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Hitchhikers Describe The Most Memorable Ride A Stranger Has Ever Given Them

Hitchhikers Describe The Most Memorable Ride A Stranger Has Ever Given Them
Photo by Atlas Green on Unsplash

Hitchhiking. It has to be one of the most dangerous things a person can do.

There are too many movies where a hitchhiker falls victim to some psycho, and they're shocked it's happening.

Like... Hello?!?! You got into some stranger's car. How could you not get killed?

Also, all throughout childhood years we tell kids to NEVER get into a stranger's car.

But once we're 18 that rule seems to no longer apply.

I feel like it should be MORE prescient in adulthood.

But I'm sure all the survivors have quite the tale to share.

RedditorWestTexasOilmanwanted all of the road travelers to share some memories about past rides. They asked:

"Current or Former Hitchhikers of Reddit; What person that stopped or gave you a ride was the most memorable? Why?"

I just don't have the trust in humans that some of y'all do. How do you get into a stranger's car? Oh no...

Among the Horses

Laughter Wtf GIF by ADWEEKGiphy

"So a few years ago I was working in a small resort in the French Alps for the ski season."

"About 15-20 of us all worked in a hotel in one valley, the only bar that stayed open past 11 was in a different valley, it was a pretty flat and straight road to it but a good 15 minute drive or hour walk. We would regularly split up into smaller groups to try and hitchhike cause ain't no one stopping for 15 people with their thumbs out."

"Well one time we couldn't be bothered to split up and we just decided to do the walk and not worry. We decided to chance it anyways and stuck our thumbs at to every car that went by, got a lot of honks, shouts etc, all fun and games until one guy stops with a horse trailer."

"He asks where we're going and we say where and he says hop in. Que 4 of us in his truck, 4 in the bed of the truck and the rest in the horse trailer next to this guys horse."


I'm Innocent

"Got picked up in Queensland Australia and after a few quite pleasant hours the driver started freaking out as we came to a police checkpoint. Turns out my new friend had broken out of jail and had stolen the car. I got stuck at Bowen cop shop until I could prove my innocence."


"not far!"

"I accidentally picked up a hitchhiker once. I was at a red light at the transition between a village and town road (no more sidewalk, road gets busier and a bit more dangerous to walk). A man walked up to my window from the sidewalk and waved like he was going to tell me something (I assume tell me I had a flat tire or something about my car)."

"I rolled down my window and he mumbled something with a smile, and when I motioned that I couldn't understand him, he just nodded happily, grabbed my door handle and got in my car. Once he was in, it was clear that he spoke little to no English (he was Asian, about 25-30 years old, and very polite)."

"He motioned that he appreciated the ride and I asked how far. He understood and said 'not far!' I told him I was only going home which was a mile down the road and that's as far as I could take him. He nodded politely but I'm not sure he understood."

"I drove the mile down the road, and right in front of my neighborhood was a Blockbuster. He motioned to the Blockbuster and said, 'Here, here!' I asked if he was sure and he nodded, thanked me profusely with gestures and bowing with his hands together. I waved and drove off. To this day I've never seen him again and it remains a strange encounter for sure."

User deleted

zest for adventure...

"I have only ever hitchhiked twice in my life, and both times, a ruinous hike was involved lol. In this story, I was left behind by the shuttle because it took me longer to complete the mountain traverse. I was in the middle of nowhere, it was getting dark quickly, and my phone wasn't working."

"An old couple in their 60s, whom I had been chatting with on and off on the trail, noticed my agitation and asked if I was okay. I told them the bus had left me behind and I had no way of getting back to my lodge, which was 30 kilometres away. They offered me a ride even though it was out of their way."

"We got to talking during the drive. I told them that the hike was a first for me as I wanted to do something memorable for my birthday; they joked that maybe I should stick to dinner and movies next time. As for my good Samaritans, they had been travelling the world to celebrate their recent retirement."

"Prior to doing the trek, they had just completed a cross-country motorcycle trip with their son. I was awestruck by their kindness and generosity, their obvious zest for adventure, and the fact that they were still so, so smitten with each other after all these years."


"you like hasish?"

Fx Networks Indian GIF by Reservation DogsGiphy

"Hitchhiking in Israel with my partner in the 90s. We were picked up by these Palestinian brothers."

"After a bit of chit chat the one in the passenger seat says 'you like hasish?' Pulls out a big joint which we all smoked. He then says 'my brother, he's a cop,' then pulls out his glock and starts waving it around. 'It's all good' he says. We had a good chat, many laughs and after half an hour they dropped us off. We realized we were only about 100 metres further down the road from where we were picked up."


How have so many of you survived this long? Luck.

In Scotland

Sam Heughan Dancing GIF by Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and GrahamGiphy

"About six years ago I was hitchhiking in Scotland, heading north to do some wild camping."

"My second ride, I got picked up by a Scottish guy, I could barely understand what he was saying because of the accent. He was heading into Glencoe to climb a hill and camp at the top, so I joined him. Long story short I now live in Scotland, we've been married for 4 years, and I now understand 99% of what he says."



"My most memorable ride was also my shortest. A guy pulled over in the middle of nowhere Maine. He said our path's would diverge just over the bridge but he'd give us a ride anyway. So we got in for the 100 foot ride. After we got out, he leaned over to the open passenger side window and said in a gravelly voice, 'Life does not give a rat's @ss who lives it.' And he drove off."


The Racoon

"I once picked up a guy wearing a black leather trench coat in 100 degree weather. He was young and friendly, made good conversation, but he absolutely reeked. Finally I couldn't really stand it and was like, 'Man, I'm sorry, but I gotta tell you that you f**king stink.' And he goes, 'Oh haha yeah, it's probably my racoon,' then he opens his jacket and he has a freaking racoon pelt tacked to a piece of cardboard."


The Blizzard

"Memorable more for the reason I was hitchhiking. I had driven a few hours away from where I live and payed my last past penny to get training for my desired career. I barely had enough money to attend, and couldn't afford a hotel, so I packed a sleeping bag, and everything I needed to sleep in the back of my van at the training center."

"It was mid spring and was supposed to be pretty warm in the day, and a tad nippy at night, but we ended up having a freak blizzard. The Van was absolutely freezing so I decided to turn it on to keep warm and hope I didn't use too much gas. As it turned out my battery had died in the cold and I had a 2-hour walk, in a blizzard, to get in to town to try and get help."

"By some miracle I spotted a truck about an hour in. The driver had arrived too early to drop off his load, and decided to park on this empty dirt road to rest for the night. He ended up giving me some food, and jumping my car. I managed to stay warm the rest of the night, and get home after the last of the training."

"Definitely one of the scariest moments of my life, because I don't think I would have made it town with all my toes if I'd had to walk another hour."


This is nice...

Music Video Desert GIF by Red Bull RecordsGiphy

"Not a naughty story, sorry... but I got a lift once while hitching during my army days. Hopped into the car, slightly distracted. Noticed wood panelling, leather seats, etc. That bonnet going on for 2km in front of the car. Turned out to be a vintage Rolls-Royce."


This is why I fly. Y'all are crazy.

Real-Life Hospital Horrors
Photo by Ramon Fuchs on Unsplash

Everyone hates hospitals, and rightfully so. They can be downright scary places with a lot going on. Sometimes, a hospital stay goes smoothly, but other times, it can turn out to be a complete nightmare that leaves you scarred for life. Here are some of the most unnerving encounters people have had while at the hospital.

1. Incompetent Intern

man driving a car wearing wrist watchPhoto by why kei on Unsplash

I was in a multi-vehicle accident on my way to work and got what I thought was whiplash. I have a high pain threshold, so the interning doctor in the ER said that if I wasn't screaming, I wasn't hurt. When I told him I was really in pain, he started doing the “Can you feel this” prick test. When I couldn’t feel anything, his expression changed. After about five minutes, my ex walked in and screamed that I was bleeding.

I had a white shirt on, so it may have stood out, but this intern was so convinced I could feel something, he jabbed me repeatedly with a syringe needle until I looked like I was in a slasher movie. A nurse dragged him out and later when my attorney reviewed the medical notes, it said that I had a violent nosebleed. I had damaged my C5, C6, C7 vertebrae, and had a bulge on my spinal nerve. I had serious damage and the guy thought I was faking.


2. Who Am I?

File:Jamie Oliver cooking.jpg - Wikimedia

I woke up from a coma and while I was in the ICU recovering, I had some really weird situations occur. One, in particular, stands out. I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, so I was watching a lot of television. One night, I put on Jamie Oliver's 30-Minute Meals. I fell asleep, woke up, and for some unknown reason, I had the strangest thought: "I am one of Jamie Oliver's sous chefs, and I am currently working on his next cookbook."

I have NO idea why I thought this. I got out of bed, walked to the nurse’s station where my ICU nurse was folding blankets, and her back was towards me. It was around 3 am and the ICU was pretty dark. She wasn’t expecting me to be standing in the middle of the hallway. When she turned around, she nearly jumped out of her skin—I was just standing there like a zombie.

I told her about Jamie Oliver and the cookbook. After about 10-15 minutes, I woke up or snapped out of it, and I was SO embarrassed. She ushered me back to bed and had a good laugh. She told me it was pretty normal for people in comas and the ICU with head injuries to have very vivid dreams and hallucinations while totally awake.


3. Total Blank

a hospital room with a bed and a monitorPhoto by Frederic Köberl on Unsplash

I woke up in the hospital buckled to the bed, and I didn't know why I was there. This happened more than once because I was there for a brain injury. I couldn't remember why I was in the hospital, so I kept trying to escape. They ended up writing on a whiteboard at the end of my bed that I was supposed to be there and why (to avoid future freakouts).


4. Teenage Dream

woman in white button up shirt and blue stethoscopePhoto by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

When I was about 13, I had intestinal surgery. I had to stay there and recover for about seven days to be sure that all the plumbing was working properly. On about the fifth day, I woke up to a fairly large wet spot covering my crotch and gown. It turned out I had a wet dream but was still unable to move easily to clean myself up, so I had to inform the nurse. For a 13-year-old, it was a nightmare!


5. Fourth Of July Fright

time lapse photography of fireworks at nightPhoto by Roven Images on Unsplash

My wife worked as a psych nurse at a hospital. She was working on the floor on the 4th of July when I got a call from one of her co-workers telling me she had been harmed by a patient. She took a pretty good sucker punch and was down in the ER to get checked out. I headed over to the hospital to see how she was doing.

