We've all seen those internet threads and memes about things you'd have at the check-out lane that might make someone think you're a killer. We never thought that situation would happen in the real world - but this Reddit user is convinced they met a killer in real life, and they're not the only ones with a story like this:
Have you ever met a killer? Or think you've met one?
I made a throwaway account to post this because it still creeps me out, 12 years later, and I don't want it linked to my account that could identify me.
About 12 years ago I was in my early 20s and living in a southern state in the US. Late one night I realized I urgently needed to buy something and so I went to the only store near me I knew was open — a Wal-Mart Supercenter that was open 24/7. This store is right off a major US interstate exit (I-85) and it was a weekday around 1 AM in the morning when I was at the store. The parking lot of this store is huge and often truckers (big rigs) would park their trucks in the lot overnight, along with some random campers and RVs.
I was in line to check out and immediately noticed the man in front of me. The store was otherwise almost empty. He was youngish white guy, average build, maybe 30s? He was hunched over, with a baseball cap bunched down over much of his face. He purchased these items: a shovel, three pack of duct tape, rope, a set of zip ties, a box of latex gloves, a pair of leather gloves, an empty gas container (the red plastic kind), and a disposable cell phone (one of those "Trac Phone" type things). He seemed to be unwilling to engage with the check out person (who also seemed annoyed to be working at 1 AM on a Tuesday - fair enough). He paid in cash.
Now even if he wasn't buying those items I think I would have felt creeped out — there was something just off about the situation to me. I know that sounds crazy, but I just sensed something "wrong." But to buy those specific items together (and nothing else), to buy them at 1 AM on a Tuesday, and to pay cash?!?
I waited in the store for a long time and asked the assistant night manager to walk me to my car (which he didn't want to do, but finally agreed). The next day I called the local FBI field office and explained/reported the situation. The people taking the complaint asked me repeatedly if I was calling in response to a specific crime (uhh, creepiness?) but took my information.
Didn't hear of anything or see anything on the news that caused alarm.
A few months later the FBI local office reached back out to me to ask if I paid with a credit card at Wal-Mart (I did).
I never heard from them again. I have no idea who the man was, what he was doing, who he may have harmed, or where he did it. I don't know if he's been captured or not. But I'm pretty darn sure I witnessed someone buying things to murder someone else.
Anyone else ever have a run-in with someone they suspected of killing someone else?
Turns out YES, people DID have stories. Holy crap. Here are a few, edited for language and clarity if needed. Oh - and TRIGGER WARNING for... um ... everything, this is an article about killers. Proceed with caution.
"I Shook The Same Hands That Killed..."
Journalist at a local newspaper doing the Sunday evening shift. Got a call about a guy whose car had been hijacked with his 2 year old son in it. I met him at the police station to interview him, get a pic of the kid so we could publish and ask people to be on the lookout etc. The man was devastated. I'd been a journalist for years, traveled all over, I was no pushover and generally really good at reading people. This man was clearly in a state. I had a hard time staying professional and not bawling my eyes out in front of him.
At the end of the interview I clasped his hands tightly, trying to convey how awful I found his situation to be. I told him all I could do was write the best story possible. Maybe someone would read it, see the pic and help find the kid.
I didn't sleep that night.
The next day (day off after weekend shift) one of my colleagues phoned me, they'd found the body of the little boy at a rubbish dump. And they'd arrested his father for the murder. He'd had issues with the boy's mother so murdered his own son out of spite or something. I don't know. I don't want to know. He made up the story of the hijacking.
All I know is I shook the same hands that had killed a little boy. I cried for him while he just played me, knowing he'd killed his son just hours before.
That haunted me for years.
The Guy On The SubwayGiphy
My mom in her late teens - early 20s living in Toronto around the time the Scarborough Rapist, Paul Bernardo, was active. My mom told me that during this time, women in the area (including herself) were super paranoid about being victimized.
One night she was on the subway and a young guy was sitting across from her who she noticed kept staring at her. She felt uncomfortable especially due to her paranoia, and decided to test her gut feeling by standing up - he stood up too. She quickly sat down, and tried it one more time before the next stop. Again, he got up when she did. Eventually her stop came up and she decided to get off. The guy got off too, and she said she immediately knew something bad would happen. He started following her and she bolted. She got lucky as she crossed the middle of the street because a bunch of vehicles passed and he couldn't cross, and she never saw him again.
My mom told me that when Paul Bernardo was caught, she saw his picture in the news and felt chills - he was the guy on the subway. When I saw pictures of his victims, I also felt chills because when my mom was in her 20's, she looked exactly like one of them. It's pretty scary. He was denied parole.
A Discussion About Morality And Religion
Freshman year of college, I was in a very small English class. It was a super small class so we got pretty comfortable with each other.
A couple months into the semester, a 10 -year old girl was kidnapped, and later found murdered. It was a major news story in Colorado. The biggest shock was finding out that the killer, Austin, was in my English class.
