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 beginning of the interwebs.
Those were the days.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
RedditorEzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
Those were the days!
Do you have something you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.