I was sitting with her as she was laying in one of the beds when I heard this awful wailing. I turned around and my jaw dropped—there was a kid in his mid-teens with blood on his arm running down, staining his clothes and the gurney. He had blown his hand to shreds playing with fireworks. The screaming was extremely unnerving. My wife was okay, but that poor kid was not.


6. My Blood Loss Scared The Doc!

two men wearing blue lab coatsPhoto by Olga Guryanova on Unsplash

I was going in to have surgery. I was supposed to be a five-hour outpatient; however, they hit an artery during the procedure and didn’t know it. I was in recovery bleeding internally, and no one knew until they tried to sit me up. All the alarm bells started going off, and the nurse started screaming at me to keep my eyes open.

The scariest thing for me happened later. I was in an overflow room because the hospital was full. The resident came over to check on me because I was in pain and pushing the call button. I knew at this point that the artery finally sealed itself but they had estimated that I had lost three-quarters of my blood supply.

I was in horrific pain and could barely move. Someone had to turn me, in order to help me become comfortable. So the resident read my chart and was looking down at me, and I will never forget the look on his face. He was terrified looking at me. I’m sure to this day he thought I was not going to make it.


7. The Patient Next Door

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I was about 12 years old when I got bitten by a poisonous spider. I had to go to the emergency room for treatment. The guy behind the next curtain had been shot and impaled, and the knife was still in him. When the nurses opened the curtain, they didn't realize that my dad and I were in the next area over...So I saw the guy scream, holding a knife in his gut.


8. The Girl And The Machine

girl in blue white and red plaid shirt hugging brown teddy bearPhoto by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

As a child, I was hospitalized a lot due to heart issues. One day, I was out in the halls, waiting for the playroom to open up. I was about eight at the time. There was a girl on my floor who walked with a huge machine that pumped her heart for her. She was also walking around with what looked like her mom or older sister.

Suddenly, the scariest thing happened—her machine started beeping, and the nurses rushed in. They were speaking German since this was at a hospital in Berlin, however, I didn’t speak German; only Russian. The look on her face before she collapsed was absolutely horrific. Her eyes went almost blank and her lips started to go blue. It still haunts me.


9. Not A Sight For Anyone’s Eyes

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My father had terminal cancer. Towards the end of his life, we had to take him to the emergency room. We got him checked in and as we were waiting for him to be seen, we heard several ambulances. When we found out what happened, our blood ran cold. Three teenage kids had all blasted each other during some argument.

There was so much blood. I had never seen anything like that in such close proximity. All I kept thinking was that these boys had mothers, fathers, and siblings. They were rushing all three in for surgery. It was a disturbing sight.


10. He Was Itching For Some Help

white freight truck on road during daytimePhoto by Caleb Ruiter on Unsplash

I was in the hospital following a motorcycle accident. My hospital roommate, who was beside me, had been in an 18-wheeler accident. He was complaining that his back itched and someone finally came in and rolled him on his side. When they turned him over, their faces dropped—his back had pieces of glass stuck all over it. I still don't know how that was overlooked.


11. Tonsillectomy Terror

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I had strep every month for weeks at a time as a toddler, so when I was four, I had to have my tonsils removed. I remember being separated from my mom for what felt like FOREVER when I was being prepped before surgery. I was just SCREAMING the entire time. I had never seen an operating room before, or doctors and nurses with the entire PPE getup.

I thought I was being abducted by aliens. I woke up alone and was terrified at the realization that I couldn't speak. I just cried and whimpered in my little crib-like hospital bed until a nurse wheeled me to see my mom in the recovery room. I was so relieved to see her that I threw up as soon as I laid eyes on her.


12. Contemplating The Possibilities

man in blue hoodie wearing eyeglassesPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

After going out to drink one night, I blacked out. I didn’t have much to drink, so I was either given something or had a bad reaction to hops. I’m still not sure. The next day, I threw up nonstop for about 14 hours. But it got even worse than that—when every muscle in my body was cramping bad enough that I could barely move and my heart started acting real funny, I called an ambulance and went to the ER.

My parents had to come, and the three of us were sitting in the room. At that point, I was fine. The doctor walked in and said, "We got some tests back. Your white blood cell count is a little high. It could be leukemia," and then walked out without another word. That moment, when we were sitting there contemplating the fact I may have leukemia, was terrifying.

Luckily, it turned out that I don’t have it.


13. The Scent Of Searing Flesh

black torchPhoto by Josh Howard on Unsplash

I had developed a blood clot behind my knee after surgery a few years ago. I was at the hospital when they found it, so they wanted me to stay until a specialist could check me out. I was laying in a bed for hours and heard a lot of talking and preparation going on, but there was no one checking on me, and was wondering what was going on.

Then I overheard some of the peripheral conversations between the staff, EMTs, and officers about a patient that had just arrived. Their discussion was chilling. A young woman with a history of psychiatric issues stood in a kiddy pool in front of her house. She doused herself with tiki torch oil, then lit herself on fire. The hospital I was in was definitely not equipped to handle burn victims, so they had the entire staff ready to help care for her until they could find an appropriate hospital to take her.

From three or four beds away, I could smell the seared flesh. I could hear them pump her as full of painkillers as they dared, mostly through her feet, and the whole time she was screaming bloody murder, as I don't think the meds helped much. I can't imagine what the burn unit she was transferred to looked, smelled, and sounded like.


14. A Mother’s Cries

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I was in a car accident with my mom. A large van ran the red light at a four-way intersection and T-boned us. The accident was so bad they took us all by ambulance to the emergency room. The people who hit my mom and me were in the room next to us. The woman was heavily pregnant. She explained to the doctors that something felt off for many weeks before the accident, but that her doctor said the baby was fine.

When the ER doctors did an ultrasound, they were shocked—apparently, her baby was no longer alive, and it wasn’t due to the accident. They figured that the baby had been gone for WEEKS. I’ll never forget that woman’s screams. It was heartbreaking. She kept screaming, “Get it out of me, get it out of me.” I’ll never forget that moment.


15. A Surreal Experience

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I had to go to the ER for seizure-like symptoms. However, I had been in medical lockdown during the pandemic because my asthma was out of control. Over the summer, my doctor had said, "You can't get sick, do you understand? Your lung functioning can't drop any further. You have no wiggle room left." However, seizures are an emergency, so I reluctantly went to the ER and sat in the waiting room.

Ten minutes later, my worst nightmare walked in—it was a COVID patient. She announced to the front desk that she had been diagnosed and was having trouble breathing. She was instructed to take a seat and wait. Now, with all the social distancing, there were limited seats available. The only one left was exactly six feet away from me. There was no place left for me to go.

I listened to her cough, wheeze, and struggle to breathe for about half an hour, absolutely terrified that I was going to get sick. I was called back for some tests and was given a bed in the non-Covid area, but it was in the hall. The hospital was so full that all of us non-Covid patients were crammed together in one ward.

I was right by the doors that led into the COVID area and watched doctors in full hazmat suits walk around. I kept thinking it looked like a movie in there. Then, a trauma patient was brought in and wheeled into an observation room. The curtains were pulled, but it was a glass-walled room, so you could still see inside. The sight was absolutely horrific.

There were a lot of nurses and doctors running in and out. There was so much blood, it was pooling on the floor. The patient was yelling. Not screaming, but making deep, loud, animal-like groans that said they don't have the air or energy for a full scream. All of us who were stacked up in beds along the wall, tried not to look because it felt like we were witnessing something private.

However, the groans carried across the entire ward. It was terrifying. I could see some of the other patients trying not to cry. I got out a couple of hours later, but I don’t have the words to describe the entire experience. It was surreal and I had never been so afraid in my life. Afraid for myself, afraid for the patients, afraid for the doctors, just afraid for everyone going through it.


16. Am I Going To Look Like HIM?

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When I was three or four years old, I had to have emergency abdominal surgery for a blockage. The scariest thing was seeing my parents as they were stopped at the double doors while I was rushed into the surgical area. My mom was crying on my dad's shoulder, and my dad looked very concerned. To top it off, there was a guy wheeled next to me being prepped for surgery. There weren't any curtains between patients, at least not at this hospital.

But what really traumatized me was what came next. The guy next to me was an elderly man, unconscious with tape all over his face. I had no idea what the tape was for—probably just to hold an intubation tube or something—but in my mind, it looked like they carved his face up and used tape to put it back together. It scared the daylights out of me! I didn't know what they were going to do to me. I thought I would end up looking like that guy.


17. Incoherent Thoughts

man covering his face with both handsPhoto by @felipepelaquim on Unsplash

I had hepatic encephalopathy, which meant I had an altered level of consciousness due to ammonia buildup in my brain. I couldn’t make coherent sentences. I didn’t know who I was, or who my wife was. Surprisingly, that’s not the worst part. The most terrifying part happened as I started to get some of my memory back. I kept thinking I was saying I had five kids, which was true, but my mouth was saying I had six kids.

My wife kept responding, “No you have five kids.” However, my brain kept hearing, “No you have four kids.” So for about an hour, I was panicking because I thought one of my kids didn’t exist or had ceased to exist, or something. I wasn’t exactly rational. It was terrifying. As I continued to get better, I would make sure we had the right number of kids, would repeat their names, and their birthdays.


18. The Look In Her Eyes

shallow focus of a woman's sad eyesPhoto by Louis Galvez on Unsplash

My mother was in the hospital. She had been intubated. The scariest thing was hearing the doctor say, "There is nothing we can do to save her," and then, looking over and seeing tears coming out of my mom's eyes. I knew that she could hear everything but she couldn't respond to us. It was terrifying and is something I still struggle with.


19. I Was Left Drained

person lying on bed and another person standingPhoto by Olga Kononenko on Unsplash

I had to have my gallbladder removed. After the surgery, I had to have a drain put in. The next day, the nurse came in to take it out. That thing was in there about six or seven inches deep, right up into my stomach. She just slowly pulled it out. It was the most awful thing I have ever felt. I still shudder thinking about it.


20. A Full House

white and black hospital bedPhoto by Miguel Ausejo on Unsplash

I had to go into the hospital because I had injured my hand and thought it was broken. The hospital was completely packed; so much so that I couldn't even get a room. I was treated in the hallway, and as I was waiting, I saw some of the local EMTs hanging out. I got to chatting with some of them and I found out they were stuck there too, so I asked why.

What they revealed to me was terrifying. They told me that because the hospital was so full, they ran out of beds and needed their gurneys. The paramedics couldn't leave until they got one back. I asked them what would happen if there was an emergency and they needed to transport a patient? They hung their heads and just replied, “Let's not hope it comes to that,” because they had no gurney for them.

