Metatalktail Hour: Bad Decisions January 13, 2018 7:28 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, Metafilter! This week, vignettist wants to hear "stories about bad decisions that people have made - not "I ruined my life" decisions, but "well, we were drunk so scaling a 10ft wall seemed like a good idea at the time". Also, pranks."

No politics, send me suggestions for future weeks, and feel free to discuss anything that's on your pretty little mind this week!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 7:28 PM (144 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

At my college newspaper, we used to take canned air, flip it upside down, spray it into film canisters and seal them really fast, and then casually stroll through the newsroom rolling film canisters under people's desks. 30-60 seconds later the air warms up enough to blow the top off the canister with a rather startling POP! It's pretty good entertainment, especially when people are concentrating.

I also, on a few occasions, went into my brother's room when he was sleeping, stood at the foot of his bed holding up a flashlight in each hand, and shouted, "TRUUUUCK!" Never not funny!

Most of my bad decision stories ALSO involved my college newspaper but they were mostly pretty typical college stuff or journalist stuff. I'll have to think of one that isn't just, "So the photo editor was really drunk, and we thought it would be funny to ..."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:43 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


Never smoke weed for the first time at the county fair. Super weird environment and bad paranoia meant i misconstrued a woman asking me "are you in line? " (i.e. for a ride) as actually meaning are you acting normally vs. on drugs, or something... my interpretation made basically no sense. I freaked out, said I was fine, and then rode the Ferris wheel in a total state of panic. It's been almost 20 years and that stupid night still makes me cringe to think about.
posted by gatorae at 8:11 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


I also, on a few occasions, went into my brother's room when he was sleeping, stood at the foot of his bed holding up a flashlight in each hand, and shouted, "TRUUUUCK!" Never not funny!

If you have a sleeping passenger on the highway, you can pull up close behind one of those semis that is hauling two or three new semis facing backwards and wake them up face to face with a truck grill for a similar effect.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:14 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


So a couple of years ago, I had a spectacularly shitty week. Now, I was like 29, I knew better, but I also knew alcohol was what was going to cure my soul. So I started drinking. 7 hours later, as I knew that I needed to go home, but I couldn't drive, I made an executive decision. I'm walking home. Home was a walk straight down the road I was already on, fully lit, fully sidewalked. I set out. First issue was that I was drunk, and I tripped on the sidewalk, that caused me to fall into a bush that scraped up my arms. Second issue that I was drunk and walking through a parking lot at a local mall, and I tripped. Got back up, dusted myself off, and went back to getting home. Third problem was that I was drunk, and I had to merge myself into a traffic pattern that included two interstate off and on ramps, but I managed that and I was on the final stretch. 3 miles later, I'm drunk but I'm home and it's time to sleep.

I wake up the next morning, and I cannot find my phone and my glasses, and things hurt. Pull up my computer, Find My Phone, and it's in the parking lot of the mall. So I walk back there, get my phone, and right next to them, my glasses. Well, I'm half way back to the bar, and I decide to just keep walking, so I walk on. Another 3 miles later, I'm reunited with my car, and I plug my phone in to missed texts asking where I was. I look at the time, and realize I'm late to go to meet some friends and go to a social function. I get back home, and I strip down and look in the mirror that there are scrapes all over my knees and elbows. Welp, it's time to shower, drink about three gallons of water, and get to the friend's house. I do all that, and make my way back out, definitely showing the feeling that I did something regrettable the night before.

So we get to the site of the function (for Louisville people, it was Thunder over Louisville), and we have to park about 4 miles from where our seating area was. So we all throw our camp chairs on our backs and start the hike. It's about 80 degrees, so I'm tired, sweaty, and smelling like a distillery, much to the delight of my friends who were all chuckling about it. We get to where we were seating, and I did nothing but drink water and eat all the food at the buffet for the next 10 hours. Then after the airshow and fireworks, we hiked back to the car, got back to my friends, and then on back to my place. I slept in the next day until around 2pm. Between the walk home, the walk back, the hike to, and the hike from, I walked about 14 miles in a 24 hour period, and for a fat man, that's tiring and troublesome.

