In the 21st Century, we have been trained to look out for scams on a daily basis. But sometimes, scams still escape our attention. Mostly because we have convinced ourself that they aren't scams; a lie we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better. But it's better we peel back the curtain and see the true form of the thing--if it is, really, a scam.
Here were some of those answers.
It Ain't Just A PrizeGiphy
Publishers Clearing House's various sweepstakes.
Source: I spent almost three years working at their distribution center.
In a legal sense, they do the absolute bare minimum required to not be a "scam," but that doesn't mean they don't screw a LOT of people.
First of all, there's the legal definition of a contest vs. a sweepstakes. A contest can't require an entry fee, purchase, etc. or have any kind of payment improve your odds of winning, while a sweepstakes can. PCH is TECHNICALLY a contest, but they do everything they can to hide the "no purchase necessary" disclaimer. You're automatically entered with a purchase, which is fine, they just can't REQUIRE it. They make this even less clear by using the terms "contest" and "sweepstakes" interchangeably in their literature.
So you probably think PCH just sells books and magazine subscriptions right? You'd be surprised. You know all those late-night infomercial products? Flex Seal, Slap Chop, the Thighmaster, and all those crappy CD compilations? Pretty much any "As Seen on TV" product is distributed by PCH (side note - the majority of these products are also available through regular retailers, despite what they'd have you believe). The infomercials aren't exactly forthcoming about this, and when you order any of that stuff off a TV ad, you end up on the PCH contest/mailing list. That wouldn't be so bad, except...
Regardless of what you buy, being put on the PCH mailing list is actually a subscription service. This is yet another thing they purposely avoid telling you. You buy one thing from them, and every month after that they're going to send out some other product that they "think you'll love," and automatically bill you for it. Now of course there's a returns process and a way to cancel your subscription (and technically there's a way to opt out of subscribing when you make a purchase in the first place, but again, you have to know that because they aren't going to tell you), but as you might expect, it's purposely as convoluted as possible to discourage people from canceling. Oh, but you get another contest entry every month that way, so that's cool, right? Well...
You know how you get that cute contest entry form with your package? I bet it was like a peel-and-stick bingo card or a scratch-off lotto ticket kind of thing? I bet it said you were pre-selected as a finalist for the contest! That's exciting right? Well no, because every single one of those inserts they send out is exactly the same. Everyone is a "finalist," and back to the "no purchase necessary" thing, they conveniently package the contest form with an insert that lists other products, to make it look like you have to order more stuff to get entered in the (non-existent) "next round" or whatever. The golden rule we had to follow packaging products was to NEVER accidentally put two contest inserts in a package - can't let people catch on that they're all the same, and therefore meaningless!
It's a pyramid scheme, except there isn't actually even a pyramid, they just want you to think there is! When all is said and done, they just randomly select a winner the way any other luck-of-the-draw contest does.
So how do they get away with all this and not have angry people show up at their HQ? This is the best part - the return address on the packages they send out is fake! The warehouse IS in St. Cloud, MN, but the street address flat-out doesn't exist and the zip code is one that isn't assigned anywhere in the United States. They have a special arrangement in place with the post office so their workers all know where stuff sent to that address is actually supposed to go. The same is true of their customer service address in NY -both use a fake "Winners Circle" street name. Also, said warehouse is listed as "Office of the PCH Controller" or something like that on the envelope, but nobody from PCH actually works there (I never met a single PCH employee the entire time I was there, although SUPPOSEDLY they show up to tour the place every once in a while...)! It's a third-party distribution center whose only client is PCH, and in turn is the only place PCH distributes through. There's no PCH signage on the building, it's purposely as nondescript as possible.
So yeah, people do win and the Prize Patrol shows up and all that. But pretty much everybody who doesn't win is getting screwed, or at least deceived.
Activated Charcoal products: They are more harmful than good
That activated charcoal toothpaste...it's nothing but an abrasive powder that will slowly erode away your enamel. It will leave you with whiter teeth but weaker ones
That activated charcoal lemonade...all that will do is actually absorb the essential nutrients...this is why doctors use them in case of poisonings. The activated charcoal would absorb the poisonous compounds to a certain degree...
EDIT: I am referring here to the AC products that are being ingested or used for toothpaste etc.