If worse came to worse, they would have to call another city to see if they had some, which would increase their wait time for pickup. The horror of seeing what budget cuts could do, and the overcrowding situation in the hospital was sad and frightening. I was glad, for my own sake, that I was able to get out relatively quickly and didn't have to stay there overnight or be transported elsewhere.


21. Out of Control

woman covering face with white textilePhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I spent some time in a psych ward as a kid. It was a bad place and the people were pretty abusive. One of the staff members broke another kid's arm and I remember hearing the boy screaming as it happened. It was scary, especially because we had no agency to act as a go-between, so the staff had total control.


22. Slowly Slipping Away

person behind fog glassPhoto by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

I was in the ER and was given an IV push for pain. They left me alone in a treatment room, but I had a bad reaction to the medication. I was having hallucinations while bleeding heavily, and whatever they gave me seriously slowed my heart rate. My blood pressure started to tank as well.

I'm not sure what was more terrifying: being fully conscious and aware in a body that was slowly shutting down, or being convinced there was a 7-foot tall shadow demon standing at the foot of my bed to take me.


23. Ignorance Was Not Bliss

people in white shirt holding clear drinking glassesPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

When I was four, my mom took me to the ER. The doctors said there was nothing wrong and that I probably had food poisoning. My mom told them to do a scan and they finally agreed. The scan was terrifying. I was so scared and wouldn't stop moving, so I had to be strapped down which, of course, made it worse. By the time it was done, my grandparents and brother had arrived and were in the waiting room.

They then put me on a bed and rushed me to the operating room. We passed my family on the way and I could see my grandfather crying, which I had never seen before, and haven't since. I didn’t understand all of what was happening at the time, but I knew it was bad...and it was. It turned out, I had appendicitis and my appendix was about an hour away from bursting.

My mom was able to follow me to the door of the operating room. For about ten seconds after she let go of my hand I was reaching out to her screaming for help and we were both crying. Then one of the doctors put their hand on my shoulder and gently laid me down and I fell asleep. I don't remember anything after that, but it's still one of my worst memories to date.


24. A Friend’s Anguish

bonfire on forestPhoto by Wren Meinberg on Unsplash

When I was about 12, I was in the ER for a little ingrown nail removal or something, and we were waiting for the doctor for a really long time. While we were waiting, anguished screams were coming from some other part of the building. They lasted a long time, and I remember my mom suggesting it might've been someone hallucinating.

I had my procedure done and we were walking down the hallway to be released when I saw the mom and brother of one of my good friends. They seemed upset, so we walked up and asked if they were okay. Their revelation was shocking—It turned out the anguished screams we had been hearing were from my friend. He had accidentally fallen into a campfire while chasing his younger sister around. He lived but he had to have skin grafts over a huge portion of his body. It was awful.


25. Sleepless Nights

woman lying on hospital bedPhoto by HH E on Unsplash

I was in the hospital. The guy in the bed next to me was there because of a urinary infection. The infection had gotten so bad that they had to operate and remove part of his scrotum. The nurse had to go in and clean the area two times a week; once while under general anesthesia, and the other time with local anesthesia. I couldn’t see what was happening, but it sounded like they were rubbing sandpaper on a piece of wood. The screams were so bad, they made me lose sleep.


27. Up And Awake

doctor doing operationPhoto by Olga Kononenko on Unsplash

I had surgery planned for 1 pm. It was a four- to six-hour surgery, with a recovery time of about another two to four hours before I would be discharged. I was a teenager at the time, so my parents took me in. They wanted me in at 9 am. I wasn’t able to eat anything from 8 pm the night before, and my surgery got pushed back to 4 pm, so I had gone about 20 hours with no food or drink.

I was in shape, but I was feeling rough. The surgery went well, but my body was exhausted from the lack of nutrients, as well as from the operation. It was late, and my mom and dad had gone downstairs to get some food now that I was okay and in recovery. The nurses had told them that I would be out cold for at least another hour.

But there were a couple of things that my parents didn’t know. Apparently, I had woken up during surgery and made contact with the anesthesiologist. I tried to say, "Is it over? Why am I awake?" But it was muffled from the breathing tube. The anaesthesiologist freaked out and said, "Uh, he's awake. Like really awake.” I began moving, not by choice, which caused the surgeon to nick an artery.

They had to hold me down to keep me still. They got me back under. I woke up a few minutes after they left. It was dark and silent, and I was alone. I got up and there weren’t any monitors attached to me. I was hurting, but I began looking for a nurse. The hallway was dark, and I couldn’t find anyone. I was getting spooked and started feebly asking, "Is anyone there?" Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, a nurse yelled, "Oh my goodness, baby, what are you doing out of your bed!" Luckily, all ended up fine.


28. Out Of Body Experience

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I was seven months pregnant at the time the swine flu hit. Early one morning, I woke up so violently sick and struggling to breathe. I was usually very fit and healthy. I passed out on the bathroom floor and came round to paramedics moving me. I felt okay when I came around and was chatting away in the back of the ambulance.

I insisted it was just a funny turn, but my husband was panicked. I was terribly pale even though my obstetrics seemed fine. They insisted on taking me to get checked over. We got to the hospital, and I was put on a bed in a side room; everything again seemed fine. I was impatient to get home, but they still wanted to observe me longer.

I felt a little bit light-headed, so I laid down. That's when things got scary—I started shivering, but any sort of movement to call the nurse felt like I was going to be sick everywhere. I began having these weird visions, like the hospital bed being on top of a snowy mountain, climbing it, then crashing through the roof back onto the bed. All the while, I could hear the heart rhythm on the machine.

I looked at the machine, but it was as if I had gone too cold to move. It felt like I was watching it go slower and slower. It was weirdly peaceful like I was letting myself go. As my eyes started shutting, I was being shaken and shouted at. It was as if I was crashing back down to the bed in a jolt. I felt as if I was trying to keep up and everything would go black.

My name was being called and I would find myself back on the bed looking up at a nurse then would fall off the bed out of my body. Every time my name was being called, someone was picking me up from a big height and throwing me back down onto the bed. Then I woke up in intensive care, after being in the resuscitation ward for 10 hours.

I didn't know where the time went at all. All of that seemed to be happening in the blink of an eye. It wasn't the swine flu. They couldn't say what caused it, but I was put on complete bed rest and fitted with a catheter for a few weeks to prevent whatever was causing it. I certainly wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been in hospital at that very time, and my baby was absolutely fine.


29. Medication Mixup

person holding brown and black round ornamentPhoto by Kateryna Hliznitsova on Unsplash

The scariest thing that ever happened to me in a hospital was when a nurse brought me my medication in a cup and plunked it down, demanding I take it. She told me the name of the medication, to which I responded, “I don’t take that.” She became instantly annoyed and told me that if my doctor had ordered it, he wanted me to take it.

I asked her what condition it was prescribed for. She insisted I had to take it RIGHT NOW. I told her I wasn’t taking it without knowing the reason it was prescribed, and that I would be happy to wait until she was able to look that up for me in my chart. She made a huge show of being furious having to do this. She looked up my record on the computer in my room, said not a single word, and snatched it back off my tray table before stomping out in a huff.


30. His Screams Echoed In The Silence

man in black jacket wearing eyeglassesPhoto by Alberto Barbarisi on Unsplash

I was in the ER for mental health stuff. At about 2 am, an older man was brought in with officers in tow. His situation was utterly disturbing—he had just escaped being taken advantage of for TWELVE HOURS by his supposed close friend. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on this very sensitive conversation, but he was (understandably) wailing loudly. He was in the bed directly across from me and was bellowing in pain and emotional anguish in an otherwise pretty quiet hospital.

From what I heard, the accused and a couple of other people just kicked down his door while he was chilling at home. I didn’t get many other details, nor did I want to, but I always wonder about the motive a “friend” could have to do such a thing. It crossed my mind that it was a hate crime. It was probably the most depressing thing I have ever witnessed personally.


31. Trapped With Nowhere To Go

doctors doing surgery inside emergency roomPhoto by Natanael Melchor on Unsplash

My mom was in the ICU after surgery to remove a glioblastoma brain tumor. My dad, aunt, uncle, and I were all gathered around her bed when suddenly a nurse came running down the hallway outside. Nurses never run in hospitals unless something is wrong. We all looked at each other in fear. I looked back at the doorway just as an elderly man in a hospital bed was wheeled by.

I locked eyes with him for two seconds that felt way longer. I can still remember his face and eyes. When they put him in the room next to my mom's, all chaos broke loose. Alarms were going off, nurses and doctors were appearing out of thin air, and the whole hallway was full of people and machines on carts. His family was in the hallway screaming.

They worked on him for a long, long time and finally called it. We were literally trapped and had to listen to the whole thing because we didn't want to push our way through the hall to leave. I know nurses deal with this every day, but that was the first and only time I have seen someone about to pass away and it had a big impact on me.


32. Anesthetic Adversity

woman in blue long sleeve shirt covering face with white textilePhoto by Magdiel Lagos on Unsplash

I was five at the time and had to have my tonsils removed. Due to a genetic condition, painkillers or anything type of anesthetic doesn't affect me. So, when I woke up from the anesthesia, I was in a huge amount of pain. I was surrounded by strangers and couldn’t talk. I saw the bandage on my arm from the IV and started crying. Being alone, in pain, and unable to voice it was the scariest thing for me.


33. A Mother’s Intuition

person in green pants sitting on white textilePhoto by Vanessa on Unsplash

It was during the birth of my second child. I’m a Type 1 diabetic and I had this sense at about 34 weeks that my baby would need to be born at 35 weeks. My OB/GYN told me he thought I could make it to 36. I had preeclampsia with both pregnancies, but there was a feeling I had, and I knew it was time. I spent the first three days in the ICU having steroids to speed up the baby’s lung development.

Having diabetes and steroids don’t mix, so I was on an insulin infusion to stabilize my condition. I was feeling okay, and I got a C-section operation time scheduled for 1:30 pm on a Friday. Initially, I pushed back. Even though it was a planned C-section, I was still classed as nil by mouth in the event I needed to go under, so I couldn’t eat anything. That was not ideal, as insulin requires food intake.

I was told that, unfortunately, there was no other time slot available. The morning of the surgery, I was to be given insulin and I mentioned my hesitance given that I was nil by mouth and was concerned I might crash and drop into a coma. By 11 am, my worst fears were realized—my blood sugar dropped dramatically and the nurses rushed around to get a dextrose infusion into my poor, tiny little vein on the back of my hand.

