I sat down to watch David Fincher's Zodiac, one of my favorite films, the other night. I have always been particularly struck by the first scene, which depicts the double shooting of a young man and young woman in a car parked on a secluded lover's lane. Only the young man survives. At the end of the film, now older and world-weary, the man identifies the individual who shot him. I wonder: What must it have been like to live with that trauma and survivor's remorse?
After Redditor Obama-bin-keemstar asked the online community, "Those who have almost been murdered, what's your story?" people shared their experiences. Some of these are downright chilling.
Warning: Some sensitive material ahead.
"My dad was the manager..."
When I was young (maybe 4 or 5 years old), my family lived in a small town of about 1200 people. It was mostly a farming town. My dad was the manager of the only bank in town. A farmer missed some payments on a loan, so the bank foreclosed and took his farm. This farmer apparently blamed my father personally, so he went to the bank with a rifle and threatened my father. My father talked to him, cops were called, and the farmer was arrested and arraigned.
Bail was posted for the farmer, so he was released from jail. A few days later, my family was eating dinner and we heard a truck pull up and park in front of our house. It was a really quiet street in a small town, so my father went to the front window to see who pulled up. It was the farmer, and this time he had a shotgun. He walked right up to the front door and knocked, and my family busted @ss out of the back door and ran to a neighbor's house. Our front door was unlocked so he could have opened it and blasted us all, but I guess he didn't think to check it.
Cops were again called, and the farmer was arrested. My family spent the next week or so in a hotel a few towns away until it was assured that the farmer would be in jail without the possibility of bail.
"I was a freshman..."
I was a freshman in college and, in my first semester, pledged a fraternity. One night, I was assigned to work the door at a party (which was not uncommon). Around 1:30-2 am, a group of guys that worked at the dining hall (I remembered the one because he made an amazing cheesesteak) showed up and each paid $5 per cup. A few minutes after they paid, the last keg kicked and none of them got any beer.
As soon as they told me that the kegs just kicked, I started counting out cash to pay them back for the cups that they bought. Before I could get them their money back, one of my drunk pledge brothers decided to physically force them out the door while yelling/s***-talking them. As soon as I could calm my buddy down I went outside to give them their cash back, only to be met with a big, big surprise.
When I made it down the back steps, Cheesesteak Guy aggressively steps forward and says "Ya'll made a big f****** mistake. I'm strapped as a mother f*****", pulls a handgun out of his waistband and points it directly between my eyes. In that moment, it was remarkable that 18-year-old me didn't s*** his pants immediately.
A few of the older guys in the house stepped outside and were able to talk the guy down without incident, but it felt like I had that gun pointed between my eyes for an eternity. Long story short, I was incredibly lucky that I didn't get shot that night.
Needless to say, I went without cheesesteaks for a few semesters after that night.
My brother struggled with mental health issues his entire life. When I was really young he pushed me into the deep end of the pool knowing I couldn't swim and walked away. They found me floating face down in the pool shortly after and had to resuscitate me.
Mental health issues are not to be ignored.
"I was a clerk..."
I was a clerk at an appliance repair shop. Some guy had brought his riding lawn mower in to be worked on, but decided it cost too much to have repaired so my boss asked me to load it up in our lift truck and drive it to his address. I was 17 and had my relatively newly minted license on me, so it felt like a big responsibility and I was happy to do it.
I loaded it up just fine and drove to his address. When I started to unload it I noticed that the battery was unattached. One of the technicians must have removed it to work on it or something. Unfortunately, I had no tools to put it back in. I checked the work order and it said "Customer declined repair, needs replacement engine." So I thought "whew, he won't care because the engine is dead anyway."
I rang the doorbell, and this fat drunk guy with no shirt opens the door suddenly. I had lowered the riding mower off the lift truck and had pushed it into his yard. He yells "What the hell are you leaving that pile of junk in my yard for?" I said, "Is this not your riding lawnmower?" He says "Hell yes it's mine, but it's in pieces and I don't want the damned thing. What the f' is wrong with you people!?"
