Some of us are lucky: We have good neighbors. We each go about our business; no one makes any noise or brings any drama into each other's lives... It's quite simple, really.
But others aren't so lucky, and chances are pretty high that you've been one of those unlucky people. (As have I, sad to say.)
You've probably fantasized about ways you could get petty revenge on your awful neighbors, and thankfully Quora gave us our fix in the form of the following question: "What's the pettiest thing you've done to get back at a nuisance neighbor?"
"Then one week..."
No real names used, because, frankly, I don't know if I ever knew their names in the first place, and I really couldn't care less what they are anyway.
I had just moved into my very first house. Pride of ownership and what-not. We're serving pizza to my brother and friends who helped us move. The doorbell—*my* doorbell—rings, and I cheerfully go answer it. It's a guy I don't recognize. Must be one of the neighbors, here to welcome us to the neighborhood! I open the door wide and greet him with a smile.
"You ran your truck all over my G. D. lawn and ruined it," Slouch McSneererson spits out at me. My brother, who happened to be just over my shoulder at the time, had been driving the truck, and he had gone up on the curb a wee bit to back it into the driveway. Bro and I walk out with Slouch to assess the damage. Trying not to make enemies on my first day in the neighborhood, I say, "Of course, I'll be glad to do whatever is necessary to fix it." It's a rut in the boulevard strip. I understand not being happy about it, but sheesh, it's pretty easy to fix.
"You're not touchin' my G. D. lawn, not after I dumped three thousand dollars worth of water on it to get it to grow!" Ol' Slouch grumbled. Okay, so what did he actually want then? I wasn't going to offer him $3,000 for a stupid rut. First, I don't care what he spent on the water bill, he watered his whole lawn, not just that one spot, and second, you pull up the sod, level out the dirt, put the sod back down. $20 to throw a little extra dirt, fertilizer, and seed in there to make it better. Nope, Slouch just wanted to beeyotch at me about it. Establish his place as better than me, I guess.
Now, both my wife and I have jobs. So on trash day, one or the other of us puts our trash cans at the curb like everyone else, then when we get home, we pull them back into the garage. Fast forward a couple weeks. Slouch catches me as I'm starting to haul the trash cans back to the garage. "Your G. D. trash cans were in the middle of the road all day." I look around, like, they're lying right here on the boulevard strip where they belong. "I kicked 'em back to the grass, 'cuz they were in my emmer-effin' way."
"Oh," I said. "Well, thanks, Slouch. I appreciate you watching out for us."
"Didn't do it for you! Keep 'em outta the street!"
Kinda hard to do when there's no specific time for the trash to be picked up, there's no one at home to watch for it, and telecommuting hadn't been invented yet, but… okay, whatevs.
Several more times, Slouch helpfully informed me when my G. D. trash cans were in the G. D. road, and in his emmer-effin way.
Then one day, I came home and one of my trash cans had been flattened. Like one of those magician's top hats. No credit taken for it, but I knew who did it. But it was one of those rubber ones, so I stood in the circle and pulled the sides up like a pair of pants, then clambered out of the trash can and took it to the garage. This happened 3–4 times.
Then one week, one of our trash cans disappeared. Interestingly, the McSneerersons suddenly had one more trash can in their possession than they had before, and it looked startlingly like mine. I told myself they must need it more than me, being more trashy people than we were, and let them keep it.
(Oh, one night I did sneak over there on trash day and put my name on it with a Sharpie. Just to needle them.)
They did other things to demonstrate their value to the community. Bottle rockets launched at other houses, breaking into garages to steal lawnmowers, breaking into cars to steal radios (not mine this time, but only because I kept mine in my now-stoutly-locked garage).
