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Forest Rangers Reveal The Creepiest Experiences They've Had On The Job

Forest Rangers Reveal The Creepiest Experiences They've Had On The Job

Forest Rangers Reveal The Creepiest Experiences They've Had On The Job

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Being a Forest Ranger is a job so many of us no NOTHING about. Apparently though we've been missing out. It's a job full of adventure.. maybe too much adventure. It seems it can be a job riddled with danger. Bears are EVERYWHERE people!

Redditor UpbeatAvocado wondered aloud... Forest rangers of Reddit, what is the creepiest/strangest experience you've had while on the job? Lord these people are NOT paid enough. If we all want to go enjoy a natural park or forest, we have to hep these people.


Had campers who honked at a moose. The moose took this as a mating call and proceeded to mate with their car.


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Dude. Tourists do amazingly dumb things. I live in Australia and a few years ago I visited a local national park that had a waterfall. On the way back from a swim I heard people laughing and saw a group of backpackers all huddled around a rather large iguana (large monitor lizard, smaller than a Komodo dragon but mean looking). They were trying to get a selfie with it. They must have seen the look of horror on my face because one of them asked "Can...can we pet it?" and I was like "sure" because you can physically pat one. They are real but there isn't a bone in my body that would want to pat a lizard the size of a medium-sized dog that's all jacked on discarded junk food and used condoms. Anyway, they touched it and it went a bit silly but no one was hurt (badly).


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I'm a forester for the US Forest Service in northern California.

I've never had anything like supernatural type creepy happen to me. But it always creeps me out a little bit when I come across a kill site from a Mountain Lion. When you're by yourself in the woods you're just another link in the food chain but you don't really think about it until you come across a 1/2 eaten deer and realize a huge cat killed this thing with its face.

As for the strangest thing, that would be the time I thought I was about to see a plane crash. As usual I was working alone on a remote hillside and I saw a plane, like a full size commercial plane flying below the ridgeline between mountains. I thought it was going to crash for sure. But it didn't. It just weaved through and kept going. I thought it was weird it didn't have any logos or writing on it. Come to find out we were close to an Air Force base and they were training pilots for Afghanistan and this was not a totally uncommon thing to see in the area.


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I live out in the country and frequently hike trails on an 100+ acre property. I come across a lot of coyote kill sites, it doesn't really bother me any more... It's a part of nature and all that.

But I've never thought of it how you described it and now I'm terrified.


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i spent a few weeks on a long camping trip in a national forest near a navy site for bombing practice.

the shock waves from the water bombs hitting would shake the tents. it was pretty cool.


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My friend and I were going through a more secluded part of the woods off of the trail. We planned to head back soon since the sun was setting and shadows were getting longer - I know it doesn't sound like much, but understand that everything gets creepier when you're surrounded by miles of forest.

Then, we noticed it: in the distance was a small wooded platform, a bit rundown. It looked like a man-made structure, completely out of place, and I'd never seen anything like it. I remember we approached with caution and even radioed it in; apparently, nobody had ever seen it before or knew what we were talking about. We didn't have to get very close- the smell hit both of us like a freight train, I felt like I was going to puke. There are no words to sufficiently describe how foul it was. It was the scent of rotten flesh and death but millions of times worse. At that point, we were both seriously spooked and decided to leave since it was getting late, plus we'd already reported it anyway.

Found out that when rangers checked, they discovered a couple things. First, the scent was actually caused by severely mutilated small animal corpses, ravaged and left to rot around the mysterious platform. Next, they collected several bear set traps surrounding it, even though there are no bears here. They uprooted the platform and found the entire thing was a trap, basically because the boards were weak and a deep pit had been dug underneath it with metal shards waiting at the bottom.


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Prior Marine, we were doing amphibious landings and set up to rack out on the beach. I woke up and walked over the sand dune to take a pee in the middle of the night when I saw a squad of recon guys geared up with night vision goggles maybe ten feet away from me. I said what the hell pretty loudly and none of them said anything. I walked up to one guy and had to physically touch him before he said they were practicing on us. I told my platoon commander about it and the next day he told me they failed because I noticed them. Startled the s*** out of me though, I was halfway through my piss before my eyes adjusted enough to notice 10 or so guys just watching it go down. Would have died for sure.


