For most of us, working with the dead isn't something we are going to have a whole lot of opportunity to do. That means most of us won't have a frame of reference for what is normal and what is "weird" when it comes to corpses, caskets, and the industry of death in general.
That might be why this reddit thread has generated some buzz.
It's not a world most of us get a peek into, so these responses are equal parts fascinating and kind of terrifying. We've got worms, exploding caskets, we've got one person who was the weird thing going on at the cemetery.
Yeah... things get interesting.
Funerals and tombstones are the family business and my dad has lot of stories. One that really stood out was the time they were dropping a vault (cement box they the casket goes inside) into a gravesite before a funeral and noticed what looked like "large pieces of grilled meat" at the bottom of the hole.
On asking the cemetery directory what was up (the hole is supposed to be empty) , he was told to ignore it. He did not ignore it and instead brought it up with some others, eventually notifying the authorities. Turned out they had a crematorium on site and were only partially burning the bodies as a means of saving money. The leftovers were being dropped in the graves of others being buried. Few people went to jail for that apparently.
My roommate worked in a graveyard in high school. Said he saw an old man hunched over in a chair at 6am from across the graveyard. Didn't think anything of it and let the man mourn in peace. Around lunch time he was still sitting there. He went up to him and saw that he was hunched over because he had shot himself from under the chin up. He said his blood was all over the grave of his wife who recently had died. Very sad Romeo and Juliet ending.
A nearly 50 % calcified heart.
The man was in his mid 30's and unexpectedly passed. I'm only an assistant, but our chief has been in the field for 34 years and has never seen such an extensive calcification on someone so young, let alone someone that could live long enough for it to get that bad. He honestly had no idea how such a thing could even happen.
He was more impressed by the patients life span than the actual heart.
Never Get Used To It
I'm an EMT and our ambulance station is attached to the county morgue. Sometimes I'll assist the coroner or pathologist. I'll never get used to seeing someone I once saw alive laying in the anatomical position with their guts out.
Last time it was a girl who added me on Facebook that I was thinking of dating. I wasn't prepared to see her in there like that.
Not A Dignified Way
I worked in a jail and the county morgue was attached to it. I'd sometimes go help them move corpses around. One night we were transferring a body into a hearse to be taken to the funeral home. All of our gurneys are from like the 1950-1960's. They didn't really make them to handle a morbidly obese person back then. The gurney broke and dumped a very, VERY fat corpse on top of the new guy I was trying to show how to do the job. Knocked him over and pinned him underneath, and it took 3 of us to roll the corpse off of him.
He was in hysterics and quit, and we all got yelled at for it even though it was solely due to the fact that we have outdated and worn out equipment. But yeah, the bodies being brought in are bigger and bigger as years go on, and the equipment for handling corpses usually was only designed for bodies half that size at max. We tried to be as respectful as possible while handling the dead, but there's just not a dignified way to move a 500 pound dead person.
A Thorough Checking
My sister works for the county coroner. They sent off the body of a middle aged father who seemed to have passed away from a heart attack. She received a call asking if all of the man's orifices were thoroughly checked. Evidently he had a large sex toy in his colon.
One Way TripGiphy
Not a worker, but I have severe epilepsy. I had a massive seizure while visiting my family's plot once and hit my head hard. My mom had to call an ambulance. At first, they didn't believe her when she gave the address, but finally one was sent. When it rolled it, the caretaker came out and hovered around while I was stabilized and loaded, then driven away.
Afterwards, while my mom was getting ready to follow it to the hospital, he said "Well, that's the first time they've ever taken any bodies OUT of here. It's normally a one way trip." Then he offered my mom a free plot and burial service if I didn't make it.
The Totaled Van
I worked as a gravedigger for a family owned Cemetery/Mortuary for a few years...20 years ago. Craziest thing that ever happened... I got a call from my boss at 11 pm one night. No alarms yet, we were on call on the weekends, so a late night call from the boss wasn't that weird. This is where normal ended. He asked me to come down to the cemetery, ASAP and open a grave that we scheduled to be opened first thing the next morning, but he needed it ...at midnight!?!?