It's not only a bad decision that led to a lot of physical pain, but a dent in my phone, a loss of some pride, and one of the best stories I ever have had the reason to tell.

Good topic this week!
posted by deezil at 8:14 PM on January 13 [16 favorites]


In the "fools and drunks" category: getting the drunkest I've ever been (note that iced bourbon, while appealing in an 80º apartment, goes down easy and comes up quick) and then deciding to scale a 7' fence around a pool (which meant dodging the spikes on the top, whilst handing people up high enough to grab the crossbars), going swimming and then getting back out of the pool area. To this day, I'm amazed no one was hurt (and it was a near thing).

Pranks? I've got pranks for you, all of them from my grad school days (and all done with my wife, who was in the same lab).

We wallpapered one friend's office with around 200 LOLcats. Said friend loved it, and kept the set on the back of the office door for several years afterward.

We shared an office with one other grad student, who wasn't a fan of cats, and cast aspersions on my wife's liking for them. So, we wallpapered his desk, computer, floor and walls (to a height of 10') with retina-searing pink Hello Kitty wrapping paper. He left it up for about a week.

One labmate was known for aging leftovers in the fridge to a terrifying degree. Including one rotisserie chicken that languished for a fortnight before he ate it (he was fine). We got a rubber chicken, painted it white, gave it a toe tag and hung the salt-white chicken in the lab.

We made a propaganda-style poster of our advisor and hung it in the main lab space. It stayed up for a week, and then, of all things, got claimed by our advisor's then five year old because they thought it was neat. We got a picture of the poster hung on the kid's wall.

We filled a labmate's office with inflatable beach creatures as a "hey, you finished your PhD" celebration.

Oh, and on two separate occasions, we inflicted double-digit pounds of sour gummy candy on lab. There's one former postdoc (now faculty) who still can't look at sour gummy worms.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 8:18 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


I made a bad decision just this past Wednesday. I am currently living it. I decided to practice a bit on my own kitchen faucet before helping a friend change one. I was just going to take off a few bits and clean them. Ours needed some work, or a change, anyway. I knew that things could go wrong, but I was reasonably comfortable.

Did you know that there's a magic spring? I let the magic spring out of the side sprayer. For which there is no parts diagram, so I didn't know that there was a part missing, so I couldn't figure out why it would not work when I put it back together. Problem is, without the magic invisible spring, the water will only come out of the side sprayer.

(I found the spring in the disposal when I ran it after taking the handle off of the faucet. I had checked the disposal. The spring is fine, but it was too late.)

Anyway, after a cascade of increasingly irrevocable decisions, interspersed with the eventful but successful removal and installation of my friend's new faucet and the acquisition of some new tools, we too have a new kitchen faucet.

Unfortunately it is still sitting in its box on the floor because I still can't get the remains of the old one off.

Previously there's been wrenches and pliers and penetraing lubes and a hacksaw. There was almost an angle grinder, but cutting off the top would not have solved the problem. Angle grinder was returned to the store. Today we tried cutting through the nut with a Dremel. Nut is now a bit shiny and rounded off in spots. Copper supply lines cut quite easily.

Tomorrow will probably involve more Dremel cutting, and with increasing likelihood, an impact driver.
posted by monopas at 8:29 PM on January 13 [19 favorites]


Note: I am still contrarily amused by all of this, including my own frustration. I know how to do it and the ways of doing it, but physical reality is not cooperating with me.
posted by monopas at 8:36 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


This is a bad decision my sister made in high school. Not a life-changing decision, but a never-hear-the-end-of-it-decision. Being a teenage girl worried about her complexion, when she read in Glamour or Seventeen that rubbing cut garlic on your face was a sure cure for skin problems, she raided the home supply and tried it. It was 10pm when she started the treatment. By the time I got involved, she had already tried various soaps & lotions to try to remove the smell. She dragged me out of bed to help--we tried all the home remedies we could think of from lemon juice & salt to vinegar & dish liquid. At some point, our efforts & laughter woke my parents--my dad came into the hallway to demand why the place smelled like a "damn delicatessen". Finally we gave up--nothing we tried made much difference & her skin was raw from trying. The smell faded away after a few days. The stories of the time K tried the garlic treatment will never fade away.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:59 PM on January 13 [12 favorites]


A few years ago a buddy of mine was getting married and had rented out a bar afterwards for a kind of reception. I don't drink like I used to, and most of my friends don't have kids so have way more practice than I do.