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When I was working for a federal government land management agency in Montana a few years back, something really creepy came over the repeater network. While we were working in a canyon that had very poor radio reception, we heard a very long, creepy, and drawn out moan come over the air. This was followed by a very weak (in both reception and tone) "" in a women's voice. All of us freaked out. These weak cries for help kept repeating low guttural " me..."on until dispatch finally stepped in a said "This is a federal emergency network. Unless you have an emergency, get off this channel." This was followed by another plea for help, then a gun shot and screaming. Turns out 2 local crazies were out four wheeling, going straight up steep embankments, when the ATV flipped backwards, pinning the man under the ATV. Both of them being high on some substance, they started freaking out. The man, being perfectly fine, except for being pinned by the leg and high, started to hallucinate that he was bleeding out, pulled out his handgun and shot himself to make it quicker. Because they were four wheeling so far back in the sticks, a helicopter was needed to retrieve the body.


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I work as a forester in northern Alberta (Canada). One of the weirder things I've found was an old rusted toboggan in an area of forest that had recently been harvested. It had obviously been there before the forest was cut, because it had about 3 inches of soil on top of most of it with plants growing out of it. This was also 15-20 kilometres off the highway, and not near any well used trails or roads.

W. T. F?!

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Forester here; running into fresh mountain lion and bear scat and tracks is always creepy, but I'm most afraid of other people. I started carrying a gun (which is against my companies policy) after one particularly unsettling run in. I normally work alone but on this day I had a coworker with me, I stepped out of his sight for a bathroom break. We were way off the grid, thought we were the only people for miles. All of the sudden I see a man standing motionless about 20-30 feet from me- I scream in obvious terror. He doesn't say a word, and I'll never be able to accurately describe the look on his face. It was pure evil, I could feel his intent. He takes a step TOWARDS me at which point my coworker yells "Are you ok?," the guy then just turns around and walks away, disappearing back into the woods. I'm a woman btw, and I know for a fact if I had been alone that day he would have attacked me.

Another creepy one was when I was patrolling in a swamp in SC and my boss just happened to fly overhead in a helicopter while conducting an aerial patrol, I could see him in the 'copter waving his arms, I'm waving back smiling like _"hey buddy! I see you!" _My cell rings and it's my boss telling me to get back in my vehicle (amphibious Argo) because I'm walking towards a 10-12 ft alligator. Super creepy because god knows how many I'd been close to in the past, not a normal day to have a helicopter scouting for me.

Strangest thing I've come across was a huge pile of dental molds (like the kind orthodontists make) in the middle of no where. About 3 ft high, thousands of messed up grills. I love weird, random s*** so it made my day. I took like 30 of them and would randomly leave them around town with stupid quotes written on the bottom, kept them stored in the driver side door so people would be like"WTF" when they noticed lol. My friend that happened to be a dental assistant saw them one day and explained that they are expensive to dispose of? So a shady dentist just dumped 'em.

Another time I had just stepped out of the woods when a fish dropped from the sky and landed right in front of me... I was super confused until I saw the hawk that was carrying it fly away.


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I do a lot of of solo hiking and I've seen some weird s***. I actually had a what the hell moment this weekend..

Decided to wake up super early and hike into this a great little fishing spot in Uwharrie national forest. Now I am probably a good 8-10 miles from anything or person. As I come over this hill I see a hoodie hanging up about 25 ft in a tree and an axe head at the base of the tree. The hoodie was on a branch that is couldn't of been thrown or even placed up there if someone climbed.. the limb would of snapped. I just took the safety of my pistol and kept walking. Nothing you can really do that far out..


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Not me, but my ex works in the National Parks. Trees with low limbs, waist high, cut off about a foot away from the trunk.....with used condoms rolled on the ends.


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I used to be a ranger for a cave park. One morning, I walked up to our caves to unlock them as a lot of our caves are gated to protect them from vandalism. As I'm walking up, I feel just...weird. I go unlock the cave and as I head back down I realized that the metal boardwalk under my feet feels and sounds different. I walked up and down it a few times trying to figure out exactly what was different but no luck. I decide to head back down to our visitor center and ask the first tour of the day to check on it and see if they notice anything. As I'm heading down the stairs I glanced back up at the cave, and the great big bloody bear that had been snoozing under the boardwalk sticks his head out.


