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The Strangest Things People Have Seen Someone Get Addicted To

Reddit user /JARClol asked: 'What is the weirdest thing you are or saw someone addicted to?'

Content Warning: Discussions of Addiction

We've all heard of strange, inedible things that people have made a habit of eating, like paper or glue. Unfortunately, there are instances where eating these things works more like an addiction than a dietary choice.

There are a lot of other things that people might become addicted to, too, that have nothing to do with food, but which also are not the usual culprits for addiction.

If someone that we know is addicted to something unusual and isn't hiding it the same way that someone addicted to drugs might, it can be a really strange experience to witness.

Curious about others' experiences, Redditor JARClol asked:

"What is the weirdest thing you are or saw someone addicted to?"

Packing Peanuts

"I used to know a girl who was addicted to eating those little polystyrene chips that are used for packaging."

"She always had a bag of them with her. The noise she made when she was munching on them used to set my teeth on edge."

- -Some__Random-

"Don't tell her about the biodegradable ones (which actually taste nutty)."

- Hardwarestore_Senpai

A Hairy Situation

"A roommate in college was addicted to hair. She collected hair and made hair people. She would use the community vacuum cleaner, take out the hair, wash it, and make hair people."

"She would also go to salons asking for the cut hair 'for her family’s garden' and then proceed to make hair people."

"She had hundreds of them with names and stories about them."

"I kept my hairbrush locked up after it was cleaned out the first time."

- bzsbal

Pen and Ink

"Eating markers, like the tube of it. Inside the casing. I told his mother and her reply was, 'Oh, he's doing it again,' like... Again? Toxic ink? Again? I don't mean licking it. I mean chewing. Black ink in saliva and swallowing the ink-soaked sponge."

- Jazzlike_Grab_7228

"I knew a dude in high school who ate the ink from pens. Every class, gnawing on a pen, eventually breaking it open then sucking on it like a straw. He regularly would be drooling ink. I left that school sophomore year, and I wonder whatever happened to Abe."

- throwawaydbagain

"Abe? Was his last name LINKoln?"

- GetaGoodLookCostanza

The Strawberry Milk Fan

"I used to work with a girl who would just chug liters of strawberry milk. Every time I went to the toilet after her it stank of milk. She was eventually diagnosed with Type-Two Diabetes and gave up the milk… briefly."

- lifesyndromes

"Yeah, I'm not surprised. I'm Type-Two, and strawberry milk usually has more sugar in it than chocolate milk. The smaller-sized cartons you get at lunch usually have 22 to 40 grams of sugar in them and a s**tton of sodium (no, I'm not joking), so a liter would have hundreds of grams in it."

"I got it after 23 years of poor choices and family medical history. She got it by decimating her pancreas and s**tting a machine gun."

"And you said briefly, meaning she's probably worse off. Like, I still have sugar, but I try and have less of it. I f**k up a lot because it's hard, but f**k, if she went back to drinking liters of it, I wouldn't be surprised if she's had some other issues."

- JediBoJediPrime29

Just a Taste

"My best friend used to eat fabric softener in high school. She wouldn't have huge mouthfuls or gulps; she would take just enough to coat her tongue."

"She would keep bottles of it hidden around her room so she could have a taste whenever the mood struck her. I love her to death, but she’s a strange one, lol (laughing out loud)."

- officiallyedgy

Weren't We All?

"I used to be addicted to Candy Crush back in the day. After running out of five lives, I couldn't wait for them to be available so I would forward my clock just to be able to play. My phone was set to the year 2030ish by the time I stopped playing."

- moolucifer

"Wow. You time traveled. That's a loophole though, isn't it? You never had to pay for fake things."

- Hardwarestore_Senpai

Just After a Few Beers

"Not so much addicted but I had a friend in college that would huff the fluid in his zippo lighter when he was really drunk."

"Treavor wasn’t allowed to have his lighter after a few beers."

- shavemejesus

Albuterol Tremors

​"I had a good friend in high school who had asthma who’d take hits off his inhaler, all day long. We’d be talking and he’d just casually whip it out whenever and take a hit. Ended up going to bed a couple of years after we graduated and never woke up."

