Passengers generally only have to worry about turbulence on their flight, but sometimes (even if we don't want to admit it), other things can go wrong and flights can be in much more danger than you'd know.
Below are stories from pilots about things going horribly wrong on a flight, and how to the passengers never know what danger they were in.
I'm a bush pilot in Canada. I was working the right seat of a Turbo Otter, my first ever flight in one so I was still getting used to the setup. We were taking off from a short strip in the middle of nowhere with 6 drillers in the back and a bunch of gear. Captain started the engine as I was just finishing up the passenger briefing.
He started rolling down the runway as I was just getting seated. I thought he was just positioning the plane to prepare for takeoff, but then he gave it full throttle. I didn't even have my seat belt or headset on yet. I'm focusing on getting this stuff on when I realize something isn't right.
Getting closer to the end of the strip, captain starts to panic as we aren't getting airborne (his hands were shaking like mad and he kept reaching for things but he couldn't figure out what was wrong, I think he was too busy looking at the trees and creek right ahead of us). I realized the problem, he was in such a rush to leave that he didn't do a pre-takeoff check. Propeller was still in full coarse (feathered on shut down), it should have been full fine for takeoff. I yelled/gestured to him the problem and immediately pushed the prop forward, engine had a huge surge and we just barely cleared the trees at the end of the strip. He acted like nothing happened for the rest of the flight. We didn't even speak a single word to each other. I suspect none of the passengers even realized what had happened and how close we were to being another statistic. When we got back to the airport I told him I was leaving, packed my bags and never looked back.
I was giving my sister and a friend a tour of the Chicago skyline over Lake Michigan. We are all having a good time. Suddenly, the engine goes quiet... a nightmare especially because I only have one of them. The silence was noticeable and my sister starts looks at me and starts to panic. The engine comes back within about three seconds alive and well, and I head for the nearest airport.
In a small propeller plane, it is hard to hide the silence of the engine, but since it came back, I acted like nothing happened. I don't think they realize how critical of a situation it almost was.
It was a flight from Kansas to Oregon, and as we were mid-flight, a hawk dive-bombed the wing and DENTED it. The pilot announced the subtle thud as minor turbulence, but the crew knew what had happened. No one knew how the hell the hawk was flying so high. It was a smaller plane, so we only had one and a half dozen people. The dent didn't actually meds with flight too much, but it's a hell of a story to tell.
My favorite story was the time the heater went out in the cockpit but not in the rest of the plane. So the pilot and crew are up there freezing, putting all their clothes on trying to warm up. Instruments and whatnot are freezing up. They had no idea if they were going to be able to land.
Cockroach in the cockpit. Redeye from LAX. One of us was strapped in while the other one hunted for the little guy.
I was flying a Piper Navajo that seats 8 passengers out of a small airport, we were making all of our required radio calls, but because this was a small uncontrolled airport some people in small airplanes will operate without radios or just don't care enough to broadcast their position.
Anyways, we were doing our due diligence but not long after take off and while leaving the traffic pattern my flight operator says "Crap!" And takes control from me and make a relatively aggressive (for passengers at least) turn to the right. As he does this I see a another plane out my left window no more that 150 ft below us. We essentially climbed through the altitude he was cruising at and turned to avoid him. Only one passenger noticed when we got to the destination and he told us it was a "good move".
Getting ready to take off at night, my dad sees a plane about to land on the taxiway he's waiting on, he immediately just starts turning on every exterior light on the plane. Other plane pulled out of final descent at like 500 feet.
It's not that frequent and often times the errors that happen sound worse to the layman than they are. The two examples that came to mind with this question for me:
1) Flying into Spokane and the anti-ice failed. The anti ice is basically just some tubing that takes hot engine air and sends it to the front edge of the wing. Anyways, it was icy down to about 500 feet. We flew with the engines at 90% to generate enough hot air to keep the anti-ice going. Probably wouldn't have been bad enough icing to cause a crash.
