We’ve all made decisions that feel right at the time, but in hindsight were not incredibly smart. Shooting flaming arrows into the woods? Sure! Drinking hot candle wax to soothe a sore throat? Brilliant idea! Getting a vasectomy? I’ll never regret this.
Here are 44 stories of people doing things that seemed like excellent ideas at the time, but turned out to be anything but.
44. Do A Flip
In high school, my friend discovered that he was particularly agile at running toward a wall and kicking off of it into a backflip. He would do this all day, every day, before school, at lunch, etc.
One day, we were inside a classroom and the teacher had stepped out for a moment. Of course, he took this opportunity to try his little trick. He didn’t, however, take into account the fact that drywall might not support his weight as well as the brick and concrete walls he’d tried before. His leg ended up busting straight through the wall to the other side, into a classroom full of students taking an exam. So I wasn’t actually in the class taking the exam, but to this day, I still imagine how strange and hilarious it would be to be sitting in that class then suddenly see a leg burst through the wall. It makes me smile just thinking about it.
43. “Dad Never Hears A Word About This”
So back in the day, my brothers and I were shooting a bow and arrow behind our house. We had a proper backstop and a nice target on a bale of hay. After about an hour we were getting bored, and one of my brothers had a stroke of genius. Light one of the arrows on fire. So there we are wiring rags to arrows and soaking them in gas and shooting stuff. It didn’t take long and half the yard was on fire. We’d shot pretty much every flammable thing we could burn in the yard. Since we were running short on stuff to shoot, my brother decided to launch one in a 45° arc over the woods behind the house. We all watched soar laughing and giggling.
When it hit the apex, it dawned on us that this was, in fact, a really stupid freaking idea. All six of us sprinted off into the woods in the direction it’d been shot. Wasn’t hard to find, because the arrow lit an entire little meadow on fire. So we ran around stomping out fires for an hour. When we finally got the fire put out, we were sitting by the crick, and my oldest brother looks at us all and says, “Dad never hears a word about this.”
42. “Who The Heck Threw That Potato?!”
In high school biology, we were doing some experiments with potatoes. The class was almost over and my buddy pockets a big potato. The rest of us were wondering what he was up to and he said watch this. The bell rang and we went into the hall.
He gave it a few seconds for the hall to fill up and then winged it. The ceiling was pretty high so it went quite far and then we hear “Who the heck threw that potato?!” We get down the hall and some poor dude had bits of potato stuck in his hair. He was MAD ready to fight whoever threw it. I couldn’t stop laughing; what jerks we were back then.
41. One In A Million Shot
When I was in high school, we have two different lunch periods so some people were in class while others were at lunch. We were allowed to go outside on days when it was nice so we took this opportunity to play some frisbee. Well, an unexpected breeze came along and took the frisbee off course and perfectly through a third-floor window and hit a kid taking an exam.
I always chuckle thinking of everyone quietly taking a test safely inside the classroom when out of nowhere BAM. The worst part was the teacher wouldn’t toss us back the frisbee!
40. Perfect Timing
My math classroom in high school shared a wall with another class. On the said wall was a big window with a good-sized gap at the top. Whenever our teacher would leave the room, we’d toss things back and forth with the other class, stick signs in the window, etc.
One day, when our teacher stepped out, my friend power launched his textbook towards the window, intending to throw it through the gap, but he didn’t throw it high enough. It just slammed into the window and scared the piss out of the other class. The book took down a shelf on its way to the ground and I swear within five seconds we had like three math teachers yelling at us after having heard all the noise. While they were chewing us out, a lone marker went flying into our classroom. It was beautiful.
39. Poor Kid
Back in elementary school, Beyblades were pretty popular and my friends and I all had one. That specific day the guy with the stadium (it was pretty much a branded plastic bowl) didn’t go to school so we had to play in the schoolyard. So me and my friends were playing to see who could launch their Beyblade the farthest.
It was my turn when suddenly the bell rang and the yard was full within seconds. I didn’t seem to notice, though, and I fired my Beyblade so hard it hit a 2nd grader on the other side of the school in the face. Me and my friends just ditched my Beyblade and went into class like nothing happened. I never saw that thing ever again.
38. He Found His Calling Early In Life
Back in vocational school, we had a guy that loved exploring. If he saw a spot high up somewhere or a crawlspace it didn’t matter what you did to discourage him, he would always find a way to get there. Once in our masonry classroom the janitors had been replacing ceiling tiles and had to stop for whatever reason for like a week. This kid figured out if he drags the teacher’s desk over towards the wall he can jump up and just reach the very top of where the cement blocks end and grip the inside edge of them. So every day he would climb up inside of this wall and explore the ceilings of the massive shop we worked in.
The last day he did this he climbed up in there and was gone for over 40 minutes. The teacher is cursing and calling every available teacher and custodian in the school trying to find where he went. It turns out he fell through the ceiling in a locked supply room full of copper tubing for the HVAC class like six rooms away from ours. He knocked over so much tubing and shelves in that pitch black room that he spent that whole 40 minutes tripping over stuff trying to find the door and then hiding because he knew he was in big time trouble. Last time I heard about him he was in jail for breaking and entering this house and getting found by police in the attic crawlspace.