- Magormgo

"I'm sorry. He probably f**ked his heart up. I hate taking my inhaler. It makes my heart race and makes me shake and feel like s**t."

- Weeniebuttcorgo

"Growing up, I used to take two Albuterol vials in my slow, old 90s nebulizer during asthma episodes. That thing was a TANK."

"I got a brand-spankin' new travel nebulizer in college and remember that first time I used two vials with it. I thought I was having a heart attack. That thing is POWERFUL and I wasn't expecting it. Two vials were far too strong and had me shaking for over an hour."

"I still have it to this day, and when I take it once a year or so for a flare-up, even one vial still makes me shake a bit."

- HorseGirl667

The Truth Behind the Problem

"I visited Nairobi for work around 2000 and the street kids all walked around with a small bottle of glue stuck to their upper lip so they were basically sniffing glue continually. It was extremely sad."

- Pretty-Balance-Sheet

"Probably something similar here in the Philippines. Homeless street kids sniff a plastic bag with a bit of contact cement in it to get rid of/to numb the hunger sensation. Not an addiction but a survival tactic… in my opinion."

- cssndrsrno

"Same in Zambian. Not stuck to their lip but carried and sniffed when needed. It was apparently to numb the body from feeling the cold in winter. Painfully sad."

- iron-clad-underwear

Never Underestimate Soda

"My first-ever girlfriend was genuinely addicted to Coca-Cola (self-admitted). She would have a glass as soon as she woke up and drink it all day."

"The one or two times I was there when her family had run out of it, she was irritable, anxious, and so grumpy until she was able to get down to the store to buy more."

"Strangely, it wasn't even the caffeine or sugar she was addicted to, because having a coffee or a different type of soda wasn't enough to ease her withdrawal symptoms."

- SheAlwaysHasMyHeart

"I had a friend who slept with a cooler of Diet Pepsi next to the bed. He had a large Slurpee cup that was always full, no matter where he was."

"We did a five-day offshore fishing trip. He ran out late on day four."

"As we pulled the boat into the dock, he literally ran and jumped onto the dock and raced to the soda machine at the far end."

- LongJumping_Local910

That's One Way to Use It

"My Spanish teacher was addicted to Vix VapoRub! Not to use it traditionally, though."

"She was eating it."

"Apparently, she knows that it's not a secret, because she ate it using a tongue depressor right in front of us, during the first week of school. I guess she figured we couldn't poke fun at her if she owned it."

"She literally demonstrated! She said her grandfather taught her and she likes the consistency/overwhelming scent."

"I can't imagine it's good for her."

- meg6ust6ala6titons

Live to Game

"Rocket League. I'm not even joking. The guy was in his 20s and playing up to eight hours a day."

"He used to be super social and became a hermit pretty much for seven years. He would pretend to be sick at work so he could play three days straight."

"He lost his whole social life. He spent New Year's every one of those years sitting in a dark room with windows covered, playing that game."

"I tried to get him to stop but never worked."

- IMNO-LEGEND

Ice Chewing

"I used to be addicted to chewing on ice, or maybe obsessed. I would bring a cup full of crushed ice with me everywhere. When I went to the beach, I would just bring a bag of ice from the gas station and sit and eat it."

"I stopped for ages and then became temporarily obsessed again during one of my pregnancies. I was checked for vitamin deficiencies both times but nothing came up."

- mistyoceania

The Use of Chapstick

"I'm addicted to chapstick. I can't go more than three hours without applying it."

"I think my lips are relying on the chapstick now because they get dry so quickly. And it feels like nails on a chalkboard when they do, I can't focus on anything else besides my lips being dry until I get some chapstick, lol (laughing out loud)."

- ComprehensivePie8809

"Here’s a pro tip someone told me: before you put chapstick on wet your lips so there’s actual moisture to lock in."

"I also find Vaseline is way cheaper and way more effective. I use it once in the morning and once before bed and I’ve gotten chapped lips like five times in the last seven years."

- sadkrampus

An Interesting Choice!

"Judge Judy. And it was me. My boyfriend introduced me to the show in my mid-thirties and I binged it on YouTube, listening to it whilst working in our warehouse/driving/cleaning/anything."

"Six years later, if I have a task that I really need to get into productive mode for, I put her on and my brain shifts gears."