2) Flying into Monterey, CA on Super Bowl Sunday. We were delayed and the airport had closed, meaning arrivals could only come from over the ocean. Winds were strong enough off the ocean to not allow us to land. Captain decides he wants to do a circling approach which is not a frequent occurrence but not unheard of. I veto it. Captain has never flown into Monterey but I advise him there are some decent rocky hills in the vicinity of airport. Captain is brand new and doesn't want to divert. I veto him. We go back to San Diego even though our alternate airport was Fresno. Requested priority due to fuel. Made it. Next day, flew to Monterey. Captain saw mountains. Profusely thanked me.
We wouldn't have died on that one either because I never would've let him do it. I guess if he had another First Officer the outcome could've been different.
My dad had a wasp in the cockpit with him once, he said his first thought when he noticed it right after taking off was, "Oh, so this is how I die."
As a child, my family and I spent a few days in the Bahamas and as we were at the outdoor airport/single runway we discovered that we were flying an 8-seater single prop plane back to Florida. The first time taxiing down the runway, the pilots discovered something was wrong with the engine so they pulled off to the side and made us sit next to the plane as they attempted to fix the engine. After being told that the plane was functioning again, we boarded and began to taxi down the runway again. I was watching the pilot and co pilot do their thing when I notice the airspeed indicator dropped to 0 as we were about to lift off. At this point we were running out of runway and I watched as the co-pilot jabbed the non working gauge with his palm and the gauge began to work again. The pilots then looked at each other, back at us, then back at each other before laughing.
As a kid, I flew in a small plane with my Air Force dad and his friend. We lived in Minot ND (big base there) and were flying sometime in winter. Later, I learned we had such a long joy flight that day because the landing gear froze up, and we were flying around trying to get them to come down. As we were almost out of fuel they were planning to crash land on the Frozen River... When in the nick of time the landing gear unfroze and deployed. I had no idea though... It was beautiful flying above a winter wonderland.
I used to do contract maintenance work on aircraft, and once a bunch of us were returning from a job in Germany. The plane was a scheduled flight on a small (50 seat or so) turbo-prop aircraft, and it was a BUMPY flight.
I am fairly well travelled, and working on aircraft made me more confident than most of flying, but the turbulence started to get so bad that I was getting nervous. Nobody except the flight crew were allowed to unfasten their seatbelts, and even they were being thrown about as they tried to move around. It was by far the worst flight I have been on.
So anyway, just as things were getting to the peak of crapiness, one of the stewardesses made her way to one of my colleagues sitting across the aisle, and said, in a hushed tone "Excuse me sir, is it true that you guys are aircraft engineers? We have a slight problem out the back, and thought you might be able to help".
I honestly thought we were going to die. That the bumpiness was not down to turbulence, but some flight system had gone AWOL. I didn't know what any of us would be able to do on unfamiliar equipment with no documentation, no spares and no tools, but sure enough my colleague went off with the stewardess and disappeared through the door out of the cabin.
10 minutes late he was back, and of course we were keen to know what the problem was and if he was able to do anything about it.
The "problem" turned out to be a ratchet strap on one of the cupboard doors in the galley was jammed so they couldn't get the snacks out! The flight continued to be horrible, and the snacks were predictably awful.
I wasn't the crew on either, but my medical helicopter service had two pretty severe bird strikes within several weeks of each other. One was a hawk of some kind and the second was a duck. The duck strike happened with a patient loaded, evidently just as the pilot was flipping his NVGs up. The duck came through the windscreen and went to smithereens along with all the plexiglass. I helped clean up the back of the helicopter later, and it looked like a duck had swallowed a bunch of lit dynamite. The strike also happened at the exact moment the med crew had pushed a medication that relaxes all the muscles in the patient's body (including breathing muscles), and in spite of the chaos they continued their procedure and successfully controlled the patient's airway. The pilot also continued the flight in spite of being covered in duck blood/guts/feathers, as well as his own blood from his broken nose. The crew (and the other birds strike crew) received commendations for their calm composure under the circumstances.
I used to do scenic flights out of a smaller airport. I had a total engine failure after takeoff one time in a single engine aircraft. Over the end of the runway the engine completely stopped. I was lucky enough to be at an airfield where I was able to make a small turn to land in a large enough field ahead. Once on the ground my foreign passengers (it was a 4 seater) casually asked "the flight is over already?"
