College admissions officers likely have to read a lot of crap, but there's likely nothing that prepares them for applications that can only be described as far removed from this world.
That formed the basis of today's burning question from Redditor EZ112, who asked the online community: "Admissions officers/essay coaches of Reddit: what was the most pretentious application you've ever seen?"
I had a Chinese student write in their application: "I hardly ever waste water, paper or rice".
Presumably he was conflating Economics, the degree subject being applied for, with being economical. He also said that he had found a phone and had returned it to the owner "even though he was Russian".
"A whole essay..."
A whole essay about how it had "long been her dream to study at the prestigious University of Leicester" and all the incredible gifts life would bestow on her for living her dream.
In an application for a university that was NOT Leicester.
One with $100 in it.
I worked in a very religious private schools admissions department for a few weeks, filing applications. The parents had to write a letter about their child and why the school would suit them.
I'll always remember the man who wrote three pages about how successful a business man he was, how he owned several businesses, how good he was at the school's main sport and then attached a large check to the last page. Not a word about the kid.
What I remember most?
The rejection letter from the principal with a thinly veiled insinuation that bribery was immoral and not acceptable at this school.
"One admissions essay..."
I was part of an Admissions Committee when I served as faculty at a wonderful University.
One admissions essay compared his act of applying to the law school with that of a Palestinian child facing oppression.
The closing line was "Bravery comes in many forms. A Palestinian child picking up a stone against Illegal Occupation, and me writing this essay, both are comparable."
Still haven't forgotten it.
"I got to interview some students..."Giphy
I got to interview some students for a special program in my undergrad. It was highly competitive and lots of people wanted it.
Young woman comes in. I offer her a seat.
"I'd prefer to stand. This won't take long."
"No, my dad is the dean of (one of the colleges) and my mom is one of the professors who established this program. I'm getting in."
I emphasized that she really should take a seat. She refused again. So I say, "Hey, this interview, me approving you is part of the process. You have to do well in this to get in."
"You'll say I did well or my parents will make life hell for you."
Her parents had zero impact on anything in my life and I told her as much. After articulating this to her I said, "I'm going to give you a chance to walk out the door and restart this interview. Fresh start."
She lost it and yelled at me. For like five minutes. I filled out the interview sheet with direct quotes from her tantrum.
She didn't get in. A few days after decisions were made, I got an email from her father who was, in fact, a dean. He asked me to come in and "have a chat" with him. It was totally a request. I went to talk to him.
When I went to see him he had a copy of the interview sheet where I had several direct quotes from his daughter. Some of the quotes were awful and directed at me, my family, and basically everything she could hit on.
He apologized profusely for his daughter and asked if she could redo the interview. He was leaning on me a bit at this point. I told him that choices had already been made and she was not selected.
The whole thing was mind blowing. She was so entitled.
"Not an admissions officer..."
I have evaluated placement essays for first year writing (first semester, second semester, or in rare cases, tested out completely). I remember reading one about how selfies were important because of such reasons as "so people can know where you are" and "if you travel you can use them to take pictures of monuments and landmarks." This student essentially, though I'm not sure intentionally, made the argument that every picture that is taken HAS TO BE a selfie and if they weren't in the picture it wasn't worth anything.
I put them in "first semester."
"I used to tutor..."
I used to tutor at uni, and helped occasionally with my tutees' applications. One thing I always encouraged them to do was to mention their aspirations after graduating, and to mention why specifically this university. One kid, who'd been pretentious the whole time, actually wrote in his essay that he didn't really care about the academic part because his dad was just going to give him a job when he graduated anyways. He chose the unis he was applying to based on how impressive they sounded, and how good the party life was.
I kept in touch with his sister (she was super smart and studied the same subject as me, so I helped her out with career advice etc later on). She dropped into conversation later, with a noticeable bit of glee, that her brother was 'going through a challenging patch' because his father informed him that no, daddy was not going to give him a free ride into a cushy job, and did expect him to get a real job.
"I was a medical school interview coach..."
I was a medical school interview coach, earning some extra money through med school. Some applicants were great, others were what you'd expect from kids whose parents are paying a tutor to teach them how to act normal.
Our med school interviews are easy to pass, but difficult to do well in. They involve generic questions like your passion or interests, ethical scenarios, decision-making questions, knowledge of healthcare topics, etc. There have been memorable answers to mock questions.
In terms of pretentious, I asked one guy what his hobbies were and he said he loved Armani suits and buying expensive coffee blends. Not a great answer, but what killed it was that he began describing "the smoothness of the bean" and licking and smacking his lips together in wet squelching noises.
Another applicant's dad was a successful surgeon, so he argued in his answers "I basically already know how to be a doctor, through osmosis". He'd failed the entrance exam seven times and his dad opened a lot of doors for him, getting him research editor positions for his CV etc. There were complex family dynamics. He would say really inappropriate things like, "When I'm a doctor, I can buy and sell you and all your friends" "All I have to do is pass this stupid exam and interview and my dad will get me a spot in the training program, you'll be struggling for years." He'd then flip to complaining for half an hour about how his sister gets treated like a 'princess', and call me at 10 PM 'just to talk'. I declined further sessions but was pretty sympathetic, to be honest.
Whenever his dad called to arrange sessions and materials, he was very pejorative toward his son. I had trouble hearing him during one of the phone calls because of background noise until he stepped outside. Later found out that he had been calling me, a tutor, during his son's graduation ceremony. He missed his son going on stage to receive his diploma because he was arranging a booking time with me. It placed a lot of his son's defensive behaviour in context.
And no, he has not been accepted into a med school. That was two years ago and he emailed only a few weeks ago to request access to my Google Drive to brush up on some things. I granted it because when your answer to a conflict in teamwork question is, "I'd tell them I'm sorry that they're wrong", no amount of Microsoft Word documents will change your performance.