"At one point, it felt weird to work without her voice in the background yelling at people. She’s like my white noise. She’s my default soundtrack."

- Fuzeillear

These accounts were honestly fascinating, and in some causes haunting, to read.

It just goes to show that, first of all, we all like different things, and second of all, you never know what is going to qualify as "too much of a good thing" for one person compared to someone else.

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Magnet.me on Unsplash

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We've all made our fair share of mistakes; it's in our nature, honestly.

Sometimes we mess up so badly, it can ruin other things in our lives, like important relationships or our jobs.

But some people have messed up so badly at work that they lost their jobs in record time.

Ready to hear the tea, Redditor mango-chocolate asked:

"What's the quickest way you saw a coworker get fired?"

Check Your Pride

"In my old law office, a firm-wide email was sent out announcing the arrival of a new employee. We will call him Paul."

"So Paul decided to reply-all to let all of us know that he was aware of our recent legal defeats, that many people should be fired for these failures, and that his hiring was the first good thing our firm had done in years."

"The dude was a legal assistant right out of college with no experience."

"A minute after the email went out, I heard a crazy shout and then watched one of the senior partners run past my office towards HR (Human Resources)."

"And five minutes later Paul walked past with the HR manager and a security escort. He lasted less than 45 minutes."

- Left_Apparently

Lotto Fraud

"I worked at a lotteries company. A guy working in testing got access to production data and printed off some test tickets with some unclaimed winning numbers."

"He only did low amounts, like 500 dollars, and claimed three of them in three completely different locations around town."

"Of course, the company was interested in the story of someone who found a six-month-old lottery ticket and claimed it, but they were even more interested to find it was the same person going to three locations."

"Needless to say, when they realized the guy actually worked in the company, he got pulled into a room with cops a-waiting him."

- ThroughTheHoops

Weird Brag

"I worked at a bank, we were robbed at gunpoint. One of the tellers was quick to tweet out, 'Woooo, got the rest of the day off!! Feel free to visit me at work with a gun and ski mask anytime!'"

"They were fired upon walking in the next morning."

- seastrat

Totally Stopped Production

"An id**t pressed the emergency stop for fun on his second day at work."

"The emergency stop that he hit switches off all drives on the 100-meter-long paper machine. This means there is a loss of production for three to four hours for the entire paper mill."

"He was immediately escorted from the factory premises by two colleagues."

- daHawkGR

No Point Taking That Test

"I had a coworker get picked for a random drug test. She went back to her desk to grab her purse, and just left the building, never to return."

- brytewolf

Yes, That's What We Meant

"The boss sat her down to talk about her recent behavior at work."

"She whipped out her phone and started taking a video, saying that it was her right to record for 'when it goes to court.'"

"The boss said, 'Okay, this is the kind of stuff I’m talking about, you’re fired.'"

"This was at a Domino’s Pizza."

- kenb99

New Definition for "Side Hustle"

"Evidently, they robbed a bank on their lunch break."

"They came back like nothing happened, and then the cops showed up and took him down. It was crazy."

- Bob_the_Brewer

Quite the First Impression

"Pulling into the parking lot on the first day, she ran into a light pole that took out electricity to the whole site."

"She wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown into the front window."

"When we went out to see what had happened, she reeked of booze and there were empty liquor bottles in the back of the car."

"She never even made it to the front door, got a guest badge, or started her orientation training."

- LowBudgetViking

Haunting Upcharges

"When I was in high school, I used to do seasonal work at haunted houses which I did for four years."

"A new guy that they hired was supposed to help with parking. Now, in the three years that I worked at this haunted house, they never once charged people for parking (it was a very dark parking lot off of a cliff so had to make sure no one drove off of it trying to park)."

"This cheeky son of b***h started charging people five dollars to park."

"It was only found out after someone complained because they didn't have the money to go in with their friends because they had to pay for parking. I think the guy was only there a couple of hours before he got fired."

- rpgmomma8404

Missed the Training

"They got hired and then fell asleep during a meeting their first day and were asked not to come back."

- Snowstorm-3

"Same here. At a tech company, they hired a new developer, and the owner caught him napping at a desk on day one when he was supposed to be reviewing training materials."