Anyway, this rented bar just had bottles of hard liquor on all the tables, and guests mixed their own drinks. This removed even the modest friction of having to ask someone to get you a drink, and combined with my heavier drinking friends allowed me to get soooooo drunk.

Fortunately my apartment was only like two blocks away so I managed to stagger home and nothing untoward happened. Unfortunately, while I was drinking my wife accidentally dropped a comb into the toilet. She decided she didn't want to reach in and get it, so left it sitting in the bottom of the toilet until I would deal with it.

Little did she know that I would be incredibly intoxicated when I got home. Of course the first thing I did upon arriving home was head straight to the toilet, vomit my guts up and then turn around and relieve my bowels (sorry for the imagery).

Well, the comb, upon flushing with a mixture of chunky vomit and feces got around the first bend in the toilet but then became lodged, backing up a huge pile of human waste.

The next morning I wake up with a terrible hangover and go to use the bathroom. It was not good in there. The plunger wouldn't work because the comb was perfectly wedged in the back of the toilet, so I had to get a mini drain snake and spend a lot of hungover time trying to work the comb back out. It smelled so bad in there. When I finally dislodged the comb I had to reach in and pull it out of a toilet filled with human waste so that I could finally flush it. Terrible experience at the time, but every time I remember it now it makes me so happy.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:54 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


First off, obligatory 90s S&L skit.

If you ever find yourself needing to drive while at the beginning of an acid trip, accept it. Pretend you are a giant crayola crayon and just color within the lines.

Never challenge a man who outweighs you by 150lbs to a drinking contest at your uncle's daughter's wedding in front of your mother... Winning is not winning.

I took apart my alternator once with my father... I would say we replaced it, if it hadn't been for the fact that the shop where we towed the car replaced the alternator... and the timing belt...and something else that I forget now that we broke.

On my first week of having my car, we had a deep crusty icey freeze, so you could break off a sheet of snow, throw it up in the air and watch it shatter into a whole lot of little pieces that would skate and slide on the top of the ice snow... covering theground... or, dent the hood of your car.

I once took on a mouse with a carving fork and only managed to sever the hardwired telephone line.

I once used a Lionel variable DC train adapter to make an electromagnet with a screwdriver. The whole house browned and I think I fried my parent's TV. 35ish years later, the screw driver is still one of the strongest magnets I've seen - almost on par with a neodymium magnet.

Frogs do not keep well in orange tackleboxes in the summer. When life hands you dead frogs though, summer dissection is fun for the whole family.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:28 PM on January 13 [22 favorites]


I chose to eat the (still sealed) Babybel cheese that had been floating around in my purse for two weeks. Learn from my mistakes, kids: wax is not a replacement for refrigeration.
posted by janepanic at 10:51 PM on January 13 [11 favorites]


Learn from my mistakes, kids: wax is not a replacement for refrigeration.

I honestly don't believe you, I think this is a plot for you to get your hands on my cheese.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:27 PM on January 13 [16 favorites]


Don't eat fettuccine alfredo from under the hot lights in a college dining hall late at night. Just don't do it.

Otherwise, inspired by chemist Derek Lowe's blog series about horrifying chemicals, "Things I Won't Work With," here are some things I will no longer drink—or at least tend to be very cautious when I drink—for reasons that go back to my first dumb drinking adventures in college and shortly thereafter. Youthful experimentation! I've had plenty of good experiences involving alcohol use in moderation in the years since, but these are the early events that have led me to avoid certain drinks ever since.

A single pint of Guinness, sipped until it's warm and flat: This was the first drink anyone ever bought me, at a happy hour celebrating being named editor of the college paper. I was 21 years old and it was my first real drink—I had started off college with some very bad experiences living on a floor with a lot of heavy drinkers, which led me to avoid alcohol altogether and hang out with friends in a substance-free dorm. So I sipped this dumb pint of Guinness for an embarrassingly long time. I've had Guinness often enough in the years since, but it always reminds me of my embarrassing naïveté.

