For years, my friends, family and I loved/hated the ongoing saga of "Mariachi Neighbor." Allow me to share the joy. My parents have lived in the same house since 1991 and in 2010, a young family moved into the house next door. Shortly after they moved in, my family hit a rough patch so me, my spouse and our kids as well as my brother, his spouse and their kids moved back into my parents house so we could all work together. What ended up happening was that we all got tortured by approximately 3,744 hours of mariachi music. That's not an exaggeration, we did the math.
My parents both worked early shifts on Saturdays, so they had no idea what they were missing until we told them. Every Saturday morning, starting at 7AM, the neighbor would begin blasting mariachi music so loudly that it rattled the windows of our house. Starting early was bad enough, but they would go non-stop for over 12 hours sometimes. Sometimes, if they had an event they would start as early as 5AM and go til 2 or 3 the next morning. Once, they changed up the game and had Mariachi Wednesday and that messed everybody up. We were friendly with them, so we would ask them to turn it down, but the mother always brushed us off saying we should understand because we were latinx as well so we knew what cleaning day was all about.
Sometimes, she would play the music through the house speakers but off of her phone. So every time she got an email, text, or FB message, we would have to listen to her notification sounds. Since asking them to stop never worked, we would gather on Friday nights and try to figure out where to go on Saturdays. Mariachi music was the soundtrack to life if we were home for any length of time on Saturdays. It was horrible for us, but our friends found it hilarious. My spouse, kids, and I stayed for about six years. This happened every Saturday. That adds up to over 3,700 hours of enduring mariachi music that we had no control over. We've all since moved back out, but every now and then one of us will pop over for a Saturday visit and yup, they're still at it.
One Reddit user asked:
What's your 'worst neighbor ever' story?
And I thought to myself "no WAY anyone could have it worse than years of Mariachi Neighbor!" ... and i was somewhat right, but hey at least Mariachi Neighbor never reported us to the FBI as possible terrorists. So yeah, I'll take the small victory.
Here are some of the best/worst replies, edited for language or clarity where needed. Brace yourselves, there's a whole lot of awful here.
We Can't See Into Your Yard
Downhill neighbor had a wide-open view of our beautiful lower yard. They got a barky dog that they left in their backyard all day. Dog tore down our fence trying to get out and get to our dog. We built a new solid wood fence and then they complained that now that they couldn't see into our yard and that meant we must be spying on them from our yard. Whatever. Then they built a raised deck so that they could see over the fence. We planted a row of bamboo and haven't seen them since.
They called the building department about our fence. The building department came out, said it was legit, and cited them for their illegal deck.
Al Qaeda Sleeper Cell
When I was thirteen, a new neighbor moved into the house next door to mine (which we share a driveway with). Our neighborhood is really close and like to have get togethers and block parties, so we all got together and had a little celebration to welcome her. Immediately it became clear that she did not like my dad.
A while later we find out that she's been telling our neighbors that my dad was inappropriate to her at the party. I know dad would never act like that but he isn't a native English speaker (he's middle eastern which is relevant) and hey maybe some sort of wire got crossed and there was some kind of misunderstanding. So my dad goes to try and apologize to her. It does not go well and she tells my dad to leave which he promptly did.
Then she put up the security cameras. They absolutely covered her house getting views of pretty much every angle including lots of shots of our shared drive. "Whatever" we though. "A lady has a right to put cameras on her house."
Then the cops started showing up. She called them claiming we had messed with her cameras or that me and my friends were shining laser pointers into them. The cops would leave pretty quickly because the supposed crime involved a camera which somehow hadn't captured any evidence of the supposed crime.
Then she started claiming that we were poisoning her yard. She spent a lot of time in her lawn gardening and growing plants but for some reason every six months or so she'd cut everything down and start over. Anyways the cops started coming asking about our supposed poisoning of her lawn but they couldn't find any evidence. We didn't have any poison, her cameras hadn't picked anything up, and we had no motive to poison her lawn. So she started an inquest with the department of agriculture. A pesticide use investigator showed and and interrogated us then took samples from her yard.
While that was going on we had a few fun encounters with her. Once she bought a giant floodlight and pointed it into our windows in the middle of the night. The fire department had to come and unplug it. Another time, our dinner was interrupted when a massive hazmat truck came blaring down our street. Men in heavy gear poured out and charged into her house and then, minutes later disappointedly filed out. One guy came and told us that she had bought a Geiger counter and used it wrong and had thought that we had irradiated her house.
Finally things came to a head when she sued us to get an order of protection. She claimed that my dad was a member of an al Qaeda sleeper cell intent on destroying her. She also claimed that he had used his skills as an engineer to develop a device that she referred to as a white ion laser which would allow him to turn invisible and sneak into her house. She submitted one terabyte of film from her cameras all of which was annotated with such incriminating evidence as "He leaves the house. He enters the house." There were also tons of photos and notes.