37. Coca Cola Cowboy
When I was a teenager, my brother, cousin, and a couple of friends decided to try to steal a coke vending machine by tipping it over into the back of a Ford Ranger pick up and take off. We were like … we’ll just put it in our garage and have plenty of soda and will refill it. (We had one of those keys for them.)
It was two in the morning and were all wasted. This was the mid-90s, mind you, and way out in the country. There was a little store with the machine. We backed up and my brother and I got it rocking back and forth and finally BLAM into the back of the truck. It lifted the front end of the truck off the ground and as soon as it landed in the bed my buddy started driving with me trying to jump into the bed with the vending machine and my brother hopped on the back of the vending machine riding it like a majestic horse. But we forgot to unplug it and for some reason, it was just enough that it pulled the machine out the truck with my brother on it and crashed to the ground. We were young, dumb, and bored. But it made perfect sense to me then.
36. Never Ever Back Down
In kindergarten, it was the day after we had a big assembly warning us about the dangers of “partying.” I wanted to sound cool to my friend, so I made up a story. I said that I got to school early and a couple of kids offered me smokes I declined, they insisted, they chased me and I ran.
I thought my friend would think I was cool. Nope. He was smart and said we needed to tell the principal, and he did. I got to explain the story to the teacher, the principal, the workers at my daycare, a cop and my parents. It went too far, but I never changed my story and never admitted to it.
35. Uhm… Karma?
About 6 or 7 years ago (aged 25) I was walking to a bar with friends. We were going through one of those classic American suburbs where the yards are small and the houses are identical boxes. Passing one particular house I made note of the fact that they had far more solar lights in their backyard than was reasonable–it was maybe a 100ft x 100ft yard with 40+ lights scattered around. I would like to preface that after the bar I was nowhere close to hammered. I could still walk a straight line and talk without slurring, etc. We had to hop a couple of fences on the way back from the bar, the only difficult one being this tall concrete wall around a storage facility that took some work to get over but we did it without issue. So we make our way back to the suburb and the house with all the lights. Being in a comfortably buzzed state I decided that I needed one of the lights. They had enough. One going missing wasn’t going to change anything, right? There’s a small fence around the yard, one of those two or three foot high ones with about six to eight inches in between each slat. Nothing crazy and easily circumvented. Being buzzed, I decided to brace myself on one of the slats to make sure I can comfortably hop over the fence. Left hand on the slat, I hop up. Around the halfway point of the hop, the slat snaps off the frame and I fall straight onto my left arm, with most of the impact around the elbow area. It hurt, but more akin to hitting your funny bone rather than blinding pain. I grab the closest light to me, very easily climb over the gap that’s now in the fence, and go about my night. I very quickly I realized I couldn’t extend my left arm any further than about 90 degrees–basically, think of how C-3P0 holds his arms and that was it. We got back to my buddies house, I iced it and went to sleep.
Come the next morning, the pain kicks in and I still can’t extend my arm. About a week later the swelling goes down and I’m able to get a proper scan to see the damage. Sure enough, the elbow’s broken. Do you know how most drawings of a bone generally have two round balls at each end? I snapped one of those–the capitellum–clean off. It was still intact and it was still floating in the elbow joint. Turns out a significant tendon is attached to that little guy, hence why I couldn’t extend my arm. The doctor said I lucked out because it was such a clean break it was a relatively simple fix. A couple of screws and a pin, along with physical therapy for a couple of months and my arm was back in business. Being 25, I lucked into the law wherein I was still covered by my parent’s insurance. The bill ended up around $23k, of which only about $1,000 had to be paid out of pocket. I kept that light up until this year when my wife suggested it was time to let it go.
34. Get Rid Of The Evidence!
There was a new parking structure at a mall where I lived many years ago. It was smooth concrete and had a slight downslope at the entrance. We noticed it was slippery when it got wet.
We, as teenagers, decided to squirt a bottle of dishwashing soap at the entrance and photograph the driver’s surprise when they couldn’t turn or stop. It caused six cars to crash in about a minute. We ran off and threw away the film. We didn’t want any evidence.
33. “You Can’t See Me, I’m Hiding”
Many years ago, I became absolutely smitten with a young woman. She was friendly, intelligent, funny, and almost painfully attractive, with a list of interests and hobbies that seemed like they were a near-perfect match to my own. Within hours of our first conversation, I had decided that the two of us belonged together … and as a result of that decision, I launched myself into a series of increasingly stupid attempts at seduction. There are any number of idiotic misadventures that I could describe, but perhaps the most ridiculous of them happened on the evening before Valentine’s Day. I had purchased my would-be paramour a small potted plant–something which I’d been told she’d appreciate more than flowers or chocolate–and I was intent on leaving it somewhere for her to discover (rather than handing it to her in person). While any sane person would have just placed the gift on her welcome mat, I opted for a much less wise approach, convincing the girl’s flatmate to give me access to their kitchen. My hope was that I could position the present in such a way that it would remain unnoticed until the next morning, at which point it would seem to magically appear in the morning light.
