Homeowners Share The Most Insane HOA Rules They've Dealt With
Homeowner Associations, at their core, should be a good thing. Nothing like an organized group of neighbors maintaining a close eye on each other to help keep your home values up. Without a doubt, no salacious or gossipy actions could derive from that, right? Surely, this type of all-encompassing control would never go to someone's head...right?
Reddit user, u/jepensedoucjsuis, wanted to hear about your HOA horror stories when they asked:
Homeowners of reddit. What are the most insane HOA rules you have had to deal with?
You Need To ASK FIRST!
My parents' HOA has a rule that you are NOT allowed to cut down trees without a "permit" from them, at ANY time, for ANY reason. The first winter they lived there, there was an ice storm and a tree fell onto the neighbor's deck, taking out his entire deck and the sliding glass door that went from his kitchen to his deck.
My dad went over with his chainsaw to help him cut down the tree that was now in his kitchen, and, MID-STORM, someone from the association heard the chainsaw and came over asking if they had a permit, to cut apart the tree in my neighbor's kitchen. IIRC, he told them to get bent and they tried to give him a $1,000 fine for "cutting down a tree without a permit."
I Pledge Allegiance...To Slippy Toad
We can only have 3 types of flags on a flag pole (that has to be approved) out front. An American flag, a military flag, or a South Carolina flag.
One of our neighbors were warned a couple times until they took their cutesy frog flag down.
Going Against The Grain
I used to live in a HOA. One of the members on the board lived across the street from my neighbor and I. He sent a letter to us saying that we all have to mow the lawn on the same day, at the same cut height, and in the SAME PATTERN to create uniformity in the neighborhood. My neighbor and I intentionally cut on different days and in opposite patterns just to annoy the guy.
"Classic" Is Just Another Word For "Old"
I had an HOA try to enforce that I had much to old of a car to be in the driveway. Mind you, no rust, always clean, never dusty/dirty.
Went to court and the judge ordered a full audit of the HOA. It was not enforceable at all, they paid my legal fees and last I knew they have yet to police anything
I was once "warned" about storing my trash in view of the street. I thought to myself, "That's funny, I'm pretty on top of the trash", so I checked the date of the infraction.
Sure enough, it was trash day.
They were upset at me about putting my trash out on trash day.
They Control The Horizontal And The Vertical
In order to sell or rent in my HOA, you must provide HOA docs to the new owner or tenant.
They must be bought from the HOA, otherwise the sale / rental is not legal. $200 for a three-ring binder with 150 pages of poorly photocopied documents.
The first page: These documents have not been updated since July 2002. Please see the HOA website for updated documents.
My friends HOA fined him because the flag pole that was already up in his front yard when he purchased the house, was too tall.
He countered by flying a pirate flag on that flag pole.
They are even less happy with the flag pole now.
Forced Payment For A Forced Change
My Townhome neighborhood has an HOA that covers the exterior of our homes (since they all share the same exterior, being connected and whatnot). My front door has developed a rotting spot on the edge, so I sent a claim in for the HOA to replace it.
They said the front door does not fall within their definition of the exterior of the home. That's fine, whatever, I'll just buy a new one.
But wait! I have to fill out an EXTERIOR CHANGE REQUEST to get a new front door. The door they said doesn't count as exterior needs an EXTERIOR change request sent to approve any external changes made. They want to control what my door looks like, but I have to pay for it
How Dare You Think You Can Play On An Open Field?!
I lived in a fairly large 'family friendly' townhouse community. There was a community baseball field, at least it was set up like a baseball field with the fences and backstop, but essentially it was just a giant field, further down was a playground and fenced in tennis court. It was meant to be used there were dozens of kids playing baseball, football, soccer, or whatever on it all the time.
For really no reason they decided to shut it down. Overnight they put up signs to not use it and keep out. If your kids dared to even walk across it police would be called in minutes. We were playing tennis on the courts one day and police were called, the next day it was locked up with a chain and combination lock.
We called the hoa and were told we would have to give them proof we actually played tennis to be given the combination. My parents and a lot of other parents got in long arguments on the phone and at the hoa meetings about why they made these ridiculous new rules, they were essentially told 'because we can.' It became a war in the community against the old ladies that ran the hoa and the younger families with kids.
Names Have Power
Um. Does, "you must address us as 'Boardmember NAME' or you'll be fined," count?
That is neat. I would have addressed them in many ways. None of which would have been suitable for broadcast...
We were renters but the HOA sent us a letter one time about us having too many cars in our driveway.
Legit, IN our driveway, not even on the street or curb or anything. We had like 4 or 5 cars the week we moved in because we moved long distance and had friends and family come down to help.
Toy Cars = Real Cars
My niece when she was a toddler had a toy car that you can get inside & drive around using your feet. It was sitting in the back yard for a good 6 months when we were given a compliance notice about it being unauthorized on the property and must be removed.
I was using my dads truck for a side job once a week, and one week it was cancelled. It was sitting in our driveway 'too long' and had a police officer knock on the door telling me I have to move it.
Each house has a small tree planted out front (was a new neighborhood). Ours was broken into two due to strong winds one day which the HOA replaced for free. It proceeded to snap in half THREE MORE TIMES, but the HOA only covered the first one so we had to pay for it.
Have a few others but HOAs are garbage, although it didn't help we were next door to the VP (which was a total d-ckhead). Why buy a house and have someone else tell you how to live in it?
Pool Duty Is Serious Business
I had a friend in college whose parents bought a house in a gated community, then they moved back to China and left the house for him to live in. He had 6 friends over (maximum amount of guests allowed) one day. We hung out in the house for a bit, and went into the pool while nobody else was in it. Pool max was 6 people, so when a couple came to sit by the pool (didn't bring towels), they kicked the whole group out because we were one person over the limit (even though we were being respectful).
This caused enough of a community outrage that another neighbour came over at 10:00 pm (the weekend noise curfew was 11:00) and told us we couldn't be up talking all night (we were at a respectful noise level).
I guess the host had already gotten in trouble because he previously rented a room out to a classmate, not realizing the rules, and the whole community was watching like every step of his ever since.
Cameras In The Oven, Maybe?
Live in an HOA where you aren't allowed to do dishes or laundry after 9pm
Like... how the f-ck is that enforceable?
Don't You Tell Me How To Use My Bubbles!
Can't wash your car with too many bubbles. My dad's friend lived in a strata (same thing as an HOA) and had a guy come by saying that he was using too much of the wrong soap. He sprayed him with his hose and the guy never came back until his wife was home alone.
Then he proceeded to harrass the wife about having windowboxes full of flowers to help the bees, and the wrong shade of white ("two shades off") for her curtains. He moved about half a year later.
That's Right. Blame The Kids.
My house flooded 2 months after I bought it. HOA got involved and blamed my kids putting toys down the toilet (they are too old for that). I spoke to neighbors, found out 5 houses in a row had flooded.
We all got together and demanded an investigation by an independent plumber. Long story short, our HOA owns the sewage and water lines under all the houses that connect to city water. They had not been repaired for years or flushed out, and were made of a material that eroded underground, it backflowed raw sewage into the 5 houses affected and flooded the grassy areas with sewage also
All my neighbors are senior citizens. The HOA admitted responsibility and held an emergency meeting to repair damage. My house was done last and I agreed with that because the other ladies are 70+ and wheelchair bound or disabled, I'm under 40.
By time my house was done, the sewage had been wiped up from tile floor and treated with fungal chemicals, but mold was growing in master shower and carpet was destroyed. They had to replace brand new carpet in bedrooms, drywall, paint new drywall a color I chose, and re-tile my whole shower. When old shower tile was torn out, plumbing wasn't to code, so that was done too. They spent about $15k on my house alone. I also told the HOA never to accuse my kids again
They Have That Kind Of Power?
In my city they enforce "dark sky" compliance.
My neighbor upgraded his exterior lights from ones that point down to ones that point up and he received a threat from the HOA that they could put a lien on his mortgage if he did not change them back.
Here's A List For Ya'
- any change to front or back yard has to be submitted on an application with $25 fee for small changes, and $50 fee for large changes. fee doesn't guarantee your application will be approved.
- house can only be painted from list of 7 paint colors from specific brand that isn't available at normal hardware stores.