It was here that we discovered that her cameras were pointed into my bedroom and had been filming me for years. I was a young lad by this point so there's probably video evidence of some pretty embarrassing teenage behavior out in the aether now. We later legally forced her to move the cameras but she kept moving them back, so I just kept my blinds closed for the better part of a decade.
During the trial, the department of agriculture report came back. It was determined that crazy neighbor has poisoned her own lawn by over fertilizing it. She received a fine for contaminating the ground water.
We obviously won the lawsuit and countersued her to get our own order of protection. We also had to legally get the files on us at the fbi and cia closed since she had reported us to both agencies.
Despite losing the suit, she continued to live next to us, occasionally calling the police on us or suing us again. All things accounted for, the cops were called on us 37 times, we were sued five times, and of course there were the investigations with various federal agencies.
It's now been ten years and she's finally moving out. Why you might ask. Does she feel guilty for accusing us of crimes with no evidence for a decade? Had her paranoia finally driven her to move? No. She didn't pay her property taxes for six years and her house got taken from her. She tried to sue the city on a bunch of occasions as well and failed. Womp womp.
Thou Shalt Not Kill
When I was 10, my neighbor -- an 80-something year old man with a Christian radio station -- shot and killed one of my dogs. When I went looking for my dog, I asked my neighbor if he had seen him.
He told me that he shot a dog like that this morning.
Frozen, I asked where he was so I could bury him. The old man told me that his body was in the dumpster and that he would shoot me too if I didn't get off his land.
I ran through the woods back to my house, screaming out loud in anger and punching trees until my knuckles were torn and bloody.
When I got home, I called the police and the K9 unit came out to my house. He retrieved my dog's body and I buried him.
The worst part was that my dog was very sweet (I know that generally sweet dogs can be threatening, but it was very against his nature) my neighbor had tied him up and broken all of his legs, then shot him point blank in the chest with a shotgun.
I have never felt more rage in my life. My mom took the man to court and he was charged with animal cruelty and the judge asked how much money I thought the dog was worth. I was dumbfounded and croaked out that I didn't want money -- I wanted my dog.
The neighbor was fined $500 and I made him pay it to the local humane society.
The man had the ten commandments posted all around his house, so the next night I took a red sharpie and circled "Thou Shalt Not Kill" on all of his signs.
I doubt anyone will see this comment, but damn... writing it was kind of therapeutic. My dog's name was Hershey, he was a mutt that was born in my bedroom -- he was only 2 years old and such a good boy.
Mom Dyed The Dog Purple
Had a neighbor who let his dog run free, it would get into our yard give our dogs fleas, eat all the food and teach them how to escape. No matter what my mom said the guy denied his dog was getting out. So being fed up with the situation my mom dyed the dog purple and sent it on its merry way. The neighbor kept his dog contained after that.
- note the dye was a nontoxic semi permanent dog dye. No harm came to the pupper.
Other People Can Hear You
My current neighbors are terrible.
It is an Indian couple that fight constantly. I have had to go over to their house and ask them to stop because they are loud enough I can hear them in my house. When they are not fighting, they are loudly having sex in their backyard. And I get it, it's their yard, they can do what they want. But loudly screaming "harder harder, f--- me" is not ok to do outside when other people can hear you. I have kids and now I have to keep a window open because of their behavior.
The woman saw my daughter at the neighborhood mailboxes and told her my wife was a slut and other nasty names.
I complained to my HOA, who I am sure advised them to knock it off. About two weeks after I complained, the police came to my house and said they had received information that I was a dealing cocaine.
To top it off, a large section of the fence between our properties is falling over due to a tree on their side of the fence having a branch growing into it. They refuse to cut the branch and also refuse to help pay to repair the fence.
It has gone on like this for almost a year.
I am moving in 6 weeks.
One neighbor in Florida was a known kleptomaniac, but he would steal the most random items around the neighborhood. When someone moved out of a house, he would dig up the plants from the yard and sell them online. We would just wake up one morning and all of the plants would be gone with the trail of dirt leading to his house. When his house foreclosed he stole all of the doors off their hinges before moving out. He stole another neighbor's bicycle when they left their garage door open. The owner knew it was the klepto so he just walked over to his house and took it back without calling the cops. We also later found out that he was going through a nasty divorce from his wife... who was once his therapist.
Impersonating A Federal Officer
There's a particular type of person who seems to feel like they're the only thing standing between society and complete collapse, and about seven years ago, my downstairs neighbor was one of them. She was aloof and paranoid, and she'd imagine threats from almost everywhere... which made the fact that she thought of herself as some kind of secret agent all the more annoying.
Said neighbor was always trying to find ways of getting me (and anyone else whom she thought of as suspicious) to move out of the building. She'd stage loud telephone calls with "headquarters" about the alarming behavior of the other tenants – like my tendency to get home after nine in the evening, which was clearly scandalous – and frequently yell at the people who'd stand on the corner to smoke. On one occasion, I heard her shouting at someone over the placement of a flowerpot in their window, which was obviously an indication that they were selling drugs.