It could have easily ended in total disaster.
Years ago, when dad was flying the 767 for Air Canada they were coming out of London Heathrow back to Canada in the winter time and some snow had started to fall.
Heathrow, ten years ago, was notorious for letting a dusting of snow hamper operations. Dad and crew expedited boarding and preflight as much as they could and pulled the brakes and pushed back early to get ahead in the queue for takeoff.
They couldn't get a taxi clearance right away as a number of aircraft ahead of them had opted to "wait for the heaviest of the snow to pass" prior to taking off and the controllers wouldn't move them out of the way.
Dad basically begged them to move them ahead somehow, as he had been around the block a time or two and knew what was coming, but to avail. Ground had them park the airplane and they sat loaded at the gate for four hours before all flights out were cancelled... Over four inches of snow.
The airport's inability to deal with the snow and backlog of traffic meant that Air Canada couldn't get a plane out for three more days, by which time they had brought extra aircraft over from Montreal to try to relieve some of the buildup.
So in this story what the passengers didn't know is that if they were maybe 10 minutes faster boarding the plane they wouldn't have gotten stuck in London for an extra three days.
Landed on the wrong runway (it was night time, and tower didn't inform me of my misjudgment until less than a quarter mile away.) I was a young private pilot and had a few passengers, so it wasn't too big of a deal.
Keep It Trim
I was a freshly minted private pilot and took some friends for a sight-seeing flight in a plane rented from the school where I took my training. I carefully followed all the pre-flight and takeoff procedures that I had learned, and accelerated down the runway. We were just approaching takeoff speed when the nose came up prematurely and the aircraft seemed to be struggling to get into the air against my wishes. The stall horn was blaring and I had to hold significant forward pressure to keep the nose down to let airspeed build to normal climb speed. My mind was racing..."What's going on?". I re-checked the trim wheel and the indicator was in the normal takeoff position where I had set it. After a few seconds, I ignored the markers on the trim wheel and rolled in some nose down trim and then everything was good. Apparently the trim wheel was out of adjustment. I didn't say anything and my passengers never knew.
I had a few minor, but embarrassing 'incidents' in the first few hours of licensed flight - all things that were just outside the experience that I had in my training. My advice to newly licensed pilots is to not be in a hurry to take friends and family for a flight. A pilot's license is like a driver's license - it's not a statement of perfect expertise, but a statement of minimum competence. Some experience beyond that is valuable.
Weather The Storm
I was flying two of my friends back from some tasty BBQ in Georgia a few years back. As we got closer to home, the weather really started to get bad, a lot of pop up storm cells. It was a perfect situation for my iPad (used for navigation charts) to totally die as well as my onboard weather radar. I was internally panicking, and air traffic control was my saving grace and helped me get home safe. A few months later my friends asked this same question, they said I looked so calm so they figured it was no big deal.
One of my buddies is a pilot. We were talking about one of the more remote airports that we'd both visited, located in a difficult place that has a lot of wind shear, so passengers are used to having the plane make a couple of attempts when landing.
Anyways, my friend said the sensors for the landing gear malfunctioned, so he couldn't tell whether the wheels were down or if they'd gotten stuck. He flew low, made an announcement to the cabin that they needed to circle the runway because of the wind, and made a call to the control tower asking for someone to make a visual confirmation that the landing gear was fully deployed.
My friend's girlfriend is a flight attendant and she told us about a flight she had during the spring break season where a large group of frat/sorority people basically drank all the alcohol that was on the flight and they had to keep that from the passengers.
Air Traffic Controller here. Nearly everytime I hear we're being delayed due to "ATC" delays is false, and it grinds my gears. Departing Missoula, MT at 3am in the winter and you're late, "Ladies and gentlemen were holding at the gate due to ATC delays." What, there isn't another aircraft within 40 minutes of here...
Ever fly into Seattle and you spend 15 minutes in the nonmovement area waiting for an aircraft to push out of your spot? Had a pilot with the gall to blame ATC. That's poor planning and your companies ramp control sucking wind. Don't blame us controllers.
Controllers in the US work HARD to provide stellar service. Don't discredit us because you didn't fuel on time, the weather sucks, or the pilot phoned in sick.
