound like I was in labor. But I was 14 and still very much a virgin."
"After a week of tests and painkillers, they finally figured out the issue; I then had surgery to open up my second uterus and cervix, which had been sealed shut by a membrane."
"I had been having periods for a year and had built up like 2 liters worth of old blood in my sealed second uterus. So once that was drained out and I was put on major antibiotics, I got to go home and tell all my friends that I had two uteruses."
"I was also born with one kidney. Not sure if that’s related, but I sure am a mess down there, lol (laughing out loud)."
Heart Flutters and Palpitations
"I used the phrase, 'You know when your heart does that fluttery sensation and it’s like you can feel it beating for a few seconds?'"
"Apparently not everyone does know that; in fact, most don’t and my colleagues looked at me like I’d lost my mind."
"Mine does this. I’ve mentioned it to my doctor but it didn’t show up on a heart tracing (I wore one for 24 hours)… Some days, it will happen multiple times, and then nothing for a month or two. It’s really odd."
"That I had eight wisdom teeth grow into the extra space in the back of my jaw (two for each side, top and bottom) that all grew in just fine after 20... Only to find out on my last trip to the dentist that I have eight more growing in sideways..."
"The normal amount of wisdom teeth is four. Not 16."
"Some of the women in my family grow a third set of teeth in their 30s. My great aunt had a nearly perfect set, only one came in crooked, but my mum's sister had hers come in next to her adult teeth, so she has two rows in some places, like a shark."
"My mum got a couple extra, but they were pulled, and I haven't gotten any yet, though I got to keep all my wisdom teeth and they didn't."
"I’ve got ‘alternating exo,’ the eye doctor called it. I can choose which eye I can see out of and can switch as I please, and whichever eye is not picked 'turns off,' and I don’t see out of it since I chose the other eye."
"Since I've been able to do it all my life, both of my eyes can operate alone, so if I lose one, it won’t be as bad adjusting. Pretty nice actually but the ‘exo’ makes me hate selfies cuz whichever eye isn’t picked drifts outward, which is noticeable to me at least."
Precordial Catch Syndrome
"You know when you’re breathing like normal, and suddenly when you inhale you get this sharp pain in one side of your chest, at the ribs behind your pectoral muscle? And every time you try to inhale further it comes back, then goes away entirely after a few minutes?"
"Yeah, that’s called Precordial Catch Syndrome."
"Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but the running theory is that a nerve near your ribs occasionally gets pinched when you inhale and it takes a few moments for your body to dampen the signal from that nerve. It’s very common, and does not indicate any underlying or dangerous medical issues."
Literally a Large Head
"I have a big head. I've never once found a hat that fits. Not even a toque."
"So, when I joined the army they didn't have a hat big enough for me. I was the only person out of 60 of us without a hat. Drill sergeants I had never met would run from across fields to yell at me for walking outside without my hat."
"When I explained that they didn't have a hat big enough for me... they cracked up and called me Charlie Brown. It took two weeks of that before a hat arrived big enough for me."
The Tensor Tympani Muscles
"I can activate my Tensor Tympani Muscles (they make that roaring in your ears when you yawn) at will."
"For some reason, they also activate when I feel a sudden pain, even when there’s no sound or noise involved."
"Wait, this isn't normal?"
"I thought I was bad at running because my throat would seize up and get painful whenever I ran for more than a minute. I mentioned this to my doctor when I was 30. Turns out I have asthma."
"Dermatographia. I have really sensitive skin with an overactive histamine response. When I’m gently scratched with a blunt object, I get a hive in the shape of the scratch. I can write my name in hives on my forearm."
"I get itchy as soon as I get overheated. Like an all-over body itch. There's no rash that pops up, I just get very, very itchy."
"I once took part in a study as a paid participant. The doctors used ultrasound probes to examine the blood vessels on my face."
"They commented on how strange my face's blood vessels were, they struggled and puzzled a little while examining my face."
"Then they handed me more cash and asked whether I would be willing to donate my body after I died to a medical study."
"(They were polite and respectful throughout the whole process, just seemed excited?)"
Restless Leg Syndrome
"I constantly have to flex my muscles. Not in the douchey 'check me out, ladies' kind of way, but in a more frustrating, 'I need to move this muscle in the next three seconds or I will feel like I am being tortured' kind of way."
"I'm constantly rotating my shoulders, flexing shoulder blades, neck, arms, wrists, ankles, legs, wherever. It makes it hard to sit still or sleep."
"I only seriously noticed when I slept with my first partner, who was very confused as to why I wouldn't stop twisting and flexing for at least two hours before falling asleep. I just figured everyone got that feeling."
"Being under a weighted blanket or feeling my arm or leg fall asleep, both feel like utter torture and will make me scream and writhe about. I would love to know what the h**l this is and how I deal with it, because so far, I have no clue."
"It sounds like restless leg syndrome (which can affect your whole body, and not just your legs). Have your iron levels, specifically your ferritin levels checked. RLS is torture, but there are treatments!"
In Need of Glasses
"I thought I had great vision until I tried glasses and found that everything was so much sharper and more vivid! Apparently, my left eye has a vision defect, but my right eye learned to compensate so I never realized!"
It's amazing what we can go decades living with, even when it technically is not the norm. In many of these cases, there are even treatments or tools to improve them!
This just goes to show how important it is to ask questions if you have a concern, and if one doctor is not willing to properly discuss it with you, perhaps try talking to another one.