The twentieth century brought us the most technologically advanced way to travel en masse yet--airplanes.
Airplanes are nothing short of a miracle. By rising above the clouds, we get from point A to point B more quickly than we ever have in the past. But like most things, there are moments when this doesn't work as well as we want.
Sometimes it gets outright scary. Planes are very sensitive, and if even one thing goes wrong, it can really change a trip from quick and painless to frightening.
Here were some of those answers.
Ice Ice Baby
My mom was a flight attendant for U.S. Air before I was born, and I know her scary story.
She was exhausted at the tail end of a shift that had run longer than it should have because they got paused in Philly for nasty winter weather conditions. They were finally finished getting de-iced and about to start taxiing when one of the passengers called her over and told her that he'd been watching carefully and he didn't think they'd de-iced both wings of the plane, just one side. She sort of reassured him that she would go check but he was probably mistaken, and then even though she was really tempted to wave it off as just a jumpy passenger, she went to the pilot just to check.
Welp! Passenger was correct and the plane was only half de-iced when they were getting ready to leave. If they'd taken off like that, it probably would have been disastrous. Mom told me that even though it didn't happen in mid-air, it was her all-time scariest moment during her tenure as a flight attendant because she knows how close they came to a very dangerous situation and she knows that she almost didn't stop it from happening even when warned.
One time we were stuck between a thunderstorm and the Iranian border ended up having to fly through the thunderstorm. Another time we had a fire on board and a lot of the crew left their oxygen regulators on full blast while we were dealing with it. After about 45 minutes I realized we are almost completely out of liquid oxygen and had another 2 hours left to get home.
I was an aircraft electrician for the Army for a number of years. One of the first systems you learn about after getting to your unit is the APR-39. It's a radar/laser detection system that is integrated with other systems to tell crew if they are being tracked, when they have been "locked", and what direction incoming is actually coming from. All of this is related through a (archaic) display and the worst synthetic voice you have ever heard. Spent many days troubleshooting this system and never thought much of it, until I deployed for the first time. I volunteered to fly back-wall security for the MEDIVAC unit that I repaired birds for. MY FIRST FLIGHT we were on pick up from Kandahar to South of Pasab and passing through the mountains and I can hear that damn voice in my headset. Thought about nothing of it, even wondered why the crew chief was hanging out of his window looking aft of the bird. I didn't dawn on me till after we hit a very steep left dive, aaaaand the chaff and flares firing from our the right that we had just been locked and fired at.... Genuinely scared the crap out of me.
Sudden Twists And Turns
My dad is a captain at American Airlines. Won't tell me his worst flight because he doesn't want to freak me out. Fair.
As someone who has flown since before I can even remember, my worst was flying to Indianapolis from Orlando. It was July so basically that entire corridor was poppin with thunderstorms. We got put in a holding pattern over Indy for 2 hours then diverted to Louisville for fuel. Normal enough.
What's not normal is that in the half hour it takes to fly to Lville from Indy, a line of thunderstorms had popped up over Lville. We're coming in for approach and I can see the way the clouds look outside the plane. I'm a meteorology nerd and knew they meant wind shear in the area was starting to form.
As we came in to land, a gust of wind hit our plane almost knocking us sideways. Pilot pulled the throttle back so hard for a missed approach. So cool now we were back up in the thunderstorm filled sky. We are hitting severe turbulence at this point and people are praying, holding hands and crying.
The Captain brings us back around and absolutely plows it into the ground and basically said "eff your wind shear". I've never been so happy to get on the ground.
Going Down, Down
Not me - but I was on a flight at the same time. My collegues landed and said that mid flight a lightning bolt hit their plane making a massive noise and killing the power for a few moments. Everyone was screaming and crying in a total panic. Apparently it was THAT bad.
My colleague looks to the other and says "Well, we're both sales guys so I guess I'll see you in hell"
Rough In The Sky, Smooth On The Ground
I was flying a 737 on final approach five miles behind a 787 when we got into their wake turbulence. Aircraft banked left sharply then immediately went into very steep nose down right bank. I immediately corrected this attitude but for a quick second I thought it might go over a 90° bank angle. I have never fought that hard in an airliner to recover, but I recovered, and had the smoothest landing of my career.