The dextrose glucose is so thick, my vein collapsed. It was excruciating. My body went into shock and it felt like someone was infusing napalm under my hand. It ballooned up into this massive lump and eventually, I was screaming so bad they relocated the IV into the crook of my arm. I was shaking all over, but as the pain started to subside I calmed down.

An hour or two passed and my husband and mother arrived. I was feeling good and ready to go into surgery to meet my daughter, despite the morning's drama. My friend who was studying to be a midwife was with me. She was the only person allowed to attend as I got prepared for the spinal block. My husband was waiting outside and would be let in once it was in effect.

The only trouble was that because I had so much fluid from the preeclampsia, they had trouble getting it into the spinal column. I had the blood pressure cuff on the left arm, which hurt every time it inflated thanks to the collapsed vein, and pain from the dextrose infusion. I started shaking from the pain, and simultaneously, they would be trying to insert a giant needle into my spinal cord.

The pain of that needle was something I only hope I never experience again. It felt like someone had live wired my body with electricity. Every time it hit the wrong spot, it would shoot through my body like lightning, all the way down through my pelvis and into my legs. The anesthetist kept demanding I stay still when I was not moving willingly! And it only got worse from there.

After an hour, my OB/GYN came over and said I couldn’t take much more, and suggested I go under. By that point, I was so broken and in agony, I cried and agreed. My daughter was born while I was asleep, with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck three times. She had to be manually resuscitated for five minutes before she was able to breathe on her own.

If I had waited even one more day, she may have suffocated in the womb. She spent a solid week in the NICU but is now healthy. I came to while in recovery and was pretty out of it for days. I had fluid in my lungs and was mostly in and out of consciousness for the first 24 hours. I’ll never forget that whole situation but I am so glad I listened to my gut.


34. Toothache Troubles

woman in white scrub suit holding white and green hosePhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

When I was younger, I had to go to the hospital to get a bad tooth removed. I don't remember anything from my stay except for one situation where I was in a room with a few nurses. They were talking about something completely unrelated and ignoring me in the process, as they held my arm down on the table and rammed a needle in my hand. My mom was holding me from behind in a supporting manner while I was screaming and crying in her arms. I've avoided needles ever since.


35. Constant Miss

dextrose hanging on stainless steel IV standPhoto by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

I was scheduled for surgery on my hand. When the nurse came to put in my IV to knock me out, she missed my vein several times. She called someone else over to try and the second person also missed my vein several times. With every missed jab, I was getting more and more frantic. My dad was holding my hand and he said I was squeezing hard enough to break it.

But the final straw was when my face started changing colors. I was crying nonstop, flailing around, and my heart rate was through the roof. My dad angrily yelled at the nurse to get someone competent to put the IV in. I think it was the anesthesiologist that came over and thankfully he got it on his first try. I was knocked out and wheeled into surgery a few minutes later.


36. Narrowly Avoiding Disaster

white and red car on road during night timePhoto by Yassine Khalfalli on Unsplash

As an EMT, I have seen a lot of stuff in the ER that people shouldn't have to see, but my scariest encounter was when I was the patient. The lady in the room next to me coded. My ER nurse jumped on her and began giving her CPR. Her heart started back up pretty quickly, just as he hit the code blue button. Several of the nurses and a doctor rushed to her room, but the one with the crash cart showed up in my room.

She looked around confused, wondering where everybody was. I pointed to my right towards the room with the code and she quickly left. She coded a couple of more times that night and they moved her up to ICU to watch more closely. I'm glad I wasn't asleep at the time of laying there with my eyes closed. Who knows what she would have done to me.


37. I Was Left In Stitches

grayscale photography of boy wearing sweaterPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When I was about six or seven years old, my mom took me over to her friend's house. Her friend had a daughter who was the same age as me. The daughter loved to chase me. They had this metal screen door with a long broken handle—I remember it was very jagged and sharp. The girl was chasing me in the backyard and I decided to run inside as fast as my little legs could carry me to escape.

I barely opened the metal door and slipped inside like the little ninja I was. The next thing I knew, everything went dark. I woke up to a massive puddle of blood and then proceeded to pass out again. The broken handle had caught me behind my left ear and almost completely removed it. It was barely attached by a single thread of skin from what my mom told me.

My mom lost her mind and rushed me to the hospital. I bled everywhere and destroyed the inside of the car. I was still knocked out when we got to the hospital and I was rushed into surgery to reattach my ear. As they put the first stitch in, I woke up as soon as the needle went through my skin. Three doctors proceeded to HOLD me down fully awake and sew my ear back on.

I remember every stitch to this day. Every last one. I remember the doctor holding my legs down telling me to, "Calm down little buddy we are almost done," as I screamed. Apparently, they waited too long after administering the anesthesia. I have no clue why they didn't put me back under. I will never forget the pain and that stupid doctor.


38. A Mother’s Haunting Screams

woman in white shirt carrying babyPhoto by Hollie Santos on Unsplash

I spent a good portion of my life in the hospital, but the one moment I'll never forget is when I was in the emergency room getting an IV and a mother came in, running and screaming with her small child in her arms. All the doctors and nurses immediately ran to help her and attend to the child. The mother was screaming for help in such agony that I felt even more nauseous than I already was.

I don't think I can ever forget her screams and seeing this tiny little child wrapped in a towel looking blue. I think the baby made it because the mother had stopped screaming and calmed down and went to the waiting room. I can't even begin to imagine the horror of holding your breathless baby.


39. A Dystopian Encounter

gray and white robot illustrationPhoto by Rock'n Roll Monkey on Unsplash

I had gone to visit a relative. When coming to a crossroads in the hallway, there came a moving box about the size of a mini-fridge—a hospital robot. There was nobody around it. It was beeping and playing a recording. It wasn't moving fast, but I realized it was headed straight for me. I backed around the corner to find a different way out, then quickly picked up my pace when it rounded the same corner and followed me. It creeped me out.


40. The Pain Just Wouldn't Stop

man wearing medical suitPhoto by Olga Guryanova on Unsplash

I grew up a completely healthy kid but I was oblivious to my family’s health history. Out of nowhere, I began having stomach pain that was diagnosed as ulcers. After two days of being on medication, I began having attacks that would begin with pain at the bottom of my ribs, followed by shortness of breath and this horrific pain in my upper abdomen.

These occurrences would happen randomly and last about 30 minutes to an hour. I couldn’t do anything for the pain. No medication helped, no position, eating didn’t help, nothing. After 30 minutes to an hour, the pain would just disappear and I would be fine. I went to the hospital when the first one happened. When they did an ultrasound, the doctors gasped—they discovered numerous overwhelming amount.

I was a 19-year-old female in good shape, so they were very confused as to why I had so many. My gallbladder wasn’t inflamed and they didn’t see anything blocking any ducts, so they said that they wanted to treat the ulcer to see if that was what was causing the pain. Ulcer pain and gallbladder pain are incredibly different, so this was frustrating initially.

For me, the ulcer felt more like a gnawing, constantly hungry pain. The other pain I was having was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. For a week after, I had these attacks on and off, but then they seemed to stop. I was hopeful and thought that if I could make it to the end of the medication cycle, then I would be fine. At the two-week mark, I had another attack.

From there, they only seemed to get worse. I called my hospital’s nurse line, and they told me that to get evaluated I needed to be in pain for longer than two to three hours. The day I had a doctor's appointment, I woke up at around 3:45 am in severe pain. Things got progressively worse until I was laying on my bathroom floor, throwing up nothing but bile, unable to move or barely breathe.

I had never felt complete fear until then, and that was the only time in my life that I have ever had to call for emergency services. I was taken by ambulance to the same hospital I had been going to. I was given meds and the pain subsided somewhat. Once in the hospital though, the true test of my faith began. The surgeons came and talked to me and made it clear that surgery was the best option.

My gallbladder had to come out. Then more doctors kept coming in, and courses of action kept changing, and it felt like they were just trying to get me out of there. On top of that, the pain continued to come back. One doctor came in and said that he didn’t think my gallbladder was the problem. When I asked him what else it could be, he replied with, “Oh you know, GERD, acid reflux, heartburn.”

I was terrified that I was going to be sent home to continue dealing with this pain that was hovering over me every day because this man didn’t believe me. He said that he wanted to try a GI cocktail and a PPI inhibitor (to see if the issue lay with my esophagus or stomach) and wait to see if that helped the pain. So I took it, and when it didn’t help, he finally agreed that surgery was the best option.

They scheduled me to have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, after being in the hospital for eleven hours in disgusting amounts of pain. I don’t remember too much after that, as I was taking more and more medication, but I remember them taking me up to pre-op and the pain getting worse again. Finally, I was put under. The second most terrifying thing? Waking up alone after surgery.

I can still remember the pain I was in, even after the nurse gave me another round of meds, and how I could barely get any food down. After the painful walk to the bathroom and changing, I had to stop because I was going to throw up. For this, the nurse went and got a dose of anti-nausea through my IV and handed me some smelling salts.

I did not feel well enough to go home, but it felt as if they wanted me gone, and my days after surgery were miserable. As I read through my paperwork afterward, I found that my gallbladder had been nicked during surgery. They also listed in their notes that “pain was managed well, was able to keep food down, and wished to go home,” none of which was true. My recovery was painful and troubling. The experience scarred me enough to not want to get any medical treatment.


41. An Unsettling Recovery

girl and boy playing on bedPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

When I went to the hospital a few years back to have surgery, I was placed in one of the recovery wards for three days. Five other children were sharing the ward with me and we had curtains to separate us. There was a girl my age across from me who I could see when the bed was tilted up. She had survived a car crash and she was recovering from a spinal injury, so she couldn't move. Her eyes locked with mine. We stared at each other for nearly two days. Something about the pain and sadness in her eyes was unsettling.


42. Is This The End?

person wearing gray shirt putting baby on scalePhoto by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

While I was giving birth, I lost a lot of blood. I was lying in bed and feeling very weak and cold when someone from the staff came to check on me. I asked them if this was what it feels like to stop living. She didn't seem to take it seriously until she had checked some stuff on me, at which point she got others there. The last thing I remembered was them putting some mask on me, thinking I was going to pass away.


43. An Unexpected Diagnosis

man covering his mouthPhoto by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

I had been vomiting uncontrollably, so I went to the ER. There was an ice storm about to hit and I didn't want to wait in case the dehydration forced me to go in. I wasn't really worried because this had happened to me before, so I figured it would be business as usual—I assumed they would run some tests and give me medication, and I would be on my way.

A doctor or nurse, I don't remember which, came in shortly after my blood test, and told me that my white blood cell count was extremely high—like three times what was normal. They said they needed to take blood cultures and that they were admitting me to the hospital. No one explicitly told me what was wrong; just that I had an infection in my blood. I had no frame of reference for what that meant.