He then tells me what's been happening. Apparently we dis-interred 2 caskets from a cemetery in the Los Angeles area. This was in the early 2000's and the bodies were originally buried 1979. I don't care what anyone says, stainless steel, waterproof caskets are a bad idea. The caskets were intact enough to be removed but when they were being put into the transportation van... they bumped together, and the corners of the caskets broke... releasing the contents. The fluid contents. All over the inside of the van. The driver was not happy. But, got on I-5 to Sacramento anyway for the 6 hour drive. The driver said he gagged the entire trip. He said the smell was so bad he drove with his head out the window to avoid the smell. He called the boss and told the boss that the graves need to be open and ready the second he arrived so that we could get these caskets in the ground and covered as soon as possible. Which we did.
The next day, before the mortuary opened we had locals calling in complaining about the smell. The Fire department came by, the police eventually called to inquire about the complains and the smell. It was coming, not from the grave, but from the van used to transport the caskets. We stripped out the carpet and burned it, the plastic came next and we bathed that in bleach, then drenched the inside of that van with every cleaning chemical that we had. Nothing helped. So, the boss called the insurance company.
The adjuster showed up, and the boss met him outside at his car, across the parking lot from the van. The adjuster immediately asked about the horrible smell. The Boss told him that it was coming from the van, and that why he was here. The adjuster looked at him for about 3 seconds and said, "it's totaled, I'll call a tow truck," then got back into his car and drove away.
A guy with an ascaris infestation (intestinal worms). As the body cools down they start exiting through the nose, mouth and all the orifices, which makes for a really gross spectacle. I had to finish pulling them out (they are long, wriggly and disgusting, and wouldn't stop coming) so I could commence my autopsy. I found more inside, too. Blegh.
Are You Real?
My neighbor has a funny story. She was visiting the hospital and got in the elevator. Now this hospital isn't built entirely on the same elevation. The main entrance is on top of a hill. This means that to get to the main floor, you have to press the 1st floor button. Underneath that button is another floor labeled M. She thought it was labeled M, for main floor. It was actually labeled M, because that floor was the morgue. So she gets off at the morgue level to try and figure out where she is. The mortician comes around the corner and nearly has a heart attack when he sees her. After asking her if she's real, he shows her that the first floor is the main floor and helps her get to the main entrance.
My father worked cleaning a hospital morgue for a while. His co-worker was supposed to transport an amputated limb from the morgue to the furnace out back, which was at the top of a steep hill that had been covered with snow and a thick layer of ice from freezing rain and sleet the day before.
Dad was at the bottom of the hill and, thinking it would be funny, the dude waved the amputated leg at my dad. Then he dropped it, watching in horror as it skidded all the way down the icy hill into a small crowd of visitors-- which included some of the hospital's investors-- who screamed bloody murder and took off in random directions. He was fired, but later considered the story in itself to be worth losing his job.
My uncle used to be an EMT in a really small town in PA, so they pretty much deal the with everything. Neighbors hadn't seen this old lady in quite some time so called 911 and my uncle and his crew went to see what was up. Lady had died doing something to the furnace (old school in your living room type one) and when she died she landed on it and pretty much "melted" onto it. They had to scrape her off. I can only imagine what seeing that does to people...
We were prepping the body and removed the sheet to find a cotton string tied around his penis. Another funeral home had embalmed him so I can only assume they put it there. But why?
"Dancing" On His Grave
Worked in cemetery as a teen in the mid 60's. The old widow probably in her late 50s would bring her new boyfriend and have sex on her deceased husbands grave stone. We had to chase them off several times.
A friend of mine is in the business that his family has owned for a while.
A guy called asking a LOT of technical questions about the crematorium. How hot does it get, how long do you do it etc.
After answering questions he asks what is going on.
The callers dad was in his late 80s and had a terminal illness. They want to do a home cremation.
They explain that you can't really do that that there are laws and procedures with the police and hospital etc. The caller dismissed all of that legal mumbo jumbo and thanked him for the info.
A couple of months go by and the guy calls back.
How much do you charge for a "partial" cremation? A partial? What is going on there.