So I apologize and ask him if he wanted me to load it back up (I didn't know what else to say). For some unknown reason this pissed him off even more, and he disappeared back into his house. I go back to the truck to radio my boss (this was back in the days before cell phones) to see what she wanted me to do. In the meantime that drunk bastard stomps out onto his porch with a shotgun, leveled it at the truck, and pulled the trigger. The windshield shattered, and I literally couldn't hear anything but ringing from the noise. I jumped in the truck, started it up, put it in reverse, and floored it out of his driveway, almost going into the ditch on the other side of the road. He fires again, this time hitting the passenger side of the truck near the door, blowing shrapnel into the cab of the truck, which hit my leg and cut me a bit.
I flew back to work faster than I had ever driven before, called my mom and dad, and told my boss I was never coming back to work there again.
The cops came and took my statement, arrested the dumb@ss, and I had to testify against him a few months later (despite desperately never wanting to see him again). He only spent about six months in prison for it. Luckily by the time things were settled I had moved away to college, and didn't have to worry about him anymore.
When I was 19 I dated a girl whose dad was a psycho. Was probably just over 5 feet tall but all muscle. Did a bunch of time in prison for drugs and violent crimes. Once had a guy cut him off in traffic, followed the guy and finally boxed him in, tore open his car door, and held a knife to the guy's crotch threatening to cut his member off until the guy wet himself. This level of crazy (didn't find most of this out until after the fact)
She and I lived together in an apartment. I worked afternoons, she worked days. There was a couple of hours in the afternoon when no one was there
Had a day off one day and was running some errands. Came home in that time frame when no one was normally home and her father came walking out of our bedroom. I asked him what he was doing there and he told me because he liked me he would be honest.
He said he was there to rob us. He was on drugs and was in the middle of a crime spree. Held up a bunch of people in the complex who were entering or leaving the building, then came through our bedroom window. He said he looked around and didn't find anything so he was on his way out. He said he wouldn't hurt me but if I ever told anyone this happened, including his daughter, I would disappear and no one would ever find me and he walked out.
The whole time he was talking to me, all o could think of was don't give him a reason to attack me. That and I had a coffee cup in the living room with almost $1000 in it. Thankfully he didn't find that.
I thankfully never saw him again. My relationship was on the rocks and this gave me the needed push to get out of there. I never told anyone what happened until after he died.
"I broke up with him..."
The last time I saw my ex.
I broke up with him while we sat in his car at a park. After choking me until I passed out, he got onto the freeway and drove 100+ mph while slamming my head into the window and dashboard.
I was able to get out of the car at one point when he got off the freeway and ran into the street screaming, trying to wave down a car but no one stopped. He was forcing me into his trunk when a man pulled over and started filming him and I ran onto a bus.
I won't ever forget how his eyes looked and that he was absolutely silent the whole two hours. I moved across the country after his mom called me panicking to warn me he was looking for me.
"The lead doc..."
I got shot twice in the back while working in Africa.
I'll condense the story as much as possible. There's a whole prelude to it that explains the why but that's actually really, really hard for me to talk about.
I flew helicopters in Africa for almost 6 years. Mainly for small, front line NGOs serving rural populations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, etc. Most of the work centered around OB/GYN care/HIV/AIDS treatment/prevention/Infectious Disease treatment/vaccination. East Africa isn't exactly Green Acres and there are a lot of interesting characters/groups roaming the countryside. Militants, poachers, jihadis, oh my. They don't generally like being hassled by westerners (especially when you fly with heavily armed security)
We were in a small Kenyan village called Kiunga (on the Kenya/Somali border) when we were assaulted by a group of militants (likely Al-Shabaab). The Boni National Reserve was a common hideout for them and there were active warnings in place to prevent tourists from venturing there to see animals.
I got word that we were ready to head out so myself and my No 2 at the time started the pre-flight check. While we were in the process of starting the engines, a group of really nice young men rolled up in a Toyota Hilux and, in the glorious words of Frank Reynolds, started blasting.
Two rounds pierced the panel directly behind the cockpit of the Bell 412 we were flying that day and fragmented. Two of the larger fragments blew through the back of the seat I was in and the rest is history. Our security detail, to their immense credit, did exactly what they were paid (exceptionally well) to do and those fine young men in that Hilux had a very, very bad day.