Before he was arrested, we had done a class review of people's papers and my professor pulled my classmates essay up on the projector. It was odd though, because his papers were usually well-written but this was full of grammatical and spelling errors and fragmented ideas going nowhere. Austin told us he was sorry about all the mistakes and that the draft was rushed because he was busy and couldn't focus. After he was arrested, a classmate realized that was a day or two after she was kidnapped and murdered.
One day, me and him had walked together to our cars and had a discussion about morality and religion. That conversation stuck with me a lot, especially when some more details of his life and what lead up to the murder came out.
I still get an icky feeling about it.
Her Yellow Dress
My mom told me that when she was a kid her and her mom were driving on a highway when they saw two men taking a woman out of the trunk of the car and moving her to another car. The car was in the opposing direction and this was before they had cell phones. By the time they got to the other side of the road both cars were gone. Reported it to police but they never heard anything. My mom can't forget about her yellow dress.
I dated one for a few months! I ended up breaking it off because I always got a super weird vibe being alone with him. Near the end I was making all of our nights out into double dates or just bringing a friend along, so I figured it was better just to break it off.
He ended up beating two people to death while they were in their bed and then he moved the bodies and slept on their bloody mattress for 3 days. He was then caught and is now in prison.
Gerard Baden Clay was a customer of ours at my old work he was a real prick to deal with and I was the only one who could ever satisfy his unrealistic expectations. When the news broke his wife had gone missing my colleagues and I all thought instantly that he had done something. All the news stories and people close to him came out saying what a wonderful man he was and we were all thinking wtf? He was the biggest piece of sh!t person i have ever met. Really slimy guy typical of a real estate agent.
He would frequently go off his nut and get abusive over the smallest things to my co workers. When he would try it on me I'd just smile and say "Ok Gerard" fix the problem and leave.
Moms Know ThingsGiphy
My ex went on to murder a future girlfriend. I was a teenager and my mom insisted that he was creepy even though he seemed so nice and treated me well. She actually forbid me to see him which was a something that only ever happened with him so I did gently end things. Moms KNOW things.
Bait & Tackle & The FBI
Unsure of the actual crime(s) as we weren't given exact details, but my husband worked in a bait & tackle/camping type store for awhile. Guy came in, gathered a few expensive camping supplies, zero degree sleeping bag, tent, backpack, boots, etc. He goes to ring him up, the card won't go thru so the guy just grabs his card back and ditches everything, leaves. A few minutes later the store received a call from the FBI asking if he was still there, if they knew what vehicle he may have been driving, do they have video recording in/around the store (they did). They sent agents out that afternoon to the headquarters for copy of the tapes. We never heard anything after that, but definitely creepy.
Changed My Views On Evil
A guy I was best friends with when we were 6-13 years old (i went on holiday with him a couple of times) is now serving 27 years for murder. The weirdest thing is he was a nice kid, just troubled, then got mixed up with the wrong people etc.
It completely changed my view on what constitutes "evil". What he did was terrible but he isn't an evil guy. Makes me think that lots of "evil" people aren't intrinsically bad, just have terrible circumstances; however that doesn't absolve them of what they do.
I still see his mum from time to time, she's a close family friend and a lovely woman.
Another Kind Of Victim
Three of the "popular" boys I went to high school with went over to a man's house to rob him and then beat him to death. All of them got 25 to life.
I didn't know them too well because I ran in different circles, but I distinctly remember the next few weeks in school because a large population of our high school was devastated about them doing this/getting sentenced. I was friends with one of the guys' little sisters and she was so heartbroken. They had a counselor come and talk to every class repeatedly. It reminds me how friends/family of the perpetrators can, in a way, also be victims.
No Call/No Show
I used to work with a guy named Erik Grumpelt who ended up killing another co-worker of ours. He ended up sleeping with her body under his bed for 2 to 3 months, the sick bastard.
I knew them both. Our work was very quiet & in shock the day we all heard about it We just couldn't believe it. What really messed with me was that she had been missing for a couple months and nobody reported her missing or thought it was odd for her to just disappear.
Work just marked her down as a "no call/no show" and eventually terminated her employment. There was no follow up. Like, no other coworkers attempted to contact her? Or if they did try to, they didn't think it was odd when they never could get ahold of her?
And what about her family? None of them noticed she was gone for 3 months & never showed up to work?
The entire thing just messed with my head. The only reason all this was found out was because Erik couldn't live with the guilt anymore and came clean to his dad, who immediately called the police.
Part of me wonders if he hadn't done that, how much longer it would've been before anyone started looking for her.
If you Google his name you'll see plenty of news articles about it.
Over the next couple years we would sometimes receive calls from debt collectors at work asking for him. As far as I know, debt collectors aren't allowed to call places of business, but I could be wrong.
