I used to live in a small town that I had honestly no business living in because I'm far too much of a city boy. While there I heard all about some of the small time controversies. Perhaps people knew I wouldn't stay for too long because I heard all about them.
There was the young woman who had to have her child taken away by child services because she would drink too much to cope with the pain of having ended her relationship with a married man. A young man who worked at one of the local shops had recently gotten out of prison after serving a sentence for manslaughter. Still another person killed a local in cold blood (but had seemed perfectly normal to most everyone else beforehand). I remember thinking that quite a lot had happened for such an out-of-the-way place.
After Redditor sunflwrxxr asked the online community "What is your small town dark secret?" people shared some of their own stories.
Warning: Some sensitive material ahead.
"It's a crazy story..."
I don't know if it's considered a dark secret, but in the county I lived in from ages 10-18, we had a soldier die under some extremely questionable circumstances. They said he was high/drunk/experiencing mental distress and raided a nursery (the plant kind). They claimed he was attacked by wasps and ran. He called 911 several times and claimed that someone was chasing him, and was trying to kidnap him. In the last 911 call, he said everything was fine suddenly. Just 14-15 minutes later, he was struck by a woman who stopped and called 911. He was ran over 2 more times, and died. The autopsy showed no signs of bee or wasp stings.
The connection to the nursery is due to the fact that it was just up the road from where he died, the place was ransacked, pizza eaten, money taken. But his wallet and phone were sitting on the counter, undisturbed.
HOWEVER! The family was not ok with that explanation, especially because he had previously texted that there were some problems with the "local boys" since the soldier wasn't from this part of the state. So the family had a private investigator look into it. They analyzed the 911 recordings, and found several instances of other people talking in the background, though most of it couldn't be made out. Except one. In the 911 call where he told the operator that everything was fine, a male voice could be heard saying "Tell her". And the nursery? There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no footprints that lead back to the soldier, even though his phone and wallet were there in the building.
A lot of people, his family included, think he was killed by some of the local guys there after they got into a fight about something. They chased him down, and caught him. He was able to run again after the final 911 call, and was hit by a driver while trying to get help. And the police in the county covered the entire thing up because the boys involved were connected to the department somehow. Of the three drivers, none were charged for hitting/running over him. I think only the first driver stopped, but it was discovered that one of the other drivers was connected to the department either through family or friendship.
It's a crazy story, but you can look it up. Just search Austin McGeough. I wouldn't be too surprised since there is a lot of shady stuff happening in small town police departments, including covering up rapes that officers commit. I really hope his family gets him justice.
"It hasn't gotten any better..."
A freshman with Asperger's was being abused by his family at home. He was a problem child and got in trouble on purpose but no one went too hard on him because of his home life, he was a well loved kid at school and in the community. One day just before Holiday break in December he was really sick but his mom sent him to school anyway. Locked him out of the house.
He decided to try and get into one of the empty houses down the street, through the chimney. Now this kid was the size of a 2nd grader, but he was too big to fit through since chimneys taper down thinner.
Mom never answered her phone when the school reported him missing. Went a whole day without reporting her kid missing. No one knew what happened to him.
It was about a month and a half before we knew what happened to him. We all thought he ran away, was alive somewhere, maybe went to his sisters house. Nope. Dead in a chimney.
The schools organized an entire week of counseling and such, they wore pink for a day and handed out little pink ribbons on pins for him since his favorite color was pink. Everyone was hit really hard by it.
That's how our small town started 2020. It hasn't gotten any better as you can see. So weird that its almost been a year now.
"People don't like to talk about it..."
About 10 years ago a lot of homeless people disappeared and when the police did the investigation they found out a guy was kidnapping and eating those people. Police found his hideout and found a half eaten body and bones from another person. People don't like to talk about it but everyone knows what happened.
"Oh, I have a doozy...
Oh, I have a doozy. Short version: popular kids in high school run a secret towel fight club and accidentally kill one of their friends in the house of a local politician, who proceeds to bury the story.
Towel fight club: tape towels over your hands and beat each other up. It's supposed to be just boxing but it sounds like they got out of control and hardly could call it that.
"One of them had an older brother..."
This is a sad one to me. There was an older couple here who ran a halfway house for troubled kids who'd recently gotten out of juvie; they fostered a few as well. They were loved in the community, wonderful people.