I asked every single day for three days when I could go home. Meanwhile, I was being pumped full of antibiotics. On my third day there, I was chilling in my hospital bed when I took a deep breath. That's when I made a startling realization—I hadn’t been breathing well before. Still, I thought that it was from puffing, and since I wasn't doing that in the hospital, my lungs had cleared up.

Then, the doctors told me I would be having a PICC line put in and would be set up with a home nurse to do IV antibiotics at home for two weeks. When I was finally discharged, I was reading through my discharge papers. I read that my official diagnosis was bacterial septicemia, also known as sepsis. I knew what THAT meant and that it was very, very, bad.

I realized that the breathing issues I was having were because my organs were all slowly shutting down. They also weren't sure how I ended up with the bacteria that caused the infection. I insisted it was probably from a nasty case of food poisoning I had about two months prior but they weren't sure. I got set up with an infectious disease specialist.

He checked me from head to toe for any wounds that may have gotten infected, but I had none, so he agreed I was probably right. But here's the wild part—I didn't feel that bad leading up to the ER visit that saved my life. As I said, I puffed and it was winter, so I assumed that I was getting winded from that and feeling rundown because of seasonal depression on top of regular depression. But I survived. A little traumatized, but I'm still kickin'.


44. Double Lung Disaster

person in black and white plaid shirtPhoto by CDC on Unsplash

When I was staying in the hospital for my double lung transplant, I got pretty sick. I got lung failure in my sleep, which led to heart failure. It also made my arms and legs retain a lot of water; so much so that I was barely able to lift my arms and I was unable to walk. I had to get ECMO and be intubated with a trachea, some chest tubes, IVs, and other lines.

They had to be careful that I didn’t aspirate things so I couldn’t eat (I had a feeding tube for years) and I hadn’t gotten the piece that let me talk. Every morning, a nurse would clean me and change my dressings, but she apparently didn’t know that I had had a feeding tube for years prior, so she kept trying to dress it.

I kept panicking because they change the dressings every 24 hours and I didn’t want my feeding tube to be covered up for that long because if it is not turned every once in a while, I was told it could make me pretty sick. When I tried to explain this to her on my whiteboard she kept denying that it was true and continued to try and dress it.

I told her to wake up my dad who was in the room, sleeping. She looked at him, seemed anxious, and said no. I was 17 at the time, and she probably just wrote me off as being scared. I was making any frantic noise I could at my dad to wake him up since the nurse was ignoring me. Finally, my dad woke up and I wrote down what I’d been trying to tell her. She finally accepted it and didn’t dress it. I told everyone there to never let me get that nurse again.


45. Study Abroad Surgery Nightmare

man in green long sleeve shirt sitting beside man in white long sleeve shirtPhoto by Amit Gaur on Unsplash

My first invasive, major surgery happened while I was on a study abroad trip in Ukraine. Ukraine has always had a bad reputation but I didn’t find that to be true until I had to go to the hospital. There were private hospitals that came at a premium for tourists and oligarchs, and then there are the state hospitals. As an American student, I was labeled a premium patient, but the luxury private hospital that I was sent to didn't have the proper facilities for major surgery.

Hence, I was shuttled off to the state hospital. My student group was situated in Kiev, which is as modern as any other European city. Within ten miles, there was nothing but forests. When we finally arrived at the hospital, it was a 20-story concrete block with windows punched out in the middle of this forest. I couldn’t see a single building or business nearby.

But the scariest part? There was no one else in sight. There were no nurses running around outside, or even ambulances going in and out. There also wasn’t a ramp leading to the hospital entrance for the gurney, so the EMTs had to lift me and carry me. I was lying straight on my back, face-up, on the gurney for around ten stairs. They had to stop and take a break, and then proceed to wheel me to the entrance.

Even inside the hospital, there was no one around. There were rooms lit up but I could only see the shadows of doctors, nurses, and patients behind the curtains. As we passed by further in the hallway, I saw some busted, fluorescent lights, dangling from the ceiling. Again, I still didn't see any doctors or nurses rushing over; just the EMTs wheeling me around.

We headed towards the elevator, and there was a caution tape fluttering over the open elevator shaft. The EMTs were like, "Oh, well," as if this wasn't the first time, and headed up another flight of stairs to get to an elevator that was working on the opposite side of the hospital. At that point, I prepared myself to accept a horrible but absolutely possible reality—that this was an organ harvesting black market hospital. I just wanted to get the anesthesia to end it.

They carted me over to the pre-op room, which looked like a room in a typical hostel. After 10 or 15 minutes, my American guide, who was in charge of the study abroad program, finally arrived. I was relieved and he told me that I was going straight to the operating room. I woke up eight hours later with tubes coming out of my nose and stomach cavity.

There were doctors, along with my American guide, at the foot of my bed, and the one surgeon, who could speak English, said, "It was bad. Very bad." I just looked down at my stomach, and my face went white. There was a running trail, from my belly button to the top of my abdominal cavity, of thick black stitches. It turned out what the doctors thought was appendicitis, was a ruptured ulcer.

My stomach acid was leaking into my abdominal cavity, essentially burning the outside layer of my major organs, which explained the unimaginable pain I had. When they went in for the appendix, and just saw pus, and they realized it was a lot more severe. This explained the need for all the post-op tubes—they had to drain the remaining pus out of my stomach cavity.

The first few nights were unsettling. I was in my own room with a single partition that was half wall and glass. I could see into the other room next to me, but couldn't lift myself to see above the wall. I was just flat on my bed. Every night the man in the next room just groaned all night. The sounds he made were that of a large wounded animal or someone who just fell down a flight of stairs.

I kept asking the nurses if the man was okay since he groaned all night. They just always said, "He's fine. Just bad dreams." One day, I woke up and saw the nurses cleaning up the room, laying out and flattening out the sheets on the bed. I was absolutely shaken to my core. I asked them, "Did he pass?" They just responded, "He left." I could see that he was gone, but I was wondering if he had passed away while I was sleeping.

The nurses laughed it off, and kept saying, in Ukrainian, "He's gone." I can’t believe I was in the next room to a dying man and sleeping through his final throes. I had to stay in the hospital for a month and a half. Aside from the isolation, the nurses were nice, yet professional. There was no small talk, except from one nurse who had a brother in the United States and was sincerely curious about American pop culture. In the end, I was able to leave, with a 7-inch scar running down my stomach, and was able to finish studying abroad.


46. The Endless Wait

person in blue denim jeans lying on bedPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

I came in with a kidney stone stuck and causing me horrible pain. I was left screaming and vomiting, writhing in pain in the waiting room for six hours before I finally got taken back to a room and given ibuprofen. Then they ordered a CT scan, found out about the kidney stone and the sepsis, then finally gave me heavy pain meds.

I sat in that ER room with no update for 26 hours while they were trying to get me a room. I begged the nurses to get the doctor to come to see me and give me an update on what they were going to do to treat my condition since they had done nothing at all. After six hours of waiting for a doctor, a nurse came in to say she was going to give me a bag of fluid. That, to me, was a red flag.

I refused it knowing the doctor would come in because I was being non-compliant. He was in the room within 10 minutes. They couldn't give me an actual description of my treatment plan, they just kept saying, "We'll see what happens." After two more days on another floor with nothing but fluids—no meds, no extra testing, no anything, I finally was discharged with Flomax and that was it.


47. Shaken Up

hospital bed near couchPhoto by Martha Dominguez de Gouveia on Unsplash

As a young adult, I was hospitalized due to sepsis. I was in the hospital for a few months. The first day I was transferred to a new hospital, I heard this loud, terrifying noise outside my door. It was late at night and the ground started to rumble. I was in Florida, so an earthquake was practically impossible, but I had no idea what else it could be.

I sat there, paralyzed in my bed. I was too scared to move. I didn’t know what was happening, and my heart was pounding out of my chest. When I finally worked up the courage to press the call button, I just shut my eyes and braced for the worst. The nurse came...and you can imagine the chuckle she had when she told me that it was just the floors being cleaned. I had been truly panicked!

48. Obsessed

a person drowns underwaterPhoto by Stormseeker on Unsplash

I was staying in a low-security mental ward. I had let my insomnia get the better of my life and mental health. I was admitted in order to get my medication and sleep schedule back to a productive place. While I was there, I became friends with a guy who was a little bit younger than me. I didn't think anything of it—but that was a big mistake.

This guy started to become a little obsessive and began to only focus on me. It got to the point where he was waiting for me outside my room all the time, eating what I was eating, stuff like that. It turned out he had paranoid schizophrenia, and he thought I could cure him. It came to a head one day where I was trapped in the rec room with him until our doctor could come.

The last time I saw him, he was being escorted to the high-security ward, mumbling my name over and over again. He wouldn’t break eye contact, had a cold, unnerving stare, and held an outstretched hand towards me as the double security doors closed. I think about that stare when I don't prioritize my mental health and get the shivers every single time.


A guy stands on a dock, he holds up a flashlight into the night sky, stargazing
Photo by Dino Reichmuth

Are we alone as a species in this vast universe?

Could there be life on other planets?

These are questions we've all wondered about.

And truth be told, we probably always will.

Some say they know aliens exist because they've been with them.

They've been taken and interviewed.

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Though we may not like to think about it too much, we can all agree that living is getting more expensive by the week, and it's more important than ever to have a good, stable job.

But there are some jobs out there that have a questionable salary, though not in a bad way.

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Phones are a blessing and a curse. Sure, the world is at our fingertips—but they can also get us into a lot of trouble. Take, for example, these phone moments gone horribly wrong. From disturbing, creepy calls to notifications that revealed dark secrets, these stories are enough to make us want to drop our phones in the toilet and then leave 'em there.

1. Machine Reading

man driving carPhoto by Hareez Hussaini on Unsplash

I was riding in the car with a co-worker when my wife texted. I told Siri to read it. Huge mistake. My wife texted to yell at me about leaving dingleberries in the shower drain.


2. Beyond The Gyno Veil

woman holding phonePhoto by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Oh boy. This was the most harrowing thing I've been through. This was how I found out a girl I was dating had end-stage terminal cancer. She was on the phone with me as she walked into her “gynecology appointment”, then proceeded to put her phone in her purse, but I think she mis-tapped or something.

I listened to a 30-minute conversation that was to the effect of: “You have four months to live. There are no treatment options”. She'd been aware of it for three years but refused treatment because essential oils can cure any malady, am I right???