When the For Sale sign went up in our yard, they vandalized that! I'd have really thought they'd be happy we were moving out, they seemed so disturbed by our presence, but whatever. I didn't mention it earlier because it didn't fit in the rest of the narrative, but these were some really racist, bigoted people as well. They'd host backyard picnics from time to time, and as the darkness fell and the empty beer cans increased in number, and the bottle rockets started flying, you'd hear various disparaging comments about the various ethnic groups they were forced to work with and such. Edit: I just remembered that their house had a flagpole, and it flew the Stars and Bars, day and night. That doesn't necessarily make them de facto racist, but it doesn't put much distance between them and a culture that thought it was okay to treat people as object to be bought and sold.
Well, we got a few people looking at our house, and one young couple decided they wanted to buy it. They made a very attractive offer on it, and I was inclined to accept it, but first I spoke with the gentleman. Essentially, telling him that we're glad to sell to him, but feel he should be aware that the neighborhood is very white, and there are a small number of people in the area who won't be happy to see a black couple moving in. He smiled and said he was aware that the neighborhood was lily white, and that racism was a fact of life for him and his wife, and he wasn't worried about anything. Indeed, he was a big man—bigger than me, and I'm pretty big—and pretty solidly muscled. If anyone could stand up to Slouch McSneererson, this guy could.
So moving day finally arrived and we had a crew in to box up and load everything. I gave them instructions, though: the place we're going, you contract with a trash hauler, and they give you your wheelie bins, so we're not going to need the trash cans moved. Just leave them in back of the house. We filled them with all the trash we were leaving behind, including the perishable contents of our refrigerator and freezer. The truck pulled away with all our stuff, including our vehicles. But we stayed in the house for one last evening, "camping out" on the floor.
We got up very early the next day to catch our early flight out. Miraculously, in the middle of the night, our missing trash can apparated on our front lawn, as if it had been there all the time! Ol' Slouch thought he was getting one last dig in, apparently, as now we'd have to haul a dirty old trash can with us to our new home. He didn't know we were getting a taxi to the airport, nor that we didn't need the trash cans any more.
While my wife was getting ready to leave, I hauled that trash can and the ones in back of the house, full of all our left-behind stuff, including the now thoroughly stinky contents of our fridge and freezer, and left them on Slouch's front and side porches, with a paper taped to them saying, "You appeared to need our trash cans more than we do. Enjoy!"
I like to think that he believed them to be empty and gave them a kick, simultaneously hurting his foot and dumping garbage all down his front porch steps.
Not proud of it. But I do giggle like a schoolgirl when I think about it.
"She had a three-car-wide garage..."Giphy
Ah, the Snow War.
We had a neighbor who lived across the street from us who was a real b. After hearing the things she'd yell at her terminally-ill husband or her adult son or any of her other relatives who had somehow been induced to stop by, it was pretty obvious to me that it wasn't just her neighbors that she hated.
She had a three-car-wide garage with a correspondingly wide driveway, even though she only had one vehicle (this was after her husband had died). When it snowed, she expected whichever of her male relatives were currently at her beck-and-call to clear the entire width of the driveway. If it was just an inch or two of snow, a snow shovel would suffice. But once in a great while we'd get a deep snow. At that point, random-male-relative would arrive with a snowblower.
In addition to the snowblower, he also brought an apparently genetic lack of respect for other people, because the direction in which he chose to blow the snow was not—as would seem logical—onto neighbor's lawn, but instead into the street…specifically, toward the end of our single-car driveway (which was a bit further down the street from her driveway), where it turned into a wide patch of ice.
Because the street had a bit of a slope upward in the direction you'd need to drive to get off our street in the winter, that patch of ice made it nearly impossible for a car to get any traction after exiting our driveway. It wasn't just a nuisance; it was a dangerous nuisance.
Despite my husband having had words with her and with random-male-relative about the situation, it kept happening. Finally, since I was pretty sure that this behavior wasn't legal, the next time that the snowblower was used to cause this hazard, I called the police.
Sadly—according to the cop—moving snow onto the street turned out to be a perfectly legal thing to do. That news (which she overheard) seemed to please neighbor quite a lot. Unfortunately for her, that fact was very useful to me.
