There's nothing quite like a good urban legend to put a chill into your bones. One of my favorites? The story about the babysitter and the man upstairs. You know the one. The creepy phone calls begin. The words, "Have you checked on the children?" Unnerving stuff. It's that story that gave us movies like Black Christmas and When a Stranger Calls. I still get a chill up my spine when I think about that story.
It's not just murderers either. Monsters, spirits... Urban legends––and folklore as a whole––have for time immemorial been a part of our consciousness.
After Redditor BeardedDragonzRMine asked the online community, "What monster/urban legend is in your town?" people shared their stories.
"When I was in middle school..."
The Jersey Devil. When I was in middle school my grade went on a trip to a camp in the Pine Barrens where the jersey devil presumably is. I cried when my parents said they didn't want me to go.
The Pine Barrens is a freaky place.
Don't believe me? Watch that one episode of The Sopranos.
"She's the mistress..."
La Llorona. She's the mistress of a Spanish conquistador. When he left her to return to his wife, she went mad from grief and drowned the two children she had out of wedlock with him and killed herself. She arrived at the entrance to Heaven and God asked her what she did with her children. She lied and said she didn't know. So God doomed her to forever wander the Earth looking for their bodies.
This one is a classic.
And there has yet to be a good movie made about her.
"If you're canoeing..."
We have a river that's popular for canoes and paddle boats. Some kids stole a paddle boat one night from the rental place, flipped it over, and drowned.
If you're canoeing on the river and see what looks like an abandoned teal-colored paddle boat with a boat rental decal stuck in the weeds on the river bank, don't approach it. If you report the sighting to the boat rental place they won't bother sending someone out to recover it, because they know the boat won't be there when they arrive.
"He grew up in the Everglades..."
My hometown has the Skunk Ape. A distant cousin to the Sasquatch. He grew up in the Everglades and had long matted, moss-covered fur. Stinks like a skunk. Has been seen crossing back roads in the middle of the night and disappearing into the darkness
Not something I'd want to run into at night.
I've seen enough horror films to know that the one rule is to keep driving.
"All of my neighbors..."
I live in West Africa near a rainforest. All of my neighbors believe there is a "giant pangolin" that lives in the forest (bigger than a man). There have even been some cryptozoologists that have come out to try to find it.
"Rumors of a murderous faceless man..."
Rumors of a murderous faceless man roaming the streets at night were based on a real-life person who'd suffered an extreme accident that destroyed his face. He wasn't, as it turns out, a murderer; he walked at night because he wanted to get fresh air and be left alone.
Well, that ended well.
No reason to spread a rumor about the guy if all he wanted was to enjoy a walk by himself!
"People that cross the bridge..."
I live in St. Petersburg, Florida and the urban legend here has to do with the Skyway Bridge. There have been about 200 suicides. People that cross the bridge claim to see a blonde woman standing in the middle of the road and even sitting in the backseats of their cars. Caring people that got out of their car to help the woman claim that she vanished into thin air. I have crossed the bridge a couple of times and have not seen any sort of thing. I guess she was one of the people that took their own lives by jumping off the 200-foot drop into the water or died when the bridge collapsed ages ago.
"A headless French soldier..."
A headless French soldier from the Napoleonic time is said to ride in our local forest at night. It is an older legend.
"Here in southern Wisconsin..."
Here in southern Wisconsin, we have the Beast of Bray Road, a large canid/werewolf creature that's been sighted several times.
This one has had a crappy movie about it.
The SyFy channel is great like that.
"Years and years ago..."
The White Lady. Years and years ago this woman's daughter got kidnapped by a man and disappeared into the woods of one of our parks. She went out with her dog, searching and searching but never found her. Eventually, the White Lady disappeared as well. For hundreds of years, people claimed to see her ghost and the dog's ghost wandering the park at night. And any man would get chased into the lake by her ghost. Four years ago we had a major windstorm that did a lot of tree damage and this actually happened Scary coincidence?
Creeped out yet?
If not, get to reading. The Dúllahan, a scary headless creature from Irish folklore, beckons. I personally wouldn't want to run into the berbelangs, vampirish creatures that feature in Filipino culture and that are said to dig up graves to feast on corpses.