- you forget to submit application before doing any landscaping? spend the next several months having to leave work early to go to HOA meetings to essentially beg the board to give you permission to do something all your neighbors already have.
- threatened with a fine for having a section of the house (on the SIDE) unpainted after having windows replaced because HOA doesn't understand that painters have waiting lists.
- threatened with a fine for having a dumpster on the lawn despite this never actually happening.
- threatened with a fine for having a thin tree branch sticking out over the sidewalk (my mom's power move after this one was to have the tree cut down the next day, then immediately call the HOA to tell them it was no longer a problem; they were smart enough to let that one go).
- get told by a board member that none of the plants on your landscaping plan for the backyard are "on the approved plant list" and start to feel like you're in hell until someone in the audience at the meeting points out that there is no "approved plant list", only a "suggested plant list"
- not a rule but related: get woken up at 1 am by the 19 year-old armed security guard that patrols the neighborhood (aka the stupidest waste of HOA fees they've conceived of yet) to inform you that he's "doing you a favor" because your car is parked on the side of the road and he's gonna have to give you a citation and he "knows how hard the sticky stuff is to get off" so he thought he'd just wake everyone up to let you know instead of sticking it on the car. then call his supervisor to complain, know she's about to ream his a--, then lie awake afraid that the guy with a gun who knows where you live and who exactly it was that just got him in trouble is going to come back very, very angry.
They had someone go around and check if the dogs are leashed, if not the they call animal control to have them taken away.
HOA has called animal control on people who have their dogs leashed, their reason?
The length of the leash was either too long or too short.
They tried to take away one guy's dogs for that reason and that sparked a war between the HOA head and the homeowner who was a former Marine (I think) and all around madman.
HOA head did not stand a chance against a retired crazy person who had a lot of time and money.
Crazy guy built a pool and let everyone used it for free, making the $20/month pool the HOA set up useless. Crazy guy also held a giant all inclusive party that had menus for everyone and any police that came to check on it left with to go bags. He also had a Halloween party, as the HOA did not allow trick or treating.
Crazy guy was well loved and the head was ousted from the HOA after she tried to break into crazy guy's house.
The ban on trick or treating has been there way before the former head took charge, the neighborhood had only white people living in it until the 90s and it became diverse after that. I guess the ban was put so the people that had it put didn't want to be disturbed, and it was enforced, their reasoning was that it was to protect everyone. Bullsh-t.
Crazy guy was seen as crazy by these HOA cultists because he didn't follow their rules and more often than not he was the most well liked guy in the neighborhood.
The former head was the trophy wife of this big shot doctor and her father owned most of the land in the neighborhood. She wasn't crazy, just power tripping and stupid.
The crazy guy never ran for HOA, but he did start a restaurant, sponsor a drag competition, and possibly took up karate.
Medical workers are used to seeing shocking things. Even so, sometimes, even the most seasoned professionals are left astonished. Doctors, nurses, and even some patients on Reddit share some of their OMG moments that left them speechless.
1. Papering Over The Crack
I was working as a surgical junior when my team was called down to A&E to see a patient who had come in with a complication from a recent hernia operation. When we came down, we saw that the patient was holding a plastic bag over their abdomen.
When this was removed, we found that their wound had opened, and their intestine was visible to the air. But that wasn't the worst part. It transpired that this was not something that had happened overnight; it had taken several days.
The patient had started using plastic bags and newspaper to dress the wound when they ran out of dressings.
2. She Had A Bone To Pick With Him
This middle-aged married couple in rural Alabama had presented to the ER after they had been drinking for almost the entirety of the evening and got into a heated argument. Things got intense, and the woman eventually fell off the porch of their trailer into the shrubs a few feet below.
The husband, in his plastered state, suddenly dropped the argument and came to his wife's aid. She didn't suffer anything too serious, just a couple of scratches here and there, except for what the man said looked like a piece of glass, pipe, or something that became lodged in the woman's arm when she hit the ground.
He decided not to come to the hospital because he could remove this object himself. He got his largest pair of pliers and gripped onto this glass/pipe-looking thing lodged in his helpless wife's arm. He clamped down and pulled and pulled, cranked and cranked, trying to remove this object, and it wouldn't budge.
After his masculinity was defeated and the booze wore off on both of them, they decided it sensible to come to the ER finally. Upon arriving at the ER, the doctor immediately made the most disturbing discovery. He realized this poor woman had a compound fracture of her humerus.
This "pipe or piece of glass thing" was her bone sticking through her skin that her husband was trying to pry out with a pair of pliers.
3. On The Fence About His Caredanger electric fence signPhoto by Alan J. Hendry on Unsplash
I was a nurse and worked in a very rural hospital. We had a patient population that seemed to avoid the hospital at all costs. My favorite was an elderly farmer who came in with chest pain that, “Wouldn't go away”, as he put it. When we asked him if he had it before, he said that he had been having chest pain on and off for years, but it would typically go away after he grabbed his electric fence.
Apparently, the first time he had the pain, he was standing out near an electric fence on his farm. He reached out to steady himself and accidentally grabbed the electric fence, which shocked him, and made the pain go away. So after that, whenever he would have the pain, he just went and grabbed the fence and it made him feel better.
He had literally been cardioverting himself for years.
4. An Unwelcomed Vacation Souvenir
A friend, who is a family doctor, was treating a pre-teen girl who was complaining about pain in the back of her neck. He did a preliminary examination and found a lump, and thought that it was likely a cyst that had become infected. The parents agreed that he should remove it. That's when he noticed it move.
It was a large botfly larva that the girl had picked up while vacationing with the family in South America and was the size of a nickel.
5. Scraping At The Stink
A woman about 35 years old came in for a Pap smear. I saw something dark brown in the right lateral fornix. My first thought was cancer. I tried to gently scrape at this dark brown area to get a feel of what it was when the smell hit me. My medical assistant scooted away to the edge of the room.
I stopped breathing through my nose and started to breathe only a couple of times a minute from my mouth, turning my head away from the source of the smell to take a breath. Maneuvering the speculum a bit more and scraping a bit at the brown area some more revealed an answer to the mystery.
It was a thick cylindrical clump of something—an old tampon! The patient had no idea that it was there, and her period had ended over a week ago. So this thing had been there for over a week and the lady was walking around living life as usual. Thankfully she did not get TSS.
Retrieval of the tampon was uneventful and the lady was sent home with advice on being more careful with remembering to take out tampons, or perhaps consider switching to pads instead.
6. Freed By A Falling Flapman sitting on grey sofaPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
My mom is a nurse and has seen some pretty messed-up things. The one story that sticks in my mind involved an elderly man who came into the hospital three times a week to have a growth on his face washed and redressed. The growth had slowly taken over the left-hand side of his face, so much so that his left eye—his only working eye—had closed over. He was effectively blind.
This meant that his wife—whom he had been looking after for years due to her frailty—was now tasked with looking after him instead. Furthermore, this bloke was old enough that the hospital didn’t want to operate on him. So the hospital visits stopped.
He could no longer get there, so instead, a nurse would visit him three times a week. The growth was unsightly, wept constantly, and smelled bad—really bad. The whole house stank of it. During one of these visits by my mom, she was cleaning his face over the sink and noticed a flap of loose skin.
She went to clean it with the sponge and the unthinkable happened. “SQQUELPCH”! The growth fell off into the sink, and it was CRAWLING with maggots. The sink was now filled with necrotic flesh and maggots. It turned out a fly had laid some eggs on it at some point.
They had hatched and started eating all the necrotic flesh in the growth until it fell off. The man was fine. There was new, pink skin where the growth had been, and he could see again out of his left eye. It gave him a new lease on life.
7. Totally Tongue-Tied
I noticed a small lump in the middle of my tongue and thought, "Oh, I must have burned it, whatever". The next morning, however, it had grown by a lot. It was freaky-looking, so I told my mom. She flipped out and took me to the doctor right away. Near tears along with my mother in the ER, we waited for hours as she bothered the attending nurse to no end.
Finally, they called my name and brought me to a room. It started as a normal visit until the doctor said, "I've never seen anything like that". My mom was crying, and my heart was pounding. Growing up in a medical community, my 10-year-old brain was conditioned to think that doctors knew everything. They brought in another doctor and another.