I guess the dad died and they got a bunch of railroad ties and tried to burn the dad up in the backyard. The partial was the leftovers from the fire.
For those that don't know you have to have temperatures way higher than you ever could reproduce in your backyard to completely burn up a body
After they said they didn't do partials the guy hung up.
I used to process bodies that were donated to science. This company would offer a free cremation for people if they could take parts they could use. They promised a minimum percentage of ashes returned (I think 40%) thru would take a lot of knees, shoulders, elbows and doctors could practice using Magellan surgeries. Had one woman come in. She weighed 65 lbs. And I had no problem lifting her myself.
Cancer ate her up. These people were mostly poor people that had been stuck on some institution. Her hip had dislocated and refused to her pelvis. She had horrible rotting bed sores. I had just started the job and was about four weeks into training. I was worried the job would be too much and this woman was what I was afraid for. It took me back so much that I asked my boss if this was something we should report to authorities. A week later they tell me they don't think I'm suited for this line of work and show me the door.
My father in law served in the RAF in Germany in the early 80s. He was a driver but was somehow given the job of body Collector for the local morgue along with a few others.
He's told us loads of stories, but one that sticks out the most was when they were called to a railway line.
They were told to bring shovels. That's when they knew it was bad. He said all they could do was shovel as much as what was left of the man, onto a gurney.
He then told us how he'll never forget the sound of the remains sliding off the gurney into the body bag.
"It was basically human soup"
I love characters I love to hate.
Even when I hate them I can always find the reason they're involved in the story, so I find it difficult to want them to be erased.
Certain characters flaws and the most heinous decisions are written to further story and bolster the audience's love for the heroes.
So as much as we loathe them, we need them; much like our enemies in real life. That is what makes compelling drama.
Redditor u/nekoandCJ wanted to spill the tea on the characters we could do without in our favorite stories by asking:
People of reddit, what fictional character do you hate with a passion?
The list is long for me. It all starts with the guy who shot Bambi's mom. Lord, to this day that is still traumatizing. But she had to go to give Bambi a story. And Michael Douglas's character in "Fatal Attraction," what a putz. He got what he deserved. But how else would we be able to sympathize with Glenn Close? Even though... well y'all get it.
Family FailHome Alone Christmas GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Kevin McCallister's uncle… "look what you did you little JERK!"
"Percy from the green mile, that freak can DIE IN THE MENTAL WARD!!"
"That was what was so good, there is a Percy in every large group and more that one in any team where failure isn't punished, like a government job working at a prison. He was a great comment on humanity."
Love Sharon Though
"Ginger from Casino."
"Major kudos to Sharon Stone, her performance made me utterly loathe that character. She was a manipulative junkie who tied her young daughter to a bed so she could go out to score. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke her."
"Loathe the character, but that performance is absolutely god-tier. Helluva an acting job. Her and Pesci just freaking nail it to the stratosphere, playing thoroughly unlikeable characters in the absolute most realistic way. Ginger is the holistic ideal of the gold-digging party girl. And Pesci is that moron Dunning-Kruger guy we all know."
"Manny from Diary of a Wimpy kid I think there's a while subreddit about that little monster."
Call a Doctor!Giphy
"Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My favorite antagonist ever. Louise Fletcher was perfectly cast for the role, too."
Ohhhh... good choices thus far. Although, I found Sarah Paulson's Ratched more detestable. You know who else is a mess? Elmira Gulch. Love the Wicked Witch. Hate Elmira! Go figure...
True Evilthe sopranos hbo GIFGiphy
"Livia Soprano made my blood pressure rise every time she was on screen. Great acting. Mission accomplished."
"I will say, I've seen Comic-Con panels with him and his smarta** sense of humor fit Micah perfectly. He may have hated the character, but boy oh boy was he a fantastic casting choice. As were all the main cast, for that matter."
All the Drama
"When I tell you I stood up and cheered when I originally saw Heather from Total Drama Island finally get booted out of the competition. 'Twas a good day."