Have some of your stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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We really need to pay attention more as children. That's a hindsight lesson that we never truly get soon enough. We run too fast. We never look both ways and we always don't care. That's what being a kid is all about. And that is also why so much of our adolescence is spent in an ER.
Nine times out of ten all the injuries could be avoided with a little less stupidity. We're all guilty as silly sin, so let's chat.
Redditor u/Ital_Il_Grande wanted to discuss the ways we've gotten ourselves wounded in the past due to lack of "brain power," by asking:
I once cracked my front tooth because I chose to swing around a pole like a stripper. I neglected to notice the rock in my path and once my speed picked up... BOOM!
Man DownTired Give Up GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy
"I was bunk buddies with my brother, I always had the lower bunk. one night I convinced my brother to give me the top bunk. woke up in the middle of the night needing to pee. didn't realise I was on the top, face planted the floor. fractured my arm."
"I attempted to take my brand new roller skates on pavement. I did not understand that it was a terrible idea, I was quite young. I fell and broke my wrist trying to catch myself so I would not land on my butt, which as an adult I think probably would have been preferable."
"When the doctor removed my cast, I was screaming and crying for him to stop because he was burning me with that tool. He assured my mother I was only scared and I was held down so he could finish. I have a permanently disfiguring scar on my hand as a result."
"I do not know what is stupider, that an adult automatically assumes a child is screaming from fear and not agony, or that I took roller skates on pavement instead of waiting for rollerblades. Now that I am thinking on it, I believe that was the first actively traumatizing memory I have. What came before is only half remembered, for which I am grateful."
"When I was 6 years old I stole a beer at a neighborhood party. Someone saw me and asked me what I thought I was doing, so I told him I was getting it for my dad. He believed me, I drank the beer and got drunk. As now known to me you should not drink and drive. I learned that that day as I crashed my tricycle. That is the story of my 6 concussions. Also, I can proudly say I have never driven drunk since!"
Stop, drop and roll...
"I was told to start the fire on the outdoor grill and was given a cup of gasoline. Age 11. I lit the fire and then spilled the gas on my arm as I tossed the cup on the flames. The fire like... caught and climbed up the liquid while it was in the air and back into the cup in my hand. My arm caught fire before the liquid fully fell onto the grill. I was so shocked I kind of stood there for a second before my 9yr-old brother shoved me down and started screaming, "Stop, drop and roll. Drop and roll!"
Dumb KidsMad Marbles GIF by DIRTY VELVET CLOTHINGGiphy
"I think I was like 2 or 3, and my older brother ripped open a beanie baby and shoved a ungodly amount of the beads in our ears. I was a dumb freaking kid. Doctor had to wash and suck out like 20+ beads out of my brothers and I ears."
I never understood the marble fascination. They seem like weapons of mass destruction. And I know roller skates is death on wheels.
"Back when I was a toddler my mom would often bring me and my sisters to my grandmother for her to babysit us. One time while there, i climbed up a flight of stairs on the outside of the stairs. The stairs had a banister i could hold, but once i had reached the top, i slipped and fell 3 meters down."
"I fell down on the playden where my baby sister laid. I fell right on the edge on my belly and luckily both my sister and myself were okay. The real stupid part came when my mom came to pick us up. My grandmother was real nervous and told my mom the big lines, but didn't see it so could not tell everything that happened."
"So my mom asked me to explain what happened. I screamed: I will show you! And ran back up the stairs. My mom and grandmother tried to stop me of course. But before they could i was already on my way down. And that is the story of my 4 concussion."
"When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade the teacher had us move our desks around in class for some reason. We had those kind of desks with the wooden top and the metal cubby underneath. At one point I bent down to grab something off the floor and somehow slammed my mouth into the metal part and chipped one of my front teeth."
"I amazingly didn't freak out, and I don't even think it hurt that much, but I looked down and there my tooth chunk was on the floor by my feet. I didn't ask to go to the nurse or even tell my teacher what happened, and I guess no one saw it cause I don't remember anyone asking if I was alright. In that moment, all my little kid brain could think was that I could probably still get at least a quarter from the tooth fairy for this, as no one had specified that she needed full teeth for the exchange."