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I was in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 2015 with some friends. We came into a clearing about 12 miles into a very remote part of the BH. There was a noose hanging in a tree. The rope was old and mossed over. No other evidence of humans around. Just plain creepy.


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I worked as a botanist for the park service- as a scientist you still wear the uniform. My field partner and I were surveying some plants- and a super old dude walks up - we chat a bit and he tells us he's in his 80s and been hiking there forever. He seems pretty tough and with it from the conversation.

Cut to an hour or two later - he's on his way back - but his pants have disappeared and he's just wearing a (thankfully) long tank top - no pants or underwear. He waves and keeps going. Since you can only be cited for being naked in parks if someone complains- we wave and continued surveying plants. Never really figured out what happened- maybe an restroom emergency or he just wanted to feel the breeze.


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Worst story for me was when three bears entered our campsite at like 2:00 in the morning when we were sleeping in a tiny little tent. Pitch black outside, but we were high up the mountain, so when laying in the tent, you could see the moon light filtering through the thin plastic of the tent and the silhouettes of the trees and stuff.

So my friend and I were in one tent and the guys were in another tent a few feet away from us. We are awoken to banging sounds in the campsite, about 3 or 4 feet from where we are laying. We both looked at each other and held hands because it was LOUD. I was terrified to move because the sleeping bags would make that rustling sound if we moved. I swear to god, the bears were FASCINATED with our tent. Now, we did go through all the hassle of setting up a bear proof camp, even washing the sun screen off of us, putting food and self care items and chap sticks and stuff in the food canister and such. We did everything we knew to do so that we did not smell good to bears, but I think just camping that far up gets their attention, period. These things literally were making grunting noises, throwing items around the camp, and rubbing themselves along the side of our tent. Like I could hear the sound of their bristled fur rubbing against the side of our tent over and over and over. I will NEVER forget that sound. When I would open my eyes and look up, you could see their HUGE grunting silhouette rubbing against the side of the tent. It was like the scariest 30 minutes of my entire life. Three GIGANTIC bears were a mere inch away from me and the only thing that separated us was the thin plastic of the tent that they could shred in in half a second.

After what seemed like an eternity, they wandered away, and the guys came flying into our tent carrying the gun. We huddled there, all four of us like terrified school girls, until the sun came up. When we took a look at the camp, everything that had been sitting out (mostly bags and clothes and non-food item stuff) was destroyed and scattered. I never went camping again after that experience. It terrified me. Before that, I never really thought what was out there. Now I know!!


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Every summer I work on a national park just to get a little extra cash for college.

So last year I decided to say okay and solo a 7ish mile hike up the mountain to get back to my dorm. This is after having a few days off, and instead of being late the next day waiting for a ride I decided I was gamed enough to venture the forest at night

So here I am alone crossing makeshift bridges, and going along a makeshift trail in the middle of an pitch black evergreen forest.

Along the way I come to a small rocky River bank, I look up and see a blood moon looming over head. For some reason I felt a wave of anxiety wash over me like I just f***ED up big time.

Hours pass, in turn with me getting lost and my flashlight dying. I kept seeing a shadowy figure in my peripheral, pointing to something. Wasn't a good time, as I was already on the look out for bears and mountain lions, plus being exhausted.


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I've been working at this park for a few years, and I've been having issues. It's this bear, and he isn't like any other bears. HE STEALS PIC-A-NICK BASKETS FROM THE CAMPERS!

People Break Down The Missing Person Cases That Just Don't Add Up

Reddit user yourlastnames asked: 'what missing persons case is the most confusing / doesn’t add up?'

Content warning: suicide.

There are truly some strange unsolved cases out there, but there's nothing quite like hearing of a person who has vanished as if out of thin air.

While some of these cases have been explained away or even solved, there are some that remain a mystery that truly does not add up, no matter how the puzzle pieces fall.

Curious about these cases, in particular, Redditor yourlastnames asked:

"What missing persons case is the most confusing [to you] or just doesn't add up?"

The Last Ride of Terrance Williams

"Terrance Williams disappeared in 2004. He's the subject of a fascinating podcast called 'The Last Ride.'"