One of them had an older brother who was a gangbanger in the nearest big city. During a visit, he snuck his 15 year old younger bro a handgun. Younger bro ended up holding up a local gas station and killed three people. One of them was my friend's cousin.
The foster parents lost whatever credentials they needed to do what they did, the kids went back into the system, and the giant house has been abandoned since around 2009.
"The mayor of the town..."
The mayor of the town I live just outside of was murdered by his girlfriend a little while back. And there was a realtor that was using his company as a front for smuggling drugs. Other than that it's the usual small southern town crap.
"Killed a bunch of students..."
Look up the Gainesville Ripper. Killed a bunch of students and dismembered the bodies in really gross ways. This was about 30 years ago. I guess it's not really a secret if there are podcasts about it but it's slowly being forgotten.
"He killed them both..."
A girl I went to high school with vanished one day. From day one everyone was telling the police that her ex boyfriend had something to do with it, she already had a restraining order cause he held a knife to her throat and threatened to kidnap and kill her but with no evidence they couldn't do anything. Over the years several people went to the police saying that he had admitted to killing her but they did nothing. He eventually got in trouble for threatening to kill another girlfriend and choking her and went to prison for 3 years.
After prison he came back to town and eventually asked another ex of his for a ride home from a party and then she went missing after that night and they found her car burned and they arrested him again and he had burns on his hands. A few months later someone found a set of remains outside of town and during the recovery they found another set of much older remains. He killed them both and the failure of our local police department caused the second girl to be murdered.
Not so much a "secret," but the city where I grew up in Eastern MA became rather infamous thanks to the opioid epidemic. One of our T stations/neighborhoods became a memetic "Junkie Central," that's how bad it was.
There's also a number of bodies found here that have been attributed to Whitey Bulger and his gang, found buried under bridges, along beaches, even one in a tuxedo found in a car, riddled with bullets, that was submerged in a quarry, and a torso stuffed in plastic found in a creek (where I took part in a yearly summer sailing/kayaking program for kids) in the mid 90s.
"Instead of spending money..."
The funeral director in my home town had a bad coke habit.
Instead of spending money on cremating bodies he spent it on coke and left them in back of the winter casket storage. He'd spray them with spray on deodorant. Bodies were also buried in the wrong graves, fake ashes were given to families.
"I got fired..."
I got fired from my first job bussing tables when I was 13 for taking a dare to snort a line of Sweet and Low one day when we had no customers. The boss had heard about it and flipped his s***.
Turns out it was because he was––not so subtly––selling tons of coke out of the shop and it became a well known drug front until he was busted shortly after.
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Advancements in science happen every day in every way.
But often it feels like we are still so far behind.
How have we not cured so many diseases?
Shouldn't we know more about space?
What is Jello really made of?
So much to ponder and understand.
Maybe one day.
We all have a bucket list of what we'd like to see cured or invented before our last breaths.
Redditor yoda2060wanted to discuss all the science that needs to be devoured before the sand runs out of the hourglass. They asked:
"What scientific achievement you would like to see before you die?"
Life is infinite and we'll never know everything that is possible. But let's dream of what could be...
MiraclesMood Grandma GIFGiphy
"Cure for Alzheimer's. It sucks."
"I want to see us grow hearts, kidneys, livers, etc... In labs and end the need for donations and waiting lists for transplants."
"I waited for a heart/bilateral lung transplant for over a year and I spent 8 months living in the hospital waiting for it. You’re basically waiting for someone to die."
"Which feels all kinds of wrong… but my therapist (all transplant patients sees a transplant therapist) kept reminding me that me needing a heart and lungs doesn’t cause someone to die…"
"And what made even harder was that my mom died of Covid about 5 weeks before my transplant happened. So while I was praying and hoping so hard my mom wouldn’t die… I was also praying for my transplant to happen. I had a lot of mixed and confusing feelings. My transplant happened last November."
"Idiot Bottom Line"
"To build an environment friendly world."
"That depends entirely on how far you want to go with 'environmentally friendly.' Some amateurish pseudo-intellectuals will say that humanity itself is devastating the planet by it's very existence so we'll call that the 'Idiot Bottom Line."'
"So you have to find an acceptable level above that to declare environmentally friendly. For example can we still have hear exchangers? Space debris? Artificial Electromagnetic radiation? There has to be a level before you can declare such and so far no one agrees."