AC is widely used in many other applications like water filters etc where they work great.
They are just not recommended at all to be ingested.
Phish Phish Phish
Received an e-mail from "me", threatening to release a split screen video of me pleasuring myself on one side, while the other side shows the porn video I was watching. But for the one time only, low price of $587 bitcoin, the video would be deleted. Closed off with "Best wishes!". At least this was more entertaining than a Nigerian prince.
Playing On Our Mortal Fear Of TaxesGiphy
If anyone calls and tells you they can get rid of your interest on your credit cards, or anything credit card related, it's a scam. The only person who can really do that is your actual credit card company, and you can call them yourself to see if you qualify for any deals.
If anyone calls and says "The IRS is going to pursue legal action if you do not act now" it's a scam. The IRS will not call you. They will send you official mail.
If you are sleuthing through ads on one of those bootleg TV sites and an ad comes up saying "your mac needs to be cleared of viruses!" it's a scam.
These might be common knowledge, but I have a friend who fell for all of these.
Save The Scams For College
School fundraisers. My kids school tells the kids they can win a grand prize (junk toy) if they have the winning ticket. They send forms home for the parents. You have to go to their website where you learn that you have to validate your email and give them 5 other emails of friends and family and after they validate those you can enter your ticket number to see if you won. It provides me a good time to talk with the kids about scams.
This year I told my 7 year old that I'm thinking of a number 1-100 and if he guesses right on the first try he can have the grand prize. He guessed wrong and I said he can try again next year.
Well Formulated, Yet Not Well Concealed
This almost got me but it is pretty well known. They send you an Email saying that they need someone to buy things for them. They will pay like 13 an hour. They send you a check for like $3,000 tell you to put it in your bank. It has a wait time on it to go through in like 5 days. They than say they need you to send money to their wife or husband somewhere, and go to Walmart and do the money transfer thing. Transfer like $2,700 to their wife who is stranded somewhere in Africa. The check "clears" in 2 days. you don't do it the first day, but they harass you for the entire second day to try and have you send them the money. Of course the check doesn't go through and the bank charges you for it, and if you fall for the scam you are out $2.7K. it is so common that in money transfer places they have pamphlet explaining the scam.
The Scam Spectrum: A Lesson
First the mild end of the spectrum. It's not legal to cold call people on the do not call list for sales. You can do so for surveys though. Some companies, most prolifically in my area Eagle Water, abuse this They call for a survey which is only 2 questions and they really don't care about your answers. Afterward you'll get a call back saying you've won something, where they try to get you to let someone from their sales team into your house for some dollar store piece of junk. Recently they've also taken to sending out mail spam with the same general concept. Basically fake scratch-off tickets which always say you've won something, possibly even a jeep or other nonsense. It's all just a scam to sell massively overpriced water filters though.
On the infuriating side of things some shady apps will claim you have to hold your finger on the home button for several seconds as some kind of login or scan. Then when your finger is held there they'll try to process a large payment hoping you'll accept it accidentally. Here is one such app.
One of the more successful scams, the baby formula scam. Someone with a child in a store will say they can't afford formula for their baby, and they'll even let you know they don't want money. They'll try to get you to buy baby formula, diapers, and things like that, then they'll return all the items later for money.
Finally one of the worst scams which seems far more common than it should be and which has the potential to really screw someone. People will try to rent out properties they don't own. Any listing for renting a property which seems too good to be true, often is. Really they just want your deposit. I had to move for work at one point and didn't really know the area at all. So I was just looking to rent for a bit before finding a more permanent arrangement. I picked up on the scam pretty quickly after contacting anyone, but there were so many of them that I ultimately gave up on that plan. I just became way too uncomfortable with the idea of giving money to someone for something I hadn't seen when half of the listings seemed to be scams.
Talk Me Up To Bring Me Down
I'm a freshman in college looking for internships and someone messaged me on LinkedIn and said they would like the talk on the phone. I asked for the company name, company website, and what the internship was about but they said they'll tell me everything over the phone. This was a bad mistake, if they're reluctant to give the information when you ask then they're hiding something. It turns out they wanted me to pay for this special program at her company.