Then, they put me on a dentist-style chair with huge, bright lights shining on me. Before long, there were five doctors and the chief of staff staring at my tongue. My mom was sitting silent in the corner absolutely horrified. So what did this brain trust of brilliant medical minds come up with? "We're going to try poking it". Even at 10, I was thinking, "Can I get a second opinion?"
I could not, however, talk because they were literally holding my tongue. They sprayed me with a local anesthetic that tasted like mustard, and the chief surgeon washed up, and put on goggles and a mask. He slowly moved a shining metal prod into my mouth; I could feel the pressure on my tongue. He pulled back, looked at me, and asked me possibly the grandest non-sequitur I've heard in my entire life.
"When was the last time you ate popcorn"? I was completely caught off guard and said, "A couple of days ago". I remembered because I was trying to eat it quietly as we watched The X-Files. So the doctor sets on my bib a perfect half of a kernel husk. It had, apparently, suctioned itself to my tongue, and because tongue tissue is so quick to generate, it was essentially absorbed by my body.
Lots of doctors were laughing, my mom was crying for joy now, and I was totally stunned. I even wound up in a big medical journal because of it.
8. The Endless Gaping Wound
I was the tissue viability nurse for my ward which basically meant I went around checking people are not developing ulcers from being stuck in bed too long. I was doing a normal round and I came to a 19-year-old who had just had a lung procedure. "This will be quick," I thought to myself, as younger people are generally at a lower risk for these things.
I had been looking after this guy for a few days post-op. We were both pretty young and I got to build up a good rapport with him. So, I approached him and explained how I need to check his sacral area (aka the rear) and apologized, saying it should only take a glance.
He laughed it off and said, "Actually, there is something there. I didn't really want anyone to see, so I have not mentioned it before but for the last YEAR it is always painful when I go to the toilet and wipe after". At that point, alarm bells rang, and I went full-nurse mode and decided that something was not quite right.
So, I put on my protective gear, drew his curtains, and dove on in. However, I was NOT prepared for what was there. As I pulled his cheeks apart to inspect the skin, it literally just kept going, right down to muscle and bone. The worst part, though, was it was full of infection.
The smell was so powerful, it literally hit me in the face. Not only was there a bacterial infection, but a fungal one too. It was as if Jackson Pollock had gone up in there and created a masterpiece. I did not dare part the wound open all the way because I could not see how deep it went.
I turned to the poor guy and explained he had a serious wound there, and I needed to get the doctor to look at it. He was amazing about it. While I was fetching the doc, he got his friend to take a picture on his phone so he could see it. I will never forget the words he said when I came back around the curtain.
He said, "Oh my God. MY [REAR] GOES ON FOREVER. No wonder it hurt". At that point, I nearly keeled over laughing. He made a full recovery.
9. Her Vile Vapor Filled The Ventswoman in teal shirt wearing white maskPhoto by SJ Objio on Unsplash
I was working in a smallish hospital in a rural town in Australia. We were asked by the medical team to see a patient who had been admitted under their care by the emergency department overnight with a CT demonstrating a very distended bladder. They apparently had trouble with a catheter, so they called me to have a look.
With much hesitation, I went up to see her in the ward. I managed to put the catheter in with a lot of trouble. A little bit of urine drained out, and I just kept thinking something was not right. I went back and looked at the CT scan and the IDC placed in the emergency department looked like it was appropriately positioned and subsequently pulled out.
Behind it, was one big uterus, absolutely full of what appeared to be a fluid density. The report read that there was a very distended bladder, the catheter balloon was situated in the PROSTATIC URETHRA, and moderate to severe hydronephrosis was noted. I spoke to the consultant, and we got her to the theater.
With great difficulty, we managed to dissect our way around this HUGE uterus, and we called the O&G guys to come and help get it out. Unfortunately, during this process, the uterus burst and there was a boatload of pus that just streamed out. It smelled horrible.
There were people gagging around us at this yellow-green, sulfuric-smelling goo. The scrub nurse could no longer take it and vomited in her mask. We finished this case; I went home and kept thinking I could still smell this awful thing. The morning came, and I couldn’t have breakfast because I could still smell it.
I got to the hospital, and EVERYONE was wearing masks. Apparently, the smell was so horrible, and the extraction in our theater was so outdated that it had somehow pumped the smell into the vents around the hospital. All night, small amounts were leaking out into the atmosphere, causing this horrendous smell.
The lady lived for another three years.
10. The Ugly Tooth
I was a children’s nurse. On my first week in the pediatric ED, we had a young girl, about six or seven, come in with a really swollen jaw and face. The poor girl was unable to move her jaw without intense pain and hadn’t been able to eat for several days.
It turned out she had only just started cleaning her teeth for the first time ever, and managed to develop several abscesses and rotten teeth in the process. To make it worse, her mom told us she was recovering from the same procedures to remove most of her teeth because of almost the same thing.
They didn’t want to bother going to the GP, as they thought she was just messing about to get out of school.
11. Cooked To A Crisp
I am a med student, and I've seen some pretty nasty stuff, but the best stories come courtesy of my parents, who are both doctors. My dad's story occurred while we were living in Scotland in the early 90s. It was a particularly sunny day by Scottish standards and one of the rare days you might be able to get a tan. The Scots are not known for their ability to tan, and the typical Celtic Scots less so.
However, one such Celt was rather overzealous and decided he would really go for it on this day in question. He cracked out several sheets of tin foil and basted himself in cooking oil. Probably the biggest mistake of his life. Needless to say, he pitched up to the ED a few hours later with third-degree burns all over his body.
12. Bag It Up!people in white shirt holding clear drinking glassesPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
There was a patient who came in with a well-known history of diabetes. When I saw him, the worst of it was already over, but he still had legs like sausages, and the smell in the room was like a garbage dump. There were these strange bands around his ankles that were indented to over a centimeter deep. Apparently, he had developed an ulcer on his foot.
Instead of cleaning it and bandaging it, he decided to just put a sock over it. Eventually, the ulcer developed into gangrene, and the pus began to soak through the sock. The smell became overwhelming, even for him, so he decided to seek medical attention as a responsible adult would do. Just kidding—he put a plastic bag over it.
Eventually, the pus seeped around the edges of the bag and started leaking again, giving rise to the horrific smell. Now things were getting out of control, so he decided to get it properly looked at. Got you again! He put another plastic bag over it. This process was repeated about 9–10 times.
In the ER, they had been peeling off this giant mass of plastic and necrotic tissue glued together with pus and held on with elastic bands around the ankles. It was like his foot turned into a giant onion with each layer smelling worse than the previous one.
Two or three nurses apparently threw up and they had to rotate people in to do the next layer. He wasn't even in much pain because he had long-standing neuropathy in his feet, which was why he was able to ignore the problem for so long.
13. Bladder Leakage
I have seen a lot of things, but the one thing that really sticks out is something I saw as a medical student. I was on a general medicine rotation and was seeing an elderly lady for urinary problems. Specifically, she was having trouble holding her urine. She mentioned in passing that she had something coming out of her, like a mass, but she couldn't see what it was.
My resident and I decided that we ought to take a look. Upon examining her pelvic region, we were unable to use a speculum to visualize the interior of her parts because there was a firm mass protruding from her. That's when we made a chilling realization. The mass was her bladder. It had prolapsed.
14. An Out Of This World Excuse
I was a med student and have a few stories. This one isn't gross, it’s just sort of a Twilight Zone moment. I was explaining to a woman that we needed to do an MRI and she calmly informed me that she couldn't get an MRI because she had a metal tracking device in her body that had been implanted 10 years previously when she was abducted by aliens.
Previous to that, I had been speaking with her for an hour, and she had given every indication of being a perfectly sane and normal person with intact mental faculties. I just replied, without skipping a beat, that we could safely CT her instead. Virtually nothing shocks me anymore.
15. Blind To The Truthblack and gray wheelchair on blue floorPhoto by vitor camilo on Unsplash
I had a patient come in saying he couldn’t see. When we asked how long it had been going on, they said five days. The man had been blind for five days and didn’t come in because he thought it might be “like a cold or something”. During the exam, when I asked him to move his legs he said, “Oh, I can’t do that”. My jaw DROPPED.
I asked how long he’d been unable to move his legs or walk and his wife chimed in, “About two years”. He never saw a doctor about it. They just borrowed a friend’s wheelchair and kept it rolling. It turned out he’d had multiple strokes with multiple risk factors he never addressed.