Vodka, sipped beneath a wall of Dobbsheads: Not long after that embarrassment, I decided I should try some liquor and see how it went. I self-consciously sipped shots of Smirnoff vodka while sitting on the floor at the end of the hall in my flat, narrating the experience to my friends, until my upper lip went vaguely numb. I considered this experiment a success.

Gin-and-tonics: I like these a lot, but I tend to make gin-and-gingers more often of late; the ginger beer seems to give my stomach something to work with to settle itself. That's important, because when I think about gin-and-tonics, I think back to a beautiful spring evening back in college when I was pining for a friend, making our interactions so fraught with meaning. I just couldn't handle it. At his apartment with our friends, I abandoned any attempt to count drinks. The true cause of my difficulties that night was probably actually 1. not bothering to keep count, 2. going back and forth between beer and liquor, and 3. having that last glass of plum wine. But most clear to me at the time was that I shouldn't have had that (second?) gin-and-tonic at the now-defunct Red Sea lounge on the Delmar Loop; I know I was weaving a bit as we all walked back to their apartment. The last thing I remember was what I think was that glass of plum wine; I think I said something even as I took it in hand about it perhaps being one too many.

The next morning, maybe even afternoon by that point, I awoke alone, sitting up in a blue camp chair in their living room. I looked for paper and pen to write them a note, but found nothing, so off I walked, into the midday sun. I only figured out on the way home that there was vomit in my hair. I remembered nothing of what had happened, though. I only found out later, when I think someone IMed or called me to make sure I was OK, that I'd been a terrible guest: I'd vomited on the floor, then laid down in it and kind of rolled in it, insisting that I was much more comfortable on the floor. Disgusted, they'd got me up, cleaned me up as best as they could, and left me there to sleep it off propped up in the camp chair.

I swore off gin-and-tonics.

Brita-filtered vodka: This was a terrible decision, heh, and I'm lucky it didn't turn out worse. I ended up spending a lot of time on largely abandoned campuses during the summer in college, and one night, the summer after I broke things off with my college fiancé, I decided I'd join the doofuses who were luring women to their get-together in the dorms with Brita-filtered cheap vodka. Some dude had read a few articles and figured out how many passes through the Brita filter it took to make cheap vodka somewhat more palatable.

As is so often the case, the vodka was less of a problem than the dudes. I had no illusions about their virtue; I went down there specifically to mooch, not to play their reindeer games. I left after a couple screwdrivers made with this stuff, nicely buzzed and uninterested in the increasingly creepy proceedings. Well, one of the creeps followed me back to my room and banged on the door until I threatened to call the police. Definitely a #metoo moment!

Cheap vodka drinks: That same summer, I went to a party thrown by a friend of one of my suitemates from the dorms. If I recall correctly, the party was delightful; I kissed the hostess, which is one of my fonder college memories. Unfortunately, on the way back, I tripped on the curb and went over hard. I barely felt a thing, but I awoke the next morning still wearing a flip-flop full of blood. Sticky!

Cheap vodka plus sugary gas-station slushy: There's no story here; friends came to visit with slushies, we added liquor, and the evening included my throwing up in the bottom of the shower, then trying to wash off the shower floor while drunk. Delightful!

Cheap rosé: I recently had a decent rosé, a Magic Maker, for the first time in about a decade. It was good! The last time I had rosé in my early twenties, I seem to recall having drunk most of a super-cheap bottle of something like Fetzer by myself in my post-college apartment. This also ended in vomiting, of course. So I swore off rosé for a long time.

Red Bull–and–SoCo: More than a decade ago, I wanted only to celebrate my birthday—and to do so with my crush at the time, a coworker. I invited him out to the bar we frequented. Amazingly, he showed up—but then got caught up talking to friends at the bar for the better part of an hour. Meanwhile, I nervously downed multiple Red Bull–and–SoCos with a friend. When she left, I settled in at the bar, he introduced me to a friend, and we all talked nonstop. At some point, I started making out with him at the bar. Not long thereafter, I started falling down at the bar. "Get her out of here" was the directive. So he ended up on the sidewalk outside the bar with me, falling-down drunk, with several blocks to go to get me home.

