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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Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.
Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.
But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.
Only, how accurate are they?
Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:
"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
In case you had any doubts about hacking...
"Don't nobody code that fast lol."- lmoore0621
The better question is, what does Hollywood get right?
"Just about anything medical, including deaths."
"Just about anything dealing with space."
"Just about anything dealing with natural disasters."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Hollywood really gets anything right about anything."- Xyrus2000
"Especially in big firms, it’s a lot of just endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."
"Sincerely, someone studying to do endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."- geeeeeetarSeason 2 Nbc GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
For better or worse...
Don't let them in the operating room...
"Nursing."- buhzkillWake Up Coffee GIF by FOX TVGiphy
Drop that baton!
"Oh my god just take a lesson or two and learn how to hold the instrument right."- soysaucemmm
Crunching those numbers... incorrectly...
Accountants. I'm sorry, but the action Thriller "The Accountant" starring Ben Aff-lack, was in no way a true representation of my job. - User Deleted
Defying all laws of motion...
"It's hilarious how they act!."- Prestigious-Order-62back to the future 121 gigawatts GIFGiphy
At least depending on where you went to school...
If we're being honest, most people tune in to watch films or television shows to escape from reality, and aren't usually looking for a documentary on these professions.
Though, for anyone thinking they want to be a scientist after watching Back To The Future... you might want to really think that one over...