Now, lest you think that I was a complete moron, I should mention that the young woman in question was supposed to be out of the house while I was making my clandestine delivery. Unfortunately for me, she had changed her schedule at the last minute, arriving back at home almost immediately after I had been let in. Her roommate and I exchanged hurried whispers as we discussed a place for me to hide, but since there were only a few seconds to spare, I had to settle for ducking down behind the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room.
Had this been a scene in a romantic comedy, a slapstick series of mad dashes and near-misses would have ensued. Sadly, real life doesn’t work like that, and I was found almost immediately: the girl walked into the living room, asked her roommate who she had been talking to, then made a move to approach the kitchen (which I assumed based on what I could hear). Knowing that I was about to be caught, I huddled as far back into a corner as I could, then held the potted plant up in front of my face. “Uh … hi, Max,” I heard the young woman say. “You can’t see me,” I replied. “I’m hiding.” The good news is that my efforts–despite having thoroughly failed–were more or less appreciated. I semi-sheepishly presented the girl with her gift, wished her a happy Valentine’s Day, then explained why I had been sneaking around in her apartment. She graciously accepted, but (quite reasonably) asked why I had tried such a convoluted way of giving her a present. All I could say was that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
32. Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions
When I was like 12 and should have known better, I had a severe sore throat and had a hard time swallowing anything without pain.
So, being the genius that I was, I decided the only way to deal was to swallow hot candle wax because it would dry and coat my throat, preventing me from feeling any pain as I swallowed. It actually worked surprisingly well, but drinking hot wax from a candle isn’t particularly pleasant to do, so I don’t think I’m doing that again.
31. Big Person + Swing Rope = Disaster
At a bachelor’s party last year, we rented a small house in a small town in the middle of nowhere. On the 2nd day we are there, we decide to go to a local state park which had a nice swimming hole. As we were getting ready to get out of the water, one of the locals mentioned a rope swing on the other side of the little island in the middle of the lake. Always being an adventurous person, I decide to swim out with a few of my friends to check it out. There are a couple of locals there and we watch them go first. It is a pretty high swing off a decent drop and the water looks to get pretty deep, pretty quick. At this point, I should mention that I am about 6′3″ and 250+ pounds at this point in my life. I should also mention that I have very little upper body strength. I’ve been a cyclist and runner most of my life and rarely worked out my upper body.
I take the rope swing, go to one of the highest points I could, and launch off. As the swing hits the lowest point, my hands slip just a bit, but it’s enough for me to react by dropping my knees just a bit. As this happens, my feet hit the ground. As that happens, my hands let go of the rope. My left knee smashes into the water’s edge, which is much rockier than anticipated. My hands plunge into the water, which is also much rockier than I anticipated. I cast out into the water on my belly and float for a few seconds before regaining my composure and slowly swimming back into shore. My leg is bleeding and my right-hand hurts. We go to local urgent care.
Long story short I ended up with 12 staples in my left knee to close the gash from the rocks. I had X-rays on my hand after the weekend and found out that I essentially shattered my right middle finger. I ended up needing surgery and now have three screws in that finger. It has most of its functionality, but it does hurt from time to time. But that rope swing sure looked like a good time.
30. Were The Stars Worth It?
I was at Boy Scout camp, and due to the very little light pollution that state forests provide, the stars were absolutely beautiful that night. Some of the other scouts had gone to take a long exposure shot of the stars and galaxies you could see. I decided to join them, and when I looked up at the sky it was absolutely stunning.
Then, realizing that this beautiful moment happens in every teenage film, where they lie on the ground and look up the stars, proceed to yell “This is an epic movie bucket list moment!!” And instead of just lying down slowly and spreading myself out, I took the quickest way I knew possible. I yeeted myself up in the air, and spread out all my limbs (snow angel style), and just fell. Only once I was in the air did I realize that I should have braced my head. So, yeah. I have a concussion now, but I can say the stars were amazing in that brief moment in which I was in the air, and I have one less item on my bucket list. (Also, I am 6’4″, and it was downhill.)
29. Imagine Their Faces When They Know It Was Going To Hit A TV
When I was working in retail for the first time, I was hired with three other people as seasonal employees for Black Friday and Holiday season. Towards the end of the day, they would send us to go bring in any shopping carts/buggies that were outside. Usually, we would have to push it in ourselves because we didn’t have one of those machines that would push it for you. One day, someone suggested, “Why don’t we just make one huge cart line, and push it in instead of having four different lines?” Everyone agreed so we get everything and lined up about 60-70 something carts. It took three of us to push it as it was so heavy.
With the other guy guiding it at the front, we managed to get inside the store and into the cart area. Since the carts were a whole line and heavy as heck, we couldn’t stop it in time. It blew past the rail, and unfortunately on the other side of the cart area is where we kept the dishwashers/refrigerators/TVs that are supposed to be going out for delivery/sold. We ended up breaking a TV and denting a fridge. Unfortunately, the store manager was doing his nightly rounds around the store and saw the whole thing as he was coming down the main hall. We got yelled at pretty bad and immediately just told us to go home and to see him in his office tomorrow morning. It seemed like a good idea though.