3. Thin Wall, Huge Separation

woman using laptop while sitting on chairPhoto by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

My fiancée at the time—three months from the wedding—used to use my laptop all the time for social media and stuff while she was watching TV. She comes to me one night and says she thinks stuff isn't working out and that we should talk about whether we should really continue. I'd not felt any problems that I didn't just dismiss as wedding planning/financial stress. So I explained that and she said she wanted to sleep in the spare room that night to think things through, to which I agreed.

I wasn't very happy with it at all, so I decided to go get my device and watch some YouTube before bed. She had her Facebook left open on my user account—completely normal. Then I see a notification from her ex-colleague.

She was live-sexting him with just a thin wall between us. I instantly knew I'd never forgive that, got dressed, quietly snuck away into my car and drove to my mum’s. She didn't even realize I knew for days. Didn't speak to her at all after that. All communication was through her own parents, who were devastated.


4. In What Reality

woman in brown shirt covering her facePhoto by Fa Barboza on Unsplash

My boyfriend left his phone on the sofa while he excused himself to use the restroom. A text popped up, and I automatically looked. We had great respect for each other’s privacy, so, of course, I didn’t read it, but I did see the name. He came out of the bathroom, and I asked who “Jane” was. He had never mentioned her.

“My niece,” he answered. He came from a large family, and I couldn’t keep track of all of his nieces and nephews. We went back to the movie we were watching, and I never thought of it again. We had a wonderful relationship. The kind of love that’s made up to sell books and films. It was the most real thing in my life.

I had been twice divorced, and it was only with him that I learned what real love is. My own parents really didn’t love me. I wasn’t just happy with my life; I was ecstatic. Nothing else mattered because I was loved. It was five years of absolute bliss. I agreed to work late one day and was texting him during my break.

He told me our plans for the night, which were going to dinner with his best friend. He said he would tell him we’d be a bit late. I had to go back to work. I got home that night to find the best human being I had ever known was gone forever after trying to get into the shower. It was a massive heart attack, they said.

The only thing I remember is screaming and crying. It couldn’t end this way. He was far too young and healthy. It’s been almost two years later, and I am still in shock. Two days after he was gone, I got a message from “Jane.” Jane was the woman in his other life, as in he had two lives—another home, another woman, etc.

I still don’t understand how this was possible, but she had definite proof. Proof that she shoved in my face. She didn’t know about me either, so I felt bad for her. She was everything he couldn’t stand. I’ll never get over this. I’m just an empty shell now. I quickly stopped messaging with Jane as I could not take it.

All I remember about his infidelity is that text message. He’d never lied to me, so why wouldn’t I believe him? Now, I have no idea what was a lie and what was the truth. I thought losing him was as bad as it could get. Boy, was I wrong! What he did doesn’t make me love him any less even though sometimes I wish it did.


5. Earth To Dad

white, red, and black Jyoti Travels bus passing the streetPhoto by Indrajeet Choudhary on Unsplash

One time, back when my dad used to be a coach bus driver, he left his phone on after calling my sister. It was in his pocket while he was still on the job. The radio was on inside the bus and my sister, who was still listening on the other end of the call, could hear that it was playing our local station.

My dad often listened to this station and phoned in for quizzes and anecdotes. Then my dad heard something super strange. My sister had called up the station and managed to get the radio host to make a live air announcement to tell my dad to turn off his phone.


6. Over-Staying Their Welcome?

man and woman sitting on bench facing seaPhoto by Matt Bennett on Unsplash

My in-laws are EXTREMELY religious, and we just got them their first iPhone—the first smartphone they’ve ever had. In the middle of me showing her parents how WeatherBug works—we were outside, wife was not—she texted me a spread-eagle shot of herself from the bedroom with the words "I can’t wait for them to leave so I can literally go to town on you in bed". Let’s just say things got very awkward.

It may have been small as heck on the banner, but they were both wearing their glasses and paying very close attention. Nevertheless, not a single word was said about it and they left 15 minutes later.


7. Demon Slayer

white ceramic toilet bowl with coverPhoto by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

I'm a dispatcher. got a call from a gentleman reporting an issue with his toilet. For whatever reason, it was a bit hard for me to understand exactly what the problem was, except that it definitely involved his toilet. After a little while, I determined to the best of my ability that the toilet was overflowing and he didn't know what to do.

Although plumbing issues are absolutely not an appropriate reason for calling an emergency number, it wasn't unheard of. To a certain extent, I can understand the thought process and people have certainly called it for less. After a bit more talking, however, I realized that he had not called about a plumbing issue. It wasn't water that was coming out of his toilet, but demons.

The demons were spilling out of his toilet and he needed help. I put in a complaint for law enforcement and kept him on the phone. It was a busy evening and the officers wouldn't be able to get to him for a few minutes, so I asked if he could close the toilet lid. He said he could and he did. I asked him if this stopped the demons from coming out of his toilet and he told me it did. This made him calmer and I was able to release the call.


8. Missing No Detail

a woman with a surprised look on her facePhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I was heading to my school’s office of career services to have my resume reviewed. I got a couple of texts from a guy vividly describing what he wanted to do with me, but I didn’t open my messages since I was thinking about the meeting. I used my laptop to show my resume. The career services woman started reading it over.

She was giving me some feedback, and the notifications I didn’t clear on my phone from the texts all popped up on my screen. The notifications were there for a couple of seconds and she definitely saw them. As my face burned and I turned bright red, she just primly said, “Now those aren’t the “skills” we’d list on your resume, now are they?” Not only was I mortified, but this middle-aged lady also had to go and roast me too. It was the most excruciating hour of my life.


9. Time Is Money

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A patient called and left a voicemail for a refill on his prescription. He thought he hung up, but he didn’t. Instead, he proceeded to negotiate a price with someone for the refill he had just requested.


10. Woman Overboard

black ip desk phone on black wooden tablePhoto by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

A colleague of mine dialed into a meeting of two or three managers plus about 25 sales representatives, only for everyone to suddenly go quiet. One person told him the meeting was canceled and he could drop the call, as they were just chatting about sales stuff. He pretended to hang up and stayed on the line. That's how he found out the truth.

They were basically planning a mutiny because they didn't like that their regional manager was a woman. They had a whole strategy for how they were going to cause a massive screw-up that would cost the company a ton of money and make it look like it was her fault so that she would get fired. The idiots even did a little "are we all in agreement" roll call at the end.

We worked in a call center, so his end of the call was recorded. Within a week, every last one of them was fired and within a month they were replaced.


11. Cheating Thievery

100 us dollar billPhoto by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I was borrowing my boyfriend's computer to send him some pictures from his computer to his phone. In the upper corner, it was non-stop messaging from girls. I clicked on one, and she sent pictures. I found out he was sending money to women. My money. Several hundred dollars.


12. Honesty Is The Best Policy

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I once worked as a secretary in an office that for some reason got pocket-dialed a lot. During one such occasion, I got to listen in while some gentleman from New York absolutely roasted one of his employees. The employee said, “Well what the heck do you expect me to do"? The boss's response was legendary. "Honestly, Tom, honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm sleeping with your sister, you would be out of here right now”.


13. I Hope You Were Taking Notes

turned on LED projector on tablePhoto by Alex Litvin on Unsplash

It wasn't me, but my professor used to have his laptop hooked up to the projector up in front of the class. While he was going through a presentation one day, a text popped up on his screen from a woman and all it said was "I have herpes.” He stopped connecting his laptop to the projector after that.


14. Surprise Features

yellow Volkswagen carPhoto by Rahul Bhogal on Unsplash

I moved to Japan a few years ago, and early one day, I was at a market and saw a tanuki statue with its junk on display. I took a picture and thought it’d be funny to send my brother a message reading "UNSOLICITED DICK PIC!" then send it. Halfway around the world, my brother was doing some late evening car shopping.

He’d recently been in an accident and totaled his car so was in the market for a new one. He’d handed the salesman his phone so he could see pictures of the damage, and the guy was looking through them when the words "UNSOLICITED DICK PIC!" showed on the screen. The guy nearly dropped the phone trying to shove it back.


15. Think Of The Children

woman in white button up shirt leaning on blue wallPhoto by Nivedita Singh on Unsplash

I once went to a friend's house to borrow her phallus-shaped cake pans for a bachelorette party. We sat there for a few minutes talking about them. She had two different sized pans, so there were some jokes told…then I noticed the most mortifying thing. I was sitting on my phone and had pocket-dialed the Child Welfare Provincial Emergency line.

It was on speed dial because I worked for a Children’s Aid Society at the time. It was so awkward.


16. Bad Timing

a man is holding his head with his handsPhoto by Bansah Photography on Unsplash

My best friend in high school was in the process of being grounded and having his phone taken away, and as he was handing over his phone to his mom he got a text from me that said "Hey, I found your mom's bedroom toy" accompanied with a picture of a medieval battering ram. He told me that they both saw it right as the transaction was taking place, then held each other’s gaze silently for what he described as an eternity.


17. Learning Bad News

girl sitting on chairPhoto by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

One day in high school, my history teacher brought her 4-year-old daughter on one of the last days of school when we were doing practically nothing. The teacher handed her daughter her iPad so she could play, and a few other students and I were talking to and playing with the daughter and showing her games on the iPad.

My teacher must have had her iMessage set up on the iPad and forgot because it kept getting texts from her husband such as, "She's just a friend," and, "Well maybe we need to finally go through with it and end this once and for all." I had to turn on do not disturb.


18. Troubleshooting

man using IP phone inside roomPhoto by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash

I work with a guy who used to work at an IT helpdesk. He made a habit of muting himself and very aggressively cussing out whoever it was he was on the phone with, then unmuting himself and acting as if nothing happened. I knew at some point he was going to miss that mute button. One day I’m on a conference call with him, another company, and another individual at the director level within our company for some troubleshooting.

After a bit, we decided to call it a day and reconvene in the morning. Suddenly, we heard him unleash a string of loud expletives followed by silence. The director said, “Excuse me”? After a brief second he dropped off the call and we apologized on his behalf. But it didn't end there. He came in the next morning with an immaculate story about how he spilled hot coffee on his leg and had to drop his pants outside his car.

He showed everybody in the office this massive burn mark on his leg. The interesting thing is that he had been on this call with us for about four hours, away from his home, and in his car this whole time with no access to a fresh pot of coffee. If there was coffee in his possession, it was very likely cold by this point. My guess is he realized he had messed up, so he went home and staged an injury to avoid persecution, but we’ll never know.