Flying home from FL to NY. Scheduled to land at LaGuardia. Right after takeoff we could all hear the motor that retracts the landing gear straining. And the landing gear would not retract. When it finally did, everyone seemed relieved but I was thinking 'I hope it comes back down when it's time to land.' Lo and behold, about 1/2 hr before landing, the pilot announces that we were being diverted to JFK because of landing gear trouble.
We needed a longer runway to stop the plane. So now people are praying and biting their nails. We could hear the motor trying to bring the landing gear down for several minutes before it finally came down at almost the last minute. We land and the plane isn't slowing down. We hear all kinds of horrible sounds, smell smoke...people are now really freaking out. Plane stops after using up almost the whole runway. There were emergency trucks all over the sides of the runway, foamers..etc. Was never so happy to get off a plane!!
My scariest moment was after we got within 700 ft of landing. The pilots whipped the plane back up because of heavy winds and announced that we were diverting to a nearby city in another country.
It was a short flight to the other city, and it was bumpy so I was strapped in. A couple of other flight attendants were standing up though. All the sudden the entire cabin went bright white. Specifically I could tell that the light was entering the plane from the other side around the corner I couldn't really see behind. The flight attendants nearly jumped all the way to their seats and strapped in. There was one passenger that I locked eyes with at one point. Her and I both both made this nervous smile at each other like, "Lets not die here!"
We did end up landing alright. It took 4 hours for us to get off the plane because of all the other planes that diverted there. They also told us the next day that we got hit by lightning at least 3 times. They could tell because of little pin pricks that the lightning makes when it hits the plane.
By the way, I still feel so much safer in a plane than almost any other mode of transportation. The statistics don't lie. The regulations and redundancy on safety measures are unparalleled.
Hit crazy turbulence in a prop plane flying into Saginaw from Detroit. Plane was all over the air like a roller-coaster.. Up down, side to side, I swear I thought it was gonna barrel roll at one point. Seemed to never end, but was probably only really a few minutes. Time kinda slowed down. My girlfriend and I were the only two people on the plane who weren't Marines going to some Marine thing. Those guys were cracking some pretty dark jokes while I contemplated my time on earth.
The Limit Does Not Exist
I recall being in a very small plane trying to land at John Wayne International during a storm. No door between cockpit and passengers or at least it wasn't closed. There was turbulence but nothing as dramatic as some of the other stories here. Listening to the cockpit crew arguing with ground control over the flight path was not comforting. I think we were approaching the end limit for flights and ground control wanted them to approach by going more over the ocean. Neither I nor the crew cared for that too much.
Believe it or not, nowadays I am ashamed to admit I was once a fan of Game of Thrones. Has there ever been any show that slipped as quickly from pop culture relevance as that one? Don't get me started on that final season... I have no desire to sit through the whole damn thing again now that I know how it ends.
It turns out I'm not the only person with shame––or love for a good guilty pleasure, for that matter. We heard all about them after Redditor metals02 asked the online community,
"What's something that you're ashamed to admit you like?"
"Depending on who is asking, Magic the Gathering. It seems like when talking to other people in my demographic I am only supposed to talk about investing and whisky but I want to talk about a child's trading card game."
This was pretty popular growing up. It wasn't my thing, but I admired the level of expertise the other kids developed. Watching them play was like seeing people speak a different language.
"I read at least..."
"Fanfiction. I read at least half an hour's worth a day but often more. I can crush a 100k word fic in a day, easy. It's replaced books for me, which makes it awkward when I say I love to read and can't name a whole lot of books. It's just comforting - I know what I'm getting into and it's usually worth my time to me. It's so disappointing buying a book based on a tiny blurb and then not getting into it. The embarrassment comes mostly from the fact that most people assume it's just all erotica. While I don't mind reading sex scenes, I tend to skim them sometimes, and I'm way more into the build-up and the plot. It's not something I'm getting off to at all."
High school me read some for the hell of it. Some of my friends, though? They were obsessed. They'd read fanfiction on the computers during school hours.
"I've been judged..."
"I'm a guy that loves Sailor Moon. I've been judged and labeled weird by other women for liking it so I keep it to myself in real life."
