Life is a series of curveballs that are impossible to dodge. Some good, some bad, but always worthy of a story on Reddit.
USN_Babs asked: What was your "Didn't see that coming" moment?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
15. A real life Ace Ventura.
I'm a journalist in Ireland. A few years ago, I used to ghost write a weekly first column on people who had unusual jobs. I'd meet the person, ask them a few questions and write 800 words in that person's voice.
So one week my editor suggests I talk to a friend of her father's who is a well known pet detective (i.e. he recovers lost or stolen pets.) So I meet the guy and he's quite a character. He's wearing Steve Irwin-style fatigues and he's full of energy, posing for photographs wearing a deerstalker hat.
He starts telling me how he's able to track animals, how there are major international gangs stealing dogs and cats. How by the time you even notice your pet is missing, it's probably already been whisked out of the country and is being held in some criminal safe house in Albania. Fortunately, he had an extensive network of contacts in Interpol and the various European police forces who were able to help him recover the animals.
About halfway through the interview, the penny dropped that this guy was a complete fantasist and it was unlikely any of what he was saying was true. However, I was on a deadline and my name wouldn't appear on the piece, so I wrote it up as he told me and was published and it got a great reaction.
Next time I saw my editor, she complimented me on the piece. I knew the pet detective was a friend of her family so I chose my words carefully. "To be honest," I said, "I wasn't 100% convinced he was telling the truth." My editor just laughed. "Of course, he wasn't," she laughed. "My father is pretty certain he steals the pets himself and just returns them. But sure, it gets him out of the house and it's great excitement for the kids in the town, so what harm?"
14. That sucks for sure.
A well-liked coworker that was an excellent at his job went into his supervisor's office for an annual review.
The guy came out with tears streaming down his cheeks, having just been told that his job was being eliminated and that there was no other position available for him - an outcome no one would've thought possible.
Now that's just really really sad.
13. Not cool would be a massive understatement.
My (ex) best friend started dating and eventually moved in with the guy who sexually assaulted me.
She was around when it all happened to me. How do you just ignore that?
Edit for clarity: There was about a year between the incident and when they started dating, she remained friends with him the whole time which I learned from other friends after we stopped talking.
She did not witness the incident, when I say she was around I mean she was a close friend at the time who I trusted and told about him.
The incident itself I would rather not go into full details about. It was very traumatic for me. I was young. I told my trusted friend, my therapist and police. Ultimately charges were filed but as we were both under 18 and they couldn't (wouldn't) do much about it and basically got out of it without consequence.
12. You can stand under my...
Went out drinking with my four buddies. Then went outside for a smoke. One of my mates decided to chat this woman up. she was older than him but he thought he would chance his luck... it started to rain. Lucky for them she had an umbrella, so being the gentleman that he was he decided to hold it. Next thing we know. This random dude came up and and started making out with her. The rest of us started laughing at him because he was still holding the umbrella whilst they were still chasing each other's tongue. That was my didn't see that coming moment.
11. Can we make it a throuple?
I used to teach karate and had an awkward kid, speech impediment, long hair always in his face, never would say much. Maybe seemed autistic, but this was years ago before diagnosing people with autism became more common and accepted so I don't know. Figured he'd be a shy guy forever.
Nope. Went into the marines. Did war. Came home and biked across the country. Grew up into a fine man! Honestly happy for him but can't say I saw that coming.
Ran into him at the grocery store the other day and he introduced me to his boyfriend. Didn't expect that either! Double whammy.
Overall very happy for him and proud of what he's become. It's good to see kids that struggled grow up to be great people.
10. It didn't see *you* coming.
I ran I to a lamppost while trying to catch a frisbee.
When I was a kid, something similar happened to a neighbor, but it was a pole from a basketball hoop instead. His limbs all shot forward like in the cartoons, and thankfully we were old enough to know to check that he was ok before laughing.
9. How does one burn oatmeal?
I was microwaving my bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with milk in the microwave and the oats caught on fire.
Thanks, sounds like some bullsh*t I would do. My mom doesn't allow to to use the stove without supervision so I just microwave everything. Cracked eggs, bread (turns out soggy but oh well) etc lol.
8. I'll take worst fears for $400 Alex.
I was driving at night, pitch black, turned left and got hit by a truck without it's headlights on. Literally didn't see it coming.
This happened to me and my mom once. Why do people not put their f*cking headlights on at night???? Anyway, hope you're okay. And I hope the truck guy got punished.
7. How did they not see this coming?
I had an art instructor who was reviewing an art student's portfolio. The student literally printed copies of the instructor's own artwork and put in his portfolio.
He pretended to feign intense interest in those pieces in particular and asked him all sorts of technical questions about techniques used and tools and materials until the student finally broke.