"Season 1 I HATED her and loved when she lost her hair. But then it was more of a love-hate relationship with her. She's a fun character. Owen, now that monster I hate. Loved him season 1, but then he just got reduced to fat guy who farts and contributes nothing."
"Craig from Malcolm in the Middle. He's a selfish, annoying coward. Like the episode where he's injured and he makes Lois drive all over town to different restaurants for him. I love when the helper monkey turns on him, that's what he gets for treating it like crap. I especially hate the episode where Hal asks Craig to help him buy a comic book for Malcolm."
"And Craig also makes Hal drive him all over town for different meals and treats and gifts, then when Hal dares to ask when they're actually going to the comic book store Craig flips out and demands to be let out of the car and says he won't help Hal anymore. Like come the hell on, I just want to slap him."
"Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?!"
"I loved Umbridge for the simple fact that she brought out McGonagall's savagery like no one else, and it was glorious."
"Voldemort is just another generic, pointlessly evil type of character that only seems to exist in fiction. Umbridge is the type of tight @ssed bureaucrat that mimics the actual villain in many average people's real lives."
This thread could be endless. So many villains and loathesome characters so little time. But Lord the drama is good!
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Everyone has their own little quirks.
What's the weirdest thing you find attractive?
Perhaps the thing you find the most attractive is completely unnoticeable to the average person. As in, if you weren't looking for this one tiny, small, completely negligible thing, you would never notice it.
But these people did.
Whip It Back And Forth
"My wife had shoulder length hair for a while. Once, when I called her name and she did the hair-swish-smile thing, I just about f-cking died from cuteness."
Little Stragglies Of Cuteness
"The neck, when a woman has her hair up and those little bits of hair curl around."
"Seeing a girl have to stand on her tiptoes to do basically anything, especially to hug or kiss me.
I think it's the cutest thing ever"
Then there are those people who find things attractive that, on first viewing, someone else wouldn't see as "Wow, that's a real turn on!" However, you have refined and cultured taste. Of course you'll love it when someone's bones stick out a little bit.
"Collarbones. Can't even explain it. Just a shirt low enough to show a pronounced collarbone."
"Omgyes! Protruding collarbones and (at least imo) hipbones are crazy hot! It doesn't have to do with them being skinny though! Slightly curvy people can also have really nice defined collar- and hipbones!"
Controlling A Massive Machine
"My husband reversing the car. He puts his arm around the passenger seat and looks over his shoulder...."
"Oh, man, I love watching people drive. The arm-around-the-passenger-seat-while-reversing thing for sure, but also just people driving in general. There's just something about that focus people get when they're behind the wheel; the way their expressions are usually passive, but their eyes are attentive... oh man. I'm with you on this one for sure."
Someone Has A Thing For "Teen Wolf"
"Long canines. The teeth, not the species.
Not unnaturally long like vampire fangs, but just enough that they're longer than the rest of the teeth."
"Huh, weirdest compliment I've gotten from a guy before was that he liked my 'pointy teeth.' This was at a bar and it made my coworker do a double take."
Then there's these, which you may not have known did it for you, but after reading these there's no going back. You're hooked, now, and that's okay. Embrace the weirdness.
I See You Are Also An Individual Of Class And Substance
"Chokers, f-ck those things stir up something primal in me"
"Ah I see you also grew up in the 90s and watched buffy the vampire slayer..."
Wait, That Seems Pretty Obvi-Oh, That's Why...
"Guys who wear glasses.
For some reason I think it's sexy when we're making out and he has to take them off."
Seems Like You Like Everything They Do. Which Is Great.
"I like when women have to go pee really bad and do that dance. Yea it's weird.
Or when you successfully feed your girlfriend at the appropriate time of day and she does a little dance or starts humming a song as she's chewing.
I like watching the daily skin care routine as they furiously and rapidly circulate their little raccoon sized hands in various nonsense that I'll never understand"
Everyone is different. Everyone has different tastes. Everyone has things that speak to them. These are all perfectly acceptable, and steering into them might actually help you along as you continue your search for a viable romantic partner. Don't shy away from the things you find sexy. Embrace them. Be happy.