Sometimes you just don't have any money and you have to make it work. I learned how to make the most out of bargains at the grocery store and know how to make food that is hearty and will last more than a day or two. Beans and rice are your friends, by the way. You'd be surprised by how many delicious meals you can make with just these two basic ingredients.
Being poor requires you to be creative.
Penny pinching is an art, as we were so deftly reminded after Redditor naranja_cheese asked the online community,
"What is the most penny pinching you've ever done?"
"I used to steal..."
"I used to steal half-used rolls of tp when I was a janitor. Lived off white rice and Worcestershire sauce for months. Got a job as a cook & always saved a few scraps while plating people's food so I would have something to eat without paying for a meal. Also worked at a butcher shop& would take home bones to roast and make a stew with. I can share hundreds of things like this."
"I worked part-time..."
"I worked part-time in school, but was pretty broke. I wasn't being paid until the following day, and I needed soy sauce for my extra super tasty stir fry. I literally had negative funds in my account. So I went to the grocery store, grabbed a sushi tray, threw a ton of packets of soy sauce in my pocket (they don't charge you for these), wandered a bit, pretended I changed my mind, and left."
"While at the grocery store..."
"While at the grocery store, putting back that pack of chicken breast that cost $2.98 for the other pack of chicken breast that cost $2.95."
"Things were insanely tight..."
"Used to make my own laundry detergent during a time when we had relocated and our prior home had not sold so we had rent on top of a mortgage for 18 months. Things were insanely tight in those days, to say the least."
I definitely know what this is like.
"I took some cedar boards..."
"I had no money for Christmas gifts. I only had enough to pay rent. I took some cedar boards in the backyard, cut them, burnt them a little black as I had no money to finish them. Then I passed them off as cutting boards."
"One Friday night..."
"One Friday night in college, my two buddies and I had a grand total of $3 to our names. I bought a box of Mac 'n Cheese, a can(!) of escargot, and three Lil' Debbie Star Crunches. We had a full meal with starch, protein, and dessert."
"I lived on pasta..."
"When I was at university my entire budget was less than £40 a week. I lived on pasta and stolen sauce packets from the Students Union. The cafeteria ladies would always take pity on me at closing time and give me free burgers."
"I lost my job..."
"I lost my job and lived in a $1400/month apartment where electricity (which included heat) and internet were ludicrously expensive. $400-450 a month in the winter because the building was an old mill with huge windows and no insulation. Fortunately, gas and water were free."
"I only turned on my lights when I had to, turned off the heat entirely, and heated my apartment by boiling a huge pot of water on the gas stove 24 hours a day and going to the business center to use the free DSL connection to apply for jobs. I ate rice with frozen vegetables and spices for three months."
"It sucked, but I got by."
Hopefully things are much better now.
"If I ate fast food..."
"If I ate fast food or takeout food, I would ask for extra sauce packets or garnishes that they give out for free. I would stock up on them, use them when I cook instead of buying the stuff from the store. For example, a $1 box of pasta, a clove of garlic, and 2-3 ramekins of parm cheese, half ramekin of chili flakes, and a pinch of Italian herbs I got from a pizza place makes a quick meal."
"My local mall..."
"My local mall used to do paid surveys, you'd watch a video or try some new soda or whatever and they'd give you a couple of dollars. Then I'd use that to buy a meal."
Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. It's not easy.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Now, this isn't going to be a long, "Let's all pile on how bad the internet is and only think about the good ol' days when the rocks were soft and we could only communicate using cans with string."
People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?
Many habits we used to possess were made completely irrelevant thanks to the internet. Not that we didn't enjoy doing them, we just started asking ourselves, "What's the point?"
Completely Devoid Of Technological Interference
"Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with."
No One Needs 24 Hours Of Nonsense
"News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew something serious went down."
You Mean We Actually Have To Go?
"It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You'd have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically if you were gonna bail you'd give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they're bailing last second since you're always reachable."
"RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a--hole and everyone knew it."
You can get almost anything on the internet. Almost. Still no sign of real working Lightsabers anywhere out there, but the internet has eliminated many of our purchasing practices.