28. Again! Again!
My twelve-year-old self made a zip line with my friends. After tying one end of the rope to a tree at the top of a hill, we realized we didn’t have anywhere to tie it at the bottom.
So, we decided we’d all hold the rope taut while we each took turns. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Surprisingly, the first crash not only failed to dissuade us but somehow managed to encourage us all to take a turn! Again, again!
27. This Is Gold!
I had been installing a kitchen between Tirau and Tapapa in the mighty Waikato, New Zealand. The house is situated in a horseshoe-like curve of a beautiful clear, very cold stream, not far at all from the famed Blue Springs where our delicious Kiwi Blue water is bottled. Around lunch time, I’d finished my install and run out of water. Being a fairly warm autumn day, I was quite thirsty, so I wandered through a gate and down the paddock to where the stream was shallow enough for me to refill my bottle with crisp, cool natural water. Naturally, I didn’t just fill my bottle and get away to my next job, I had a bit of a wander about and enjoyed the fantastic wee spot that I was lucky enough to be working in, when I spotted a deeper pool with a few fish. Of course, I followed upstream through the blackberries, trying my best to not fall in the stream, since I couldn’t see where the edge of the bank was. A few hundred meters upstream, I came across another deep section and spied more trout, doing their fish things, except this time, they looked like a good size. I haven’t ever eaten trout before, and contemplated whether it was possible to even catch them without a line.
I had visions of grandeur along the lines of charging in like a bear at full noise and coming up victorious with a fish in hand. Any rational person would immediately discard this as a bloody stupid idea and just watch the fish, or simply carry on with their day, but not me apparently. What could go wrong? I spied a likely looking tree hanging out over the water, kinda sturdy, with a fairly easy looking jump to get to where the fish were. Off came my boots and I dangled my feet in to check how cold again, and after deciding it wasn’t bad, I quickly stripped down to my boxers and scaled the tree and edged out to a good spot not far behind the fish. I was maybe two and a half meters above the surface of the water. If you have ever seen a leopard launch gracefully from a branch down onto unsuspecting prey for the perfect kill, all sinew, muscle, and just general lithe furry death, I can tell you with no uncertainty that that is the exact opposite of what happened. I steadied myself, picked my spot and launched at the poor fish with outstretched arms, fully prepared for a clean catch, as can only be seen on television with the magic of special effects.
What happened in the harshness of reality is, as I leaped off the tree, the precarious perch my wet feet had slipped completely and I sprawled out to full stretch, somewhat like a frog that has made a complete hash of its carefully planned leap. This caused me to belly flop quite painfully into the stream that is around eleven degrees at best, which for those who haven’t been in such waters absolutely bone-numbing cold, winding myself completely while being swept downstream at rapid pace as I attempted to keep my head above water to get some air into my suddenly abused lungs. Not an easy task. I managed to get to a shallow area around fifty meters downstream, and proceeded to cough my lungs out only to realize that the only way out was through heavy blackberries and I still needed to get back upstream to where my clothes and boots were safely stashed on the bank with no hope of swimming against the current. Much swearing and not a few scratches later I got back to my clothes, threw my boots on and trudged, dripping and shivering back to my car to dry off with a towel I had handily kept in the back. I was hoping like mad that no other trades had turned up to do any work as there would likely be questions as to why a thoroughly frozen, drenched bloke with a very pink stomach and looking like a drowned rat was making his way up the hill in his underwear and boots, with the rest of his clothes in hand, and a nice full water bottle. I’m still not sure why I’m allowed to make my own decisions. I am in no uncertain terms, absolutely not an apex predator, and about as dangerous as a wombat with a mild case of indigestion who’s hunting ability extends as far as inhaling some unsuspecting chocolate biscuits. I may just stick to kitchens for a bit.
26. Say It, He’ll Do It
In high school when there was a fire drill, each class had a student that was in charge of holding a sign attached to a wooden pole with the teacher’s name so the class wouldn’t get lost.
One day, we came back from a fire drill way ahead of our teacher and convinced this kid to try and throw the sign like a spear at the small window on the classroom door. He threw it and hit the window first try, shattering it. Knowing how clumsy and stupid this kid was we knew he would do it but didn’t think he would succeed. He had to pay for the window. $160. The teacher’s reaction when she saw it–priceless.
25. Calling Cops On Cops?
It was winter in New York. I was on my way to a party on the Lower East Side with my girlfriend. There was still plenty of snow on the ground from a recent storm. We were having dinner beforehand, and since the party was only a neighborhood away, we decided to walk the distance. Somewhere around Soho, I notice a yellow cab letting out a passenger when the car behind it started laying on its horn. The cab was barely in the intersection, not really blocking traffic, and he was simply doing his job. But the car behind it just kept honking. Then they just held the horn down. So I bent down, made a snowball, and threw it at the noisy car. The horn immediately stopped. I shouted, “Shut up!”
Almost instantly, two men get out of the car and yell, “Hey! Come here!” To which I yelled back, “Why!? What are you gonna do, call the cops!?” To which THEY replied, “WE ARE THE COPS!” It was an unmarked cop car. I yelled back at them, “Oh, screw off!” as they walked towards me. We then had a very heated discussion about me having too much to drink and them acting like jerks. It ended with them telling me to go home and not to the party. Then I went to the party.