Anyways, I would always tell them that they probably wouldn't be hearing from him anytime soon & to Google his name if they want to know why.
She Never Stopped Loving HimGiphy
Not me, but my mom met Richard Ramirez. Her aunt used to babysit her and dated Richard and would bring my mom along because she would go out with him on nights that she was supposed to watch my mom. My mom hated him--she thought he was really creepy. My great aunt loved him though. She never stopped. He sent her a wedding gift while he was on death row. She mourned him when he passed. F*cked up because my aunt is a bible banging Christian and disowned my mom for coming out as gay.
Hanging Out With Javy
I was a sophomore in high school in 2011. One night my friend, Danny, asked me if I wanted to hang out. I said yeah and invited my best friend to come along; Danny invited his friend Javy. Danny picked us up we stopped by a gas station. I got out of the car with Danny. Javy also got out. We paid and went to out the gas in the car we finished and Javy was still inside the store. We were just waiting then we see him running yelling at Danny:
"Turn on the car! Hurry!"
He had stolen beer. Danny didn't seem to happy that Javy didn't at least warn him of what he was planing to do. He could've gotten caught. We get back to Danny's place where Javy seemed like he had an interest in my best friend he was trying to talk to her but he wasn't her type. Javy didn't quite make a good impression, but at the time that was Danny's close friend. Spring break came along and we started hanging out more going out bowling and just hanging out at Danny's house and going to the movies. Javy kinda grew on me, but one thing I've always noticed was that Danny never left us girls alone with him. Class had resumed and we didn't hang out with Danny as much because had graduated already.
I live in a quiet neighborhood where nothing really happens no robberies, violence, such things like that. Until we did hear a girl that got murdered near where we live people started making it a big deal because that's unheard of there. One day I was getting ready in my mom's room and heard the news talking about the story.
I didn't think anything of it until I happened to walked by the TV and there was Javy's picture there. I stood there frozen. I cried out "That's Javy!" and just started crying. My mom kept asking me what's wrong so I explained that was who I hung out with them my whole spring break. I called my best friend and told her to turn on the news. We watched in shock.
Apparently, Javy stalked her on her way home from a friends. He raped her, stabbed her and then burned her body. To this day I get the chills to think what he was capable of. He got sentenced to death.
All On Camera
My high school boyfriend had this best friend, who we spent a lot of time with, that I was always a little meh about. Our main hang out place was the friends' house. I appreciated his parents for letting us hang out. After I graduated I left the boyfriend and never saw either of them again. About 2 years ago it was reported that the best friend had a psychotic break and murdered his father. His family was concerned about his well being and had installed cameras and caught it all on camera.
What WAS Unthinkable
We went to school together, and I tore his ACL in practice. I went to college in upstate NY at SUNY Geneseo. His name was Colin Kingston. I knew him by name, if we saw each other wed give a nod and say "yo". I played Rugby and he was really good friends with some other guys on the team so he would show up at parties and gatherings every now and again. He even came to a few practices but was an upper classman and I guess focused more on getting out of school at the time. At one practice I tackled him and he fell the wrong way tearing his ACL. I remember because I felt really bad about it. He was a casual member of team and I remember feeling some guilt that he would be injured causing him to miss whatever games he would've been able to play. A couple years after graduation, he was maybe 2-3 years older than I, his girlfriend, still a current student, breaks up with him.
Early Sunday morning he drives to her house and stabs her and, I'm assuming, her new boyfriend. The victims were Kelsey Annesse and Matthew Hutchinson. Both Student athletes, her a basketball player, and he a hockey recruit. The murder happened early morning so maybe he walked in on them sleeping, I'm not sure. After he realized what he had done he phoned his dad and confessed saying he was going to take his own life thus turning it into a double murder suicide.
In an even more chilling twisted my good friend and teammate was dating, and still is, one of Kelseys teammates. They knew and played with each other. The incident comes across conversation every so often in our friend group. It really grounded us in terms of the unimaginable. What was unthinkable was now real and we were very close to the epicenter. We all got a little more protective of the women in our lives, both romantic and platonic.
Time For All Of This
I was engaged to one. I've known him since I was 14. He brutally murdered and sexually assaulted his neighbor one night and was able to keep it hidden for almost a decade. He's now on trial. When they discovered his DNA and arrested him, not only did I find this out but I also found out he was involved with many other women across the country and locally. I have no idea how he had time for all of this.
"The Bad Man Tickled Mommy"
Yes. When I was in high school a student teacher approached me and my friend to go drink with him in a motel room. We were not attracted to him in the slightest and laughed at the proposition. That made him angry.
He happened to be friends with a family member of mine who was older and an established member of the community. He told my family member that me and my friends were selling drugs (no way, we were lucky to find a little weed on the weekend).
My family member believed him and began a "we must find out what [me] is doing!" campaign. I came clean about smoking a bit of weed but also shared what this asshole had done. It fell on deaf ears.