The lead doc and one of the nurses yanked me out of the seat and stabilized me as best they could in the back. That meant a spritz of some serious pain meds (atomized fentanyl & ketamine right up the nose for the win!), a clotting agent (Celox), and some serious pressure in the form of a German doctor named Fritz kneeling on my back. The wounds themselves weren't life-threatening but they hurt like a mother. I've got two nice scars with some real clean suture work /s
The flight back to Mombasa was....not fun.
"I was a kid..."
I was a kid on a trip with my family and the hired driver had a mental breakdown and tried driving us off a bridge.
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Oh the 90's. What a decade.
Who knew we were in the time of revolution?!
So much happened, yet so much stayed the same.
And not decades later, so much has changed.
Who doesn't love to look back upon a decade and discuss the things that were a common part of life and are now basically obsolete?
You never know in real time.
Redditor Apart-Scalewanted to reminisce about the glory days.
"What was normal in the 1990s but rare or non existent now?"
For me... it's Madonna having a #1 song. It can still happen, but highly unlikely.
MusicNew Music Football GIF by Black PrezGiphy
"A disc man plugged into a cassette tape with a wire to play music in your car."
"Hotlines for the weather report, current time, and movie show times."
"The time and temperature phone number for my small hometown still exists to this day. Same Pre recorded voice and everything. It still advertises caller-id as an add on feature for land lines. Know who’s calling you. It’s easy and convenient with caller id. The time is x. Temperature y."
"Talking to your friends mom to see if they were home."
"I've always thought that having to go through the parents to talk to your friends made things more controlled and respectful. Now kids can just blast each other with every thought that pops in their heads 24/7, that must make things more toxic."
"When picking someone up from the airport, you could wait for them at their gate."
"When I have flights going through cities with people I know I will intentionally schedule a couple hour layover so I can go hand lunch with them and then just go through security again and board the next flight."
I'm OutBye Bye Goodbye GIF by Mickey MouseGiphy
"I still do this to this day. I'll go on vacation for a week and just turn the phone off, or be far enough out in the boonies that there is no cell signal whatsoever."
I wish I could put my phone down. Who knew we'd never be without them?
Let's FandangoMovie Theater Popcorn GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"Calling the movie theater or looking in the paper for movie times."
"Keeping a binder full of CDs in your car."
"I once left the door on my car unlocked and came back to find my car stereo gone but not my full 100 disc binder. The stereo had completely died 2 weeks prior and I just hadn't gotten around to swapping it out yet. I just laughed."
"My car CDs were stolen in 1998. I’m still pissed."
"Pressing play and record at the same time."
"I don't know why but this one made me feel the saddest. I guess it just snapped me back to a moment when I was bored and had no where I had to be, no where I planned to go. My life's todo list completely empty. Just me and the weird 90's dust that seemed to float around in front of sunny windows."
"Putting tape over the security tab/square so you could record over any tape you had in your collection."
"I had to check for the phone booth that I used the most as a teenager (not in NYC, in the beach town where I spent my summers) and it was still there in the most recent Street View! I'll have to see if it's there now when I go by tomorrow. This was where I checked in with my parents and friends circa 1990 to see what was going on. The arcade was just down the street."
And the White?yellow pages GIFGiphy
"I got a phone book in my mailbox the other day. First one in years. It was about the size of a Goosebumps book."
Well those were the days. Weren't they?
Texas is HUGE!
Literally, it's massive. That might be why the tagline is about everything being big. Oh the metaphors of life.
Next to size is heat. Lord is it hot there.
Those are just a few of the regular Texas deets that often come to mind.
What else do others think of?
Redditor Common-Transition973 wanted to compare notes on everyone's thoughts about the Lonestar state.
"Non Texans , what are your thoughts when you hear 'Texas?'"
I've been to Texas once. Austin. It was cute.
"Literally just the shape of the state itself as seen from a map or something."
All Love Baby
"I’ve been through Texas a few times and the thing that stood out to me was how much people in Texas love talking about how much they love Texas. I had a beer at the Dallas airport when I was waiting for a friends plane and it was a Budweiser bottle but instead of Budweiser the label said Texas on it."
"Diners would serve Texas shaped pancakes. Every gas station had a section for Texas swag- everything from tee shirts to shot glasses to hats to magnets and other Knick knacks."Giphy
"I’ve always found New Yorkers to be obnoxious with how much they talk about how much better they are than everyone else, but Texas is actually on another level. So, I guess when I think of Texas, I think of a bunch of people yelling 'I f**kin' love Texas'."