"The owner had a chat with him, and told him whatever the reason, it was really bad form to fall asleep on the job on the first day."

"The new hire apologized, understood, and went back to the training materials. Not 20 minutes later, the owner walks by again and the guy is passed out once again, so he walked over, woke him up, and told him he was fired and to get out."

"I don't even think he made it to his fourth hour of employment."

- badtz-maru

Highly Questionable Explorations

"Early in my career I was an engineer at a refinery in the UK, and I was in charge of the QC lab. By law, we had to have external independent testing on the refinery fuel products to confirm they complied with government regulations."

"It seemed getting a job for the testing company was that you had to be an adult and had a driving license. The lab had a lot of very nasty chemicals either being tested or used in the testing or cleaning of the oil products."

"A new young girl turned up for the testing company and was dipping her finger into a chemical called phenol and stating that 'it makes your hand and arm go numb.' Phenol is a severe muscle relaxant (including your heart) and can kill you at very low concentrations."

"One hour into her employment we had paramedics on the scene monitoring her vitals and was released after eight hours. She didn't last the first hour of the first day and the testing company was fined pretty heavily."

- Nerdymcbutthead

AKA: Paid to Advertise

"A guy got hired in the first firm I ever worked for. He turned up for his first morning at work, and within an hour he had emailed the entire company (6,000 people) about his band and their availability for birthdays, weddings, etc."

"He was dismissed by lunchtime."

- BDATriangle001

"So he got paid half a day's wage to advertise his band to 6,000 people?"

"Man's a freaking genius."

- Oakcamp

Not-So-Quiet Quitting

"One day, Tim announced that he wasn’t paid enough and was going to basically sit at his desk doing nothing until he was paid what he wanted."

"20 minutes later, the boss walked in and asked Tim if he could have a word with him."

"Five minutes later, the boss walked back in and announced that Tim no longer worked there and if there were any questions."

"There were no questions."

- Few_Horse4000

Don't Be That Guy

"Interviewed a guy that was replacing someone who was leaving. Offered the job and was supposed to start the next day."

"Just so happened that we were having a going away party for the leaving dude that night so new guy was invited as a chance to 'get to know the team.'"

"The new guy shows up and proceeds to get absolutely s**t-faced and asked the head of HR if she wanted to go back to his place because he 'got a vibe' during the interview process."

"Next day, the new guy was a no-show so we were thinking bullet dodged. He showed up just before lunch clearly hung over making up some excuse for being late."

"The big boss came out and told the guy to get the f**k out."

- tizod

Optional Hours? Optional Employment.

"I fired someone who decided her second day that she was going to go out to lunch and not come back. The next morning she told everyone all about the shopping she did. She seemed confused about the expectations."

- dunwerking

Some of these stories are absolutely worth shaking our heads over, while others are truly shocking.

It's crazy the lengths people will go to in the workplace, despite the expectations that had already been clearly set.

If you view the rules as optional, your boss might view your employment as optional, too.

A doctor
Austin Distel/Unsplash

We all have our bad days that can be completely debilitating.

Some days are worse than others and can lead to mental breakdowns.

For most of us, these moments are fleeting, and we can greet the next day with a fresh start and mindset.

But that luxury doesn't always apply to everyone.

Imagine those who perpetually experience such an extreme frequently, maybe even daily.

Curious to hear of various diagnoses of the mind, Redditor MeepingBad6699 asked:

"Mental professionals of reddit, what is the worst mental condition that you know of?"

There are patients who are convinced they are no longer with us but are still able to articulate it.

Dead But Alive

"Cotard delusion. I'm a nurse and had to take care of a huge man with this condition. He came in with some odd behavior and escalated to Cotard. The delusion makes you think you are actually dead. He would scream he was dead all day and night. Lived in constant terror. He was such a sweetheart, but became so worn down and terrified over time he got quite dangerous and punched a nurse in the face."

– bbourke0626

Unalive Patient

"I had a patient check into the ER with this once but I didn’t know the name, she just kept claiming she was dead. She got baker acted and transferred."

– Dimwit00

Rude Awakening

"Also a nurse. I had a couple patients get ICU delirium that presented with them believing they were dead. Definitely not a fun time."