"Ohhh, I have one."
Ohhh, I have one. A longtime friend's mother reviews applications at an elite college. I saw her recently and she was telling us about some of the essays. One was from a girl who clearly came from a background of great privilege. She described a day of shopping and dining at swanky places with her parents in the big city one day. At the end of the day they came across a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk begging for money or food. She initially passed him by ... but then, THEN, seeing the American flag flying on the corner up ahead on the next block, remembered "what this great country of ours was built on, as well as what life is truly about" and went back to give this homeless person her restaurant leftovers.
All described with much self congratulation. I'm paraphrasing a lot of it, but the part in quotes is exact (and will likely be repeated for some time to come, accompanied by chuckling, by my friend and me). The country was built on, and life itself is about, giving a homeless person your half-eaten burger and fries.
"I once got a binder..."
I once got a binder with nineteen letters of recommendation from what seemed every adult who ever vaguely met the student. We also got photocopies of her SCUBA license and lifeguard certification. This was just for a college with a 98% acceptance rate.
We also had an essay question that was "If you could spend a day with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?" and some kid wrote about how the college admissions racket discounted who he was as an individual and that he wanted to spend the day with the college admissions officer so they'd really get to know him. Came off as a bit creepy, and, again, 98% acceptance rate. If you could write a coherent sentence and didn't murder anyone, you were going to be accepted, we didn't freaking care about your personality.
"I felt sorry for her..."Giphy
I'm a college admissions consultant and the worst one I've read was a full meta essay about how much the applicant loved college admissions and writing admissions essays. It was arrogant and aloof throughout but the kicker was when the student called herself "an elite applicant with outstanding admissions essay skills" right there in the essay.
I felt sorry for her because it felt like the stress of the process had given her a Stockholm Syndrome obsession with it. I tried to bring her back to reality gently but she wasn't having it.
She didn't get in.
"I read as an admissions person..."
I read as an admissions person for a competitive national fellowship that helps students study abroad.
The last essay I read that day made my job very easy as this person was all over the place, bragging about being a religious hippie, how his parents were missionaries so he already had a global perspective, how he writes the best poetry, everyone considers him a leader...
These were all one sentence and indented as new paragraphs with absolutely ZERO elaboration.
The cherry on top, his closing, was literally saying that he could work in the private sector or government when he graduates and "the choice is yours."
I was like lol OK private sector thanks.
"This is actually..."
This is actually a difficult mom story. The student was a nice kid, with decent grades, so an easy admit, but with a very average scholarship. I can see from his app that they are very well off, and they didn't even file the FAFSA, which is a telltale sign that they don't need the help. So a while after I admit the kid, the mom calls me to ask for a higher scholarship. I ask her if her son retook the ACT/SAT since he submitted he submitted his app (the only reason why we'd reconsider a scholarship), she says no. Okay, so there's no reason for the scholarship committee (aka me) to review his scholarship then, and it's obvious that she's only asking for the bragging rights. I'm very nice about it, but I make it clear that we're not increasing her kid's scholarship.
She goes off on me, telling me that clearly I must not know the quality of private school he goes to (which I am very familiar with) and that I don't know how much money they have. Her reasoning was that they are rich, so we should give him a better scholarship and then they'll donate money to the college. Not only did she pull the favorite line "Do you have any idea who we are?" but she also tried to bribe me with his family financing a new building on campus! Direct quote: "I don't think you understand me here, the school where my daughter goes to has a building named for us. Don't you think (my university name) needs a new building on campus?"
It was the most bizarre and entitled conversation I've ever had with another human. Long story short, I didn't bump his scholarship and the kid enrolled anyway.
"I reviewed applications..."
I reviewed applications for a local state college. We didn't need to read essays if the grades were good enough, but one time I saw a kid with an 800 SAT writing score. I had never seen one, so I curiously checked their essay.
Their essay was all about getting an 800 on their writing SAT.
"The most pretentious..."
The most pretentious essays are the athlete essays. I've seen many applicants just write "Don't need essay, college athlete" for all four essay prompts. The way we do applications they will likely get in.
"Wrote her entire med school application..."
Wrote her entire med school application essay about how she wanted to become a doctor so that she could perform free plastic surgery for family members. Had no idea all the ethical reasons why that was not okay, very angry that she did not get accepted.
"I work in admissions..."
I work in admissions at a small, highly selective college, although in an administrative role rather than reading essays or applications. I deal with prospective students on a day-to-day basis, but it's honestly their parents who have horrific entitlement issues. They'll tell me about their business dealings/connections/legacy status with absolutely no prompting, answer questions for or over their kids, and generally treat the students here as props for their own children's education rather than as actual people. There are a lot of kids who are clearly uninterested in the school but tour and interview here because their parents want them to. I've also had people throw fits at me about their own mistakes--signing up for the wrong things, the wrong date, or fucking up their application in some way. Parents really see their children as an extension of themselves and their children's college education as a financial investment. It's all about status from the applicant's end and they don't understand that colleges are often looking for fit.
"I'm an admissions counselor."
I'm an admissions counselor. One applicant refused to fill out a very simple application supplement because she was homeschooled by parents who are doctors and "they are more than qualified to educate me." When I told her the supplement was not optional, she accused me of being racist (?!).
Needless to say she did not complete her application and I assume she went to a different school.
"It was an impressive..."
Kid came in with an "essay" which was, to put it simply, an extension of his resume. It was an impressive resume, but it was a resume, and gave no insight into who he was. I was told that the purpose of this "essay" was to justify his poor grades and fit everything he couldn't fit into his resume into his application.
Anyway, here's a step by step guide on how to actually write a college admission essay.
If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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