Given how little insight he appeared to have into the condition, I honestly felt sorry for him.
16. Some Crazy Monkey Business
A good friend of mine is a nurse and by nature has the best stories. She was working the med-surg floor in the hospital and had a female patient who was so obese, she needed a service animal to help her. It was not a dog, as most people would think, but a monkey.
This lady had a service monkey that would get her glasses for her, grab the remote for the TV—all kinds of things. It was odd, but not really a crazy moment...until she walked into the room to take the woman’s vitals and found her with the monkey sucking on her bosom feeding it.
17. Stash Bang
I was working in the ER one night when a woman came in with a "retained foreign body". When I went in to see her, she told me she had been doing the deed, and the man told her that something had slipped off inside her. She tried to retrieve it but was unable to, but she could feel that something was in there.
I grabbed a nurse, a speculum, and some forceps and took a look. There was certainly something in there, but not what I was expecting. I pulled it out, and it was a $20 bill. I asked her if she had put it in there, and she said she hadn't. She was clearly as confused as I was.
I asked her if she wanted it, and she declined. Needless to say, it went in the trash. I could never come up with an adequate explanation of why this woman had a $20 bill in her, nor why her partner would have put it there.
18. The Discovery Of A Tasty Treatwoman in blue and white polo shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytimePhoto by Luke Jones on Unsplash
My dad is a nurse. I have asked him this question before and most of the stories are about people who come in with deodorant cans up their rears and try to claim that they were climbing in a window and fell on the can or something. However, there is one story that he has told me that really stands out.
When my dad was in his mid-20s, he worked in the emergency department of a hospital. One day, this overweight lady came in complaining of abdominal pain. They started to look her over. Everything was going fine until they decided to look in the folds of her gigantic stomach when they smelled this horrible smell.
They found a decomposed chicken wing covered in maggots, which had started eating at part of her skin. Yum.
19. A Bundle Of Joy
I was on OB/GYN rotations, delivering my first baby. It was an older lady from the rural side of town. When I asked her to push as the baby had fully crowned, a bundle of worms exited her rear. I'm talking at least 60 live worms. I gagged so hard but managed to keep a straight face throughout and deliver the baby.
I realized then and there that OB/GYN was not for me.
20. What’s In The Bag?
I was an ER nurse. We brought in a code trauma off the helicopter; a lady who was a passenger in a really bad wreck. Her husband was driving and lost his life at the scene. Once we got her stable, the OR staff came to take her to surgery. I gathered up the clothes we had cut off of her and grabbed her purse that the EMTs had removed from the car.
There was a lot of blood on it, so I thought I should just grab her wallet instead. What happened next still haunts me. I reached in and grabbed what I thought was her wallet and pulled it out—it had hair. It was a chunk of her husband's scalp.
21. Quaking In His Shoesman in blue and orange adidas crew neck t-shirt standing beside white van during daytimePhoto by Michel E on Unsplash
My friend worked as a paramedic in Hamburg for some time. They were called to an unconscious person who was slumped down on a park bench close to the train station. They approached the guy and tried to wake him up, checked his vital signs, etc, then put him on the ground. He had no shoes on but had wrapped up his legs in plastic bags.
If you have ever been around addicts, you know most of them don't smell too good. After a while, they just give up on personal hygiene, which, incidentally, is actually more dangerous than the substance itself since they tend not to treat their scabs, etc. This guy reeked to high heaven, and once they proceeded to check his plastic bag shoes, they discovered the heartbreaking reason why.
His legs up to his knees were completely black and full of maggots. He had an infection in both legs due to using needles and never treated them. Once they lifted the plastic bags up a little, which were melted into his decaying flesh, little mountains of maggots would fill around his feet.
It was hands down, one of the most disgusting things he had seen.
22. The Crusty Old Man
When I was working in the ER one evening, I had my worst experience so far. I was called to one of the examination rooms that were designated for infectious patients. This was already a bad sign as it usually involved some sort of abscess that needed to be drained. However, this time it was far worse.
I was told by the nurse that it involved a man who had bilateral venous ulcers on his legs and that they were now infected. I looked through his journal and saw that he last saw a doctor about ten months earlier, and no note of any check-ups after, not by a nurse or a GP.
Therefore, I asked my nurse when someone last took a look at his legs. They replied, "Not since his last journal entry". Then I asked when was the last time he changed his dressings on the legs. They said, "He hasn't". The patient was an old man who lived by himself in his trailer that was parked in the middle of the forest.
He had no running water. He was a bit of a drinker and had a general "I don't care” mentality. I suited up and went into the room. The room smelled like an odd combination of stale brew, mold, and disease. Certain infections smell different, and this one was very pungent, almost sulphuric.
I introduced myself to the patient who didn't understand what he was doing there. All he wanted was some antibiotics for the flu, and then he was sent here. He asked, "Why do you want to look at my legs for? They were already taken care of last year". We started unfolding the dressing.
They were crusty and crackled as we unwrapped the first leg. As we got deeper, it changed color to some sickly yellow and the stench became worse and worse. One of my nurses left the room to throw up. Then I saw it. It was very small but inside a fold, there was a little maggot who squirmed.
When we finally got to the wound, we saw all the little maggots feasting on this man. There must have been 50 of them. The stench was absurd, I was focusing a lot on breathing through my mouth, but then it felt like I could taste them, which made it even worse.
My nurse came back and promptly went out again. I unwrapped his other leg and, same story there, but the infection was much deeper and I could see a few tendons on the base of the ulcer. We had to clean off the maggots and place them in a bowl, but they were squirming, and went on the floor and crawled all over the place. I had to watch my feet so I didn't step on them.
After that, we took the patient to hose him down to at least try to get rid of some of the smell. Then, we booked to the OR for debridement and a fresh vacuum dressing. He was discharged a few days later with strict instructions, and we booked him in to return for re-dressings and check-ups. Then, we never heard from him again.
23. Dancing With Doom
There used to be a well-known patient who would present to the emergency department with frequent urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are much less common in men than in women and don't occur sporadically that often. This gentleman was a male exotic dancer, and his party trick would be what he called a "ruby shower".
In essence, he would empty his bladder, and replace its contents, via a catheter, with red wine. He would then empty his bladder during his performances. Unfortunately, fate caught up with him. One infection became too severe and he did not survive.
24. Guess What Was Bugging Him
When attending a urology conference, you get to hear quite a few stories. My favorite even had a video along with the question, "Guess what we're looking at?" My guess was what was being shown was the inside of a bladder—got that part right—and two small corn cobs floating around inside of it.
Two small corn cobs would have been weird enough as it is, but we were looking at two slugs. Apparently, the patient walked into the hospital claiming that something did not feel right when peeing. After being confronted with the contents of his bladder, he claimed that he had taken a nap in the grass the day before, and the slugs "must have crawled inside by themselves" without him noticing.
25. Intestical Distresstwo men wearing blue lab coatsPhoto by Olga Guryanova on Unsplash
I recently spent some time working in the operating department and one day we had a "giant inguinal hernia". At this point, in my experience in the hospital, I thought nothing could surprise me, but dear Lord, was I wrong! The patient had mental health issues, and we got him on the table, knocked out with anesthetics, and pulled off his gown to take a look.
We did an open surgery through his abdomen and spent hours pulling his INTESTINES out of his family jewels. Basically, the guy’s abdominal wall broke through and allowed his intestines to slowly fill them up, but this had been going on for years before he got it checked.
26. Two Gut-Busting Dilemmas
My father-in-law, Dr J, was an ER doctor for 20 years. Twice he's been really surprised. The first time was a patient that came in holding his stomach, with the front of his jacket bloody. He looked very out of it, and it was obvious he was under the influence of something. Dr J asked him what the problem was, and the guy calmly said, "My stomach hurts".
He went to have a look. As he pulled the guy's coat away, the worst happened. His intestines spilled onto the floor! It turned out he and a friend were getting high when the friend accidentally blasted him in the stomach. He explained it very matter-of-factly, "Oh man, I need to go to the hospital".
The other incident was when a male patient came in complaining of abdominal pain. Dr J decided after an examination that they needed to do a scope. So there he is, minding his own business, navigating through this guy’s bowels with a camera when suddenly a light facing the opposite way blinded the camera.