"I mean it sorta makes sense. Being in the ICU can be comparable to torture with the sleep deprivation, constant beeping and other noises, lots of pain and other physical discomfort, the thirst and hunger (thirst and hunger are very psychological so even if we give someone nutrition through a feeding tube or IV, your brain still freaks out because you're not eating or drinking). And so for some people, if you wake up, don't know where you are and you feel like you're being tortured, reasonable enough to assume you are in hell."

– PaxonGoat

Statistics Say

"Wow. So according to the DSM 5 there have only been 200 cases since this condition was identified (how long ago, I want to say 1800s). Anyway, I just found a new study from 2022 that says that about 1% of patients with schizophrenia are now reporting this delusion. Which, as the authors point out, is a significant increase. I wonder what has changed in the decade since the DSM 5 was published that is driving this uptick?"

"It is especially odd when you consider that people actually used to believe that dead people could come back to life, even designing coffins and burial practices around this belief because it was so commonplace. You’d think if anything the condition would be becoming less frequent and not more. Interesting."

– DarthMomma_PhD

Severe memory loss is one of life's cruelest symptoms.

Losing A Sense Of Self

"Dementias."

"Watching a person, their memories, their personality die but their body remain living and confused, is horrifying..."

– Sacu_Shi_again

"Terrifying Prospect"

"My grandma has dementia (she can barely talk right now, but she's still physically healthy, somewhat) and a lot of my closely related family died due to Alzheimer's. Granted they acquired it / started showing severe symptoms when already quite old (early to late 80s), but it's still a terrifying prospect to know that I'll probably die in such a way. I hope that when the time comes, and it starts to affect me in a significant way, my wishes will be respected and I'll be euthanized. Both to spare me the horrors of it, and to not be a depressing burden to those around me."

– pale_sand

Warning Signs

"My grandma had it and now my dad is constantly complaining that he's forgetting things/can't remember anything. He's not even 60 yet."

– antisocialarmadillo1

Eating disorder was another horrific mental condition Redditors mentioned.

Hosting A Non-Existent Parasite

"Delusional parasitosis comes to mind with this prompt. I’ve watched a patient go to well over a dozen doctors trying to get confirmation that they’re parasite ridden. After countless stool samples, blood work, labs, scans, biopsies, etc., she clearly didn’t have any but remains convinced."

– Blahaj_shonk_lover

Side Effect

"A friend of my mom's ended up with something like this after getting into the wrong kinds of drugs."

"She was convinced that there were little bugs in her face. Absolutely convinced. She'd pick at her face day and night."

"She got clean for a little while, came to her senses, and stopped picking. But the damage was done, her entire face was scarred."

– ShiraCheshire

Alzheimer's hits too close to home.

I've known so many people related to or knowing someone with mental illnesses resulting in severe memory loss and it is heartbreaking.

Now a family member was just diagnosed and it's a lot for me to process it. It's not just the individual suffering. Their loved ones truly suffer too.

What I am learning, however, is to not take the present for granted. It's all we have.

Assortment of various food
Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Whenever we go out to eat, be it at a fine dining establishment or a quick service window, some of us tend to wonder what the journey was for the food that we are looking at on our plates or in our take-out bags.

Many have similar thoughts when buying frozen or pre-packaged dinners at supermarkets.

The answers aren't always readily available, often because the food service industry will go to great lengths to keep them under lock and key. Well aware, most of the time, that current or former employees will spill the beans at one point or another.

Redditor Lilyxrx was curious to hear some of the most well guarded secrets of the food industry, leading them to ask:

"What’s a secret the food industry don’t want you to know?"

Next Time Your Craving Bananas Foster...

"The 'natural flavors' are just big jugs of glycerin with hyper concentrated flavoring in it."

"Banana flavoring is fairly flammable."

"Source: Worked in food manufacturing."- irony_in_the_UK·

Cholesterol Be Darned!

"Chef here."

"It’s salt and fat."

"If you have a question about anything it’s salt and fat."- LongRest

For Efficiency's Sake...

"Olive Garden makes all their necessary pastas for the whole day from 8-10am every morning."

"Partially cooked."

"So when an order comes through, they grab a serving of the needed pasta style and flash cook them in hot water."

"Also, it’s just the brand, Barilla."- Deerhunter86

Justin Bieber Food GIFGiphy

Before You Pay The Extra Money...