"The short version is that he was taken into custody in Naples, Florida, after being pulled over in the early hours for traffic violations. He was never seen again."

"The deputy that pulled him over tried to conceal the traffic stop even from his own organization, but staff opening a local business saw the whole thing."

"When the sheriff's department finally looked into it, they discovered the deputy was involved in a similar disappearance of a man named Felipe Santos in 2003. To this day the deputy claims no knowledge of Williams's whereabouts, despite being caught out in a series of lies."

- AlanMercer

Paddy Moriarty and Kellie

"Paddy Moriarty and his dog, Kellie. They went missing in an outback town in Australia with a population of 12 people."

"They were last seen leaving the pub riding his quad bike the one-kilometer distance to his house. He or his dog have never been found and no one has been charged in relation to his disappearance."

- Bigred0762

Susan Powell and Family

"Susan Powell went missing from her home in West Valley, Utah, on December 6, 2009."

"She is presumably dead. Her husband, Josh, was the main suspect and just a real piece of work. No one knows what really happened to her."

"Sadly in 2012, Josh murdered their kids and committed suicide after Susan’s parents gained custody of the kids."

- AlexisVonTrappe

"This case is so frustrating since his brother and father are both dead too. We’ll never know what happened to Susan, but I’m positive she’s in an old mine shaft somewhere. F**k Josh Powell."

- burittosquirrel

​The Last Call from Brandon Swanson

"Brandon Swanson. He drove into a ditch and called his parents for help. They stayed on the phone with him for 47 minutes while they drove around looking for him."

"They heard him say, 'Oh s**t,' and then the phone went silent. They eventually found his car far away from where he said he was but he was never found."

- kittengoesrawr

"Reading this was absolutely chilling. It seems at first glance that it's most likely he drowned, but that really doesn't make sense because the water was only 10 feet deep and they would have found the body."

"He just suddenly said, 'OH S**T!' and the phone went silent, but he did not hang up. The phone call continued with total silence from his end. What the f**k happened to him?"

- angelposts

Babysitter Mar Lou Bostwick

"Mary Lou Bostwick. She disappeared July 18, 1972, from Waverly, New York. She was dropped off by her dad to babysit at a friend's house. This was also her 16th birthday. Her mom stopped by later with a cake and presents."

"The people in the apartment told her that Mary never showed up. However, her bag was in the residence. Nothing else was ever found."

"There was another girl around the same age, Sharon Coston, who was abducted and murdered in a nearby town about a year later. October 1983 in Sayre, Pennsylvania."

"There was a man convicted of that, but he always denied doing anything to Mary. One of the people who testified against him and was given immunity was a suspect in Mary's case. Mary's mom thinks there's a connection, but nothing was ever really found."

"I've sadly never seen anyone cover her disappearance on any of the podcasts or YouTube shows."

- Vamp459

Derek Seehausen of San Diego

​"Derek Seehausen. My friend was dating him at the time of his disappearance, and he was actively planning his future in medicine, and was last seen in San Diego."

"I saw him about two months before he disappeared. Please send any tips."

- Hereforit2022Y

The Beaumont Children

"The Beaumont Children. Three kids go to the beach, are seen with a mystery man, and never make it back home."

"Never found out who the man was or where they went. Their parents just recently died without ever getting any closure."

- snguyenx96

Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes

"Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes. The whole family (parents and four kids) went missing overnight in 2011."

"Employers, schools, and the extended family received weird letters informing of their absence or departure (one of them saying they are going into a witness protection program). Two weeks later they found the corpses of the mother, the kids, and the dog hidden behind the house."

"They investigated and retraced the father’s whereabouts in the south of France. He was last seen leaving a hotel a few days before. The region was thoroughly searched, but he was never to be found."

- z4zazym

Branson Perry of Skidmore

"Branson Perry, aged 20, disappeared from Skidmore, Missouri in April 2001."

"He was working on his house with a friend, went to the shed to grab some power cords, and was never seen again."

- AdamR91

The Incomplete Story of Marshall Iwassa

"Marshall Iwassa. Good guy."

"He came back to his hometown to visit his family and friends, and everything by all accounts was good. He left to take the two-hour drive to where he was living and never made it. Instead, it was recorded he spent the entire night trying to get into his storage unit and then nothing."