A year later, this man murdered his wife in their driveway while their 3 year old son watched. The 3 year old was quoted as saying, "the bad man tickled Mommy." He stabbed her to death.
He is still in jail as far as I know and my family member apologized.
Mono Saved Her LifeGiphy
I studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile, in 2010. There is a bar called Cafe Journal that was/is very popular with tourists on Wednesday nights. Unfortunately, I had mono during most of my semester abroad (undiagnosed until I got home to see a doctor) so I had a hard time keeping up with the Latin American college student party lifestyle. I was always the first one of my friends to go home. But I really wanted to go to Cafe Journal on this particular night because our semester was rapidly coming to an end and I wouldn't get many more chances.
I showed up, had a few drinks, got extremely tired right away (as one does with mono.) I decided I'd get ready to leave, and visit the baño real quick. On my way back to my friends, I was approached by a guy I didn't know, whose accent sounded like he was trying to imitate a Chilean. He was friendly at first, but I really just wanted to GTFO and go to bed, so I told him it was nice to meet but I was leaving. He became immediately concerned for my safety and tried to convince me to stay with him. It wasn't safe to go home alone in that area. It's notable that, as a petite blonde American, I looked quite out of place at this bar (even with an abundance of other tourists present) and he had no way of knowing if I was just passing through.
But by this point, I had already lived in the area for a few months and was quite aware of what was and what was not safe to do. In this case, it was totally fine for me to take a colectivo (taxi with a fixed route that picks up and drops off passengers along the way) by myself, so I knew this guy was either being machismo or weird. He stayed friendly but became very pushy and even more "concerned." None of my friends gave a shit I was leaving alone, so neither did I. My gut told me to get away from this as fast as possible. My aching body said "IDGAF JUST LET ME SLEEP!"
I realized I needed to ghost him. I relented to his concern and excused myself to say goodbye to my friends, then he could escort me home to "safety." I went over to my friends' table and told them this weird guy was being pushy about leaving together, and I am trying to leave by myself, so be worried if they don't get a text from me within 30 mins. I made eye contact with him from a distance and acknowledged him.
Then, I said "fuck politeness" and hauled ass out of there! I did my best to put as many people between me and him in the crowd, using my short height to hide in the shadows of drunk people. I walked the longest possible way out of the bar as I could, and headed in the opposite direction of the colectivo line to a very well-lit late-night burger restaurant next door. I bought myself a plate of fries hoping I'd kill enough time that he thought I left without him. It worked; I walked back over to the colectivos, made sure he was gone, had an uneventful ride home back to my host parents' place, and passed out safe in bed.
Creepy, pushy bar guy's face was all over the news by the weekend. He was Joran van der Sloot, and I met him the night before he was arrested for the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez.
Loud, Obnoxious and Entertaining
When I was in high school, I was the new kid and had no friends. At lunch, I'd sit in the hallway and do my homework. There were other kids that would hang out there and we'd talk a bit. There was one girl who was clearly on drugs most days. She was loud and obnoxious, but she was entertaining to listen to.
One night she and two of her friends robbed a house and beat the disabled man who lived there to death with a hammer. They then went to a party and told everyone. One party goer went to the police and she was caught trying to leave town the next day.
Killers Are All Around Us
Most people don't realize that killers are all around us. When I worked as an outdoor, downtown-wide security guard, we had to remember a list of POIs. On the list were several murderers and rapists who had done their time and were set free.
They often roamed busy streets and, if they weren't homeless, then they looked like normal people. It's weird walking past someone- daily, mind you- knowing they killed someone.
Y'all know that one Hannah Montana song? “Everybody makes mistakes! Everybody has those days!" That's the song I sing to myself every time I accidentally burn myself while making ramen. It comforts me to know, however, that there are a lot of worse mistakes out there than some spilled ramen. Who knew?
In fact, some mistakes are so astronomical that they're remembered for decades afterwards, leaving the one who made the mistake a legacy of being a dumba**. Here are a few of them!!!
Some may argue that the existence of the Universe was a mistake. I disagree. It was clearly Zayn leaving One Direction. But these next few were pretty bad too.
If you do the math, this is also the reason why Hentai exists.
I'll say the wrong turn Franz Ferdinand's driver made that went right in front of Gavrilo Princip.
EDIT: yes I'm aware war may still have broken out even if Franz Ferdinand wasn't assassinated
Imagine you're Gavrilo Princip. The assassination plot you and your friends had been cooking up for about the last year or so has been a complete and total disaster, just a monumental f*ck-up of the highest degree. You're staked out at this deli thinking maybe, just maybe the car will pass by, and by some stroke of sheer luck, it does.
If you're Princip, this is nothing short of serendipity.
Petition to return to the ocean.Ocean Surf GIFGiphy
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams
This was, in fact, a monumental mistake.