“20 years, tops”
"Viable nuclear fusion."
"Nuclear Astrophysicist here. I know the joke is that we been saying '20 years, tops' for 50 years now - who do you think came up with that joke? But seriously, we are really close."
"We need a reaction that is self-sustaining and puts out more energy than we put in. We can easily do a reaction that’s one or the other, just getting one that’s both is hard. And with recent updates to the Greenwald limit we found some relatively minor tweaks that doubles previous theoretical max output."
Deep Withinblack hole animation GIF by rotomanglerGiphy
"Figuring out what Dark Matter is, solving the mysteries of black holes. Proper thorough investigation of our own oceans."
So far, so interesting. We have so much to learn.
let me dream...news tech GIFGiphy
"Prosthetic limbs and organs that can work just as well as real ones. Affordably too. A cure for total nerve damage. Carbon neutral liquid fuel. FTL travel (let me dream)."
"Making contact with another intelligent species in another solar system."
"That's probably not going to happen. I'd be overjoyed though if we discovered even just microbial life in the oceans of Europa or Enceladus. They'd be the first true extra-terrestrials ever encountered."
"If we had teleports then we might also have other technologies integrated with it like instant dental work, instant food, instant surgery, things just unthinkable without the technology but before the steam engine travel was by horse so they could not imagine traveling cross country in any other way besides ships. Maybe with teleports we wouldn't need energy, just an infinite loop of the first spark."
Sickness be gone...
"Cure for all cancer forms."
"I approached a nursing assistant with the question. They could describe it as trying to go after the stick of a lollipop. The treatments are mostly concerned with favors, not sticks. If they can discover a way to deal with the stick, then you may be able to treat cancer from there."
"I think it is important to add that there won’t be ONE cure to all cancers. Cancer is such a broad spectrum of diseases that sometimes have next to nothing in common. But hopefully we will keep getting the survival rates up with different medications for different cancer types."
SimplicityGet Ready Pain GIF by Rodney DangerfieldGiphy
"Solve back pain please. We can do crazy sh*t like nuclear bombs, new fancy vaccines and space exploration, yet we don't have a solution to one of the biggest and most common ailments that existed though all of humanity."
I want to see all of this happen! Fingers crossed.
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Fast fashion is terrible for the environment, one of the largest polluters of clean water globally because of its all too common use of cheap, toxic textile dyes.
It also places producers under more and more pressure to manufacture more and more clothes on masse–the people working in the factories that make this stuff are being paid a pittance, contributing to much of the wealth inequality in less developed nations.
Additionally, it's estimated that the textiles industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and that just two percent of all fast fashion emissions can be reduced through recycling. Ouch. Time to change habits, right?
People shared their thoughts on this and other topics after Redditor urmomsucked asked the online community,
"What should people seriously stop buying?"
"Pets they can’t take care of."
I have known several people who got puppies, decided they couldn't handle them, and dumped them. It's rage-inducing.
"Nestle products. Literally the most evil company currently in business. Unfortunately it's really hard to tell what brands they own."
Nestle is responsible for the deaths of babies in undeveloped nations. It's sick.
"Designer clothes and accessories with logos slapped all over them. It wastes your money and makes you look idiotic."
The funny thing is, the designer clothes/accessories with logos slapped all over them are typically the cheapest options from said designer.
"Simple syrup. It’s sugar water with an $8 price tag."
It's easy enough to make your own. Your iced tea will never be the same again.
"Cheap belts. A quality leather belt will last you decades."
I have a few (quality leather belts, that is) and they've lasted for years and years. Can confirm.
"Cigarettes. To anyone reading this, please just don't start even if it's out of curiosity. I'm 20 years deep into this and it's hell."
Smoking is a brutal addiction to break. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to stop young people from picking up the habit.
"Fast fashion. Garment workers get paid s*it, the environment suffers and you look like everybody else on the street with no personality or sense of individualism."
This should be up at the top. The environmental impact is terrible.
"Unnecessarily large vehicles..."
"Unnecessarily large vehicles, which they'll then inevitably complain cost too much to fill the gas tank."
Gas guzzlers need to go. It's far past time that they be phased out.
"Anything advertised on Instagram. It’s a scam and those influencers are just making it look cheap AF."
Or just avoid Instagram in general. That would solve a lot.
"New phones when their current is just as good."
You've got that right. People buy a new one for the hell of it without even thinking about it.