"So I just casually slipped it into my pocket and didn't say a word about it for the rest of the day. When I got home I showed my mom to get her thoughts on what I could get for the tooth chunk, but surprisingly she wasn't as eager to talk business as I was. My tooth is fine now so I assume it was a baby tooth, so no harm done. I didn't get my due interest for the tooth chunk which I think is actually the most painful part of the whole thing."
"I had made a jump for my bike out of 2 cinderblocks and a piece of plywood. I was having the time of my life jumping my bike pretending it was a motorcycle. Then it stated to rain. I put my bike in the garage and waited by the window for the rain to stop so I could continue my daredevil escapades in the driveway. Well, after about an hour, the rains let up and I ran outside got my bike and pedaled my bike as fast as I could go."
"I was completely unaware of what effect water has on plywood. I hit the jump, the wood bent in a way it had not bent before the rain and I was launched straight up in the air. landed back first on the 2 cinderblocks and then the bike landed on top of me. With the wind knocked out of me I laid there in quiet agony, not having the air in my lungs to muster a decent cry of pain for a few minutes."
Thumbs Downthumb cooking GIF by Disney PixarGiphy
"I was too afraid of going down a slope on a skateboard, so I decided to try to go down while sitting on the skateboard. My thumb went under the wheel and the nail was pulled out right away. It hurt like hell."
How we survive long enough to reach puberty is a miracle. We should be made to live in bubble wrap until college. I send good luck to all.
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New experiences are the spice of life, but sometimes that spice might be a little more bitter than you originally thought.
Whether the experience turned out to be a total flop, or it was the kind of thing that you're glad you got to do once but don't need to do again, some things are best left as one-off experiences.
*Content note: the following article contains graphic descriptions of injuries, and mentions drug use. Reader discretion advised.*
Reddit user CaneToDefeatYou asked:
Always Swim Parallel To The Shore
Not paying attention to currents when swimming in the sea (and going anyway when there's a red flag and no guard)
Dumbest sh*t ever. I was with my two brothers and my father, happily splashing around. Suddenly we turn around and the shore just got very far away. So we start swimming back but the sea is stronger than you. If you stop 5 seconds to catch your breath you lose the progress you did during the last minute, and that's precious.
I was young so I don't remember it as a legit life-threatening situation, but my bros and dad still got chills when talking about it
It Technically Worked?
Put pizza wrapped in foil in the microwave when I was 10 thinking it will warm up quicker. It surely did by lighting on fire 3 seconds after I turned it on
Maybe Stay Out Of Caves
Spelunking / cave exploring. For starters, it begins and ends with going through a million bats. And the journey in between is just too dangerous, in the last place in the world you'd want to get hurt. And super tight squeezes are freaky.
the story of the guy who got stuck upside down in the Nutty Putty cave system will have me never ever getting into spelunking. his body is still stuck there because it was too unsafe and difficult to get him out. it's so disturbing and sad.
Every single time cave exploration or spelunking is mentioned on Reddit, the Nutty Putty cave gets mentioned. And for good reason.
Hard pass. Not a fan of being eaten by the planet.
Climb Of A Lifetime
Climbed the stairs up the CN Tower. It's a twice a year thing for charity. My friends and husband were all like "Yeah, come join us! It's so fun!!"
No, 144 flights of stairs is not fun. I've done it once. It's crossed off. Never again.
Edit: okay, it's "only" 144 flights of stairs, and 1776 steps. Sure felt like a billion, but this post has gotten some traction and I feel guilty.
Accidental Theft Is Surprisingly Common
This one time I was getting a drink that was only for a dollar, so I sped-walk my way into the mini shops, quickly grabbed one and ran out. I was running to my friend with the drink until I felt something in my pocket, pulled it out and it was the dollar...
I quickly ran back to the mini shop to see the shop owners scanning the outside of their shop, I gave them my dollar and said "Sorry", they looked at the dollar, looked at each other, spoke in a different language, and went back inside.
I'm pretty sure they called me an idiot, as I went back with shame.
My dad told me this story. In the 70s he and my mum stopped at a Little Chef (motorway services restaurant) for lunch. After they finished, they got the bill, then left. They drove for half an hour before realising, they didn't actually pay the bill.
Being honest people, they turned round and went back and paid. The staff said "We though you'd be back".