19. The Elephant In The Room

gray elephants performing on circusPhoto by Becky Phan on Unsplash

An old woman called, extremely confused, because she said that there was an elephant in her back garden. I question her but she is insistent that there is a fully grown elephant in her garden. She’s frightened—probably because she thinks there is a giant elephant in her back garden. The immediate assumption is that this woman may have dementia.

An officer is sent to do a welfare check on the poor woman. When he got to her house, she let him inside and took him through to the kitchen to look out into her garden and, yep, there was an elephant, and it was eating her plants. The officer called for backup. Turns out there was a circus relatively nearby and the elephant had escaped overnight.


20. Just Like The French

mcdonalds fries in red mcdonalds fries cupPhoto by Mak on Unsplash

I had this roommate in my sophomore year of college, and we had a very weird, close personal relationship. I was in my Spanish professor’s office hours, and she was waiting for me at the cafeteria to have lunch together. Just before going in, I texted her and asked her to get me some fries, and then I turned off my phone.

I was showing my professor my paper on my laptop forgetting that I had iMessage on my laptop. A message from her came in, and I’ll never forget the look on his face: “I’ll get you fries but only if you sensually feed them to me while you call me daddy,” That was my last time visiting his office hours!


21. Of Angels and Demons

woman's facePhoto by Danie Franco on Unsplash

I had a job where I was in the position to write-off a substantial phone bill because the customer said her mother was dying overseas. She said her mother had dementia and needed to hear things in her daughter’s voice to believe anything, including the doctor’s instructions. She was heartbroken and sobbing about how if she had the kind of money to pay this phone bill, then she would have just gone back to her country because the flight would have cost less.

She was right about that. I wrote off the entirety of the phone bill. She cried like a jilted lover in a rom-com and went on and on about how people like me are angels sent from heaven. After we were done I wished her a good evening and she obviously thought the call had ended. She turned to someone and said in a perfectly normal voice, “Well, that worked”!


22. So That’s What You Really Think Of Me, Huh?

white and blue yacht on sea under blue sky during daytimePhoto by Alina Kacharho on Unsplash

I was with a group of friends and this person gave me their number. I often save people's names with a detail that reminds me of who they are—such as James From Chicago, for example. So this person was talking nonstop about their yacht when I met them. So I wrote something like "Gary Hasayacht" as their name in my contacts. Anyway, he sent me a text but it didn't go to my phone for a while because we had a bad signal. Then it popped up when my phone was in clear view right in front of me.

He sees the text, and his name as it's listed on my phone, and then goes “You know, it's really not that big of a yacht”...I wanted to sink into the floor, he definitely thought I was hitting on him and/or a gold digger.


23. Guest Again

woman in black and white long sleeve shirt sitting beside man in white dress shirtPhoto by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

My sister-in-law was staying with me for a week, which I didn’t really want. My sister knew about it and messaged me, “How are you dealing with (her name)? Do you need to pretend to have a nap again lol?” My sister-in-law was using my tablet at that time and saw the notification pop up. She hasn’t stayed with us since.


24. Silent As A Fish

boy in gray shirt using black laptop computerPhoto by Thomas Park on Unsplash

My daughter's school had an author come on a Zoom call to do a reading of a book called The Pout-Pout Fish. The school wanted to get the kids in on the reading, so the teachers set it up so that the kids would join in towards the end. They rehearsed it as such: “Okay, everyone, on the count of three, we'll say ‘blub blub blub’” and proceeded to read the book.

When they got to the part where they wanted the kids to join in it went something like this: “Okay, everyone, on the count of three. One...two..." and whoever was in charge of the meeting unmuted 300 children at once at the count of two. It was chaos. Imagine 300 children screaming “BAAAAHHHAAA BLUUUUBB AAAAAAAAHHHHHH SKKKKRREEEEEE FFFIIIISSSHHHHHH BBLLLUUUUUUBBBB” until they immediately muted everyone again.


25. Perfect Date

people inside building sitting and eatingPhoto by Eric Tompkins on Unsplash

One day, I met a guy from Tinder in a pub for our first date. Things were going well. We were having a laugh and flirting. After about an hour, I took out my phone to show him a funny meme and up popped a notification from my new period tracking app saying, "Today's the day! You're ovulating!" I swiped it away quickly.

I don’t think he got a good look at it, but I was still worried he'd think I was some child-obsessed weirdo who timed my dates so random Tinder guys could impregnate me. I turned off ovulation notifications after that.


26. Kiss And Tell

a close up of a magazine on a tablePhoto by Doyoun Seo on Unsplash

I accidentally pocket-dialed someone and left about a two-and-a-half-minute voicemail of my son and me badly singing “Kiss” by Prince. But I had made an even more fatal error. See, the person I called was a DJ, who then turned it into a five-minute song mix. It was given to someone I worked with and eventually it made the rounds.


27. A Bit Of A Mess

dog's facePhoto by Milli on Unsplash

A Hangouts notification popped up on the screen while the new boss was standing behind me to train me on a new program. The message from my husband asked, "How's the Pooper?" I was so focused on the task that she saw it before me. I only noticed when she collapsed to the floor uncontrollably laughing. I read it and immediately lost it too.

In tears from laughing, we were frantically talking over each other. She was trying to apologize for the unprofessional reaction, and I was trying to explain that Pooper was our dog's nickname because he was getting over a bout of diarrhea! The rest of the office was so confused!


28. Fluent Sarcasm

silver iMac with keyboard and trackpad inside roomPhoto by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

A couple of decades ago I was at a meeting with a few BizDev guys from a Japanese company we collaborated with. At the end of one of the design sessions, one of them said something to the others in Japanese and one of our artists who looked the part of a large, late-90s rapper responded in fluent Japanese. The meeting stopped, they stared, then asked for a few minutes alone.

Apparently, the exchange was: "I hate working with these guys, why do we continue this"? Trev, the rapper, said, "Of course you do. I mean, just look at us" or something to that effect. Ahh, memories.


29. Generational Problems

woman in white top wearing eyeglassesPhoto by RepentAnd SeekChristJesus on Unsplash

I was showing my grandma pictures. She chuckled and quickly gave me back the phone. I saw that my husband had texted me, and my stomach dropped: It said, "I hate it when I'm pooping and my junk touches the water. Big junk problems." We laughed, but my husband is still horrified by the thought of my grandma knowing about his "big junk problems."


30. How To Lose 150 Pounds In One Day

a man holding his stomach with his handsPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

In the early days of Facebook, my former father-in-law was just starting to discover it and connect with old friends. He was having fun seeing who gained weight, who got divorced, who’s a millionaire now, and so on. One guy he connected with gave him his phone number, so my father-in-law called him. The guy didn’t answer, so he left a message.

He said something like, “Hey Bill, it’s been a while. Just wanted to catch up. Give me a call back”, then he hit the end button and jokingly adds, “and I heard you got fat”! He looked down and to his horror the call was still active and recording the message. It probably sounded like, “….and I heard you got fat!….oh no! Oh my God, it didn’t hang up. Oh no, it’s still recor….click”.

To my knowledge, Bill never returned that call.


31. Want You Back

person in white long sleeve shirt holding black smartphonePhoto by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

A notification from a story app I play popped up while my boyfriend was holding my phone and said something like, "Mike misses you! Come back and play!" or something like that. Of course, all he did was pull the drop-down menu down to see the full notification and laugh. He teased me about it for hours.


32. Budding Bromance

red chevrolet crew cab pickup truckPhoto by Mary B on Unsplash

A few years ago a guy was on the phone with my boss while we were in his work truck. He had the speakers on and I could hear everything. The guy goes to sign off and out of habit from talking to his kids he said, “Okay, love you. Bye”. But this is what made the moment perfect: My boss didn’t skip a beat and replied, “Love you, too, brother. Bye”.


33. Get The Picture

people standing in front of white wallPhoto by Jimmy Jin on Unsplash

I was working at an Apple store as a Genius and was helping an older woman with her phone. This woman had to be in her late 60s early 70s, as sweet as could be, and was having some minor problems with her phone. So, she handed me her phone and just as she did, a message popped up with a picture of a toilet full of poo.

The message read, “How many times do I have to tell you to flush the stupid toilet?!” Not knowing really sure what to do, I gave it back and told her she had a message. She took the phone, half smiled, closed the message, and handed it back telling me, “Sorry about that, sweetheart, my daughter can be a bit of a jerk.”


34. Karen Mode Enabled

red and white leather padded chairPhoto by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

I once got a call from one of my three least favorite patients at a dental office. Her tone was always accusatory, even when she was calling to ask if we were open that day. After we hung up, I saw her call again on the caller ID.

I couldn’t pick up because I was now talking to another patient in person. Then I noticed line one (her line) is on for a long time…like she’s leaving a...five-minute message? I check my voicemail and indeed, I have a long message of her walking around a grocery store with her daughter.

She had pocket-dialed me. I listened to the whole thing. She was trash-talking our office, but the thing is she kept outlining how we went above and beyond: “Oh, they think the problem is resolved just because they called me back three times and I didn’t answer after I didn’t text them back”.

It was clear we were giving a ton of effort to this patient and she was unhappy anyway. She thought it made us look bad. About a year, later she finally transferred to another dentist. They asked for records and I sent X-rays and such. Eventually, she filed a complaint against that dentist.

I don’t know why. Anyway, we were asked to provide our records to the state board. When that happens you dig up everything you possibly can or it can look like you’re hiding something. I knew just what to do. Luckily, I had saved that voicemail, included it in an mp3, and sent it down on a thumb drive with everything else.

I don’t know if they even listened to this woman needlessly complaining about excellent service, but I do know her complaint was dropped by the state board.


35. Please Don’t Fill ‘Er Up

person crying beside bedPhoto by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

I had a lady call who was sobbing so hard I could barely understand her. I determined it wasn't a medical issue, but she wasn't making much sense through the sobbing. I finally got her to calm down a little so that she could relay what the issue was. She said that she was at a full-serve gas station (I didn't even know those existed anymore).

She told me that the attendant had pumped too much gas into her car, but she had only asked for $20 and they had filled her tank. Then she broke down sobbing again. I asked her if the attendant was being rude or if they were threatening her (because I still couldn't figure out what the crying was all about). She said, "No, the attendant apologized and they gave me a receipt for the gas."

“OK,” I said, “Then what is the issue?” She burst into tears again and said that she was afraid they would chase her down if she tried to leave and say that she had stolen the gas. I went over what the attendant said to her again, and that clearly the attendant acknowledged that it was a mistake, so she was free to leave.

She was still sobbing when I said I had to let her go because this was not a matter for us. The very next call I got came in on the non-emergency line and it's the attendant from the gas station. She's super worried about the lady having the meltdown over getting at least $20 in free gas. The attendant was pretty sure that the lady wasn’t fit to drive due to all of the tears.