I kept asking her what the name of the company was but she just brushed it off and continued talking about how she thinks I'd be a great entrepreneur. After the phone call, every time she messaged me on LinkedIn I would keep asking for the company website until she eventually sent it and I looked it up and it was a pyramid scheme. I told her I wasn't interested but she kept calling me so I blocked her number and she contacted me from at least 7 other numbers after that (I could tell because I can see the location of the phone calls and they all came from the same location). I regret giving her my phone number because I still get phone calls and I believe she gave my information to telemarketers because I've gotten calls from random numbers too which I haven't before.
Thousands Of Problems Just Caused By AdsGiphy
"Hey, we see you're using an ad blocker. Please disable the blocker on your browser to be able to view or website".
No thanks. I'll just look up how to beat this difficult boss on one of a thousand other gaming websites.
Look, I get the websites are maintained by ads. I have no problem with that. But f*cking "popups" and other intrusive ads are bullshit. And not one single person in the world thinks they're cool. Not even the dickheads who make them. And another reason I use an ad blocker? Because even with high speed internet I have to wait 30 seconds for your g*ddamn page to load because you have half a dozen videos embedded on it. This is one of the reasons I had to stop going to Cracked.com: the aggressive ads kept causing the browser on my work computer to crash.
And while we're talking about scams on sh*tty websites: "Click this button to see the next slide" only to have to wait for an entire new page to load (with another 25 banner ads and popups) just so I can see one pic and a half a paragraph to find out what these celebrities from 80s sitcoms are up to.
There are creepers in our midst. Sometimes, they are the most unassuming types.
Lone straphangers on a semi-crowded subway are a dime-a-dozen, and they seem to mind their own business.
But when you notice out of your peripheral a person staring at you and grabbing their crotch, well, it's time to either get off at the next stop or move to another car.
Yeah, it happens.
"What's the creepiest thing you caught someone doing?"
How well do you know your friends? These Redditors wished they could unlearn some things while others realized it's been too long since they've last seen acquaintances from the past.
When I was 13, I went to a friends house. He put his dog under his bed covers and made the dog lick his nipples repeatedly."
."...needless to say, I didn't go back to his house again."
"When we were about 18 years old my friend Rich was telling me he was being followed by a strange dude with long hair, beard and mustache. He said he would turn around and see the guy following him from a distance. At night Rich would look out his front window and see the guy standing in the middle of the road staring at his house. 2 weeks later we finished up our band practice in our lead guitarist's back yard and Rich left to put his amp in his car. A few moments later Rich came running back terrified saying the bearded guy was out front and that he was coming through the gate to the backyard. I saw the creep come in and he asked 'Rich?' a few times. Rich asked who he was and he said 'Doug.' They had been schoolmates but Doug had moved away for a few years and grew his hair long. Rich asked him why he didn't say anything earlier and Doug said he was nervous about approaching Rich because he wasn't sure it was him. So he just stalked him for 2 weeks and Rich was terrified the entire time."
Lurkers and stalkers are unnerving, but these creeps have gone way too far.
Malicious Bar Patron
"I watched a guy ghost up to the bar while I was drinking with friends, drop something into a girls drink and fade back into the crowd. Super stealthy and if I hadn't been looking down at the bar I wouldn't have caught it."
"Notified the bartender, and the girl. He exchanged the drink, no questions, the bouncer asked me some questions about the guy, and I never found out how it ended up. Scary how fast it happened."
"I was in bed lounging around in my former boyfriends house (who lived with his parents at the time), and I heard a knock. I ignored it because I was too sleepy to care. Then I heard the door open a crack."
"Maybe it was instinct, but I knew I was being stared at. I opened one of my eyes slightly and saw my boyfriend's dad peeking at me through the crack in the door."
"We locked gazes and he scurried off, awkwardly."
"I never returned to that house again, and never told anyone."
"Ok, nobody is going to believe this, but I swear on my life, in roughly 1990, on a greyhound bus, I saw an old lady unwrap and eat a condom. It haunts me to this day…"
Some people are neighborly by nature. But there ought to be limitations.
Neighbor At The Loo
"Once I was taking a sh*t in a public restroom and heard weird noises, so I looked under the stall to check the feet of the dude next to me. I'm not sure why, I just did it to be safe. Turns out the dude next to me was checking at the exact same time I was. It was so f'king awkward as we made eye contact nearly upside down by our underwear. I guess it was weird for both of us."