Own it! Live your Tuxedo Mask fantasy!
"I'm not thrilled..."
"I'm not thrilled to tell people how much I like Barry Manilow. But it reminds me of being young, happy and with my mom."
"There is a negative stigma..."
"I love the band Fall Out Boy.
They were my muse in 2007.
But every time I mention them, even to fans of pop-punk music, I feel like I need to apologize for liking Fall Out Boy. There is a negative stigma about the band that is super undeserved."
They're definitely one of those bands with a high nostalgia factor. They've definitely grown on more people after the fact.
"A cold cut-up hot dog as a snack. At work I eat it out of a Ziploc bag from inside my lunch bag so no one sees."
I find this revolting, but thank you for living up to the theme of this article. I can see why you're ashamed. Well done.
"The Twilight Saga. The story is cringe, sure, but the soundtrack is so good. The books were what I binge-read during summer vacation in high school. They just put up the movies on Netflix, and you bet your butt I watched them like I was a teenager again."
What's wrong with letting people like what they like, right? Enjoy it! You're not harming anyone. Critics can be so melodramatic.
"As a kid..."
As a kid, I was bullied for liking it. To this day (even though it's more acceptable now), no one besides my significant other knows I watch it."
"I like having..."
"I like having a lack of freedom. I like decisions being made for me. I like having fewer options."
"Fills the void..."
Fills the void that Vine left behind and there is actually some interesting and funny content once you get past the cringe and dances."
I am still not over the person who eats a cold hot dog. Still not entirely convinced that they've actually tasted the damn thing. If they had, they wouldn't have admitted to this! The nausea is real!
Have some guilty pleasures of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
We really take just about everything for granted. Life is full of miracles, and we as humans can only seem to ever notice the big ones, but really it's the small ones that count the most.
There are so many tiny gifts that many of us have that a certain number of us would be kill to have.
A lot of that truth came into perspective during this pandemic. Just look how many people are now food dependent.
Ask yourself, what little thing do I have that may be a privilege to another and a luxury to many and it may not even have that much monetary value?
Redditor u/vianneyal wanted everyone to take a good hard look at just how good some of us have it, by asking:
What is something people don't realize is a privilege?
Paper. Pens. A computer and a job that consists of using all three. It may not sound like much, buy it's far less stressful than retail. I often overlook that fact. I try not to though. God bless customer service people.
Foodbinge grocery shopping GIFGiphy
"Buying groceries without having to carefully consider prices."
"Hot showers.... Holy crap, I was homeless for a year and a half, and there was a time I blew $50 on a motel room specifically to take a hot shower. I remember pulling off my cold wet socks and just collapsing into the hot water, sobbing. Felt like all my problems went away immediately."
"Having your own room/space. A lot of people and specially families around the world has to share living spaces. There was a thread on Reddit recently where a family couldn't give their teenage daughter a room of her own cause their house only had two rooms and they were poor."
"Everyone said the parent was a butthole cause the teen had a right to it and they should move to a bigger house/outside their area to amend that. Crap was freaking insane."
"Just having dependable, safe hot and cold running water on demand."
"This. I just got quite the rude awakening 30 minutes ago when my landlord texted asking me to severely limit my already very limited water use because the well that supplies our water is almost dry. I live in rural Canada where there's a drought and while I knew it was bad, my privileged self never thought we might actually run out of water before it rains next. Jokes on me I guess."
Money Issuessleeping beauty parody GIFGiphy
"Being able to quit a job without fear of losing financial stability."
And here we are all trying to be Kardashians. When tons of people just want stability regarding food and jobs. I don't know what is more sad, that fact or that we live in a world where facts like that exist.
Shhhh....secret smell GIFGiphy
"Being able to enjoy total silence. (Freaking tinnitus)"
For real. Mine started when I was 18 and I then realised how much I took everything being completely quiet for granted before that. I wish I could get it back."
"Having your parents to fall back onto for help or advice during adulthood. I've been estranged since I've been 16, life ain't easy navigating the world alone."
"I hear ya. I was emancipated when I was a teen. I am grateful for the mentors and chosen family who supported me through to this point (I'm almost 30) but I wish that I had the solid nurture, example, and support that I truly needed growing up. I probably wouldn't have needed to spend so much money on therapy after high school."