That's when he saw a mutual friend and coworker across the street. "Hey, he works for me!" he thought. He walked me over to our friend, who immediately saw the situation, and the two of them walked me back to our street in the winter cold. I wasn't feeling the cold at all and proceeded to insist that I didn't live in my apartment building, but rather on the next cross street over. They had both been to parties at my apartment and knew I was talking nonsense. So I sat there on the stoop and they very nicely talked to me until I somehow agreed to go upstairs to my apartment.

The next morning, I didn't remember any of these details besides making out at the bar and lying down in my own bed. My crush had to tell me the whole story. Then we had to deal with the aftermath. We both went to work, both exceedingly hungover, and separately left early, then met up for dinner. We had to deal with the denouement of my previous relationship, which got a bit dramatic, as my very recent ex was also a coworker—and quit when this all happened.

But that is both the end and the beginning of the story, 'cause reader, I married him.
posted by limeonaire at 11:42 PM on January 13 [13 favorites]


My brother dyed his peach fuzz gotee black under the impression that if he kept doing it it would eventually grow in that way.

He's a blonde hair blue eye guy. It was the ugliest gotee I have ever seen. He kept it up for far too long.


I, on the other hand, wrote fan fiction at 14 which still resides on the net. Not sure which is worse.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:46 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


mine start at conception so the list is far too long, but the best worst decision i ever witnessed someone else making was a v stoned construction worker in platja d'en bossa demolishing an old house; he was working on the roof and couldn't get a good angle to smash up the chimney, so his solution was to stand on top of the chimney and swing the sledgehammer down at the chimney from that angle, apparently not quite fully comprehending what would result if his smashing was successful

luckily about 3-4 of his jeering coworkers were on the terrace below to break his relatively low fall when the smashing was, in fact, highly successful

his enthusiasm for smashing was undiminished and he returned to the roof with a can of xibeca in hand, but i am unaware of any further adventures he may have had as i had to go take a nap in a hedge
posted by poffin boffin at 12:10 AM on January 14 [19 favorites]


Crossing the border from Spain into France with a large lump of hash, I decided the best way to not get caught with it was to wrap it in a (clean!) menstrual pad and stick it in the little garbage thing in our compartment. The bad decision part was forgetting it when we left the train in Toulouse.

Another bad decision also occurred in France. It involved a day that began (at a Communist Party fair in a Parisian suburb) with coffee and brandy, then moved to rum from El Salvador, and closed with absinthe, brandy, and hash. Worst. Hangover. Ever. Past me still wishes I were dead.
posted by rtha at 12:30 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


This textarea isn’t big enough.
posted by bendy at 12:33 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


A youthful incident, my pride and joy of culinary bad decisions.

It was the early 1990s, exciting dietary fads abounded. Low fat was reigning supreme. There was this screened funnel for making strained yogurt aka YoCheese. Used as a low or non-fat substitute for cream cheese. And you could have it in any flavor you wanted.

I was young and well intentioned. My mother was working long hours with a long commute. It was Valentine's Day, so I thought that I'd make her a special dinner. I was already a decent baker, and could generally make basic foods involving boiling water.

Sometimes the plain white YoCheese is plain. Sometimes it is vanilla. Sometimes you can't tell because the container from teh last batch wasn't marked and you need more than was in the funnel, and you can't smell the vanilla because of the garlic and parmesan.

Fettuccine with creamy Vanilla YoCheese garlic parmesan sauce. She actually ate it.
posted by monopas at 1:28 AM on January 14 [8 favorites]


Just go ahead and let tripping people slather paint all over your Rickenbacker 4001, in hopes of impressing the semi-talented quasi-art person you have a huge crush on.
posted by thelonius at 1:33 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]


I bought some mescaline, one hit in a big tablet and four more wrapped in folded tinfoil. I'd smoked lot of pot prior but I want to trip, damnit. It was my first time to trip.