"My neighbor stands in the backyard and stares through my windows. She also stands outside my apartment door and occasionally follows me into town and into stores."
"She's a well known creep in town but nothing can be done really because that's as far as she ever takes it also, my state doesnt have great stalking laws so the police can't touch her either."
You would think crowded subways would be places for creeps to avoid doing their pervy things. But being caught must be an added thrill for such offenders.
A friend of mine was literally groped by a strap hanger as she and I boarded the packed subway car.
She yelled directly, at him, "Did you just grab my A**???"
The non-reactive not-so-gentleman just stood there as every passenger glared at him for his ride of shame.
Although we doubted he needed to get off at the next stop, it was good to see him haul his own a** off the train.
Creeps, beware. You never know who won't put up with your handsy proclivities.
It seems that it's far more common to hear somebody complain about their job than to hear them give a glowing review of their line of work.
But before you think that everyone out here is miserable, there are some people who do like their work.
These beloved jobs come in all different shapes and sizes. And they're enjoyed for just as many various reasons: the lack of stress, the excitement of the work, the hours, or even the co-workers may all be good reasons to have a decent enough time at work.
Perhaps curious about the decent jobs out there, Redditor KM5550 asked:
"People who actually love their jobs: how and why?"
Many discussed the jobs that allow them to work outside, rather than sitting at a desk in an office all day long.
We All Know That Guy
"I'm the guy who gets to wave glow sticks at the airport and help parallel park airplanes. The only downside is that I have to stay outside at all times"
Furry Friends All Day Long
"Dog walker here. I love being outside all day, little to no contact with humans, and spending everyday with all kinds of fun and adorable dogs, there is virtually no downside."
"They are so happy to see me and even happier to walk. It's seriously criminal that I get paid to do this lol"
Close to Earth
"I own and run a farm. We do a lot of gourmet mushrooms, garlic, specialty fruits, etc. I have always loved to cook. Cooking with fresh local ingredients is awesome."
"Basing your life around producing those ingredients, cooking with them, and sharing with your community is amazing. I would never have a normal 'job' again."
"It really is true that with some persistence and a bit of luck you can find a job that doesn't feel like work."
Others enjoy their work for all the time they get to spend with children. There is never a dull moment with those zany, tiny children.
Blowing (Up) Minds
"I'm a science teacher. I love working with kids, I love that I don't have administrative responsibilities. All I have to do is make lesson plans, and teach those plans, and I can refine them through the day as needed. If a lesson goes great, I can save it for the next year, and there is no shortage of good ideas online."
"It is infinitely more rewarding helping kids understand difficult concepts and seeing those 'aha!' moments, much better than my previous soul-crushing desk job."
"Also, every now and then I get to blow sh** up with a bunch of kids."
Legos Is a Nice Perk
"Pediatric registered nurse. When I'm done my assessments, medication administration, and charting, I spend my downtime building Legos and playing video games with my patients."
"Pretty sweet gig."
Concocting Behind Closed Doors
"I'm an art teacher. I shut my door, interpret the curriculum how I see fit, and have a blast making amazing projects with my kids."
"Since it's art, nobody really gives a crap about what I'm doing, as long as my kids are working. It gives me a lot of freedom to teach what I think is appropriate."
Others highlighted their work in manual labor or service industry positions. Those these often get a bad rap, these jobs are apparently rather enjoyable.
A Pragmatic Skill
"I love working in manufacturing/welding. There's a lot of satisfaction in creating something out of something else. I take pride that my work meets specs and the money is ok."
"It's not necessarily a rare skill set, but not everyone can do it. I've struggled with ADD and depression, so being successful at my trade is very important to me."
Some Peace of Mind
"Worked retail for 10 years. Took a pay cut to go to a different, small grocery store. It's kind of like a David's if anyone knows that chain. Bit bigger, it's in a rich a** development. Old white folk (nice tips sometimes randomly just for pointing out the bananas or something)"
"So I'm the only one in the produce department, aka I run this, zero supervision. It's pretty nice. I can take breaks whenever I want, free lunch from the deli, don't have to deal with customers aside from the occasional "where is X". Pretty sweet gig."
"But I've already gotten a raise to match my previous salary. And the usual promises of more. We'll see about that, but I'm happy for now, they're happy with me. All is well, and I'm not pi**ed off all day anymore."