Sears not beating Amazon to the punch.
Blockbuster not buying Netflix.
You thought THOSE were bad? Well gear up for their next few, because they are 100% accurate. Except the one about Cats, that movie slaps.
I don’t know sports, but sure.
Seahawks not running it.
I used to wear a Seahawks jersey whenever I took a test because I knew I would pass when I shouldn't.
CATS is great, y'all are just boring.Giphy
The Emoji Movie.
That live action movie about Cats is also up there.
Very fair point.
Humans are not wired to have that many social interactions and maintain that many relationships. Plus the echochambers it allows people to create for themselves, no matter how conspiratorial or vile their beliefs, means that stupid/evil people are no longer shunned into changing their mind.
Not sure it was worth being able to see what a celebrity had for lunch or what new "dance" your younger cousin and her tween friends are doing.
But in all seriousness, some horrible things may now have happened if the right thing was halted at the right time.
Washington called it.George Washington Disney GIF by Hamilton: An American MusicalGiphy
Voting for people based on what side of the political spectrum they're on. George Washington himself advised against political parties because he thought they would cause too much division in this country. Unfortunately for everyone, he was right.
Big oops on that one.
Barack Obama mocking Donald Trump at the Correspondents Dinner might have led directly to his 2016 run....
"Now, I know that he's taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald," Obama said. "And that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter — like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?"
Then he turned serious: "But all kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example — no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of 'Celebrity Apprentice' — at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled."
This is the best Star Wars and no one can change my mind.
I'll take 'Star Wars Christmas Special' for $100.
That atrocious pile of manure gave us Boba Fett, so without the Christmas Special there won't be The Mandalorian.
Wow, in this article, I openly admitted my love for Cats AND The Star Wars Holiday Special. So maybe my existence was the biggest mistake of all.
ANYWAY, I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all feel a little bit better about yourself. Because when push comes to shove, at least you didn't accidentally start World War I
When I was younger, it seemed every adult believed that you couldn't swim for several hours after eating. Why did they all believe this? I fought them on this all the time, by the way. I shouldn't have had to, just because I'd eaten some barbecue during a pool party. Guess what, though? That belief is unfounded.
After Redditor MelonInACat asked the online community, "What is a common myth that has been debunked that too many people believe?" people told us about the myths that are still around despite credible evidence.
"Do you know how many wellness checks..."
You must wait 24 hours before reporting a missing person.
- 24 hours from when? The time you realized they were missing? The time you estimate they went missing? The time of the initial report to police?
- Who is the legal timekeeper? If this is a law, it must have a designated timekeeper for official records. City police? County sheriff? Do I hire a private attorney to file a time-keeping motion in court?
- If the most likely time to find a missing person is the first 24 hours, why would you wait 24 hours?
- If the person dies or is severely injured because the county/state refused to initiate a search, doesn't that put some liability on their office? It seems like that would've been tested in court by now.
There's no law governing how long you have to wait before notifying the police of a missing person. It's nonsense. File a report as soon as you suspect the person is missing or in danger.
Do you know how many wellness checks officers go on in a day? Call it in, man...
CALL IT IN!
Why would you wait so long? It's absurd and wastes valuable time. And in the event something has happened, you could very well be saving someone's life.
"Popping your knuckles..."
Popping your knuckles is actually harmless and the "study" that claimed it caused arthritis was heavily flawed. Studies now show that it has nothing to do with causing arthritis.
I heard this one all the time.
I didn't crack my knuckles anyway because I didn't understand the appeal. Why were all the first-graders so fascinated by this?
"That if you get too close..."
That if you get too close to a baby bird, the mother will smell human on the baby and abandon the nest.
You probably should still avoid touching baby birds for other reasons like disease or risking injury to the animal though.
"That waking a sleepwalker..."
That waking a sleepwalker is dangerous for them. They might wake up confused, but they'll be fine unless you scream at them or something.
"That your hair and fingernails..."
That your hair and fingernails still grow after you die. It's mainly an optical illusion. Your skin decays and shrinks, causing hair and fingernails to look like they've grown.
I grew up hearing this.
There are entire generations of people who believe this.
"We all know the story."
The War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938. We all know the story: Orson Welle's broadcast War of The Worlds over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). But people only tuned in partway through and heard the radio announcing that machines were landing in the country and were advancing and attacking. People panicked in the streets and thought aliens really were invading. There was hysteria on the streets, people were looting and traffic jams backed up as people tried to escape.
But it turns out, that isn't really true. It turns out barely anyone actually listened to the broadcast, and the few that were listening knew it was Orson Welles and knew it was just a broadcast of War of the Worlds. If there was anyone that did tune in and mishear it and panicked, it was nowhere near the hundreds and thousands that have been reported in this myth.
This one is definitely a popular urban myth by this point.