"Barbecue, don’t get me wrong we’ve got it here in the UK but it’s nothing like what I’ve seen from across the pond. Burnt ends, beef ribs, smoked brisket. I’ve only ever seen it on YouTube and I envy those of you who have tasted it."
"Honestly when I went to Texas and tried the bbq, at both that big well known place and a 'mom and pop' place that my airbnb hosts said was the best in the city. It was... Good. Like it was tasty and all, but just they way people talk about it like its some kind of religious experience or that it's just so different and unlike bbq in other countries, but it wasn't. Its still just meat + dry rub + sauce and I've had comparable bbq in London."
"My Texas is essentially one of those m&m characters. I picture him with those big oval eyes and white limbs. The color of this Texas-shaped m&m is 'American flag.' He’s got a cowboy hat, a piece of wheat sticking out of his mouth, and a perfectly groomed mustache. He’s just walking around in his cowboy boots with his Ak-47 in tow. He vehemently hates the skittles."
"In my native Norwegian the term 'complete Texas' means chaos or out of control."
Algorithmix9Panic Omg GIFGiphy
Texas means so much in so many ways.
"Cadillacs with giant horns on the front driven by old men in white suits with big white cowboy hats and superbly trimmed mustaches."
Spare-Cap-3152season 6 welcome to austin GIF by PortlandiaGiphy
"In my company (in a country on the opposite side of the planet from Texas), 'gone Texas' is a term used to describe a software program that has frozen up to the point where even Task Manager can't abort it. Otherwise we don't think about it very much, except perhaps with mild horror."
"Heavyset white people with guns and large cowboy hats yelling 'DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!'"
"My favorite part of 'Don’t mess with Texas’ is that comes across as this slogan about how tough and bada** Texans are, but in reality it was an effective anti-littering campaign from the department of transportation."
"Man, as a Muslim in a secular country, is always a ride seeing posts about republicans go on about something something shariah law, something something freedom, something Obama... And then two posts later, there's a r/nottheonion post about Texas basically being white Taliban."
"I think of Gilead but with cowboy hats."
Trips89Handmaids Tale No GIF by VideolandGiphy
Well there is still a lot of good in Texas. You just have to dig deep.
Insects play a vital role in Earth's ecosystem.
Without insects, some plants would die and some animals would starve creating a domino effect of global famine.
That being said, June Bugs can crawl back into the pits of Hell from whence they came.
I know I'm not alone in that opinion.
Redditor aconnor105 asked:
"What insect can go straight to Hell?"
"Horseflies. One of those f'kers chased my car for an hour and a half."
"Ah yes, the sadistic combination of a mosquito's diet and gluttony and a fly's energy and speed."
"Their mouthparts are literally two knives with the blades facing outwards, when a horsefly (or deer fly, or moose fly) bites you, they’re literally ripping a hole in your skin and lapping up the blood."
"They are such a**holes. A thrown shoe when they land is surprisingly effective at taking them out."
"Deploy La Chancla!"
"Bed bugs. If you're anything like me just the mention of them makes your skin crawl."
"The bites are bad but the paranoia is worse. Once you get them you will never trust a bed ever again."
"Every unexplained itch will make you think 'F'k, are they back?'."
Japanese Murder Hornets
"Those killer hornet things from Japan."
"Mosquitoes. Every single one."
"Only few select, totally expendable species of mosquitoes feed on humans. We need to just completely exterminate those f**kers!"
"Kill em all, let their mosquito god sort em out."
Vindicated! I'm not the only one who hates these things.
"June Bugs. I hate them so much. They fly right at you and are so loud! And I get embarrassed for screaming my a** off."
- Skeebou and Cupacakezzz
"1000% this. They make sitting outside in the summer in Texas after 8:00pm (when it’s actually cool enough to sit outside) completely unbearable."
"Cockroaches. I want to invent a laser to kill just these f'kers only. They all need to burn to ash."
"In South China we had drain cockroaches that would panic when they got caught in flash torrential rain. They make a beeline for the nearest high ground, which includes you."
"I didn't really believe it at first."
"'Hah, that cockroach looks like he's sprinting towards me. Look, he even changed direction with me. Whoa, hold on a minute mate'."