"Only complaint would be that because the way the trucks are scheduled I don't get two days in a row off anymore. But oh well. I can deal."
"I left my career and the big hustle of the city (LA, and before that Toronto), and moved to a tiny town in the mountains where I took a job as a baker. It's like living in a Hallmark movie; there isn't a stop light around for like 30 miles and everything is all alpine village-y and."
"I make half the money I did at my old desk job but my expenses are half what they were, and I have ZERO stress - our customers are always happy because pie."
Just a Fine Job
"I'm a member of the International Union of Elevator Constructors. I install elevators for a living. The benefits and pay are incredible. The work is very satisfying and I actually enjoy coming into work every day."
"It can get stressful and some days are way harder than others but generally it's a pretty fun job building sh** and using tools all day."
So if you're looking to make a massive career change to feel less stress, perhaps these jobs are worthy of some thought.
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How many times have you stubbed your toe because you weren't paying attention and banged it against some furniture? Hurts like hell, doesn't it? Have you ever slipped outside because you didn't realize the rain––or ice––on the roads would be so slick? You probably have (and hopefully you didn't bang yourself up too much). You probably hope no one was looking... to save yourself from certain embarrassment.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who've fared worse.
People were all too willing to share their experiences after Redditor 7937397 asked the online community,
"What is the stupidest injury you've ever gotten?"
"Then got laid off."
"Leaned forward to look at my face closely in the bathroom mirror. Vertebrae in my lower back slipped out of position. Nine weeks on disability. Then got laid off."
It's true what they say... when it rains, it really pours.
"I once injured my leg..."
"I once injured my leg by jumping off the back of a moving truck, so that I wouldn't be in trouble for riding on the back of a moving truck."
"I once broke my thumb..."
"I once broke my thumb trying to give someone a hug.
Awkwardly caught it on their body and the ligament of my stretched thumb popped off and took some bone with it!"
How did you do that?!
I mean... I know you explained it and all, but... how did you do that?!
"I wasn't watching..."
"I've hurt myself in many weird ways, so this was tough to figure out. A while ago I was riding my bike and saw a rabbit. I wasn't watching where I was going and rode off a retaining wall. I got a concussion from that."
"When it reopened..."
"When I was 5, I was stepped on by a llama. My mom said I had a llama foot-shaped bruise on my back for a couple of weeks.
They closed the petting zoo after that. When it reopened, they no longer allowed people inside the animal pens."
Ah, I see now.
So you're the one who ruined it for everyone else. Gotcha.
(Great story, though.)
"When I was six..."
"When I was six my forehead was really itchy but it was one of those deep itches that you couldn't really scratch out. So my bright 6-year-old brain told me to get into an all-fours position and try rubbing my forehead into the carpet… well I did that and ended up taking a small layer of skin off that took ages to heal completely."
Imagine walking in on your kid and seeing this.
You'd think they were possessed.
"I punched myself..."
"I punched myself in the forehead during an improv comedy bit and gave myself a concussion."
This begs the question...
So are you really strong?
Or just really weak?
"Severed three tendons..."
"Severed three tendons in my left hand while slicing a bagel. Basic tendon repair went over well, but my middle finger got infected. They had to put a tendon from my leg into my hand. Three surgeries over a bagel."
This one wins.
Sorry, everyone. You can all go home now.
"I decided it would be quicker to walk down an incline of tennis-ball-sized rocks in flip flops with my hands full than walk around on the pavement. I was right - I descended quickly!"
"I had lost..."
"I had lost about 30 pounds, and my belt was getting too big. Most people would say "oh, time to buy a new belt!" The craftier of us might say "time to get out my leather punch!" I say "time to dig a hole in the belt with my folding pocket knife!"
It folded in on itself while I was digging a new hole in the leather and cut my thumb to the bone, and had to go to urgent care to get it stitched up.
My wife bought me a leather punching tool for Christmas that year."
We hope you're all thinking twice of playing with knives... or jumping off trucks... or even going outside.
Just stay indoors, preferably in bed. You should be safe. God-willing.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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Why are you mad? It's unhealthy. Do we even comprehend why we're miffed half the time? I don't, I've lost track. Although, I do get angry at the drop of a hat. So each origin can be arduous to track.