When her random-male-relative was done with his dirty work and gone, and the sun had gone down, I went outside with a nice, quiet snow shovel (we didn't own a snowblower ourselves). I removed the snow from the road in front of our driveway. In fact, I removed it from most of the street between our houses. But I was very careful about where I put it…
I put it, very legally, on the street in front of her driveway. From one side of her very wide driveway to the other, I built a ridge of snow about a foot high and a foot thick. I didn't set foot on her property at all. The snow was was all on the street, where the cop had very plainly said it was permissible to put it.
But once the twice-moved snow froze into a solid mass, there was no way she was going to get a vehicle out of her driveway. In fact, it took her quite some time the next day to get someone out to do the very difficult (no snow blowing possible) work of removing that ridge. The only bad part was that it was a Saturday (it would have been much nicer if she'd been late for work).
Interestingly, neighbor never permitted her random-male-relatives to blow snow into the street after that.
"A number of years ago..."
A number of years ago my wife and I lived on the ground floor of a two floor apartment building with approximately 8 units. Next door to us was a lady in her early 60s with a 20 something son of hers that rarely left the apartment and they proceeded to moan and groan at each other all day. The 20 something didn't have a job or any sort of plan for life or at least some idea what he wanted to do. Well, that wasn't the worst of it because about 2 months after we moved in and heard them screeching at all hours of the day we had woman with a child upstairs who moved in 2 months after us.
That wouldn't have been problem except for her and her kid dropping things on the floor at all hours of the day including 2 am, 4 am, 6am and whenever they felt like doing so. She would also play very loud and obnoxious music at all hours of the day while we would usually wear headphones or at least keep the volume to a limit where you could only hear it in our apartment just out of basic respect for others.
This went on for well over a year on and off and we talked to apartment management who didn't do anything about it other than tell her to turn it down. Well, that didn't work and they didn't bother to evict her for her behavior. Which also included leaving dropped candy and gum in the main stairwell and in front our interior apartment door. Finally apartment management came over to clean it all up because her next door neighbors were a bunch of pigs as well but at least they were quiet.
On our second year lease, we had already decided to move out after calling the cops countless times and being told that there was nothing they could do about loud music at all hours of the day which I found nonsense because its a disturbing the peace even in the state we lived in as well as the city having a noise ordinance. They simply didn't want to do their job and I politely told one of the middle aged officers thanks for nothing so much for protect and serve.
So finally we got our future moving plans together and found a brand new place in a smaller and more quiet town without some of the big city drama that was going on in our community. After dealing with the cops and the apartment management company, we were just wore out from all of the nonsense including having a child who was aged 0 to 21 months at the time.
Our final middle finger to the neighbor was to leave for a day on the weekend and make sure to have every radio blasting in the entire apartment including the boom box stereo in the living room and another couple of radios in the bedrooms that were very loud. We left for the day and went to visit some family about 50 miles away. I can only imagine the sheer frustration that upstairs neighbor had as we left for an overnight stay at relatives in the new town we were moving too. Anyway, on this Saturday evening we received a cell phone call from the management company that they were going to go into our apartment because the neighbors had complained about loud music. Well they did and shut down the radios but after that we didn't have any more problems for the 2 months we lived there prior to our move and finished out our lease.
Its too bad you have to go to extremes to get people's attention but sometimes that's just the way it is because some people aren't very smart and don't listen to reason.
My neighbour's 22 year old stay home delinquent had an habit of sticking his head out of his attic room and yelling at the kids, mine included, when they were playing. This tended to happen on weekends when he was nursing an hangover.
Entreaties to his parents by the parents of the affected kids did nothing. Nor would he come out outside when challenged by an irate parent. Then he called my daughter a c*nt. She was 6. I decided to deal with it.
One day a bright blue Rover Metro appeared outside his house when everyone was out. This car had a tax disc in the window and it was before the days of computerised insurance databases. It was therefore legally parked and all locked up. Although roadworthy it looked a state with a long scrape down one side. It would look good sandwiched between their BMW and Toyota. In fact it looked just like the one my friends sister was selling for £30 since it got scraped on a skip. However this one was special. Someone had gone over the entire car with an indelible marker pen. In foot high letters. Every panel had a neat statement identifying my errant neighbour as a prolific ahole.