"He got to my upper chest before I managed to throw him off."
"About 2,000 of them panicked after a minor earthquake, flooding out of the drains and into the nearby shops. Yelps and colourful language followed as shop staff pelted them into the air and onto bikes/cars/pedestrians with brooms."
"Earwigs. Creepy a** bugs with those big a** pincers on their butt."
"And they always come out at night, get in water glasses, mailboxes...nasty things."
\u201cThe hidden, origami-like wings of the common earwig unfold to ten times their folded size, transforming the mostly ground-dwelling insect into a super-efficient flyer [read more: https://t.co/9vtGk5Hr52] [how they served as models: https://t.co/58nfe8WhYQ]\u201d— Massimo (@Massimo) 1658138400
"Fleas. Literally any parasitic insect."
"This is the answer, literally just any parasite. Some actually DO have a reason to exist, but others seem like they were created for the PURPOSE of spreading diseases and pain."
"The Emerald Ash Borer. Has killed three massive trees on my property, and is working its way to killing every ash tree in my part of the country."
- CoffeeAndBrassleafless tree on green grass field under white skyPhoto by Arun Clarke on Unsplash
"Yellow jackets. All that buzzin and no honey..."
There are insects we mostly love—like honeybees, ladybugs or butterflies...Giphy
...but there seem to be a lot more we mostly hate.
Did your insect nemesis make the list?
For the life of me, I can't understand how anyone could still watch The Walking Dead. I just checked and the damn thing has had 11 seasons. 11 seasons!
Can you imagine?
People enjoy watching characters follow a set of train tracks for an entire season I guess. (For context, I made it to the beginning of the seventh season before I threw in the towel, and it was really testing my patience well before then.)
But there's so much more out there that's equally overrated. Television is the least of our problems.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor PieinHorse asked the online community,
"What is very overrated?"
"The perceived security..."
"The perceived security of most jobs."
Replace jobs with locks or doors or windows and it's still true.
"Influencers. I'm not sure what's more ridiculous, the fact someone believes they are an "influencer" or those who actually follow them and are influenced by said influencer."
I scarcely think about them. Out of sight, out of mind.
"Designer brands and bags. After owning an item from each brand, it’s really the most big waste of money people can put their money on."
You do get what you pay for up to a certain point.
"The extra leg room..."
"First Class Airline tickets!"
"We lucked up on our last flight that we had no choice but to get first class and our company paid for it, but I can 100% say that it was NOT worth the extra $700."
"The extra leg room was nice, as I'm 6'7", but the "free cocktails" and additional food? Nah homie, I'm good."
Was this domestic? For those short flights First Class is pretty much not worth it, but for international long haul? A lie-down bed for a 13 hour flight is worth the 2x or more price, plus the other perks.
"Casual sex. I prefer competitive sex."
Evolutionarily speaking, life is about competitive sex...
"Being famous must suck big time. Imagine not being able to go shopping, taking a chill walk in the park, go to the beach, supermartket, etc... without people engaging with you."
Say goodbye to any privacy whatsoever. No thank you.
"Spent my prime years..."
"Alcohol. Spent my prime years drinking at college and all that, still say it’s the most overrated thing in history. So many better drugs that could have prevented long and short term health issues, made things more peaceful, more efficient, more successful, and so on. The fact that it’s globally advertised every millisecond proves it’s overrated."
There's nothing wrong with deciding to stop drinking (or never drinking at all) and people should not be shamed for it.
"Huge weddings. Why? Spend the money on something important or on a trip."
Some people want their best day ever to be a big party with all the people they care about. But there is a crazy level of stress involved in planning a party that size.
"Being an adult."
"Being an adult. What BS is this, and why the hell did we want to be adults when we were kids?"
Nah, being an adult is awesome. I wouldn't change it for the world. Freedom!
"Half of the time."
"Hot weather. Half of the time it is just horrible and you’re sweating in your clothes and the other half you’re at the beach burning alive."
Sorry, I'd rather it be hot than be freezing, but I'm one of those people who can never get warm.
Hey, it could be worse. We could be talking about how much Game of Thrones disappointed us (again) and how it is impossible to watch it now, a total slog, knowing where it ends up. Disappointing and overrated indeed.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!