So I took this tablet and nothing happens, and then still nothing happens, my friends are telling me "No, don't take any more, be patient."

Patience has never been my strong suit. Stubborn, yes. Patience, not so much.

It was a gorgeous day, we were at an arboretum just driving around having fun. For whatever reason we stopped, I unfolded that tin foil with an eye towards "Hey, come on, let's get this show on the road, damnit !! I wanna have some fun!

Of course I spilled the tin foil, onto my jeans. So now I've got this fine powder on my levi's. I was like "No way am I going to to just waste this stuff" and I rolled up a bill and snorted as much of it as I could off my jeans. A short time after that, I began to get high. Then I'm tripping and it's huge. Etc and etc.

It really was a huge mistake. I pretty much went wacko, told my friends "You gotta take me home!" but no way were they going to do that, these were good friends. So I'm like "Screw this, I'm outta here." and I walked out of the arboretum and across route 53, in Naperville, and I stuck my thumb out. I was so high, I'd totally looped the loop, I know I had to have looked crazy as a bug, because I damn sure was crazy as a bug.

A VW bug pulls over, backs up, there's 3 long-hairs in the car, I get in. Cool, I got a ride home now. Turns out that these guys were smoking joints and did I want some as it passed by and I'm like "Sure! Of course! You betcha!" We smoked all the way home. My god, I was gone.

I walked into the door of our house, and now here's my mother, and for the first time she confronts me on how I smell, how my eyes are a mess, who are these kids you're running with, blah blah blah, on and on. I finally just held my hand up, said "Not right now, Mom." And I walked on by and to my bedroom where I had my own phone line, I called a friend I trusted, lived half block away, told him I'm totally in deep shit, and will he hang with me please? and he says of course, so he and I walked to a really nice spring-fed pond and he talked me down, talked me through it, hung with me for hours. Bob was a good guy.

Impatience has it's charms sometimes but maybe not to where you spill your drugs out of the tinfoil.

I'm about positive that patience would have worked better in this situation.

Moral of the story: If you spill drugs on your pants maybe get just a good sized pinch and brush the rest of it off your jeans.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:01 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]


I can’t think of a prank or bad decision to share right now (I’m sure I’ll remember some later!), but I really want to share something that I finally did this week—

There’s an Important Health Thing that I’ve been avoiding dealing with for YEARS. I got myself into a destructive cycle of avoidance, then worrying about what horrible things would be discovered, and worrying about being judged for my avoidance, and feeling shame about it all, which led to more avoidance... this cycle has literally gone on for years and has led to a lot of anxiety affecting many areas of my life.

This week I finally reached the point where I just wasn’t willing to put myself through this self-inflicted stress any longer. I somehow made myself pick up the phone and was able to get an appt within two days to start dealing with the Health Thing. Just making that call was a huge deal for me.

Then I went to the appt, and the dr and everyone else at the office was so kind and absolutely non-judgemental and incredibly encouraging in a “We’re not judging you—the important thing is that you’re here and we’re going to help you!” kind of way. I left feeling 1000 lbs lighter (especially since NONE of my worst-case scenarios are coming true) and I feel so empowered now that I’ve finally found the courage and strategies to face my anxiety and take control of this aspect of my health.

You guys, I really can’t convey how much of a game-changer this is. Yay, me!!!!
posted by bookmammal at 4:58 AM on January 14 [69 favorites]


I was an epic risk-taker all my life, but I got especially stupid in high school.* In no particular order:

1. Why not take mescaline and go to casinos in Atlantic City? The lights and sounds shouldn't be an issue, right?
2. Southern Comfort tastes good after the first sip and sharing a pint with Chris Reilly, a boy I was trying to impress would be a smart thing to do, yes? Right up until I tried to stand up and found that I literally could not move my legs.
3. After trying to color my hair darker brown but it turned black the summer before I moved to college, of course it would make sense to get the 40% peroxide/bleach mix and LEAVE IT ON UNTIL MY SCALP WAS COVERED IN BURNS (but my hair only processed to a clownlike orange which I had to live with for months--hello new college roommates!)
4. I had a driver's permit and a stepfather who refused to let me practice drive. So it made a ton of sense to ask a 17 year old licensed friend to get in the Cadillac Seville with me so I could practice, right up until I got t-boned by ANOTHER unlicensed driver. My parents thought the best way to deal with the insurance was to say the car had been stolen. By me. So they had me arrested and I had to go to court, where I was found guilty. Even 35 years later, when meeting new friends of mine, my stepfather will immediately regale them with the hilariousness that is my being found guilty of grand theft auto. Why yes, I am still angry about this.