In the days before pre pay gas pumps my buddy and I stopped at a station to fill some jugs up with 100 something octane race gas before heading to the drag strip. We forgot to pay. About a half hour later we were sitting in the pit area getting the car ready when a sheriffs deputy rolls up and told us. Both of us thought the other had paid. Whoops. He gave me a ride back to the station and I paid and bought pops for everyone including the deputy. He hung out with us for a while at the track. Felt dumb.
Let's Stick To Proper Toilet Paper
Ran out of toilet paper when i was 11, saw alcohol wipe cloths and thought that would work just fine... nope, as soon as I did that first wipe it was as if the sun teleported into my a**hole and i was hopping around the bathroom trying not to squeal. Mom opened the door to check on the noise and saw me jumping around with an alcohol pad between my cheeks.
Keep alcohol away from your anus.
Jungles Aren't As Fun As They Look
Hiking through jungles. They look so beautiful in movies. In reality they are some of the most brutal hikes I've been on.
Let's start with the humidity. It's so bad it drenches you to the bone, and there's no escaping it. Being under a jungle canopy is like being in a pressure cooker. The heat and humidity beats you down harder than any environment I've been in.
Then there's the swarms of biting bugs. From never-ending mosquitoes, giant spiders on everything, ticks jumpung on you from everywhere and colonies of aggressive fire ants criss-crossing the trails, you can expect to have more bug bites than you've thought possible to survive.
Once-in-a-lifetime Was Enough
Went to Times Square for New Years Eve in New York City. I live in NYC and I figured it was the kinda thing I wanted to see but didn’t need to see again. Went in 2000 when I was 18. Got there 11am and stayed for 13 hours in the freezing cold but with close spots to the ball drop and screen. I’m glad I did it. I’m also glad I’ve never done it again.
Peer Pressure Sucks
Did heroin for the first time and wasn't into the sensation at all. The same roomate that talked me into herion talked me into smoking some crack to even out. Luckily I wasn't a fan of either and never did either ever again.
Sometimes It's Just Not Worth It
Removing paint from a table. I still need to finish sanding the thing but that was a nightmare, who paints a table with like 30 coats??
Edit: Used Citristrip Safer Paint Remover, then scraped the flat surfaces with a scraper, then used steel wool on the other parts, rinsing the chunks of paint off in between as it gunked up the steel wool real quick. Then repeated the process a few weeks later, then used a belt sander on the flat surfaces, now just need to hand sand the other surfaces.... It's like you want to quit but you are too invested at that point.
It's often good to try new things and get out of your comfort zone, but it's perfectly okay to head right back to that comfort zone immediately afterwards.
When a tragedy happens it sticks with the community for a long time. However, when such an event goes unsolved then it becomes a point of interest.
One of the most famous disappearances from my childhood was what happened to Jonbenet Ramsey. As a young child, I didn't understand then what horrible things could have happened except that this beautiful girl about my age was missing and her parents missed her.
It is one of those unsolved cases that has always stuck with me and is so sad that her family never received any answers. One Redditor wanted to share which unsolved cases kept them up wondering.
“What's one unsolved mystery you'd like to see solved before you die?"
The Delphi Murders…
“Delphi Murders. That video is too compelling for bridge guy to not be found.” MaleficentPicture773
|“I agree with you 100% it drives me crazy. I know they keep saying it was someone from Delphi or familiar with the area but as time goes on I really feel like it wasn't. Surely if that was the case someone would have seen something and spoken up due to it being a small town. I've heard that the hardest murders to solve are the ones that are random. Random person goes to a random area and kills a random person(s) for no reason at all. Without history, motive, etc. its near impossible to solve if there aren't any witnesses and that's what this seems like to me.” earth_sandwhich |
A deep family mystery…
“What is the "disturbing hurtful event" that my uncle Bill won't talk about and what does it have to do with me ? I was adopted out. Found my birth mom after she had died and the rest of her family defers to uncle about not talking to me because of that "event". C'mon Uncle, it's been over 57 years. “ DeadSheepLane
Missing at just age 12…
“A girl from my hometown (Tupelo, MS) disappeared under suspicious circumstances (blood and hair found, glasses left behind, etc.) on a school day when we were both about 12 y/o (I'm 39 now). Her name is Leigh Occhi. Her body was never found. She used to come to school with obvious signs of physical abuse. No one was ever charged. It still breaks my heart. I want... need to know what happened.” DebaucherousHeathen
A matter of matter…
“Antimatter. Why is the universe almost entirely matter, when equal amounts of matter and antimatter should've annihilated each other? Where is the missing antimatter? Is there a slight difference between matter & antimatter particles that causes matter to last longer? Are there places in the universe primarily made of antimatter instead of matter, well outside the observable universe?” andret14
Ask and sometimes you’ll get an answer…
“What are the Mormons keeping in their vault that's surrounded in granite and heavily guarded?” klien_gang19
“I used to work in the vault a very long time ago. Yes, I walked inside the mountain, through the vault door, multiple times per week.”