Just In Time For The Holidays!
"The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys."
"Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn't need ~really~ easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready."
1 Good Song Out Of 15
"When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best."
"There was so much excitement to going to a cd store to buy an album that you only knew one song of or the band/artist name and just listening to that entire cd over and over again picking out which tracks were your favorite while still learning every lyric to all the songs on the album.
Building a cd collection was also fun."
Talk About The "Immediate Gratification" Generation, Huh?
"The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore."
Finally, there's these activities, to difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there. How do you get someone to understand that not having a supercomputer in your pocket at all hours of the day radically changed your life?
Keeping It In Front Of You
"I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds"
"It's so weird. I can only vaguely remember what it feels like to not have a smartphone and to be alone and think.
Wondering what my friends are doing and if they'd like to do something on the weekend. We'd have to talk during lunch break at school and plan it...
Trying to find the answer to a math problem... Having to figure it out by re-reading the problem and explanations 5 times."
There Used To Be A Time When You Couldn't Play Everything
"Not being overwhelmed by choice.
Don't get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could.
Now, its hard to give it more than 2 seconds before i try one of the 20,000 games i have access to.
New game plus used to be cool. Now, I'm happy if just beat the game"
Floundering. Just A Little.
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared sh-tless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.
I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.
I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed."
We can never go back. Not really, anyway. The only way is to keep going forward, be aware of the effect the internet has on us, and do our best to not let it take away the things that really matter in our lives.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Look, unless you enjoy cooking, no one likes spending time in the kitchen longer than they have to in order to whip up something mediocre to eat.
Ordering food or, for the time being, enjoying a socially distanced lunch at an establishment is convenient, but it can take a toll on your wallet.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are plenty of them that do not involve nuking a frozen entree.
"What's your go-to under 5 minute meal?"
These dinner selections are super sufficient.
A Loaded Course
"Two hotdogs and a side of judgement from my fiancé"
In Case You Didn't Know
"Quesadilla. super quick and easy to make and there's a ton of ingredients that you can add without much effort that will make it even better."
"Ramen and an egg, but not the traditional way."
- "Boil roughly half an inch of water (we want just enough water to boil the noodles, with very little water left over when it's done boiling)."
- "Smash up the ramen noodles, while still in the package (optional but cooks MUCH faster)."
- "Open the package and remove the seasoning."
- "Dump the noodles in."
- "While boiling, crack an egg and whisk in a small bowl."
- "Noodles should be done and almost all the water should be gone, if not strain out some.
- Remove from the heat."
- "Slowly pour in the egg while mixing very quickly, try not to let the egg touch the pan."
- "Mix as much of the seasoning packet as you like (I prefer 1/2 - 3/4 because I usually add a salty component at the end.)"
- "Add to bowl and top with some chives, thinly sliced, ripped up ham/salami and/or parsley. Leftover bacon or pancetta are fantastic crunchy components to dial up the texture."
"Easy, fast and checks so many of the 'munchie' boxes for me."
Don't Underestimate Soups
"Tomato soup and add tortellini. I like the spinach ones from Trader Joe's and Progreso creamy tomato with basil. It's bomb and it really makes a decent meal."
For people in a rush, these tasty snacks would suffice.
Goes Well With Veggies And Cheese
"Hummus is such an underrated food. It goes well with a lot of veggies and breads and chips or heck even cheese. All the time I hear hummus being listed as one of those weird, gross foods when its actually an amazing snack, or a meal if done correctly. It's not really unhealthy, either, especially if eaten with veggies (celery and carrots go great with hummus)."
Ready In Seconds
"All I do is get a paper towel, and put 5 Oreos on it."
"Then go back and get the whole package."
Peanut Butter Fantasies
"Peanut butter sandwich."
"If I'm feeling extra froggy I'll add nutella to the peanut butter and honey sandwich and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Goes down about as well as a popeye's biscuit though."
"It's like cheating the system. You eat sweets and call it healthy."
Start your day without all the hassle of a fancy breakfast.
Put It In A Bowl
"Oatmeal or cereal."
"Cereal is definitely underrated as a meal outside of the breakfast dynamic."