"Sewers. A literal city of tunnels you never see, draining and moving water in and out of your town/city, completely hidden from view. It's a freakin' luxury and you'd be surprised how much of the world doesn't have that while the rest of the world never even thinks about it."
"Decent mental health. While some people seem to breeze through their life goals, a lot of people suffer in ways that prevent them or slow them down. It's a privilege to have most of your emotional needs met and have the stability needed to focus on developing your artistry/skills."
Knowledge is PowerHappy School GIFGiphy
"Going to school."
The basics of life and survival shouldn't be considered luxuries. We really have a lot of society fixing ahead of us. Be grateful for every meal, and good slumber.
When we go to sleep, we slip into one of the most vulnerable positions we can possibly embody. And we do that every single day.
So it's hardly surprising that, at least a few times throughout our lives--maybe more than a few--we find ourselves snatched from slumber, and left sitting started and defenseless against a threat we can barely make out in those first few seconds.
But for all the vagueness of those first few sensations, we sure do remember those horrible awakenings rather vividly.
And recently, some folks on the internet shared their most memorable experiences.
Redditor ScoopySnacks829 asked:
"What's the worst thing you woke up to?"
Many Redditors encountered animals in the dead of night. The creepy crawling hands and mouths were enough to make their skin crawl.
"My grandmother had a filthy house and made me and my brother sleep on the floor whenever we were over."
"Once I woke up with a rat tangled in my waist length hair. I was 8"
"Another time I woke up to see a giant roach crawl. Out of my brother's mouth as he was sleeping. (I never told him as I figured he would rather live in blissful ignorance.) I was 9."
"To this day have a fear of Rats, roaches, and sleeping on floors."
"A dog's paw in my mouth and getting stepped on the balls at the same time" -- Lower_Environment774
Only Thin Nylon Between You and It
"The sound of a bear outside my tent. Got my heart racing." -- SingLikeTinaTurner
"Oh fu** okay, so I once was woken up by a bear paw to the head. It was just fu**ing around with our tarp but I'm tall so the top of my head stuck out just a tad. It felt like being brained with a sandbag."
"It was a black bear and ran off when we made a bunch of noise, but I'll never forget the few moments of sheer terror, head reeling and seeing that bear paw slide next to my face." -- Cthulhu_sneeze
"Blood all over the bed that I was in. Then I saw the flyscreen had been torn open. Then I heard a crunching noise. And then I saw the cat with the remains of a magpie."
Others shared the times they encountered a personal tragedy immediately upon waking up in the morning.
"woke up to the news one of my best friends family had been murdered in an arson attack and that he had tried to save them and had 3rd degree burns over 70% of his body..."
"I woke up to my dad telling me my mom had a brain tumor."
"It was during a sleepover with my best friend at the time. I knew they were going to get her an MRI because she had been having really bad chronic headaches, but none of us expected brain cancer."
"When they removed the tumor two weeks later they removed a baseball and a half sized mass of tumor from her right frontal lobe. She's alive and well now 15 years later, thank god, but that was an awful time for everyone in our family."
The Worst Reason to Get Up and Go
"My uncle calling me in the middle of the night to tell me my mom was in the hospital, and that I should fly out as soon as possible if I wanted to be able to say goodbye."
Finally, some people discussed the times they felt threatened by other human beings that clearly did not have their best interests at heart.
Just What Did They Want
"Someone jiggling the handle on my door, trying to get in to my apartment. Scary as fu**. I don't know if he was drunk and thought it was a different apartment, or if he was just going door to door, seeing if any were unlocked."
"My ex-girlfriend pointing an unloaded gun (I thought it was loaded) at me. She pulled the trigger and she wanted to scare me, she thought I was cheating on her with a friend of mine (a female)."
It Gets Worse and Worse
"When I was like 16, the landlord and a couple of other men (LEOs of some sort, presumably, but I didn't get a good look at them) came in to physically evict my mother and I from the duplex we lived in at the time, something I had no idea was in at all."
"Like, we apparently went through the entire eviction process without me getting even a slight sniff of it. I slept naked even back then, so basically, I was awakened by two or three strange men coming into my bedroom."