24. Shower Or Letter?
I was in basic training and had just got done with our first Field Training Exercise. I had been out in the training area for four days, little sleep, no showers, poop in a hole, yadda yadda. Anyway, we have a mail call at 8:30 the night we come in. I get a letter from a girl back home and really wanted to read it that night. But, I also wanted to get a hot shower. Here’s the conundrum. There are 60 dudes in my bay and lights go out at 9 p.m., meaning we had to be in bed. So, do I read the letter and miss the shower, or get the shower and miss the letter? Me being me, I figure I can do both. So, as soon as we’re dismissed I’m up the steps five at a time. I’m first in the bay. Hit my locker, grab my shower gear, drop all my clothes and SPRINT for the showers. Uh oh, there’s a door, gonna have to slow down to open it. OR, I could just do a flying front kick and land on my feet on the other side. Yeah, let’s do that.
What I didn’t account for was that when I jumped up to execute, I was now taller than the doorway. I didn’t realize my folly until I was already committed. I scrunched down as small as I could, but it didn’t matter. CRACK. Next thing I know my battle buddy is standing over me puking. Apparently, he was about five steps behind me and saw this all play out. When I hit the door frame, I laid out horizontally mid-air knocked out. I had enough momentum that when I landed in the locker room I slid all the way to the back wall, which is where I came to with him puking next to me. I had no clue what his problem was. I sat up I felt something warm hit my upper lip. I reached up and found blood. I also had a metallic taste in my mouth. I thought “Dang hit my head so hard I gave myself a bloody nose.” Well, no. I stood up and walked over to the sink and realized why my buddy was puking. I had peeled back a chunk of my scalp from the top of my head, and it was gushing blood profusely. My entire face was coated in bright red blood so thick it looked like someone had poured paint on my head. Whoops. Oh, and that metal taste? Spinal fluid. How neat is that? Needless to say, I didn’t shower OR get to read my letter that night, and it was only through sheer determination and stupidity that I graduated BCT on time. But that’s another story.
23. Give This Guy A Trophy
I had a “wipe out” contest with some neighborhood friends. It was on a small stream that had a plywood board across it The board had sunken down into the water and was covered in algae, so it was really slippery. We would run at the board, slide along it, and then purposefully “wipe out” into the stream and give each other a score on how realistically we did it. Well. I actually tripped. Slid along the board on my hand, and ended up puncturing a thick, rounded off, algae covered bit of plywood into the fleshy part of my palm, about an inch in.
What followed was a cleaning with alcohol at the neighbors house that we were behind (that HURT), a ride up to my house on my brothers dirt bike, a wash with peroxide at home, and then a trip to the ER for a deep cleaning with some special kind of soap, before being told they couldn’t do stitches just in case the plywood was treated, because sealing the chemicals in could cause necrosis or something … But hey, I won the game?
22. Sorry, Mom
I had just finished this bike ride with my scout troop and we ended it at the side of a river. So waiting for our parents to pick us up, the boys all go to a rope swing to play in the river. It was absurdly shallow; the furthest swing would still land you in 3-foot water, and the average lazy swing was two feet deep or so. My mom comes, and some dad hollers at me that she’s arrived. I run back until I can see her getting out of the car and yell: “One more swing mom, I’ll be right back.” She seems like she’s in a good mood, says okay, and starts chatting with other adults there.
So not two minutes later, I walk up to her with a broken arm. I had gone back for that one more swing, screwed up and planted my wrist into the shallow water, broke my arm, and got out of the water saying bye without telling the kids what I’d done. Just sorta walked up to my mom, “Hey I just broke my arm … sorry.” She was not pleased. Like, seriously you HAADDDD to go for one more swing … c’mon let’s go get a cast, you jerk.
When I was 14 years old, I ran across the street with my eyes closed. I didn’t get hit by a car. However, I ran into a tree headfirst and cut my face and knee open.
For all of you asking what my thought process was, it is as follows: Who am I kidding, I have no idea what I was thinking.
20. Stranger Danger
On a rainy day, I saw a hitchhiker near the university asking for a ride. He looked the part of a student. Although I never pick up hitchhikers, I felt sorry for him standing in the rain, so I gave him a lift … It felt like the right thing to do at the time. He told me where he was headed, so I went out of my way to drive him there. The guy just kept staring at me and said very little.
When we arrived at his destination, he wouldn’t get out of my car, no matter what. Finally, when a police officer came along, I told him to hop out or I’d call the cop over for help. That ended it. If the officer hadn’t come by, I have no idea what might have happened.
19. Wasps Are Really Evil
So I was in Uganda with my family, and we see a large (about five feet tall), curled up leaf hanging about eight feet off the ground. We’re told that these leaves curl up and fall out the trees, and they’re pretty heavy, so it can be dangerous to have one fall on you. My dad and I think “won’t it be helpful of us to get this thing down.” So, we’re there whacking it with sticks, trying to get it down, to no avail, when my dad says “Hey, climb up on that wall there, son, and jump! Grab it and then pull it down!”