There really is no exact explanation as to why tempers can be set off. Of course, we are in sensitive times and emotions are are always at an edge, so that doesn't help.
But we really need to do some serious examining into what sets us off so easily. Anger is not an emotion that is sustainable or often has to do with logic. But let's try to find some...
Redditor u/KingOfJuiceBoxes wanted to discuss the times we've all been surprised by anger of others by asking:
What is the stupidest reason someone got mad at you?
I am at my wit's end with people who are overly polite while driving. I know on paper that sounds like a good thing but when you are polite, you tend to buck the rules. The rules I'm trusting you to follow. So when you buck the rules, even for kindness, I can't be secure as a driver. Now I'm mad.
to be richSeriously GIF by Debby RyanGiphy
"My "friend" stole a book. I asked him why he stole it when he's rich. He got really offended about the word "rich" and said I need to use the word "wealthy," because "rich" implies he didn't earn what he has. He never earned crap, especially that book."
"My ex got mad (yelling, followed by a weekend's worth of sulking silent treatment) during a road trip because I didn't know where the movie theater was or how to get there in the city we stopped in for the night. A city in which I had never been. This was years ago, before smartphones & GPS existed."
The Great Divide
"For trying to use a divider to divide his groceries from the person behind him. He told me it "offended" him and he tried to wrestle the divider away from me. He even had the audacity to tell everyone I was the crazy one."
"Jealousy is a hell of a drug, mine is "because I changed into a jumpsuit and flats at a wedding after party for my SIL, that I attended with my fiancé, her brother." CLEARLY I was actually hitting on this rando's bf in front of all my future in laws because… I… am disabled and can't stand in heels for more than an hour and wanted to be comfortable - so I guess I should have put a poncho on that says I'm Gross!!"
"To avoid confusing your man, my bad. She legit came up to my chin ready to go "I'm from Boston I'll freaking take you" I guess I'm happy her bf and another groomsman carried her away because my MIL would have slit my throat for fighting at the big money wedding. I for sure could have taken her butt lol "I'm from Boston" I'm from Canada and have thrown shovels of snow heavier than you when I was 12."
Girl!Real Madrid No GIF by DAZNGiphy
"Because I thanked their boyfriend for opening the door for me... Like, what?"
Humans are a mess. We can't have nice things. I think it's because trust has clearly become a mirage. But so many other issues are the problem. And when we can't trust that always leads to anger.
Ignoredron swanson spinning GIFGiphy
"I wasn't at my house, I told the guy I wasn't going to be there and he just ignored me and still went to my house."
"My roommates girlfriend was talking about how she needed an oil change for her car. I offered to do it for her and was explaining what all I needed to do it. My roommate got pissed and stormed off throwing a tantrum. They got into an argument because he's thinking me changing her oil is my way of trying to have sex with her. So now it's become an inside joke with me, my girlfriend, and my other roommates."
"I used to work in a store that sold food and this guy and his girlfriend came in, and he was asking me about some of the food. Normal sales conversation stuff. The girlfriend kept inserting herself between us and trying to turn him away from looking directly at me. I gave up on trying to do my actual and literal job and just walked away and she smirked at me the whole time."
"I was also cashiering up front when they got ready to check out, and the girlfriend let someone else go in front of her so they wouldn't be at my register. Ma'am if you're that insecure then that's not everyone else's problem to deal with, therapy is easily available these days."
"I used to work in a toy store when I was a teenager and there was this crazy lady who would come in once a week to yell at me because we didn't have any Chucky dolls. From the stupid movie where he comes to life and is evil. At the time, no one had them, because no one made them. Something I informed her of every week. I know they make them now so I hope she's happy."
Check Please!Michael Buble Check GIF by bublyGiphy
"This happened recently, actually. I work at a restaurant, and we're kind of short-staffed right now, so one of my managers, without my permission, decided to sign me up for some extra shifts on a volunteer sign-up form. When I reported this to my head manager, the other manager got mad at me and called me selfish, which is ironic, considering he's the laziest fool I've ever laid eyes on."
Anger in hospitality is a given. So I'll let that one slide, but seriously people... we need to do better. Except when it comes to Chucky. Anger towards Chucky is good. But let's try to be calmer in general.
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