Then, one afternoon, I found an "official notice" taped to a wall in the stairwell.
It was perhaps the most ridiculous attempt at a government-sponsored document that I'd ever seen, and I'm including the time that my friend Jonathan – then nine years old – made a flyer for bodyguard services. The atrocious grammar, poorly Photoshopped seal, and distinct absence of any legitimate contact information made the thing about as realistic as a scene from NCIS. Furthermore, the reference to "the past two years" seemed to indicate me as her primary target, since I was (as far as I knew) the only resident who had been there for less time than that.
Still, since the notice was clearly meant to scare someone, I decided to return the favor by taking a page out of my neighbor's own playbook. This led me to stand outside of her apartment while staging my own fake phone call:
"You should see the notice; it's terrible! Hah, yeah, it's like they didn't know that impersonating a federal official is a felony! Anyway, the real FBI are on their way, and they're going to dust for fingerprints. Whoever made that notice is looking at a lot of jail time!"
I went back inside my apartment after that... and within seconds, I heard my neighbor's door open. There was the sound of hurried footsteps rushing towards the stairwell, followed by an equally hurried retreat. When I went out to check five minutes later, the notice was gone.
I've since moved away, but for the rest of the time that I lived there, the lady never bothered me again.
Let A Jehova's Witness In My House
I used to have this obnoxious neighbor who invited herself over all the time. Multiple cars in the driveway- we must be having company over which meant free food for her. She would peek over the fence and see we were grilling and would come over to find out what was up.
My dad had a semi- trusting relationship with her and let her know where we kept a spare key should there be an emergency.
We walked in a couple times after being gone and found notes from her on the counter stating she had stopped by to chat but we weren't there. Which means she had used the spare key, gone into our house while we weren't there and probably snooped around and then left a note.
My dad mentioned to her how she wasn't to come in when we weren't there and she apologized. The next day there were brownies on the counter with a note that said sorry. She clearly disregarded what he said to bring us apology brownies!!
The last straw was when one day my dad had left the house and I was taking a shower. When I stepped out in just a towel and ran to the laundry room there was a random woman sitting on the couch. After freaking out I learned that she was a jehova's witness and was let in by my neighbor who apparently was snooping around while I was in the shower and just left the lady alone in my house.
My dad came home and changed all the locks that day and told her not to come over ever again. We also ignored her any time she knocked after that. She hated us after that and clearly thought all of her actions were completely normal.
Old Guy With Binoculars
We lived next door to this old man who sat in his front yard BLATANTLY just staring at us with binoculars. He only did it when my parents weren't home. When my mom confronted him he claimed we were lying. We weren't.
So one night we hear a noise outside and my mom pulls up the blind to find herself eye to eye with this old man trying to look into our window.
Years ago, my wife, kids, and I rented a townhouse.
We had been there for 4 years, and were on a month by month lease.
The owner told us that they would not be extending the lease because she was selling the unit. No big deal, but the lease ended in July and we were told this in May.
We scrambled, but were eventually able to find a great house in an excellent neighborhood to buy. It was during the housing crisis so we got a huge deal, too. Paid about $100K less than the neighbors.
Anyway, at the townhouse there were a few neighbors that would ogle my wife. I don't blame them, I mean, I wanna bang her too.
They were all married except one guy that I will call Brian because that's his name.
Brian was divorced a few times and had kids in their 20s that lived with him. He would constantly run outside if he saw my wife out there. He would mention to her that he saw her going to the store or to the mailbox or whatever. We had a community pool and he would see her going there with the kids and follow so he could hang out with her while she was in her bikini. It creeped her out so much she would wrap a towel around herself until she confirmed he wasn't at the pool.
I had to have words with him more than once about this.
Moving day comes and we haven't told any of the neighbors we are moving because why would we?
Brian comes over as we are loading the truck and asks my wife "Which one of you are moving out?"
I stop and tell him, deadpan as can be, "Both of us."
He was hoping it was a divorce situation so he could try to f*ck my wife.
~BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE~
I come home from a work trip one day and my wife tells me that Brian was driving past our house.
I don't know how he did it, but he found out where we live. We still live in the same city, so I reason he either saw my wife and followed her home one day or just drove around until he found us.
We live in a cul-de-sac. There is no fucking reason for him to be driving there. It's not like we're on the way to someplace.
Finally, My wife has my car because I have to take her's in for maintenance. The doorbell rings and who is it but Brian.
He is obviously stunned to see me answer the door and starts to stammer out some bullshit about why he's there.
He knows about my military time and what I was in the Army.
I tell him, in no uncertain terms, that if I ever see him near my home or my wife ever again that it will be the last thing he does on this Earth.
I make him acknowledge that he understands me and to tell me he will never come here again, and he scurries to his car and leaves as fast it it will take him.
It's been a few years and neither of us have seen Brian.
Every now and then I'll see a car I don't recognize on our cul-de-sace and I always look at the driver.
Just in case.
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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