It was a flashlight. I can imagine why it was there, but I h have no idea why it was on. Dr J had told the man he had to consult with another physician, then left the room and collapsed from laughing so hard. He said it was like watching a cartoon where somebody runs down a tunnel and meets a train head-on, except the tunnel was a rear end, and the train was a flashlight.
27. How To Free Willysilver and black combination lockPhoto by Nicolas HIPPERT on Unsplash
While working in the ER one night, we had a guy come in complaining of groin pain. So we brought him back and it turned out he had a Master Lock—the kind with the spinning dial that you use to secure your locker at school—locked around his member. Essentially, blood could flow in but could not flow back out, so this thing was hugely swollen.
He had panicked after he realized he could not remember the combination and he took a screwdriver to the dial and snapped it off. So, we consulted with urology and the urologist wanted to take him to surgery, cut him length-wise, slide the top out then the bottom, and then suture it back up. Needless to say, the patient wasn't thrilled with option A.
So, option B was for this big nurse, Tom, to go in with bolt cutters and cut it off. Option B was selected. The curtain closed and Tom gave a “one, two, three”. There was a loud scream at “three” and a popping noise. Tom exited with a broken lock and the man was sent to the floor to recover.
28. Fountain Of Goo
I was working in the emergency department one afternoon, and we had an elderly lady just calling out, “Help me, help me," repeatedly all afternoon. She was brought in by her nursing home for “agitation," which is normally code for they can't handle them anymore.
So the patient was placed with a care assistant to try and calm her down and make sure she didn't wander around the ward. The carer was helping to feed the patient and I walked past when, suddenly, the lady just breathed in her liquid diet and collapsed backward.
I, of course, instantly pushed the medical emergency button and everyone came running from all over. We assessed her airway and it was deemed clear, but not self-supporting. There was no food in there, which was strange. She wasn't breathing and no heartbeat was present, so one of the male nurses started compressing her chest, while another nurse tried to insert an airway.
As he compressed on her chest, a nightmare ensued. A literal fountain of murky green goo spurted from her mouth, all over the walls, ceiling, and medical staff. The poor male nurse had to keep compressing the chest while the other nurse kept trying to suction the patient's airway to clear it enough to insert an airway.
After five or six minutes, the nurse finally got the airway in after suctioning over six liters of this goo, and after some defib, the doctor declared the patient deceased. The bay and the surrounding area was just drenched in this slimy, murky brown-green mess. It was absolutely breathtakingly disgusting.
Eventually, we found out the poor old lady had a massive bowel obstruction. Her heart stopped while eating, and the goo was days and days of liquid poo. Safe to say I scrubbed myself raw in the shower that night.
29. Stuff A Sock In It
When my professor was an ER nurse, an elderly 80-something-year-old woman came into the ER. As he assessed her, he noticed her oral temperature was normal despite her neck being extremely hot to the touch. He decided to take her temperature through the rear, which ended up being around 103 or something crazy.
While he was down there, he noticed something peeking out and proceeded to remove it. It was an old sock. She said her uterus had prolapsed months before, and she was using the sock to keep it in. They began treating her for toxic shock syndrome immediately, but sadly she went septic and lost her life later that day.
30. Trying To Absorb What We Sawwoman in red shirt wearing blue gogglesPhoto by MedicAlert UK on Unsplash
So this young female came in complaining of acute abdominal pain and a fever. We ran through all the normal procedures and came up with nothing. So, we pushed ahead and gave her a quick pelvic exam. As soon as she spread her legs, I almost threw up. I've been around some stinky folks and some smelly wounds, but this was horrendous.
We wound up evacuating half the clinic because the smell that emanated from her was causing people to gag in the hallways and waiting room. She had left a tampon in, forgot it was there, and shoved another one in, burying the first one. That tampon sat for what we guessed was at least two months, decaying.
Then, of course, the area around was extremely infected. When she came to us, she was in the early stages of septic shock.
31. She Sprung A Leak
As an imaging tech, we once had a patient who was close to 400 pounds who was fairly well bedbound. To assist with hygiene, the patient had a tube that drained their poo away, but it had fallen out probably a day earlier. As a result, there was a pool of horrible substances trapped beneath her, brewing.
This was discovered when we rolled her to position her for X-rays. The smell cleared the room and lingered there for hours. Meanwhile, people went and showered and changed their clothes from the pervasive creeping miasma that was the worst thing I have ever smelt in 15 years working in hospitals.
32. Poor Little Kitty
I just recently caught up with an old friend who is now an OR nurse. She told me she was preparing a morbidly obese woman for surgery, scrubbing her down and cleaning the areas up underneath the fat rolls that hadn't seen the light of day in God knows how many years. When she picked up one particularly hefty roll around the side of this lady near the lower back, she stopped suddenly.
She discovered what looked like a bone. She mustered her courage and continued to investigate. A moment later she uncovered the skeleton of a small kitten. The bones were fused with the still-rotting flesh of the sad little creature. Holding back tears and vomit, she walked around to face the large woman and said, "Ma'am, I don't want to alarm you, but I've just found the remains of a small cat in one of your fat rolls".
The lady's response, seemingly unfazed, was, "Oh! I've been looking for him!" Apparently, people that are huge develop rather thick calluses in their rolls from all the friction. This cat could have been clawing for life in there and she might not have felt a thing. Poor little guy.
33. As White As SnowDoctor wearing a maskPhoto by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash
My dad is an internal medicine physician. A young man in his late teens came into the hospital with a question about a condition he was having. He said his groin region was itchy and uncomfortable, so my dad asked him to remove his pants, so he could try to identify the problem.
The guy was African American, so my dad was shocked when the man pulled down his pants, and the hair down there was white. It turned out the guy had gotten crabs from his lover, and the little bugs had laid microscopic eggs in his groin hair, making it look white. The mental image still gives me the chills.
34. Not A Leg To Stand On
My wife is a surgeon. I get about an hour every night where she unloads the horrible stuff she sees. One that sticks out is the girl and her boyfriend, who were on a motorcycle. They were taking an underground turn from one highway to the next, and he was going way too fast.
He started to get close to the wall, so the girlfriend on the back made a disastrous decision. She decided to go ahead and put her foot up on the wall of the tunnel. Her foot caught the wall, she flew off, her leg broke at the femur, and the broken bottom half of her leg drove straight into her groin.
35. Getting Busy After Baby
This has happened a few times, but I had a gal come in on a Monday after being discharged from the hospital the Friday after giving birth. So, basically, we tell ladies to avoid intimacy until a doctor clears them. Well, her spouse kept insisting and insisting and insisting, so on Friday night, she caved in and let him go to town.
He wound up tearing some stitches that were placed and she was bleeding badly all weekend long. She came into our clinic, blue in the lips and fingers, and her hemoglobin was a four when the normal should be 12–15. She didn't want to be a bother, so she waited until she started feeling dizzy all the time before she came in.
She got another trip to the hospital for a transfusion and repair for that.
36. Clear Out!man wearing white uniform salutingPhoto by sydney Rae on Unsplash
I was a nurse working in emergency for the first five years of my career. An old guy about 80 presented with a foreign body in his rear end. It turns out he was a Veteran and had a live shell about the size of a slim Coke can up his behind, probably about nine inches long. He was very stoic.
However, we had to call Australia's version of the bomb squad to assist in the removal.
37. Picking His Brain
A group of guys were plastered and driving around town. The passenger was leaning far out of the window vomiting when the car took a sharp turn around a corner and began to tip over. The top of the passenger’s skull was literally rubbed off along the asphalt during the wreck, leaving his brain showing. But it doesn't end there.
My friend, who was an EMT, had to PICK GRAVEL AND DEBRIS OUT OF HIS BRAIN. The guy was still conscious too. He said that human brains have a very distinct smell he will never forget. The story still makes me cringe, and I wasn't even there.
38. Someone Did A Hatchet Job On Her
My mother was an ICU nurse for over 10 years, so never a dull moment. On her first day, she was taking a break when a woman walked into the hospital with her head wrapped in a towel. The woman was speaking quietly and calmly and explained that her husband had a vicious outburst and threw a hatchet into her skull.
Lucky for her, he hit her in the forehead, the thickest part of her skull, so, she was able to wrap herself up and drive herself to the hospital. The woman was fine overall, and the authorities took the husband into custody.