The attendant was just as baffled as I was over the lady's reaction to free gas.


36. The Call Is Coming From Inside The House

white smartphone near laptopPhoto by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

I was invited to my friend's house for a girls night. My friend has a kid and when I arrived it was already past his bedtime, so I decided not to ring the doorbell but to call my friend on her mobile and ask her to let me in. I dial and then...nothing.

I wait and wait for the call to go through, but nothing happens. Okay, then. I hang up and try to get my friend's attention by gently knocking. It works, she lets me in, and we begin drinking. Shortly after, my friend gets a voicemail and listens to it. She goes pale, swears, and plays it for all of us.

It's some pretty loud heavy breathing. The sound of someone getting it on, basically. Gross. We're all pretty freaked out, wondering who would do something like that, and if they called her phone on purpose or if it was just some random dialing a random number.

After much discussion, she decides to use the "call this number back" option, and as she is too spooked to talk to whoever might be on the other end, I bravely volunteer, prepared to cuss out some pervert for messing with my friend. You can guess where this is going.

She hands me the phone, having already dialed. Everyone is waiting with bated breath and my heart is beating like crazy. It rings, rings…And my own phone on the table starts ringing! Turns out that when I was waiting in front of the door, completely out of breath after having biked there for 30 minutes and then climbed four flights of stairs, the call did in fact go through to her voicemail.

My heavy breathing sounds remarkably like getting it on.


37. Can I Take A Message?

silver imac on white tablePhoto by N.Tho.Duc on Unsplash

I was using my roommate's desktop Mac, and any notification you get on your iPhone will appear on-screen on all of your other Apple devices. I was on the computer in his bedroom while he was in the kitchen getting a snack, and he received a phone call from an unknown number. I saw the notification pop up on his screen.

I had an option to answer the call for him. I thought it would be funny if I took the call before he could answer it on his phone meaning he would have to run through to his bedroom where I would be silently laughing myself to an early grave. I clicked to answer expecting it to be some kind of cold-call, but it wasn’t.

That voice on the other end, amplified by my roommate's gratuitous speaker setup, went, “Hello. This is official business.” My soul then left my body. I absolutely cannonballed out of his room making the most apologetic eye contact I have ever made with a human being. He’d been caught in a “traffic incident” while out.

They got his contact details from the dashcam footage of his registration plate. They were calling him in for some questioning. It was a wonderfully devious experience, for which I was absolutely not prepared, and we have never spoken of it since.


38. That’s Wassup

white and gray concrete buildingPhoto by Giovanna on Unsplash

When I was a college exchange student in Germany I asked my mom to call my home university's housing department on my behalf to inquire about my assigned dorm room for the next school year. You couldn't book online back then and their telephone hold times were legendarily long. To call the university from Germany was way too expensive, so my mom called on my behalf.

She explained that I was abroad on exchange, but when the lady put her on hold to check on my assignment, she didn't mute the phone. My mom heard, “This lady is calling for her daughter. When are these parents going to make these kids grow up and manage their own lives"?

She then returned and told my mom that I didn't get my first or second building request, completely unaware that my mom had heard her. Guess who got their first building and room pick upon return?


39. Friends Are A Blessing

black and yellow smartphone casePhoto by Denis Cherkashin on Unsplash

In high school, my friends and I started this thing where we gave each other funny contact names in our phones based on inside jokes. My high school friends’ contact names are things such as Baby America, Sugar Mama, and even weirder names. When we were juniors, there was a girl who was obsessed with a friend.

This led to me changing his contact name to “Booty Lord” with some rather suggestive emojis following it. Everything was fine and dandy until a few months later, when I had forgotten about it. I was applying for a leadership position in a club where I was a member and was required to have two letters of recommendation.

For the second letter, I asked one of my teachers, who was a very conservative man in his late 70s, if he could write one for me. Being a lazy man, he told me to write the letter myself with all the things I wanted him to say in it. Then he’d sign. After I finished writing it, I handed him my phone to let him read it.

I needed him to approve it before I printed it out. About 45 seconds after I gave him my phone, he, very loudly and incredulously, said, “Booty Lord?” and gave me a horrified look and shoved the phone back into my hands. That was hard to explain.


40. A Creature Of Habit

woman wearing eyeglassesPhoto by Mosoianu Bogdan on Unsplash

During one of my cold calls at a call center, I was speaking to a seemingly very sweet if not a little sad-sounding old lady. She very politely told me something like, "No, I don't think so, it's just not a good time". We said our goodbyes, but as I'm navigating my software to hang up I realize she was still on the phone. Then it got really creepy.

I hear her walk a few paces, presumably to a sink where the faucet starts to run, and then she begins talking to herself. She repeats only that one phrase on a loop as if she's rehearsing it: "No I don't think so, it's just not a good time". She said it over and over in the same cadence and tone, for roughly two minutes before the creepiness got the better of my curiosity.


41. Sorry, Mom

a tablet computer sitting on top of a tablePhoto by David Švihovec on Unsplash

My roommate’s mom visited and we decided to go to lunch. While waiting, my roomie took out her iPad. We started playing Sorry. She didn't think of how all her devices were linked because a, "u wanna bang," text notification came on her screen. That was mortifying enough—but what came next was so much worse: A thumbnail of the dude’s junk. Sorry indeed.


42. Let Them Eat Cake

six teal icing cupcakes with sprinklesPhoto by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I work in a hospital and last week the operator was having a conversation with someone at 3:00 am. She did not realize it was broadcast over the entire hospital PA system. The conversation went like this: “I can’t believe they gave those nurses stupid cupcakes for nurses week. They should have gotten a bonus instead”.

I just about peed my pants laughing, but you know what? That lady was spot on.


43. Picture Perfect Parenting

turned on gold iphone 6Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

My father-and-law and I were looking at pictures on my phone. My wife texted me, and the banner on the top of the screen read, "I've been a bad girl. I need a spanking…or maybe just a hard pounding?" Dude looked at me. I answered, "What kind of daughter did you raise?" He did not laugh as hard as I think he should have.


44. Beyond Tasteless

woman in black headphones holding black and silver headphonesPhoto by Charanjeet Dhiman on Unsplash

One time I got a call from some lady at a call center, and from her voice you could tell she was a hefty type of gal —she was the heavy breathing type. Anyway, the call ended but I didn’t press end since I assumed they would. They didn’t. I could hear this lady talking to her coworkers about fried liver and onions.

The way she talked and gushed over it made it sound so lewd. It was disgusting. She said she has it at least once a day as her meal. She even made slurping sounds followed by some type of moaning. I’ve never felt so disgusted in my life listening to someone describe food.


45. She Who Shall Not Be Named

brown rotary dial telephone in gray painted roomPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My grandfather was once on the phone with his mother while his mother's sister was sitting beside her. When his mother went to hang up she said, “Love you, bye” as normal, but she forgot to hang up. It went from normal to tragic in an instant. The sister said, “You don’t really love him do you”?

To which his mother said, “No, not at all". Unfortunately, she outlived all her kids, but she passed on last year and I still refuse to call her my great-grandmother.


46. Did You Want Something?

two women laughing and holding a smartphonePhoto by Shingi Rice on Unsplash

My boyfriend has a friend that I have always suspected is in love with him. Once, she was showing me something on her phone, and a text from her mom popped up saying, “I still don’t understand why you can’t get with [bf’s name].” We pretended it didn’t happen.


47. The Math Ain’t Mathing

blue and white train under white clouds during daytimePhoto by Vadim Artyukhin on Unsplash

On my 21st birthday, I stupidly drank myself into oblivion. At the end of the night, I staggered over to the skytrain where there was this glorious 10-foot-tall stone abacus. Naturally, one's first instinct while under the influence is to play with an object of such wonder. It absolutely crushed my hand and broke through my fingernail.

But do I need a doctor? No way! I sauntered onto the train and proceeded to bleed profusely. A stranger handed me a glove to wrap around the wound and the rest of the night was a blur. Apparently, I had pocket-dialed my significant other when I sat on the train and he could hear people trying to offer me help while I screamed, "Don't trust the abacus! Screw the Abacus"!

Apparently, this went on for a long time before I started telling people that I injured my hand in the war. The moral of the story? You can't trust the abacus.


48. Scary Teenagers

woman walking near buildingPhoto by ian dooley on Unsplash

One of my classes in high school had a group chat to talk about homework and stuff, and when the nickname function got introduced, a lot of people ended up with exactly the type of nicknames you would expect from high schoolers. I was showing my dad a picture or something when the messenger bubble popped on the screen.

It said, "hxrny hardtick sent a message." My dad just like, awkwardly coughed and then stood up and walked away before I could explain. He never brought it up again, and I never got in trouble for it, so it could have been worse. I'm sure my dad was mildly traumatized seeing that on his teenage daughter's phone though.


49. The Way Of The Dododo

a person holding up a cell phone with the muppets on itPhoto by Brad on Unsplash

One time when I was using voip software on my work computer I was leaving a message for a client about data conversion services. After I left the message I thought I had hung up and I started singing the Jim Henson song, “Mana Mana Doo Doo Dododo”. Then noticed I was still on the call, so I hung up. I thought it was the wasn't.

The next morning I come in to check the conversion voicemails. There was a very clear and professional message left by the client. He left his contact number and said to have a nice day followed by a short pause. Then he starts to sing the same song from the first message, picking up where I had left off when I realized I was still being recorded by the voicemail.

It was hilarious and made my day.


50. Nothing to Hide

woman in black tank top covering her face with her handsPhoto by Julia Taubitz on Unsplash

Oh boy, I have one and it is famous at my company now. I was the one to see the notification.

I teach English in China and two years ago I arrived at my first job about a month late thanks to visa issues. I survive the first two days OK and now it’s Friday and I get invited to a co-worker’s apartment to hang out, have a beer and meet some other expats. There's just a handful of us chatting and drinking casually.

Sometime later people have walked off or called it a night and it’s just me, a guy and a girl sitting on a couch. The guy shows me his phone, he wants to show me this mobile game that's very popular here in China. As he's doing this, a message pops up. It reads:

"I want your body in my mouth right now." It’s from the other girl in the room.

Me and the guy make brief eye contact immediately and then I look at her. She goes beet red and leaves the room. I'm then informed that I am the second person other than them in the company to know that the two of them are an item. She wasn't a shy girl at all and we now frequently make reference to this event.

And here’s a bonus happy ending: Mr. Body and Ms. Mouth are getting married this summer too!