"A very simple recipe my grandma prepared for me when i was a kid."
"It's basically scrambled eggs...but before adding the egg she would cook sweetcorn (from a can) with a little bit of butter, add the eggs and then when the eggs were almost ready, add small cubes of cheese and cook for a minute or until the cheese start to melt (she was using fontal, but any swiss or white cheddar will do). Just a little black pepper and salt."
"Takes 5 minutes to do but it's absolutely delicious, fill you up, not so unhealthy and I feel my late grandma with me."
'I tried variations with chives or spring onions, paprika or other stuff. Still good but nothing as good as a simple "uova strapazzate con mais e formaggio.'"
I consider yogurt a healthy snack/lunch option.
I like having a bowl of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey.
It's packed with nutrients and gives me a nice boost of energy.
Yogurt also makes for a perfect chip dip. I sprinkle some onion soup mix and stir in the mixture. Who knew quick and easy food prep could be so delicious?
We all like to assume that a big old scar has an amazing, hardcore story behind it: maybe a valiant fight or some life threatening-escape.
But despite what Hollywood would have us think, that is so rarely the case.
Usually, some kind of bizarre accident leaves us with the biggest scar of our life. There's no action movie story behind it, just a careful mixture of foolishness and bad luck.
Clearly not put off by some gruesome anecdotes, Redditor fluffybear45 asked:
"People with scars, how did you get them?"
For many, it was the wild antics of childhood that left them slightly maimed. With many years now separating the Redditor from the event, these were pretty hilarious.
Out of Nowhere!
"I was playing on a swing and then my leg got stuck in barbed wire." -- Soviet_God-Emperor
"I feel like we missed a couple steps here, or your local park had some serious issues." -- Henfrid
"Yo that went from 0 to 100 real fast" -- IHaveButt
"2nd grade, defective slip-n-slide." -- AdmiralAkbar1
"I'm pretty sure the general design of the slip'n'slide was defective. Those stakes weren't covered originally, so you had to be straight down the middle of the slide or else....." -- Q-burt
"Could you refer to this incident in a gravely voice while staring into the middle distance, pausing only to shudder and sip your scotch?" -- CaptValentine
That's Why You Need an Axe Yard
"My dad hit me with an axe (bladed side) in the face. Stupid 10 yo me just had to look over his shoulder while he was hammering in herrings for our tent."
Others talked about freak accidents that came not from the stupidity of childhood, but the bad luck of mistakes made as an adult.
Bad Conditions for Practice
"Dad gave me a folding knife for Christmas"
"I read online that you could flick it open with one hand"
"So I practiced it, after my hands were greasy from eating a burger"
Take Your Pick
"Multiple long scars on my back are from falling onto a old soviet steel welcome mat ( i dont know how to describe it in english but its meant to wipe dirt of your shoes with triangle shaped steel beams."
"Medium sized one on my forearm is from a barbed wire fence, another one next to it is from a motorcycle accident and one on the base on my thumb is from a cars hood slipping and cutting me."
One Heck Of a Fall
" 'This one is from a skateboard, this one was a truck accident, and this one was a fire hydrant.' "
" 'Oh really? I bet each one has a very unique story.' "
" 'Not really, I skateboarded off of a truck into a fire hydrant.' "
Last, some people talked about the medical procedures that left them with the big gash. These stories had some ninth grade words and not nearly as much stupidity.
"A rare auto immune disorder called pyoderma gangrenosum twice... Don't google If you don't like gore... I had to have daily wound care and high doses of medical steroids"
"My intestines telescoped on themselves 8" scar on my belly." -- Anom8675309
"I never wanted to see the words 'intestines' and 'telescoped' together. Ouch." -- LadySygerrik
"I was born 2 months premature. I wasn't born with an esophagus so drs. cut my stomach open and used parts of my colon or intestines and created a new one for me. I have a huge scar on my neck and my stomach is one big scar. Also had a stomach feeding tube for quite a bit and heart surgery at 2 days old."
"I love science. I wouldn't have experienced life if it hadn't been for advances in medical science."
So if you've been sitting on an embarrassing backstory for one of your scars, feel free to share. You're hardly alone.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.