39. The Face Of Self-Destructionchild in blue hoodie sitting on floorPhoto by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
I am an ear/nose/throat doc, and while I mostly take care of sinus diseases and ear infections now, I had a hard-nosed residency, and we took a lot of facial injury calls. One day, we got a call down to the ER for a self-inflicted wound to the face. Those are never good, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw.
A guy had filled his face with buckshot. He completely blew off his face, and some hero EMT somehow got an oral airway in the field. We converted the orotracheal airway to a breathing tube in the throat and closed the tissue as best we could.
A couple of days later, he had a 14-hour operation in which we used part of his abdominal wall and part of his leg to rebuild his face and mandible. We actually were able to make him a mouth in a subsequent operation so that he could eat some things, but without a tongue, it's pretty tough.
40. Crab Nauseum
When I was a paramedic student, we used to do rotations in the ED. A guy was brought in from what I assume must have been a horrendous nursing home. He looked fine at first, but once they took his pants off, the issue became apparent. His balls were about the size of a football and necrotic. It’s called Fournier gangrene.
He must have had it for quite some time as well, judging by the size, color, and smell. He had a stroke in the past and was now much less alert than his normal. It looked painful, but the worst part was the smell. It smelled like rotten crab meat. One of the residents that came in to evaluate him looked as if he was going to vomit and left the room within 20 seconds.
I felt terrible for the guy, he had no clue what was going on, and he clearly must have become used to the smell. When I went home that night, my roommates and friends decided to make appetizers. One of them brought mini crab cakes. The smell gave me an image of that guy's situation immediately. It was the most bitter irony I could think of.
41. A Hernia As High As The Heavens
I had a 95-year-old patient with an inguinal hernia. They had it for the last 25 years or so, and it was getting bigger. As a student, I knew I was going in to examine a "lump," and prior to the examination, I was warned by my assessor to refrain from showing any expression.
I went in, uncovered the patient appropriately, and was literally like, “Oh my GOD," but obviously in my head. I clenched my teeth so hard that I felt all my facial muscles tense up like never before and proceeded to examine this "lump!"
This "lump" was, basically, this patient's intestines that were protruding entirely through this defect. It was a HUGE hernia that was reaching their knees, and that's with them laying flat! As soon as I walked out, I needed to vent. I couldn't do that with the assessor, so my placement partner and I had a good long chat about it in the pub straight after.
The patient sadly passed.
42. The Worst Split
My mom's an RN. One night, a dude walked into the ER holding a bag under his crotch. He had been drinking with a bunch of his friends. The designated driver drove a pickup, and this dude and his buddies sat in the flatbed, speeding down the parkway. The dude, in his infinite wisdom, decided to stand up when the driver hit a bump. He went flying. Then I found out why they call it a "split".
He was carrying his insides—including his lower GI tract—in the bag. The guy was rushed to surgery and had his full reproductive capabilities restored.
43. Pull My Finger
I had a guy show up in my clinic one day with a complaint of finger swelling. So as the story went, his finger got swollen and painful about a week prior. It just got worse and worse, and about three days prior to coming in, a hole opened up in the tip of his finger.
So, when the day of his visit came, he said, “By the way, I pulled something out of the hole in my finger yesterday with a pair of tweezers; no idea what it is”. I asked him if he had taken a picture or kept it, and he produced a tissue from his shirt pocket. I couldn't believe my eyes.
It was his distal phalanx—the last bone in the finger. The bone had become infected, and the body did its thing and basically tried to eject what was now a hot foreign body. The guy pulled his fingertip out of his fingertip. A better magic trick I have not since seen.
44. His Beard Was All Buggy
My ex-husband was a cardiovascular tech and did echocardiograms. One day, a patient came in with a scruffy, unkempt beard. He started doing the test and kept noticing something moving in it. Upon closer inspection, he had roaches in his beard. He called in a nurse, and they discovered that he also had a massive case of body lice.
My ex had to go get sanitized and had to wear scrubs for the rest of the day.
45. That’s A Wrapwhite and red car on road during night timePhoto by Yassine Khalfalli on Unsplash
I’m an EMT. One day my partner and I got called to a house for someone who was “unable to be ambulated”. This is a common thing we get dispatched to, and it usually means someone is too weak to get out of a recliner or out of bed. We expected to go and help this person to their feet and maybe get a refusal or transport them to the hospital based on an assessment.
When we arrived on the scene, an officer was there, along with a neighbor who told us it was really bad in there. The second I walked through the door of the house, the smell hit me. I have smelled many decaying bodies that were not this pungent. We walked into the living room to find a man lying on the floor, saying he could not get up.
His legs were wrapped in what appeared to be plastic wrap and plastic bags. You could see the wrappings filled and dripping with brown liquid. The guy said he had started getting sores on his feet, and rather than go to a doctor, he elected to just wrap them up in plastic wrap. I don’t know how long he had been doing this, but it had reached a point where he could no longer gather the strength to get up, and he was extremely septic.
It was HORRIBLE. We carried him out of the house, and I was down at the legs, and the gangrene juice was dripping all over me. The back of the ambulance smelled horrific for days. We dropped him off at the hospital, and I went outside and puked. I see nasty stuff every day, but this was by far the nastiest.
When they took the wrappings off in the ED, the nurses told me both his legs were completely black and rotten up to the knees. They had to amputate both legs up to the hip, and they found the gangrene had gone up into his pelvis, so they had to transfer him out for more surgery.
46. Hoping For A Miracle
My father was a plastic surgeon in the emergency room of a major southern city. A family of four was driving on an urban highway that passed right by the hospital. The parents were in the front seats and their two young children—boy and girl, 3–5 years old—were in the back seat, apparently unrestrained by child seats or seat belts.
Coming from the opposite direction was a speeding and swerving woman driver in the throes of a psychotic episode. As the two cars approached from opposite directions, she swerved into the median and hit a barrier that launched her into the air upside down. Her car landed on the roof of the family's car, bending the roof of the rear portion of the passenger compartment downward and backward.
It was bent in such a way that left the mother and father unscathed. But tragically, the children met truly terrible ends. The parents carried them into the emergency room. It was an unspeakable sight—and obviously, nothing could be done.
47. Making Its Way Out
I’m a CNA at the moment, and this was the strangest thing I have ever seen. At work, we had a payroll woman who in a previous marriage had been blasted in the back of the head. When it came to removing the slug, the surgeons decided it was too risky to remove.
It hadn’t caused any major damage to the brain, and she would be able to function normally as long as it healed properly. One day, I was in her office, picking up my paycheck. We were chatting as usual when suddenly she started coughing sporadically.
I patted her on the back to help, and the next thing I knew, she coughed up the round into her hand! I was in shock; the slug over the years had slowly moved its way out of the body. She was fine after and kept the metal item as memorabilia.
48. Nothing Upstairsperson in blue denim jeans lying on bedPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash
In college, I took part in some psychological experiments. Most of them were surveys and games, but one researcher had me do a few MRIs. They mostly looked at the occipital lobe and left parietal lobe, which is the back left side of the brain. I did this stuff throughout all four years and became familiar with the research team's findings.
In February of my third year, I hadn't seen them in a while since they were still between their main experiments. Out of the blue, I got an email from the graduate department’s head of neuroscience. I got it at around 6:00 PM. He was polite but essentially said, "We saw something on an MRI, and you need to come see me tomorrow".
He gave me his office location and said to email him so he could meet me at that time. I didn't quite register the significance until the next day when I was walking to meet him. The HEAD of a graduate school department put himself on call to meet with me, a lowly undergrad taking part in their studies, within 24 hours. I was pretty nervous.
I met with him, we introduced ourselves, and he asked me to sit down. He got out this piece of paper and gave a short speech that they found something on one of my MRIs. They couldn't make any diagnoses because of the quality of the ones done, and I needed to schedule a medical-grade MRI and a consult with a neurologist right away. He then handed me the print.
There was this empty, round space about the size of a ping pong ball on the top right center of my brain. There wasn't a mass or disfigurement; there was just nothing.
The rest of my brain was somewhat smushed out of the way for this invisible ball. I was in shock for the rest of the meeting, pretty much. He asked my permission and then did a brief neurological exam to test my senses, reactions, and motor movements, but oddly enough, they were normal.