Cool story, but nowhere near as exciting as you might have heard. If anything, that mythos probably helped Welles get full artistic control of the projects, like Ciitizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, that made him a star.
"You don't have to wait..."
You don't have to wait 3 hours after eating to swim. Every summer I have to fight my in-laws about it.
"Do you really think..."
That not turning your airplane mode on (smartphone) can interfere/jam communications.
Do you really think if a smartphone might endanger a whole plane with passengers they would let it fly?
"No amount of reasoning..."
That cats kill babies.
I've run into this so many times since having kids. And it's not the older grandmas making these statements. I've had 20-year-olds tell me that you can't have cats if you plan to have babies because "they'll steal their breath" or some other variation. No amount of reasoning or rationale will dissuade them of this belief.
"Maybe it's just one of those things..."
YOUR. BLOOD. IS. NOT. BLUE! Seriously tho, I was told that everyone's blood was blue on the inside when I was younger, and I honestly don't know why my Mom thought that. Maybe it's just one of those things that you only believe because your family has been saying it since your Grandma's Grandpa's Grandma's Grandma's Grandpa or something like that.
Here's some valuable advice, guys:
Google is your friend. It's very easy to debunk this stuff. I remember being taught that the tongue had taste zones––we even had to fill out a worksheet labeling the tongue's different zones. That's totally wrong, in case you haven't figured it out.
Have some myths you've heard you'd like more people to know have already been debunked? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!
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As much as we're not supposed to feel satisfaction upon observing the struggles of other people, it can be hard to resist a silent, internal fist pump when some blunder occurs immediately after we tried to help the person prevent it.
It is all a result of stubbornness.
The person we're trying to help is stubborn. They think they know the best way to do something, or the exact information required for a given moment.
And, on top of that, they think we're being stubborn when we try to intervene.
So all of our attempts to help fall on deaf ears. And the results can be as calamitous as they are satisfying.
TenaciousBrit asked, "What's your 'I told you so' moment?"
Many people chose to talk about the times their friends or family ended up producing some truly entertaining physical comedy.
And the laughter was only enhanced with the knowledge that they'd just predicted the whole thing.
"Was picking beans with my sister and mom. To this day I still don't know why the fence was electric but it was. I touched it and I got zapped. It wasn't too bad but it hurt. I jumped away and my sister saw me, I said that it was an electric fence."
"Of course she just thought I was pranking her. I was trying to tell her the whole time we picked beans but she didn't believe me. Right at the end she touched the fence and she didn't see it coming at all... Her face was just like, 'Oh shi-' "
"Loved the car ride home, 'I told you... Idiot.' "
No Babies, Two Hurt Backs
"My sister and I were out sledding when we were kids at this place with a really steep hill. I had unknowingly gone down a sled path that had a jump in it, and when I landed it really hurt my back."
"So when I got back up to the top of the hill I told my sister 'don't go that way, the jump really hurts.' She called me a baby and didn't believe me that it really hurt so she decided she would go down that path on her sled."
"Well, she hit the jump and didn't get back up, turns out she fell so hard she had broken her leg. When we finally got her back up the hill and to the car, I got to tell her 'I told you so.' "
"This dumb a**hole woman wouldn't leave the llamas at our petting zoo alone, even after I warned her."
"Eventually they had enough and spit alllll over her. Green goopy spit from head to torso."
"She threw up a bunch and I laughed. Until I smelled it and then I was retching too."
Others recalled the times they trusted their instincts, only to be gaslighted by medical professionals.
But they did, eventually, get the help they needed. And the mixture of pride and frustration toward the other doctor was palpable.
"Had a weirdly dark freckle. The color of chocolate. I showed spouse and he called me a hypochondriac and if I go to a doctor, I'd be wasting their time."
"I went to the dermatologist. It was melanoma."
Years of Itchy Apples
"Since I was 14, my throat got itchy when I ate apples. I told my mom but she thought I just didn't want to eat apples and forced me to eat them."
"Went to the doctor's office and got a test for allergies."
"Turns out, I'm allergic to apples, peaches, and many other fruits."
This Was a Baby We're Talking About Here!
"My newborn baby was projectile vomiting after every feeding. I took her to the doctor several times, always ended up being sent away with suggestions to try a different formula. I tried like 4 different ones, no change."
"The 4th or 5th visit, they sent me away again with the same recommendation even though I pleaded with them to figure out what was wrong with my baby. I left the office and drove to the ER instead. She ended up having emergency surgery that day."
"The surgeon said she would have starved to death (or maybe dehydrated?) had she gone much longer without the surgery. I gave the doctors in that office a piece of my mind."
Dirt: Not Always the Answer
"Went to the doctor on and off for breathing problems to no avail. A lot of 'rub some dirt on it' mentality. Wound up in the ER as a result of an asthma attack. Kept the bracelet on and everything when I went back the next week to see him."
"Not as satisfying as I would've hoped."