Well, that sounds like a swell idea, dad! So I do just that … I don’t manage to get it all the way down, but as soon as I hit the ground, I get this burning sensation in my elbow. Turns out there’s a hive of Ugandan Mud Wasps living in this specific leaf, and they do not take kindly to young men trying to tug their home down. So I’m just sprinting back to the office where the rest of my family is sheltered from the sun, and I practically have two elbows on one arm at this point while, as my dad described it later “an army of large, black blots” give chase. I make it back inside and my arm is numb, except for the searing pain in my elbow. Thankfully, there was no further reaction, the pain lasted only around three hours and the swelling was down by the end of the day. That being said, it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt.
18. For Sure The Baby Will Be A Great Climber
We tied a Christmas tree to the roof of the car with twine running through the open windows …went to get my phone out of the car to take a picture of the perfectly tied down the tree and realized we had tied the doors shut!
My husband and I didn’t want to untie the tree and start all over so we climbed into the car through the windows in the Home Depot parking lot. I was four months pregnant …
17. It’s Easy, Huh?
I let my 14-year-old cousin at the time try driving the family car. I was like 18 or 20 back then and I told him it’s easy to drive an automatic car, basically like driving a go-kart. I told him gas was right and brakes were center.
I forgot to mention that changing the gear to D will automatically have the car move. We both panicked and hit a tree in front of us at probably 1 mph. Luckily we were in our neighborhood by a dead end.
16. One Man’s Safety Is A Whole School’s Danger
I used to bike to school to save on gas, but I often got chased by loose dogs on country roads. I bought an air pistol to defend myself, just in case they tried to bite me. An air pistol won’t seriously injure a dog if you ping it in the hindquarters and I was a pretty good shot.
Anyway, one day, I got to school and someone saw me stashing the pistol in my bag after locking my bike up. That person called 911 and the whole place got put on lockdown while it got sorted out. I made the front page of the local paper and got a violation ticket ($50) for bringing a projectile firing device onto an educational campus.
15. “It’s Big! It’s Big!”
In high school, my friends and I were lost at night. We pull over to get our bearings and make a plan. I am the driver and decide to make a U-turn. There is a 5-foot long median that I will need to go over. My friend Kevin and I assess the curb from the car, and we are pretty confident that it is a low curb, but there were no street lights. There are cars starting to come from both directions so I put the medal to the metal it to make the U-turn before it is too late. As we approach the curb we both realize the curb is not small. It isn’t even medium. It’s taller than most and isn’t the nicely curved type, but the blocky type. But I am only about 10 feet away and closing when I noticed. I remember hearing Kevin say, “Oh no; it’s big, it’s big!”
So my instinct is to not stop, but increase my speed. Hopefully, the speed will force my car to pop over the curb. The curb was so tall it scraped the bottom of my bumper; the car did make it up onto the median but it felt like we hit it hard. I get my wits about me, and zoom out of there before the oncoming traffic gets to me. The car turned out okay, thanks to it being an old heavy Oldsmobile.
14. He Wants His Little Swimmers Back
An old coworker of mine was a really charming and good-looking guy, but he was a big-time player who was convinced he was going to be a bachelor all his life. He did not want to have children so he and got a vasectomy. Many years later, he met a woman who was supposed to be one of his hook-ups, only they ended up falling in love. So in love, in fact, that they wanted to marry and have children together.
Unfortunately, the guy was now sterile. He was very stressed out because he heard about the costs and complications involved in having a reverse vasectomy, as well as not wanting to let his significant other down. He swallowed his fear and over time he put together some money for the procedure. They’re happily married now and have two awesome kids, a boy, and a girl.
13. “Everything Went Dark”
It was gym class; we were playing tennis and I decided to see if I could jump the tennis net with a running start. And … I did it! But no one saw. So I did it again, and this time the gym teacher saw and shouted at me just as I was taking flight, it distracted me and totally messed me up. I caught my toe on the net and went down hard. I brushed myself off and was helped up by a girl I had never met before in another gym class that had been going on nearby.
The teacher was freaked and made me go to the nurse even though I insisted I was fine. I made it halfway down the path back to the school, and everything went dark and I came to 10 minutes later in a wheelchair being pushed by my science teacher. New girl tagged along to “make sure I got to the nurse alright this time.” Naturally, nobody ever believed that I had cleared the thing on my first attempt. I scored myself a broken radial bone in my elbow, a sprained wrist, a bruised hip bone, a minor concussion, and a new girlfriend.
12. Fun With Fire
A kid I knew growing up was hanging out with his friends at his dad’s hunting camp (they were around 17/18 at the time) and they were playing around with fire. They ended up setting fire to the woods surrounding the camp, burning it and many acres surrounding it to the ground.
His dad was less than pleased. He took money from the kid’s college fund to pay the fines from the fire department and pay to rebuild the hunting camp lodge and there was practically nothing left after that. Last I heard he had to live at home for a handful of years after high school to save money for post-secondary while his friends all went off and got degrees and stuff.