He was VERY weirded out that everything seemed normal, and he seemed more concerned. He actually took my planner, called the student medical center, and scheduled an appointment for me so I could get the referral with minimum wasted time. I basically made an entire research team and their department head say, "Oh my God, what is that?"
49. Snakes Alive!
While my wife was in medical school, she helped treat a patient who was having difficulty urinating. She and the doc asked all the preliminary questions, but they still weren't sure what the problem might be. So, the doc ordered an X-ray. She noticed a tangle of dark lines in the patient's bladder. The doctor then went in to show the patient the results, as she was thoroughly stumped.
After the patient saw the X-ray, he freely offered up the jaw-dropping reason. Apparently, he liked to take baby snakes and let them slither up his urethra where they ultimately perished in his bladder. His reason for doing this was that it gave him a "funny feeling".
50. A Real Jaw-Dropper
One day, my friend who was a nurse, was working in the emergency room and it was just one of those bloody days. She had seen more nosebleeds that wouldn't stop on that fateful day to the point where a person freaking out and getting woozy from the blood pouring out of their nostrils with no end in sight had become routine. Then this guy walked in.
He entered the room holding a bloody rag tightly to his face. She took one look at him and thought to herself, “Oh, another nosebleed”. She said to him, "Lower the rag sir," so that she could take a look at how bad it was. The man lowered the rag and his jaw just dropped. It literally dropped from his face and swung about, dangling.
Shocked and unsure how to respond to the sudden surprise, she could only say, "Please, put the rag back sir," which he did. Then, he was taken to the trauma center for help. She looked into the guy's case, curious as to what had happened to him. She found out that he was cleaning a piece upstairs in his house.
Then, when he was done, he was walking downstairs with it to put it away when he tripped. He discovered, in the most unfortunate way possible, that it was still loaded when he accidentally set it off in his fall and nailed himself in the face at close range.
A malleable fact isn't a fact, it's an opinion.
So it feels like much of early education has been a big bag of opinions heeped onto generations prior.
No wonder those standardized tests were such a mess.
On the flip side of that thought, life, and science evolve, so facts do change.
Once you're out in the real world, so much has to be relearned and disproven.
Who can keep up?
It feels like we should be paid as participants in the school of life.
So let's do some relearning.
Redditor yepvaishz wanted to hear about the times we've learned some new things about some old things, so they asked:
"What was a fact taught to you in school that ended up being disproven during your lifetime?"
The amount of lies we were fed in school is too high to count.
So let's sift through memory lane and make some corrections.
RECOUNT!My Work Animation GIF by AndiGiphy
"From an educational filmstrip: 'Saturn has four beautiful rings...' The Voyager photos of the thousands of rings had come in like a week before we watched this."
Never say Never
"Germany would never reunite. The French would never allow it."
"I'm German and I was 11 when it happened. We housed our East German part of the family for a couple of weeks when they came over to visit. My cousin was my age and had never been shopping (just wandering around a mall looking at things) and my uncle begged my dad to take him to a hardware store just to see what stuff was available."
"Just three months before the wall fell, my dad had been over to visit them, just by himself, saying it was too dangerous for us kids (and I imagine it would have been a hassle getting permission for the whole family). It was such a wonderful time. A peaceful revolution without a single gunshot."
"I'll never forget the moment when the people who had fled to the German embassy in Prague got told they were allowed to leave. That collective scream of joy and relief by 4000 people still makes me tear up every time I watch the video. https://youtu.be/Qh9EwNurawE"
"Pompeii was buried slowly by falling ash. They pointed out that remnants of people were found, right in the middle of doing things, but didn't realise this contradicted the burying being slow. It's now thought that it was buried very quickly by pyroclastic flows - superheated gas travelling over 200mph."
"It’s also blew my mind to find out the 'bodies' you see at the site were the hollow spaces where a body once was, filled with plaster, and the hardened ash removed. As a kid I never thought about it I just saw shapes of bodies and thought 'that's a body.'"
"When I was a kid, the Giant Squid had never been captured or photographed, and some people talked about it like it was el chupacabra. My little brother always said he'd be the first person to get footage of one. Sadly, it has since become an ordinary animal that we know exists. RIP the Kraken."
"I’ve seen the preserved corpses at the Smithsonian. It’s pretty fascinating to think no evidence existed until our lifetime."
Crack AwaySonic 2 Punch GIF by Sonic The HedgehogGiphy
"Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis."
"They just wanted us to stop."
I've cracked for years and probably will for life.
My fingers are still slender.
Diet LiesSeason 7 Nbc GIF by The OfficeGiphy
"Of all the facts that have since been disproven, this might be the worst. We have a generation of adults who are getting diabetes and fatty liver disease because of what these people said."
"Your tongue has different areas for tasting different tastes:sweet on the tip, sour on the sides, bitter in the back, etc. I feel like this was some elaborate prank played on my generation. But I remember seeing this in my elementary school biology textbook. I don’t even think it was disproven, like, they just stopped telling this lie. WTF."
"From what I have read, more like a game of telephone.Study results got slightly distorted, and then changed into a graph which didn’t have meaningful numbers, which lead to an illustration, which got re-purposed. That an illustration got put into textbooks for years and years."
"Blood is blue until exposed to oxygen."
"This one triggers me. I had an old lady teaching my 6th grade science class that sent me to detention for arguing with her when she said the blood in your veins was blue but red in your arteries. To be fair, I argued with her on a lot of things she was wrong about, but this is the only one that resulted in detention."
"That's the only time I can remember my dad, a chemist, actually go to the school to confront a teacher for being wrong. Incidentally, she also counted off on a test because I said sound was one of the senses. She wanted hearing. I said you sense a taste, you sense a sight, you sense a smell, and you sense a touch, so why don't you sense a sound? That argument lasted several days, but she did give me my points back."
The Science of It All
"Neurons can never regenerate. This was from my then-one-year-old anatomy and physiology textbook, and my private, Catholic school actually took - and still takes - its science seriously; we never talked about creationism or the divine influence on our natural world, not to mention our solid AP Physics and AP Chemistry scores. It turns out that that the peripheral neuron system actually can regenerate; as of now, it doesn’t seem that the central nervous system has much in the way of that capability."
Jokes on Themmuppets computers GIFGiphy
"Playing with computers is a waste of time and won’t lead to a career. Said to me by a very old, and bitter teacher. 25 years in IT and counting."
Who knew computers would take over the world?
They seemed just like big cumbersome machines at first.
Now they build and destroy lives and careers.
Though our definitions of "making it" vary, we can all agree that we would at least like to have enough disposable income to live comfortably and debt-free, while some dream of living more luxuriously.
For those who have already "made it" and live among the elite, it's incredible how clueless they can be about how the average person lives day-to-day.
Redditor Always_Wandering_ asked:
"What's the most out-of-touch thing a rich person has said to you?"
But First, Wine
"Long ago when I was a server in a Country Club."
"I was very new to properly opening wine bottles, as I was using my key to take off the foil and gashed the webbing on my hand badly."
"There was a husband and wife at the table. I put down the bottle and was about to leave when he said, 'Who told you to stop pouring?!'"
"I picked it up, poured the wine while dribbling blood all over the white tablecloth, and then went outside, had a smoke, and thought about my life."
Seriously, SO Funny
"He said, 'Isn't it funny we are the same age, but my dad bought me a condo and you have to work two jobs?'"
Living On a Whim
"I worked for a small company that was owned by two wealthy individuals. They were very kind and generous but completely out of touch."
"One day I was at my desk and my then-boss came to me and said he was leaving early for the day to go waterskiing because the weather was nice. It was early summer and the weather was no nicer than it had been the rest of the week."
"I inquired where they were going, thinking it was somewhere near where we were, and he said he was going to his friend’s house in Florida. He’d just booked his private flight, around a three or three-and-a-half hour flight, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Then there was the time he left early to fly to his friend’s house to go quail hunting…"
"The other owner, also wealthy, would jet around the world on a whim to go surfing. Like everywhere. During a conversation about what we were doing for the holidays one year, he said he rented a big house in Canada and hired a helicopter so he, his family, and friends could go heli-skiing. It was totally normal thing to him."