“Here is the secret you've always wanted to know: inside the vault is genealogy records on microfiche. There are also antiques from the beginnings of the church that have some monetary value, but much more sentimental value to the church and its members.”
“It also has a 'reservoir' the size of a big room that collects water dripping from the bare rock. It is the most pure, oxygenated, delicious water I have ever tasted.”
“It's a cool place, with bare rock for ceilings and walls, and a giant 'bank vault' door that locks at the push of a button. Definitely unique, but I have been to Europe and seen castles, towns many hundreds of years old, I've seen a couple of the seven natural wonders of the world, and all of those were more awe-inspiring than a man made hole in the rock.”
“But... its been damn near thirty years and I still crave that water! FYI, I no longer participate in the church, no bad feelings or trauma, just not a church-going personality. Everything I said is the truth.” MrFrogy
The search for the Nazi Amber room…
“Where did the Nazis stach the entire amber room from St Petersburg palace?” 2thnurse
“I used to work as a guide at a castle, where it was believed to have been hidden. Every once in a while, a tourist would ask about it. One day, a small group even managed to sneak away from the tour and hide for the night at the castle, searching for it. No success though.” lidskemasicko
“went to the train station and bought a one way ticket to London…”
“I'd like to know what happened to Andrew Gosden. A 14 year old boy left home in Yorkshire one morning in 2007 dressed in his school uniform, and then withdrew all his money from his bank account. He went back home after his parents had gone to work and changed out of his uniform, then went to the train station and bought a one way ticket to London (about two hours away by train).”
“There is CCTV footage of him leaving King's Cross station, but that's the last time he was seen. He didn't tell his parents he was planning to go to London, and it's never been established why he went there. I'd love to find out he's actually ok, or even if not for his parents to finally find out what happened to him.” kank84
The Alps Murders…
“The Alps Murders as they're known in the UK. An English family on holiday in France are assassinated with an old pistol with accuracy that points towards a professional hit.”
“A cyclist is found murdered in the same lay by too by the same weapon. The assassin thought they had tied up all loose ends until after 8 hours on the scene the French police found their 4 year old daughter hiding under her dead mothers legs. 9 years later there's still no clue over who or why they were all murdered.” Shystakovich
A glitch in the Matrix perhaps?
“In 1994 I found a cinema ticket stub for Speed in my jacket pocket. I never saw Speed at the cinema, nor did I lend my jacket to anybody that had. I'd like to know where it came from so I can one day sit through the film without wondering about it.” Mikkidisco73
Is there anybody out there?
“Are we alone in the universe?” Rylof
“Same, like existence itself does not make sense at all. Like why does the universe exist in the first place? So interesting. This is the question that I want its answer the most, too.” ArtificialThinker
Although most of these are tragedies some really got our sleuth senses tingling. Which rabbit hole are you going down today?
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Bodies are beautiful. All bodies, of all shapes, sizes and looks are being more embraced by the world at large now. And what people are loving more and more are what makes our look and bodies unique. What could be more unique than a scar? For better or worse scars mark certain moments of our lives. They remind us of where we've been and where we may never want to go again.
Eight times out of ten, scars come with a great story, because normally we were idiots when we acquire them. But don't rush to cover them up, they can be part of your beautiful.
Redditor u/teatimefancycakes wanted to hear about the ways we've marked up and blemished the temple that is our bodies, by asking:
What is the stupidest reason you have a scar?