11. Now That’s A Good Parent
When I was 16, I was going through this emo/punk phase and I decided one day that I wanted to put colored streaks in my hair. So, I went to Walgreens and bought this semi-permanent red dye for dark hair, because I had no idea how to bleach my hair. I get home, apply the dye and think I’m going to look so awesome that it’ll be worth it if my parents get pissed. I had no idea what I was doing and instead of ending up with red streaks through my hair I ended up with a huge red splotch at the top of my head because all dye clumped together or something. It looked terrible and was no longer worth getting in trouble for.
The next morning I see my mom and she takes one look at my hair and bursts into laughter and tells me, “Wow, you really screwed that up, didn’t you?” She wasn’t mad; she thought it was hilarious and after a bit of teasing, she went to Walgreens and got me a box of black hair dye so I could cover it up and not have to go outside looking like that.
10. Sounds Like An Awesome Experience Though
I went on a solo trip to Costa Rica when I was 26. I’m a fairly petite female and I speak no Spanish. The eco-lodge I was staying at helped me arrange a guide for an all-day hike. We were flown by four-seater plane into the jungle, which was a 26-hour walk to the nearest town.
We landed, Jose and I hopped out, and the plane took off again, leaving me, Jose and his machete alone for the day. Thankfully it went OK, but as soon as that plane took off, I realized I had made a bad choice.
9. Never Trust A Car Dealer
I heard an ad on the radio for a car lot that my friend’s parents owned. They were offering $6,000 over Kelly Blue Book value. At the time, I owed about $6,000 more than my car was worth. I called them up to see what they could do. I found a decent car I liked and ordered it direct from the factory. It was brand new with zero mileage on it.
I took the deal without doing research and overly trusting my friends to do the right thing. I’m now driving a brand new car, but I overpaid by about $8,000. Great move.
8. From Happy Trip To Hospital Trip
Well, I am currently on vacation with my family in Colombia. We went to an island off the coast of Nicaragua (but still belonging by Colombia) called Providencia last week and spent several days there enjoying the island vibes. It actually WAS a good idea for us to rent motor scooters to get around. They are a blast, and being mobile like that on an island makes everything more fun. What seemed like a good idea at the time was cruising around the island on Sunday night with no protective gear whatsoever. It was a really comfortable night and I was in shorts and flip flops. No shirt, helmet, pants, shoes, or much motorcycle experience. The bikes didn’t come with any gear and I certainly don’t have any of my own–even if I did I wouldn’t have worn it because it was a really nice out.
I imagine at this point you can see where this story is going. I came around a corner fast and found myself coming up very quickly on a speed bump (everything is very poorly marked) and my immediate reaction was to brake … with the front brake. Braking was a good idea. The thing is, anyone who has ever ridden motorcycles can tell you–front brake on a curve, no bueno. So, here I am back on the mainland, stuck in a hostel with a broken bone in my foot and plenty of road rash while my family explores the Northern coast of Colombia. The thing is that it could have been so much worse–I’m lucky to be alive, and I know it. That said, road burn is no fun.
7. The Not-So-Mighty Man
So there I was, away on a weekend retreat for young people. I was a helper on the staff along with my wife and we were on the last day, ready to go home. Well, the message is about Samson and his mighty strength! So, of course, as we’re all sat around waiting for lunch, everyone is arm wrestling! Now I’m staying out of all this young-man nonsense when suddenly my wife chirps up … “Come on, get involved!” So I’m resigned. I’ve got nothing to prove, and I’m not particularly strong, so I know I’m not gonna win. But it’s almost home time, I’ve been stuck sleeping amongst stinky young men for three nights and I see an opportunity to prove to my wife that tonight might be a lucky night. I may not be strong, but I’m stubborn. So, I agree.
I’m up against an 18-year-old, the victor of our lunch table, and I’m like “I know I’m not gonna win this, but I’m gonna stick us at a stalemate. My pain threshold is good enough, and I think I can bear it long enough for him to accept.” So we lock, weak arms first and we start. I’m holding my own actually, and our arms aren’t moving. Things are going well. So I don’t actually remember what happened next. All I know is that everyone is agape, I feel the back of my hand on the table and someone is screaming. My wife explained later that it was me. There was no pain, but my arm had made a loud crunch and flopped down with the force of a young man with something to prove. Immediately everyone clears the room, and I’m just sitting there like “Huh… I think I just broke my arm … Fingers still moving … Feels weird …” There’s a nurse also volunteering for the weekend who sits with me for the TWO HOURS it took for paramedics to arrive.
Turns out that at around the same time, a lady in the nursing home next door had had a stroke and we were only in a small town, so she took the priority. Also, turns out “arm wrestling position” is mighty uncomfortable when held for a long time. But I’m actually pretty chuffed. I’ve got my wife taking pictures and we even let everyone back into the room to finish up the weekend so they can all go home properly disbanded. I only cried once, when telling my wife that it wasn’t her fault that I was stuck in this situation. So the pain is starting to kick in and the room’s empty … next thing I know, this thing is on my mouth and this guy is cutting my sleeve, asking me all these questions. And time is going real funky–seriously, the more I breathed, the more everything was like when you film a feedback monitor like my brain can’t seem to process new information, so it’s just recycling all the old stuff on an endless loop. And then they switch the gas off and I’m coming out, and my arm is in this orange inflatable ice pack and I’m being wheeled into an ambulance. “Hey, I’ve had this dream before! Wow, cool, I gotta tell my wife.” Turns out I’m huffing the stuff too quickly. Well, now I’m rambling. We were able to drive home that evening (didn’t want to stay an extra day) and now I’m famous every time we re-host that youth weekend as “the guy that broke his arm wrestling.”