"On the other side, they would give great gifts like good wine, dinners, sometimes small trips, and stuff like that. They were very nice people and I sometimes miss working for them and seeing them, but they both basically semi-retired during the pandemic."
What Daydreams Are Made Of
"I was between jobs and a bunch of my friends told me that I should take the time to go travel the world."
"Like, just because someone doesn't have a job doesn't mean they can just up and travel the world (in fact, the opposite is more likely) but also, you motherf**kers thought the reason I wasn't traveling the world because I hadn't thought of it?"
"He just offhand was like, 'Oh yeah, you can keep all of this since I'm moving out. I'll buy new stuff for my next place.'"
"Some dude I knew who was taking classes at a prestigious university in a very nice studio apartment, whose father had just flown in from Indonesia just to help him pack his clothes."
"I got a full mattress set that was about 3000 dollars, multiple leather rugs for carpeting, expensive looking paintings, way too much IKEA stuff, and a Dyson vacuum."
Such a Small Price to Pay
"She said, 'I have no hair on my body! You should have your husband take you to get laser hair removal! It only cost me $10,000!'"
"…Maybe in my dreams."
"She was the Mayor's daughter, and I was catering her dog's birthday party."
The Reality Check Job
"Had some kid in his early 20s start working at the restaurant I was at. He was a total trust fund baby but his parents made him get a job or they would cut him off (Phone, car, apartment, school, credit card, everything)."
"We were talking about plans for the summer, I mentioned I was gonna take a weekend to head north and visit my mom, someone else was going camping, and another guy was taking a long weekend to help his brother move."
"Holy f**k. He goes, You guys have no idea what vacation means, do you? I'm taking my GF to Spain for two weeks and then spending a few days in Italy before we come back.'"
"He got really upset when I asked him where he was gonna work when he came back. Apparently, he didn't understand that taking three weeks vacation not even two months into a job isn't a thing, especially when part of that was during our busiest season of the year."
"Even better when we all looked at him and told him we couldn't even afford a week off, let alone in Spain."
"He didn't last long."
Reality Show Worthy
"In college, I made most of my money cleaning and tutoring for rich families. Here are the highlights:"
"'It's so much more convenient to have a sauna in your house.'"
"'We ordered our wallpaper from Europe. It's the only way to go.'"
"'I just bought the empty lot next to ours so we won't have neighbors.'"
"And my personal favorite:"
"Rich person's kid: 'Gosh, I can't find any babysitting jobs. They've been taken by the one percent.'"
"Rich parent: 'Honey, you are the one percent.'"
Well, They DO Need Their Own Bedroom...
"They lived in Boston and we were talking about how small condos are there."
"They were lamenting that they had no space and, as a result, they had to buy another condo (this was Beacon Hill) because they ran out of space to store their Persian rugs."
Start Saving For That Honeymoon
"My boss's wife grew up wealthy and then married an "heir to the throne" for a multi-million dollar organization."
"She is meandering around our office bullpen one day and brings me into the conversation, 'How about you, where would you take your lady on a Honeymoon?'"
"Me: 'I dunno, go to the coast for a week and just enjoy the sun.'"
"She laughed out loud at me and said, 'Oh my god, no woman will ever marry you unless you're going to take her on a Hawaiian honeymoon.'"
"At the time I made 10 dollars an hour."
The Math Ain't Mathin'
"I was working at a car dealership and saw the owner pull up in a $250k Porsche GT3. I told him how much I loved the car and dreamt of owning one someday."
"The owner looked at me confused and said, 'What do you mean? We sell them right here you know?'"
"It totally blew my mind that he didn't realize his employees couldn't afford the cars they were selling."
The Disappearing Paycheck
"I was talking to my manager about a mistake on a check."
"Me: 'This isn’t even enough to cover my daughter's daycare for the month.'"
"Her: 'Well, what did you do with the money you were just paid?'"
"Ma’am. Food, rent, electricity, and car payments. Boom, check gone."
"I dated a rich guy who loved my authenticity, and he would pick me up in one of his dad's cool collector cars and take me to record stores. When I went to visit him, I showed up in my grandpa's old Ford f150 truck."
"He asked me why I drove around in that thing."
"I shrugged and said, 'Because I'm poor.'"
"And he said, 'No, you're not...'"
"It was like I ruined his whole hipster aesthetic and he realized I wasn't grunge."
Yeah, I'll Just Go Do That
"Me: 'Yeah, I love flying. I have a nice flight simulation setup at home. Wish I could do it for real.'"
"Owner of the company: 'Yeah, the real thing is so much better. You should buy a plane. I love taking mine out for trips.'"
"Me: 'You sign my checks.'"
"My boss is an attorney. A client who was filling out her financial statement for a divorce realized that she had forgotten to include her student loans on the report. Laughing somewhat ruefully, she said, 'I can’t believe I forgot to include that.'"
"And in a bright, sunny, voice, my boss laughed and said, 'I sometimes forget that I own a boat!'"
" The client and I quietly locked eyes with a shared understanding of how out of touch that was."
Some of these examples are almost laughable, considering how far from reality these comments are for most people.
It's wild to think about how far away a luxurious life feels to the average person, and how equally far away that life feels to someone who has everything.
Naming a child with a unique name can be quite a challenge, but it is one that many people are willing to take on.
However, there are risks involved.
You don't want to come across as unoriginal, but you also don't want to burden the child with a lifetime of mockery and ridicule for a moniker that didn't seem silly at the time of the naming.
While some people succeed at this, others fail miserably and...well, poor child.
Curious to hear of epic name fail, Redditor Soy_nanami asked:
"What's the ugliest name you've ever come across?"
There's a theme going on here.
"My sister has classmates named Pigeon and Beans."
"Wait, one was Pigeon and another was Beans, or one poor unfortunate soul was Pigeon And Beans?"
If The Names Fit
"my sister had classmates in the 5th grade that were Levi, Jean, Denim, and Blu. not so much ugly I guess. but their names together make a sentence. Blu Denim Levi Jeans."
"The twins. Fly and button."
It's A Choice
"X Æ A-XII "It's pronounced 'Kyle' ... F'k off Musk"
"No, it's 'Ash.'"
"I thought it was pronounced Sasha but it's anyone's guess."
These don't roll off the tongue so easily.
Name Fit For A Villain
"My Great, Great Aunt DARTHULA. She hated the name so much she signed her marriage certificate as 'Thuley'. I had a helluva time tracking her down because of this 🤣"
"Darth ula was the dark Lord of the family, so powerful and so wise, she could even keep the ones she cared about, from Karens."
See Ya Later
"I live in south America. This would be something like "Goodbyebro.'"
"Candida (as in Candida Doyle of Pulp). I'm sorry. What a name. Like the genital fungus?"
"It's rather sad that these Latin-influenced names have these collocations now. It's a pretty cool name, and means 'white' or 'bright.'"
Getting into NSFW territory.
"A guy I know is called Nuttaporn. Nutty for short."
"Porn is very common in Thai names."
"I've seen quite a few over years in a call centre but Kok Hung Lo was my all time favourite name."
Bordering On A Slur
"I served with a guy in the military whose surname is Fagg, you refer to everyone in the military by their surname. You can imagine how that went down."
"Oooh, the military. Last names were sometimes unfortunately hilarious. The two that come to mind immediately are Browneye ('Browneye aye!') and a girl whose last name was Guzzler or Guzzlar (in the Navy, the third enlisted rank’s title was “Seaman”, which everyone in my rate started out as)"
They Got Around
"Slutt. Prounced slooth."
"How to make sure your kid gets bullied."
"You can’t fix stupid."
"People will pronounce that however they please."
Her Dad Was The Worst
"Went to school back in the 90s and 2000s with a girl named Ashely Head. It came to light one day back in jr. High that her dad's name was Richard 'Dick' Head and their number was listed in the phone book. The prank calls came so fast."
A Little Jarring
"A friend's mum was called Kunti. Maybe it's not ugly but you definitely get a shock when you hear it the first few times."
"Kunti is a common name in India. It’s not pronounced Cuhnty. The u is pronounced like the u in Uber."
It wasn't the ugliest name but a friend told me about a guy he knew whose name was Otis.
His surname was Payne.
While I personally think it's a cool name when read together, I'm sure he was subjected to lots of mockery.
So, if you read this Otis Payne, I feel for you for all the ribbing, or "Payne" you must've suffered through.