"A week or maybe more, his truck was found 12 hours away on a back road in the middle of the woods burnt to a crisp with belongings thrown about everywhere, no sign of Marshal."

"From what I remember, the family was adamant that some of the things inside the truck, burnt or not, were missing, things they knew he had. The truck was even missing parts."

"It's been four years and there's never been answers. It makes me sad and fearful of long travels. From what I know of him, he was a fantastic friend; I hope they get closure one day."

- devbot8

Out Shopping Asha Degree

"Asha Degree."

"She went missing at the age of nine from Shelby, North Carolina, United States. In the early morning hours of February 14, 2000, for reasons unknown, she packed her bookbag, left her family home north of the city, and began walking along nearby North Carolina Highway 18 despite heavy rain and wind."

"Several passing motorists saw her; when one turned around at a point 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from her home and began to approach her, she left the roadside and ran into a wooded area."

"In the morning, her parents discovered her missing from her bedroom. No one has seen her since."

- EstateWeary5789

The Vanishing Marion Barter

"Marion Barter here in Australia."

"She boarded a plane overseas in 1997 and changed her name beforehand (didn't tell family). She apparently came back to Australia for a few days (according to passenger records) and completely disappeared."

"It's an ongoing investigation at the moment, there is a podcast about it called, 'The Lady Vanishes,' featuring her daughter."

"It's so tragically fascinating."

- CuddlySubject

The Grieving Bryce Laspisa

"Bryce Laspisa."

"He was driving to his parents' house (three hours) after an argument with his girlfriend, apparently due to his alcohol and video game addiction and abuse of prescription medication."

"Partway through the drive, he pulled off the highway and just sat there… from 9:00 AM to 3:'00 PM."

"A roadside assistance guy checked on him twice and said he seemed fine and coherent, and Bryce told him he would be carrying on back to his parents shortly."

"Sometime later, his car was found only a few miles away, driven off the embankment, and he was nowhere to be found. They never found him."

- Just_Raisin1124

News Anchor Jodi Huisentruit

"Jodi Huisentruit was a news anchor who disappeared in the early morning in Mason City, Iowa."

"There were signs that she was abducted and the investigation is still ongoing with new leads nearly 30 years later."

- Have_you_eaten_yet

Three-Year-Old William Tyrrell

"William Tyrrell. In 2014, the three-year-old boy went missing from his foster grandmother's yard whilst playing with his sister. His foster mother and foster grandmother were apparently watching them play outside, and the foster mother went inside to make a cup of tea."

"They then noticed they hadn’t seen or heard him in a while and searched the house and yard."

"In 2021, police began searching national parkland near the grandmother's home for human remains. They also revealed that the foster mother and grandmother were persons of interest in his presumed death."

"Earlier today, the foster mother pled not guilty to assaulting another foster child that was in her care (a 10-year-old girl). She has also been charged with intimidating and stalking a minor. Her husband has also been charged with the same crimes, but plead not guilty to all counts. The foster grandmother is now dead."

"Basically, police believe that William died whilst in the care of the foster family, and they disposed of his body to cover it up. Police are recommending that the foster parents be charged with perverting the course of justice and interfering with a corpse."

"His photos went viral at the time of the 'disappearance,' and he went missing whilst in a Spiderman costume, and the photo that was distributed was taken minutes before."

- Red_bug91

These stories are truly haunting, and it's no wonder that Redditors have worried themselves with what might have happened to these missing people.

We can only hope that answers come for at least some of these cases and that their closest loved ones achieve some sense of closure eventually.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

Senior citizen using a camera
Tiago Muraro/Unsplash

The realization you're getting older can smack you in the face at any given time, and boy-howdy is it fun!

It can be in the morning when you get up out of bed, and your body makes crackling noises, or when you can't seem to keep up at the gym and you cut short your running time on the treadmill.

That's just the physical.

When you suddenly have the epiphany that you're suddenly the oldest one in a group setting, it's humbling.

Curious to hear from strangers online who are no longer the young whipper-snappers they imagined themselves to eternally be, Redditor redmambo_no6 asked:

"Redditors with younger coworkers, what was your 'I’m officially old' moment?"

These moments of realization never get old. But people do.