And some people discussed the times they knew or predicted a piece of information, but couldn't seem to persuade someone else through dialogue or conversation.
But, of course, the truth always comes out.
Chose the Wrong Partner
"Lawyer here. Fired a partner who I found some real irregularities in their spending habits vs. what they were making after he couldn't provide a good answer to where it came from. Other partner left and started a new firm with them because they disagreed with my decision and refused to look at the evidence."
"Turns out he stole 500k of a clients money, got disbarred, and is now facing prison time. I told her to look at the evidence and she didn't listen. 🤷🏼♂️"
"Someone started talking about a bottle of Newman's Own salad dressing while at dinner with my family and I said something like 'I'm pretty sure that was started by the Actor/Race car driver Paul Newman.' to which one of my siblings replied 'No it was someone else.' "
"I grabbed the bottle and turned it around and started reading the label out loud. The first sentence was 'Paul Newman's career was acting, but his passion was auto racing.' I stopped reading after that."
He Knew Immediately
"Bed frame wasn't properly lashed down while moving, partner insisted the weight of the frame would keep it in place."
"Flew into the middle of a major intersection on a left turn. We dodged four lanes of oncoming traffic to collect the pieces."
"I fixed my partner with a look that could peel paint, and he said 'I know, I know, you told me so and you're right. I'm sorry.' "
"I still give him sh** for it every time we move something. It's funny now, but god damn was I pissed at the time."
We can draw a couple of lessons from this list.
First, know that, at the end of the day, you can only do your best to share your opinion. You need to accept that they're going to do what they're going to do.
Second, when someone tries to give you advice, maybe take a moment to listen.
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One of the most upsetting aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic––which is saying a lot, frankly––is the number of people who have been so affected by misinformation and disinformation. You know the ones to which I refer: These are the people who are convinced the virus is a hoax despite the lives it's claimed and the devastation it has wrought on society at large. Disinformation kills––there are stories of people who remained convinced that Covid-19 is a hoax even while intubated in the ICU, even up to their last breath.
After Redditor asked the online community, "Doctors of Reddit, what happened when you diagnosed a Covid-19 denier with Covid-19?" doctors and other medical professionals shared these rather unsettling stories.
"The one that sticks out in my mind..."
I'm a doctor working in acute internal medicine. I've seen lots of COVID over the last 12 months, probably 300+ cases. The one that sticks out in my mind the most was a 70-year-old lady with COPD. She refused to have a vaccine because she didn't trust it despite the fact she was eligible for one for weeks beforehand (in the UK). Subsequently caught COVID and was admitted to hospital. She repeatedly doubted this was the diagnosis. She refused to go to our COVID High Dependency Unit despite quite significant respiratory failure. Of course, she deteriorated over a number of days to the point where she was on maximal oxygen on the ward and at that point finally accepted treatment in HDU with high flow oxygen, although continued to doubt she had COVID. Died within 24 hours of her HDU admission having refused to go to ICU.
And of course, what did her family say? They were convinced she never had COVID and even went as far as accusing us of withholding life-saving treatment from her. Unfortunately, there's no treatment for stupidity.
Indeed there isn't.
A completely avoidable tragedy.
"My worst experience..."
My worst experience was when a 2-year-old kid got diagnosed with COVID. His mother had brought him with c/o fever and diarrhea. The child was severely dehydrated and so we had to do a mandatory swab test since we planned to admit him. It came positive and the mother refused to admit it. We were ready to perform a repeat test and we even advised the parents to get tested. Her defense was "The child never left the house. It's just me and the father who go to work daily. The grandmother babysits while we are away. How can he even get COVID without leaving the house." She had called her husband, he came with 10-15 relatives in a car, they broke a few chairs and then left with the baby. We just informed about the case to the COVID control centre.
"Only one patient ever accused me..."
Infectious disease doctor here. Seen about 450-500 COVID patients in the hospital since it all started. Only one patient ever accused me of using the nasal swab to give him COVID (along with a microchip). A handful have ranted nonstop about China. Everyone else has been sick enough to accept it, but lots still refuse the idea of vaccination even after being in the ICU.
"I had a lady who was maxed out..."
I had a lady who was maxed out on high flow (the next step is breathing tube) who still refused to believe she had Covid and was holding a negative test in her hand that she had taken a week prior.
The denial is so strong here.
It would be sad if it wasn't so horrifying.
"I'm an attending physician..."
I'm an attending physician at our Triage Unit. On a Friday, an older gentleman (60 + years) came in with his entire family (wife, sister, BIL, 2 nephews, and 3 children), none of them with a face mask. All had mild COVID symptoms except him, he was saturating 80% with evident shortness of breath. We insisted on doing PCR and a chest CAT scan looking for COVID but he and his wife refused, saying that COVID wasn't real and it was just a bacterial infection. The more we talked with him the more agitated he got to the point that his face was red. We suggested hospitalizing him to stabilize him and start treatment, but they accused us of exaggerating his symptoms and that we only wanted to hospitalize him so we could steal the liquid in his knees (a stupid rumor that was going around when this whole thing started).