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When we're kids, we expect the adults in our lives to notice everything, know everything, and maintain a just, sound moral order.
Psh, don't hold your breath.
Whether it's a teacher, the parent supervising a playdate, or mom and dad at home, kids expect them to have eyes on the back of their heads.
That way, when a kid gets into a spat with a peer, has something stolen, or feels a quiet emotion, the adult in the room will respond with full knowledge of all the facts at play.
But adults are just human beings with a limited bandwidth in their heads. Half the time they're doing other things when the incident goes down.
So they weigh in as best as they can with the limited info they receive--usually in the form of two screaming children pointing at one another.
Curious to learn about the times when the adult got it wrong, Redditor Butterat_Zool asked:
"What minor injustice was wrought upon you as a child that you're still salty about today?"
Many people talked about times when a prized possession was stolen, destroyed, or squandered. Sure, things are just things.
But to kids they mean a whole lot.
Covering Her Tracks
"We had a special arts and crafts week when I was about six, maybe younger. I made my dad a Christmas stocking out of clay, because I'd always thought it was unjust that he didn't have one. It was going to be my Christmas presents to him."
"I took it to the teacher to show her, and so it could be fired later. She methodically destroyed it by balling it up in her hands, and then tried to put it down to a brain fart. I was shocked, but mostly I wanted a replacement stocking, since it was meant to be a gift. I asked her to remake it for me, since she, a teacher, would be allowed to use the clay any time, but I only had a few minutes left."
"The next day I was told I'd been bad and I wasn't allowed to participate in the arts and crafts week any more, and that was that."
No Help From Pa
"When I was 4 I had a little red rocking horse necklace. It was my favourite. I wore it to a puppet show my dad took me to one day and took it off and put it beside me."
"The kid next to me picked it up and wouldn't give it back. We fought."
"My dad told her dad he didn't recognize the necklace and let her take it. I'm 45 and still salty."
In-School Pawn Shop
"Teacher took my 2ft long pencil and sold it to another student."
"Yup. A few teachers at that school sold supplies like pencils to students. It just so happened that this one was taken from me because it was 'too distracting' "
All Them Nintendos
"When I was younger I wanted a Sega Dreamcast. My parents wouldn't just buy it for me, since 'I already had enough Nintendos.' I got a job at Hollywood Video. I couldn't even drive yet, so I would ride my BMX to work in my tuxedo uniform."
"When I saved enough money, I told my parents I was going to buy it myself. They told me no. When I asked why, they said it was to teach me that I can't always get what I want, even if I can afford it."
"I bought one anyway and successfully hid it from them. Every night when I went to 'bed,' I'd hook up the Dreamcast and play as quietly as possible. I still give them sh** for that decision, but they stand by it."
Other people fixated on the times an adult embarrassed them in front of multiple people. Of all the examples given, these are enough to make you really worry about some of the people watching kids out there.
"We were on a field trip to some Washington forest and the ranger started asking about products that grow in or are made from forests."
"3rd grade me who had just discovered in some Ranger Rick article that latex rubber comes from tree trunks confidently raised my hand to share."
" 'Uh rubber from trees, now that doesn't sound right does it' and she moved onto another. 35 years later and the salt is still there."
"In 4th grade our teacher told us to write a paper about what we thought of our school, now our school wasn't great and I was homeschooled up until that year and struggling with the change so wrote about my frustrations and how I was generally unhappy with it..."
"...and she insulted me in front of everybody until the point that I cried and then told me I should get up and read the paper to the class, I refused and she made me rewrite that paper until it was positive, you know instead of trying too help me with the problems I had"
Don't Cross a Paleo Nerd
"I was failed on an essay in English class because my interpretation was incorrect. The poet was describing an airplane and they asked us to figure how what it was being interpreted or anthropomorphized as."
"I was a paleo nerd and chose a pterosaur, because the author described the engines as screeching, and heaving, wings outstretched but still, etc. This was in 6th grade and in my essay I wrote 'and pterosaurs weren't like modern birds, they certainly didn't chirp!' "
"The teacher specifically read my essay out loud to the class as an example of something bad and wrong and 'incorrect.' She also didn't know what a pterosaur was or how you say pterodactyl. Big Salt could mine me until the sun explodes."