I have a scar above my lip. It's a straight line to my nose. I got very lucky because it runs along the lip line I was born with so you can't really see it. But I know it's there. How did I get it? Read on...
Slicedmusic video loop GIFGiphy
"I cut myself on a butchers blade, then wiped the blade on my pants, cutting my leg."
"When I was 6 I thought it would be a good idea to punch a hole in a piece of paper with a pair of scissors while my other hand was holding the paper directly on the other side."
"Done a similar thing, stabbed an empty water bottle to test the sharpness of the knife and underestimated the knife. At least I found out how sharp the knife is."
"Kid me was pretending to be a cat running on all fours, I rammed my head into the dishwasher. Forehead scar."
"Similar story. I shut my eyes thinking I was invincible when I did that. As a precautionary measure, put pillows on floor in case I fall down. Slipped on the pillow banged my head on the door knob. Harry potter scar but the alphabet O."
"One time as a kid I tied a toy triceratops to a string and I was swinging it around above my head. Somebody came into the room and distracted me and that thing flew head first into the side of my head. It was under my hair but if I go bald I might have a weird three pronged scar."
Getting CrookedJimmy Fallon Pain GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"I sat on my hair straightener 😐."
I decided I could fly. I was eight. It was a dark, rainy New York afternoon. I was in my mother's room. I jumped up on her bed using a long, satin sheet as my cape...
Cut OffNinja Lol GIF by Justin GammonGiphy
"I nearly took off my ring finger when I used a stiletto to remove a bandage from my hand. Had to put it right back on. lol"
Don't buy cheap...
"Does anyone remember those bracelets that you slapped on your arm and it coiled on your wrist? And remember how some schools banned them because "tHeY aRe DaNGeRoUs, kIdS WiLl gEt HuRt"? And how most people thought it was an exaggeration and no one was stupid enough to get hurt with them? Well I'm one of those stupid kids. I have a long scar through my inner forearm that looks just like if I tried to commit suicide, all thanks to that cheap bracelet."
the scar to prove it...
"My mom dropped me on my head as a baby. Well less dropped and more slipped on ice where I went flying and landed on a gravel driveway, splitting my few months old head wide open. While it's faded over the years, I've had a large scar at the center of my forehead essentially my whole life. Oh and it's kinda in the shape of a lightning bolt so I'll give you one guess as to how my childhood changed after the first Harry Potter book."
"Other downsides include my Mom's persistent guilt that I wish I could take away, and that one time I had a CT scan and they saw what looked like a mass and I essentially counted the minutes until my next appointment a day later, thinking I was dying. Turns out I have a scar on my brain too. But on the upside it makes for a great conversation ice breaker and when people ask if I was dropped on my head as child, I can proudly proclaim "Yes, and I have the scar to prove it!"
"Was playing handball with a bunch of my friends at school one day during lunch break, when somebody knocked the ball far away and it began rolling downhill. The layout of that area of the school was such that if something started rolling downhill, it was possible for it to go a loooooong way down several sets of stairs and walkways before it stopped, so ideally you'd want to stop it as early as possible."
"I began to run after the ball hoping to catch it before it rolled too far, but as I was running, I got a bit off-balance and began to lean forward. So to compensate, I tried running faster and faster to counteract this. Unfortunately it reached the point of no return where I was at a full sprint and was still in the process of falling further forward, so I pretty much had to just accept my fate by this point - I fell over and hit the concrete at pretty much a full sprint. Lost quite a bit of skin from my elbow, and there's still a small bit of scarring there about 15 years later."
SmoredCamp Fire Smores GIF by Sherilyn CarterGiphy
"Not me but my brother. Managed to get a scar by accidentally hitting a s'more on his cheek when trying to eat it."
It's all dumb to me!
"I was sitting with my legs crossed with my knee under the frame of a very old, wooden waterbed. I lifted my knee and a screw pierced the skin and ripped open a gash three inches long. I sneezed while shaving. I scratched my chicken pox. A metal door closed on the back of my heel slicing off a quarter inch of flesh. I'm clumsy, I don't know which one ranks higher, but they're all pretty dumb."
I flung myself onto the bed thinking I could be airborne, and for a moment I was. I landed on the corner of a small portable radio my mom loved. (Very eighties) And now because I wanted to be the wind, I'm blemished for life. Oh well.