Every bit of the car including the roof had his name, address and a variation of the same accusation. At five pm his mum came home. She saw the Metro and instantly jumped into her car and shot off. Five minutes later she was back with a can of black paint. She tried to spray over it but someone had sprayed WD 40 on the panels and it had sat in the hot sun drying all afternoon. The paint wouldn't stick. It was so funny seeing her on her knees desperately trying to cover up the abuse. When the son and husband came home all hell broke loose. It went on for weeks.
The kids loved it. They would stand around it and read out the statements to each other, loudly asking innocent questions like "What's a Nonce?" Nobody knew who owned the car and the police refused to get involved as the car checked out as all legal. The local police knew it was community action because of the son, they wisely stayed out of it. It had a sting in the tail too.
One day, about a month later there was a lot of shouting from Mum just after the post had been delivered. She had always accused the son of some kind of involvement and didn't believe that he knew nothing. She was loudly calling him a lying little bastard! Someone had sent the registration document for the car off in the son's name. She was furious. This meant he was legally responsible for the car. It also meant he could deal with it but he was unable to move it due to lack of keys. Even if he did get into it someone had removed the fuel pump relay so it wouldn't start. They ended up having to pay to have it taken away. I last saw it on the back of a truck and thought "Lot of car for £30" As for the son he became known amongst the neighbours and especially the kids as the Fiddler in the Roof. He never swore at or even spoke to another kid on the street ever again in the time I lived there. You can always find a way back at someone if you think about it a little.
As an adult, I'm very (well, somewhat) ashamed of having done this, but I really don't think there was any other way to end the constant war.
The high school I went to had the oldest rivalry in the state I grew up in. The week prior to the football game was mayhem, filled with bonfires, fights, and an all-out, nothing off limits prank war. Some quick examples: one year they burned their school name into our football field, so we let a herd of goats loose on theirs; they stole all the letters off the ornate wooden sign at ours, so we took their mascot statue and sunk it in their campus pond (they were pirates, so it was fitting); they stole our goal posts so we dyed their pool blue with a mix of Kool aid and Jell-O… it was insane.
Anyways, my next door neighbors had a son that went to my school, but his gf went to the rival. During Spirit week, everyone decorated their cars with paint, flags, streamers, etc. My senior year, his gf and some of her friends started targeting me. Over the course of the week I had to deal with around 6dozen eggs, shaving foam, more tp than I care to estimate. After the first night, I started parking at the close end of the driveway instead of on the street (4cars in our fam at the time), but that night they egged all our cars, not just mine, and let the air out of all the tires. It went on for 4 nights straight, with me having to get up before sunrise to wash all the cars and use the air pump to refill the tires.
Now, my father is very conservative and doesn't back vengeance in any way, but he was pissed. The eggs and foam ruined the paint on 3 of the cars, including his new caddy, so he told me quite clearly that as long as I didn't get caught, I could get payback.
The night of the game came, and they won, as per the norm, so the gf and all her friends were at my neighbor's house partying. With all the music and whatnot, we could've set a nuke off and they wouldn't have heard it, but a couple of friends and I played ninja. With a combo of baloney slices, life savers, and nail polish remover, we turned her lovely little beamer into a polka dotted nightmare.
For the uninitiated, baloney eats thru the clear coat and the grease usually prevents it from being easily washed off; with the Lifesavers, it's lick em and stick em and if you try to remove them without dissolving them, it takes the paint with it down to primer; and of course acetone will eat thru everything down to the metal and can be used quite effectively with a sponge brush.
Her screaming woke us all up the next morning. While my dad didn't approve of some of the drawing and word choice, he gave me a discreet high five and said he had gotten his money's worth.
Ironically, my first college roommate went to the rival school. We shared many laughs about the crazy antics of our class, and agreed to not damage one another's stuff. Before I moved to the SW, I made a point to go home every year for the game, so my kids would get to see where mom spent 4 amazing years.
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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