It's pretty clear that many of us need to change our habits now. Our wallets will thank us later.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
If you make too many funny faces, your face will stay that way permanently.
Watch too much tv and your eyes will fall out.
Break a mirror and it's seven years of bad luck.
These are among the many myths and superstitions we heard as children, more often than not from our parents and teachers as a way of scaring us into behaving.
But while there is not one ounce of truth to any of these tall tales, there are many who still believe them, and many more.
Redditor RedditPersonIf was curious to learn what superstitions people continue to believe are true, leading them to ask:
"What myths are obviously false, yet most people still believe they are true?"
When they fly the coop...
"If you take care of a baby bird, the mother won’t want it anymore because it’ll smell like a human."- GreatXs
No amount of fiber can help you
"If you swallow gum, it'll stay in your digestive tract for 7 years."- stinky_cheese33
It was every other subjects he had trouble with
"Albert Einstein failed math in school."- Nothingreallyendalbert einstein GIFGiphy
Though it does make shampooing easier
"Shaving your hair will make the hair grow back thicker.'- RunWithScissorsss
Sleep with your mouth closed
"The amount of spiders you eat while being asleep."- pantsofafatman
"That you are supposed to pee on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain."- Actuarybajellyfish burn GIF by Monterey Bay AquariumGiphy
"Bulls not liking the color red."
"Bulls are partially color blind and can only see yellow, green, blue, and violet."- Rogurzz
Call a Lyft instead
"Coffee, speed, and uppers sober you up."
"Too drunk to drive?"
"Now you're drunk AND on drugs, you just don't feel the effects of the booze but your motor skills, reaction time and decision making are all still drunk AF."- kirkrjordan
Best let nature run its course
"The damn alpha wolf."
"It was one study under captivity, the poor researcher made it his life's work to try and set it right."
"If you want a brutal hierarchy where everyone pecks down, what you're looking for is chickens."- raxeira-etterathdog lol GIF by Regal CinemasGiphy
Give this one some thought
"We can only use 10% of our brain."- UnbearableHuman
A little bit of research will clear up any doubt you have on these old superstitions and beliefs.
And for anyone who helped out a friend who got stung by a jellyfish, no need to be embarrassed.
Who hasn't looked at a scarf someone knitted for a loved one, a flawless homemade birthday cake, or an immaculately planted garden and thought, "I wish I could do that"?
But you'd never dare try to attempt it yourself, knowing that it's well beyond your personal skill set.
But is it?
Intimidating as they may seem, some skills might be deceptively easier than they appear to be, or might come more naturally to you than to many others.
Redditor halfmoon599 was curious to hear what skills people believed to be much easier than they seem, leading them to ask:
"What skill is actually easier to learn than what other people think?"
Everyone can be ambidextrous!
"I'm left handed and and I wanted to learn to write with my right hand."
"it was much easier than I thought and now I can write with it making it look somewhat decent."- JE3V4N_
"Using your off hand skillfully."
"I worked on this when I owned a woodworking business and it has helped so many times over the years."- karg_the_fergus
Should you ever forget your keys...
"Picking a lock."
"It only takes about 1 or 2 hours to learn, contrary to popular belief." - DifficultAd5113frustrated frustration GIFGiphy
Can't get to the genius stand? No problem!
"It's just a lot of googling and YouTubing."- theassassintherapist
"Basic IT troubleshooting."- usmarine7041
You'll have a blanket done in no time!
"It looked really difficult to me but I was really pleased how easy it was to pick up."
"Especially with YouTube tutorials."- geeltulpenCrochet GIF by Twin_MadeGiphy
But do get a license first...
"Flying a small airplane is actually very simple."
"It's everything else like weather and flight planning, emergency mindfulness, airspace and traffic, and confidence in yourself that gets tricky, but any person with eyeballs and a pulse could fly a plane."- Clyde-MacTavish
With practice, of course
"Parallel parking."- Feels2old
Give your arms a rest!
"It takes just 10-20 minutes a day for 3-10 days.'
"Find a railing you can lean on to start."
"At some point, you'll be able to let go and ride!'- Vegan_BTW_VRJuggling Unicycle GIF by Derek TeeGiphy
... Is it though?...
"Driving a stick shift."- fantazja1
Next time you think, "aw, I wish I could do that," rather than keep wishing, why not just give it a try?