"I threw on a cream-colored dress and got the fu** out of there, having no other option obviously, and went to my mother's workplace in a panic...where one of her coworkers gently pointed out that I had started my period, which was obvious from a distance, apparently."
Here's hoping this list won't give you trouble falling to sleep tonight.
Simply put, the line between needs and desires becomes blurry without us even realizing it.
That is, until we look at our bank statement at the end of the month, suppressing the tears and horrified shrieks that want to leap out of us.
But with the help of a recent Reddit thread, perhaps there is hope. Maybe taking stock of exactly which unnecessary places that money is going can help us dial it in.
Redditor Rice_Liar asked:
"What is the biggest waste of money?"
Of course, many people mentioned the common vices that have long been dubbed the easiest way to throw your earnings right down the tubes.
The Next One Will Hit, I Know It
"Scratch off lottery tickets. I visited my uncle, and he asked me to help him sort the scratch tickets he had bought that year (I guess if you collected enough non-winning ones you could turn them in for a small prize?). He had stacks and stacks of tickets. Took us forever to sort them."
"He was proudly telling me about the times he'd won 50 or 100 bucks, but it clearly didn't even begin to break even with the total amount he paid for them."
"I still buy one every once in a while for fun, and know that a lot of people enjoy the thrill of them and don't mind spending a few dollars for it, but seeing how many he had with no worthwhile return except a rare win has definitely stuck with me."
"I just quit smoking and I have to say tobacco, in the Netherlands the pack of tobacco I used to smoke (John player special) costs 14,40 euros or $16.95 dollars according to google u pay that much multiple times a week for something that kills you."
"Any smokers here wanting to quit but can't, just buy a vape pen it makes it so much easier."
Designed to Fail
"Gambling. Most of the time it goes tits up and has ramifications for other people in your life." -- Mgreengo
"Worked at a casino. I saw behind the curtain. You will lose. The only way to win is to accidentally win a jackpot (that you somehow didn't spend over the jackpot amount to win) and walk away never to return." -- Femmefatele
Others discussed those unneeded luxuries that we get lulled into thinking we absolutely need.
For Olympians Only
"buying a house with a swimming pool. Unless you're an avid swimmer, you'll only use it irregularly 2-3 months a year. Requires constant maintenance that cost up to 5k a year."
"If you build the swimming pool after you've bought the house, that's around 30k for a 600 sq2 ft pool. And it most likely will not increase your house' price at all."
"Stupidly expensive weddings" -- FairySpice12
"Napkins - $1"
"Baby Napkins -$5"
"Wedding Napkins- $20" -- OntarioIsPain
How Did They Do That?
"Starbucks. $6 for an iced coffee that usually isn't that great." -- kdub1523
"The $6 'coffees' are usually a drink with a million things added so it doesn't taste like a coffee" -- Main-Argument-5898
And many people took notice of all the money they spend on transactions surrounding our online lives and our relationships to all the new gadgets that make our heads spin.
Monthly Black Holes
"Subscriptions to stuff you don't use anymore." -- StructureMoist
"I feel like you don't need all the streaming services. For me, I have netflix, prime, Disney and Spotify. I pay for prime and Spotify and my boyfriend has Disney and netflix. We share the accounts. I use all of them about about same amount, Spotify the least but I miss it a ton when I don't have it." -- Zanki
Money From An Unseen Source
"Donating to popular streamers they have so much money and they are most likely to not read your donation" -- fiskars12345
"I much prefer to give my money to smaller streamers because they're always so sweet and I like supporting them" -- mintmoonstone
Give It a Few Years
"Latest mobile phones every year with allegedly 'revolutionary' must have new features!" -- MarcDarcy
"I generally skip 3 or 4 generations. Then buy a new phone after I've wrung every last ounce of life out of the old one." -- Majik_Sheff
But It Seemed So Fun For Those Few Seconds...
"buying video games that you'll never play" -- Zack4044
"But it was 75% off, how could I pass up those savings" -- 98raider
"There goes my angry upvote of the day." -- Nidrew
So maybe it's time to face the harsh realities of the monthly statement and see where the big omissions can be.