Yup, saw that happen in college (pre-Internet era) where a student cribbed an art design from a foreign art book not understanding that the design was from our professor who was originally from the country in the art book. Instant FAIL and withdrawal from the major program.
6. This is not something you want to see coming.
Finding my wife's Reddit posts confessing to sleeping with her boss. That was a doozy.
That's terrible. Did you know her /u/ ahead or did you figure out it was her from the clues?
I knew her nickname that she uses, she used it in her hotmail account. Plus, I got a hold of her phone just to verify.
5. What a crappy day.
A baby took a sh*t on a pile of apples in a store I wish I was kidding.
That baby is going places.
A baby being carried by his mother barfed all over me when I was sitting in the theatre waiting to see Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. And the movie was actually worse than that experience.
4. It's 'possibly a phase?
My little sister (pre teen) got a "girlfriend." Our dad and my stepmom were kinda mad at her for it too... which like, isn't cool. They weren't mean to her but they were upset. They're not even homophobic but I guess if it's one of their kids it's different? I made sure to let her know she can come to me for anything. Idk if she'll really end up gay, or bi, or whatever but I don't want her to surpress anything because of her parents.
So.. as far as the preteen girls go... My niece is 11 this year. She came home one day and said that her "boyfriend" (really just her best friend for as long as I can remember) "broke up" with her because she told him she was a bisexual and liked both girls and boys.. and she said that he told her that was weird and couldn't be her boyfriend anymore.
So My sister is super ok with anything and was very supportive.. and told her no matter who she liked, it was ok. And then proceeded to ask her why she thought she was bisexual.. and of course she said because she likes both boys AND girls. So as gently as possible to an 11 year old she explains exactly what that means.. that they like to kiss and have sex with both girls and boys (now both my sister and I are extremely ok with our kids knowing the what sex means and the real words for male and female genital, it's biology, not a secret).
So she gets finished explaining everything and my niece exclaims.. "omg.. I did not know that is what bisexual means!! I thought it was just having friends that are both girl and boy!! omg I'm so embarrassed".. Moral of the story.. They're just kids.
Anyway.. I thought it was a funny story.
3. Welcome to dating.
Me having to break up with my girlfriend and not the other way around in high school.
Right there with you. Never thought it would be me to do it but I knew I had to because of friends and family.
2. When the boss gets replaced and you don't.
Was working at this company years ago. Boss was shady shady shady and ruthless AF. Truly one of the worst bosses ever. She keeps making comments to us about how we are expendable and that we are 'lucky to have a job' and she expects us to make her look good at all times and not complain. She keeps using the upcoming threat of 'budget cuts' as a Sword of Damocles" and implicitly threatens our jobs fairly regularly (which she did pretty much from the first day any of us started).
So, a group of us start to get the feeling that she is planning to lay off a bunch of us in order to preserve her own job (budget cuts, etc.) and we just are taking it one day at a time and not trying to rock the boat. About a week goes by and we all get this email from HR that we have a mandatory meeting at 4 that day in the 1st level conference room and that attendance is 'mandatory'.
We all go to the meeting expecting to be mass fired but they instead tell us that they have fired our boss, her boss and her boss's boss and that we are now reporting to this other woman from another area. Now, this new boss; the BEST, totally respectful and professional.
Best part of the story: we all got our jobs reviewed and our compensation studied and analyzed and we all got raises and/or promotions within 3 months of the new boss taking over.
Too long to fully recount here, but TLDR: Wrong number from a man who was incredibly verbally abusive and ranting so hard that I couldn't even interrupt him for a couple minutes to let him know. I listened out of stunned amusement/curiosity for a bit, but finally broke in and said "Look asshole, wrong number" etc and started to hang up.
Suddenly he yelled "WAIT!!!!" and, out of morbid curiosity, I paused. He started to weep and apologize profusely and kept saying "I've just had the WORST day, I'm sorry but I'm also kind of glad I didn't do that to somebody I actually know." I was like "yeh yeh," and then he added "I'm so sorry. It's just that my son keeps dying, and I keep having to revive him, and today it happened twice."
I'm sorry whut? Turns out his son had this rare heart-rhythm disease and they couldn't find a diagnosis, had been all over the world looking for a diagnosis/treatment, but meanwhile the poor kid's heart would stop randomly and they'd have to defib him.
It just so *happened* I had, several months prior, been emailing with a doctor/researcher who specialized in something very similar. I searched my archives, found the guy's contact info, put them in touch with each other and it turns out this kid had that very exact syndrome AND the doctor lived in the kid's hometown. So the kid got free medical treatments while they studied him to find a cure for other kids.
That story is one of the reasons I believe in God.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.