And finally, others shared the times they found themselves doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The adult only saw a snippet of a much broader context of behavior.
And the minimal knowledge led them to punish exactly the wrong person.
"Someone's phone went off in class, so teacher demanded that person turn their phone it. No one budges. She holds us in class for a good 20 minutes into the next period antagonizing us about this phone that rung. Eventually she let us go and warned all other teachers about this phone incident."
"My 8th period teacher then gets involved and antagonizes us all again. Said he was gonna stand out in the hall and whoever knows anything to report to him. Some kid went out there and said it was my phone. I got yelled at, got written up for Saturday detention, and later that year found out the kid who told on me was the one who's phone rung in class."
The One Time
"In kindergarten, we sat on this foam mat made out of large puzzle pieces, and we were all assigned one. My puzzle neighbor, Tommy, threw his garbage onto my square. Every time I pushed it off, he'd put it back."
"I eventually got mad and told him to knock it off, and the teacher noticed and yelled at me for throwing garbage into his square. I sat out for the rest of the day and my pin was brought down to 'bad day'. I accidentally broke his nose on the metal spider a few weeks after during tag, though."
Pulled In to the Chatter Hole
"Once a week, in kindergarten, they would pick a name of a kid who would win a toy. Only good kids could participate."
"I was alway a good kid, but not really lucky. My name got picked only once in the whole year. That day, unfortunately for me, I was next to a kid who would not shut up during the lesson. I spoke once to ask him to please stop talking. Guess who the teacher chose to punish for disturbing the lesson? That's right. Me. Didn't get my toy."
Until some kind of horrifying technology comes out that allows adults to see and know every facet of their child's existence, tiny injustices like this will proliferate.
But perhaps those couple slights are totally worth the freedom of adults that don't know everything we're up to.
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Modern medicine is a marvel. It's the reason why we've been able to effectively eradicate some serious diseases and improve the quality of health care around the world. When you take these two things into consideration, it's easy to see why vaccine hesitancy can be such a frustrating topic for people right now.
Many people would not be able to survive without the benefits of modern medicine. That's what we learned after Redditor forevernostalgic23 asked the online community,
"If modern medicine didn't exist what medical condition would have died from or been severely impacted by?"
"Bad vision alone would have made me terrible at most things."
I had bad vision until my early 20s. I second this.
"I would have had a very short life..."
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. I would have had a very short life without modern medicine."
Having known many people who live with diabetes, I am glad that they are still here.
"I probably would have died..."
"I probably would have died at 6 years old from strep throat."
This is a big one: In the past, it commonly killed many people. And guess what, it still does? The CDC estimates approximately 11,000 to 24,000 cases of invasive group A strep disease occur each year in the United States, with 1,200 to 1,900 of those cases resulting in death.
"I was born..."
"I was born with a bilateral abdominal hernia and amniotic fluid in my lungs, no way I would have survived infancy without modern medicine."
"My brother and I..."
My brother and I were bitten by a rabid farm kitten when we were 6 and 4 years old. Without the foresight of my grandfather who had the cat tested and modern medicine creating the vaccine, my parents would be childless."
Frightening! I saw Cujo as a child and that told me all I needed to know about rabies, thank you very much.
"I would have gone deaf..."
"I would have gone deaf from recurrent ear infections as a child and then died at 14 from pneumonia."
"But since that..."
"I was born two months premature, so I'd likely not survive that in an earlier era. But since that, nothing."
"Mom and Dad..."
"The way I was born. Mom and Dad had to feed me through a tube down my nose the first year and a half."
"If the recurrent..."
"If the recurrent tonsillitis didn't get me, my appendix would have been the end of me as a teen."
"Neither kiddo nor I..."
"Giving birth. Neither kiddo nor I would be alive without emergency surgery."
Amazing, right? Be grateful for modern medicine––there are new developments each and every day. And who knows what the future has in store for us? Will there be a cure for cancer? Alzheimer's disease and dementia? The sky's the limit.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!