"Beekeeper checking in."

"There is no such thing as organic honey."

"I do not treat my bees with chemicals, but I have no idea where they get their nectar."

"A bee can fly up to three miles from a hive to get nectar."

"It is virtually impossible to guarantee they have not gotten nectar from a chemically treated source."- toad__warrior·

If You Ever Wonder What Makes It Taste So Good...

"Unless it’s a health conscious food joint you’re eating at, the food we serve is designed for maximum taste."

"It’s either dense with fat and sugar, or fat and salt "

"E.G. Those mashed potatoes you like?"

"Made with cream, butter, and salt."

"The quiche?"

"Made on cream, not milk."

"Etc, etc."- petuniasweetpea

Before You Start Bragging...

"Dragon fruit isn’t an exotic Asian fruit."

"It’s a cactus fruit, and as such are native to the Americas and can even be grown in the US."- ferretmonkey

dragon fruit GIF by Feliks Tomasz KonczakowskiGiphy

In Case You're Wondering why That Taste Is So Familiar...

"A lot of the processed cheese and cream cheese is all the same recipe we just switch the labels and packaging for the different brands we run."

"Source: I work in a cheese factory in a company that services 75% of America's domestic market."- anon5678903276

Another Reason To Have No Guilt Over Take Out...

"Well."

"I work at Dominos, and we are kept afloat by the people who don't coupon and pay full menu price."

"You people are the unsung heroes of labor."- LoweeLL

Unlike Any Chocolate...

"When I worked at a mass production bakery the chocolate for the chocolate covered doughnuts came in giant frozen blocks of 4x4 pieces and contained no actual chocolate what so over."

"When unfrozen it was like some sort of nasty smelling paraffin wax that I would break up with a hammer and place into a melter that would then pour over the doughnuts."- gil_beard

Chocolate Dessert GIF by HuffPostGiphy

What Do Orange Juice And Whiskey Have In Common?

"The reason orange juice tastes consistently the same year round, even though it's a crop harvested once a year, is because citrus oils and citrus flavor are added back to different batches and blended all together."

"Similar to how whiskey is blended from multiple barrels to make it consistent."

"The difference is that even though extra stuff is added back into the OJ, it doesn't need to be labeled because the flavors contain all ingredients from oranges (FTNF-from the named fruit) so the FDA doesn't mandate labeling additional ingredients."- PensiveDoughnut

Does That Explain Their Shape?

"Pringles (and baked Lays/similar) are made of rehydrated and compressed rejected/excess parts of potatoes that go into regular chips."

"I learned that from my dietician at work and thought that was odd."

"I still like them over regular chips."- bluesasaurusrex

A Secret Better Not Known...

"The 11 herbs and spices secret recipe."- NemoTheOneTrueGod

Food Pouring GIF by Great Big StoryGiphy

Just Pop It In The Fryer...

"I was a young lad working at Church's Fried Chicken during the summer, many years ago."

"The owner refused to throw out chicken that had already gone bad; to the point where you'd gag if you smell them."

"Apparently if you batter them bad boys up and deep fry them, the rancid smell goes away."

"His customers never knew they were eating spoiled chicken."- Dirt_E_Harry·

Sweet... But Safe!

"The amount of sugar that goes into Costco bakery products is absurd, especially the apple pie."

"That being said; Costco does not f*ck around when it comes to food safety."

"Every area that is responsible for producing food is most likely cleaner than a white room for producing computer parts."

"There are virtually zero roaches, we found one in the bakery once and shut it down until the exterminator did his thing that very night."

"Someone returned a package of dinner rolls because their child had bit into one and a sharp piece of metal was in it, within less than 2 minutes every manager in the building was doing an investigation that led all the way up to the regional manager and his boss for several hours and determined that it had come off of a piece of machinery before it reached our location."

"We throw away rotisserie chickens if they have left (even for a few minutes) the shelf and someone tries to put it back."- Deathnachos

Costco GIF by hero0fwarGiphy

We'd like to think that everyone who works in the food industry shares the same high standards.

But, as in any industry, there are those out there who will cut corners for speedier results.

On the bright side, it does save you the trouble when deciding what cream cheese to buy...