6. At Least You Have Doughnuts
I bought a mini-doughnut maker for $18, how bad could it be? The thing takes up way more counter space than it should, gets scalding hot, makes a terrible mess, and only makes seven micro doughnuts at a time so you have to stand there and reload the thing ad nauseam to get a decent batch.
Plus, the doughnuts look adorable when you open the maker and then promptly start to deflate as soon as I get them on the plate.
5. Because Why Not?
I went to this German restaurant with my family last year. While many restaurants offer bread before the meal, this place had a bunch of German breads and mustards. As we were nibbling on the bread, we discovered the horseradish mustard … oh boy did it have a kick. One of my brothers took a bite with a pretzel. A few seconds later his face turned red and he slammed the table, exclaiming how spicy it was. Needless to say, that mustard got passed down the table. Each one of us took a little larger bite until it got to me.
Not wanting to be outdone, I scooped the pretzel in the mustard, getting a nice dollop. My family asked if I was sure about this and I was like, “Why not, what’s the worst that can happen?” Oof. At first, all I got was a nice taste of horseradish … that was until it hit my system. Immediately, my sinuses were on fire. It felt like someone bottled fire and shoved it down my nose. I started to sweat, got beet red and teared up. It … would … not stop. All I had to drink was water, which if any of you recall, just makes spice worse. I was in agony until the waitress was merciful and brought me some milk. We all took a container of the mustard home with us that night.
4. You Sure Were Drunk
Jumping the railroad tracks in a 1991 Mazda MX6. Yes, a certain drink was involved. Yes, I’ve grown up since then, and will only jump ATVs into and over mud puddles now.
For the record, the car held together for another six years after said incident. She finally burned down (literally) in 2000. Car shut off, every warning lamp on the dash lit up, even shattered all the tail lights. But she ran fine after starting her right back up. That car was a CHAMP! The night she caught fire I had just rolled the odometer past 200,000 miles.
3. None Of These Sounds Like A Good Idea
My little brother and I found a #10 can full of matchbooks. We decided to light a couple of matches for fun. Zach (my bother) got burnt and dropped a match and it fell right in between two boards on our back deck. We kept lighting them and dropping them down under the deck … until we smelled smoke. Then we filled my dad’s dress shoes with water from the pool to put out the fire. It didn’t work. We were 7 and 8 at the time. Another time: One summer same brother and I put up a two-man tent next to the pool. Brother and neighbor kid Andy decide to put the tent in the pool. They get in the tent and zip it up. No big deal, it’s the shallow end. They then start jumping and bouncing the tent towards the deep end–slowly bounce after bounce the water level is rising in the tent that’s still zipped up and they are laughing and enjoying themselves (like freaks). They make it to the deep end and on that last bounce, the tent sinks below the surface. It’s now totally submerged and full of water and they can barely break the surface jumping to breathe–while still zipped into the tent. They go on swimming/flailing and gasping while the weight of the water-filled tent is pulling them under. The zipper was caught on the fabric, and I couldn’t swim. I didn’t know what to do besides scream my head off! Andy’s dad heard me over his lawnmower and saved them. He pulled the tent to the shallow end and ripped the mesh window freeing them. It was the summer of ’97. I was 10 they were 9. My mom was sleeping.
OK last one. My same brother was swinging a metal mop in circles close to the ground around himself like he was a one arm clock. He did this for over an hour? He got very sweaty and the dish soap (Palmolive) he used as hair gel was running into his eyes, leaving him disoriented from spinning and blind from soap. He stayed laying in the yard silently until Andy’s dad called my dad to come to get Zach. He was maybe 10 at the time.
2. Special Brownie With Special Powers
I used to live in Colorado. One of my coworkers was a retired DEA agent. He moved there from somewhere back east and decided to start selling the green. In his words: “I’ve been legally selling it my entire adult life, why stop now?” The only problem was that he couldn’t smoke it. It made him sick. So his solution was to give me large quantities for free, with the deal that I’d give him a report on the quality after trying it.
Once he gave me a special brownie. He advised me to take a bite about the size of a quarter and wait two hours. Two hours passed, and then three … nothing. So I ate the rest. It was the size of my fist. About 20 minutes later, it all hit at once. I woke up around 20 hours later. They say you can’t overdose on this stuff, but I’m pretty sure I almost proved them all wrong.
1. “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”
Once I decided to ride on the outside of the tram because the inside was too crowded and I was like, “WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?”
Well, the plastic stuff I was holding on to somehow broke (seriously, who designs stuff like that) and I fell to the ground at about 40 kph. The first thought was “Dang, now I lost the tram.” The second one, “Oh look, my hands are bleeding.” Crazy night.