They both cursed at us and said they were going to a better hospital to get antibiotics. Fast forward 24 hours later on Saturday, I get a call from the hospital next county over telling us that they intubated one of our patients because he went into respiratory failure when he arrived and they had to transfer him here because they don't have the appropriate equipment. We transfer the patient on Sunday only to find out on the CAT scan he had 90% of lung damage. He passed away on Monday morning.
Just before the family took the body away, I gave the widow the death certificate (that I filled out) and before walking away, she turns around and waves the certificate yelling "See! I told you it wasn't COVID! It says here: "Death due to pulmonary pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2! I knew it was a bacteria!" I told her: "SARS-CoV-2 is COVID-19, ma'am."
The lengths people are willing to go to stay in denial astound me.
Basic critical thinking appears to have gone out the window here.
I'm a family doc who mostly does outpatient.
I live in a pretty conservative area with a good proportion of COVID deniers, so I've been seeing COVID deniers since this mess became politicized (I've lost a few patients over the mask mandate).
Anyway, I'm pretty pleased to say that several of my COVID denying patients have completely turned their attitude around when they (or a close family member) contracted COVID. Even if their case wasn't severe, the sudden terror that they could wind up on a ventilator overnight really puts the fear of God into people.
Unfortunately, I still have some patients who are still pretty obnoxious despite their covid diagnosis. They mostly dig deeper into paranoia. If not about the virus itself, then about the circumstances surrounding them contracting it.
"If Fauci had done his job from the beginning, it never would've hit this town."
"It's the entire fault of Obamacare that I can't get the experimental immunoglobulin treatment!" (It's not, your eligibility for the infusion is dependent on a list of risk factors).
And, probably my favorite...
"So I have COVID and it's completely your responsibility to fix it. I need you to send Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vit D, Lisinopril, and azithromycin to the pharmacy..." Then they proceed to get pissed at me when I don't.
"During our peak time..."
I'm an emergency department physician in the US. I work in an area that had the highest death rate for a solid couple of weeks in the country.
During our peak time when we had national news crews here covering how we were a s***show, saw numerous people screaming their Covid disease wasn't real despite being hypoxic and on large amounts of oxygen due to Covid. That was an unpleasant time as this was still early (May/June) and it was extremely political like people apparently plotting to kidnap our state governor due to lockdowns.
Saw a lot of people refusing Covid testing who needed admission for non-covid purposes because the swabs would give them covid or put some sort of tracking device. They weren't pleased when they then had to be admitted to our full-blown Covid floors. Our Covid floors resembled a warzone because they were understaffed and relative s***hole conditions as we basically converted hallways into covid floors.
Also saw a lot of people young people who weren't exactly deniers but thought you basically couldn't sick if you were young. Lots of people with their lungs permanently scarred or at a minimum a couple of weeks of misery and/or spread it to their loved ones who got extremely ill.
"The willful cognitive dissonance..."
Physician here. The willful cognitive dissonance is real. It never ceases to amaze me how many patients will refuse assistance from me to register to get vaccinated, make claims that vaccines are harmful, but then accept my medical care on anything else that suits their whim. Patients absolutely have the autonomy to refuse care, but why would you continue to see a physician and accept their medical advice and care if you think they would simultaneously recommend something to you that would be harmful?
I've posed this question to patients who are vaccine-hesitant: "Why would you let me manage your diabetes and hypertension if you think I would harm you by recommending vaccinations?" You cannot get any kind of thoughtful response aside from, "I just don't want to be vaccinated."
"Some denier patients lived..."
RN here with most of 2020 spent in COVID land. I never had anyone refuse treatment when things got serious. I know some of the MDs I worked with got yelled at, like the rest of us...but honestly, that happens frequently anyway.
Some denier patients lived, many of which had accepted reality by the end of their stay after seeing what we all were going through to treat them.
Some died telling me I was a sheep or an idiot or a liar between gasps of air.
COVID didn't care.
This comment is strangely poetic.
Covid definitely doesn't care. The virus lays waste to people and... that's it. Good luck with your games of Russian roulette.
"People are crazy."
I work on a COVID unit and I ran into a patient like this. They'd tell me over and over again about how they weren't really sick and about how I didn't need to be gowned up in PPE. They even tried to take my face shield off. If you test positive for COVID two times then you have COVID! People are crazy.
Covid disinformation is a very serious problem and it's costing people their lives.
What can be done about it?
News literacy matters: It's important to get information from verifiable sources. Scientists and medical professionals are trustworthy. Those with backgrounds in public health know what they're talking about. Some conspiracy theory you received from your distant cousin on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is not worth your time or consideration.
Have some of your own Covid denial stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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