Senior Kitty

"My childhood cat lived to 21.5 so teaching (freshman biology lab, so students were ~18) became very weird when I realized my cat was older than my students."

– mollusck_magic

Aging In Reverse

"I'm a preschool teacher. It's been a TRIP to watch parents go from Soooo much older than me, to the same age as me, and now they're younger than me!?!?"

– Smart_Alex

The Shook Pediatrician

"My kids pediatrician was also my husband's pediatrician when he was a kid. He was the first kid she had to come back as a parent and she was SHOOK."

– trixtred

Older Together

"See, that's what really kinda drives it home for me."

"I'm not bothered that I'm 48. But that means my school friends are 48, and that's weird for some reason. Like, I went to school with a guy who was wild and crazy. That guy is 48 now, and has a new grandbaby. Somehow, he's old, and I'm just 'getting up there '."

– ThatWeirdTexan

Relics of the past don't just pertain to humans.

Dialing It In

"Had a co-worker ask me, 'Back before cell phones, did you just have to wait around at your house for a call?' Uh, yeah, pretty much."

– Status-Effort-9380

"Reminds me of having to explain the concept of collect calls to my kids. The whole speed speaking where you were for pick up during the recording so your Mama never accepted the collect call."

– DaraScot

Legendary Aircraft

"Various colleagues were debating whether the Concorde had been real. They couldn’t fathom that supersonic civilian aircraft used to exist and now they don’t anymore."

"The Concorde last flew in 2003, when these colleagues were toddlers."

– geckos_are_weirdos

Foreign References

"We were talking about where we were on 9/11, and my coworker went quiet. He wasn’t even born."

"We also had a band that was famous in the 90s stay at the hotel, and he had no idea who they were, meanwhile I was so star struck as they were my entire childhood!"

– Itsagabby

Gravity is not our friend, and not just because of its effect on our faces.

The Day It Went Downhill

"When i fell down the last couple of steps on a stairway. No one pointed and laughed like I expected, instead they helped me up and asked me if I was okay. That’s when I knew."

– day_of_duke

It's About The Recovery

"F'k. That has to be a bummer."

"You fall. You know you're fine. You feel like an idiot. You get ready to wave to the crowd as they laugh and clap. But then... a hand is placed on your arm and you hear 'that was a big fall, are you ok?' You stay in shock for a moment. Of course, you're fine. Everyone is looking at you. They all have concerned faces. Sh*t. Two weeks later, the soreness finally subsides."

– minimalfighting

Ice Slip, You Slip, We All Slip

"This happened to me as well....walking my dog the day after a huge snowstorm. There were some rowdy teenage boys having a snowball fight across the street (schools were closed that day, of course). I slipped on the ice, my feet flew over my head and I landed solidly on my backside. As I struggled to get up I braced myself for the laughter and catcalls, but all I heard was "Are you OK Ma'am??' 'Do you need help??' I was in my early 50s and had never felt 'old' until that moment."

– Ouisch

Conversations with younger coworkers can be fun.

You can quote lines from your favorite TV shows and talk about the latest CD you bought at Target and brag about your new digital camera that takes better pictures than a smartphone.

And then you can watch the blank expressions on your coworkers' faces because they haven't a clue about what you speak.

Yeah. This has never happened to me...


person getting a tattoo

Collins Lesulie on Unsplash

The art of tattooing has been practiced across the globe since at least Neolithic times, as evidenced by mummified skin, art and the archaeological artifacts.

The oldest tattooed human skin was found on the body of Ötzi the Iceman from between 3370 and 3100 BC.

Tattooed mummies were recovered in almost 50 archaeological digs across the Earth with locations in Greenland, Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines and the Andes.

But while advancements in tools and inks have opened up endless possibilities for body art, some designs have garnered a bad reputation.

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surgeons looking down at patient

National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

"I shall do by my patients as I would be done by; shall obtain consultation whenever I or they desire; shall include them to the extent they wish in all important decisions; and shall minimize suffering whenever a cure cannot be obtained, understanding that a dignified death is an important goal in everyone's life."

~ English translation of the modern abridged Hippocratic Oath

It is the hope of those seeking medical help that the medical professionals providing it will be just that—professional.

But no profession is immune to bad days, bad attitudes or bad apples.

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