*As an incredibly stupid risk-taking teen, it does make me particularly good at working with teens who have behavioral issues. So, lemonade from lemons and all that.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:53 AM on January 14 [15 favorites]


LSD. Las Vegas.

Don’t do it kids. You are not Hunter S Thompson and Vegas is where humans are at their ugliest.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:42 AM on January 14 [30 favorites]


Flaming shots of Southern Comfort. I think we must have layered some 151 rum on top as I don't think Southern Comfort will actually light up. All I know is that it was Christmas break 1985, and 33 years later the mere smell of Southern Comfort still turns my stomach.
posted by COD at 6:49 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


1. when I was about 20 I needed money so I decided I could do plumbing. This lasted a little more than 10 years.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:50 AM on January 14 [21 favorites]


1. I was shoveling my mom's driveway and I was backing her car out of the way. I didn't bother cleaning off her windshield so I had the driver's side door open so I could see behind me. As I was driving, the radio was really loud and filled with static, so I momentarily turned to the radio to turn it off, when her door caught on the wire fence as I kept backing up, bending the door forward and nearly snapping it off its hinges.

2. I did LSD with a buddy and we were hanging out in his condo complex's hot tub/gym area around 2:00 AM, laughing our asses off. It was cold out, the hot tub was in a greenhouse-type area, and when we turned off the sauna it started raining indoors at the exact moment Ozzy's Crazy Train came on the radio so, being the dumbasses that we were, we took this as a sign that we should do another hit. This was a very bad decision because I have since spent the rest of my life trying to get people to understand how a Pepsi machine became a Pepsi can and vice-versa.

3. When I was in fifth grade at recess another kid offered me a dime to climb through the window into the classroom. I did, and a teacher busted us. When you're in fifth grade and you get busted for something like this it really feels like you're about to go to prison for life. I did get the dime though.

4. June 25, 1988. Oxford Plains Speedway, Maine. The Monsters of Rock Tour. Going was a bad decision. We left after Dokken, during the torrential downpours, but before the near-riot started. Took us about four hours to get out of the parking lot.

5. Pretty much every single person I hung out with between the ages of 17 and 22 was a bad decision.

6. Dumbass inexperienced hiker/camper, it was a very bad decision to haul our food about six feet up a tree before saying "that's high enough. No bear will be able to reach that." Spoiler: Bears can reach that high and they won't leave until they eat all the food. They sure are neat to watch from fifteen feet away though.

7. While trying to fix my basement sink ejector pump I couldn't figure out a way to empty the bin to move it, so I decided to siphon it, using my mouth to start the siphon. I'm not sure how much disgusting kitty litter and paint water I swallowed, but it was enough.
posted by bondcliff at 7:13 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]


When I was 17 I drove myself and four other teenagers from Plymouth, NH to Rutland, VT for a UU church youth conference. During an ice storm. In my parents' 1985 Chevy Citation. This route is 80 miles of winding, narrow, mountain roads, mostly through the middle of nowhere. It took us 4 1/2 hours to get there. 30 years on, with a teenager of my own, I can't believe I did something so monumentally stupid and offer up a hearty Unitarian prayer of thanks to any deity who was looking after us.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:41 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


I visited Colorado on a road trip and was gifted some excellent agricultural product, legal in Colorado, not legal most other places on the way home. I do not use the product, but a disabled family member does, and an ill friend wanted to see if it would help. It was in a couple of altoid tins with strong magnets, in the engine compartment. Coming into Kansas on I-70, there are signs warning of a roadblock ahead, with drug-sniffing dogs. Tried calling the friends/ growers, no answer. Here I am, a 50-something, white-haired, minivan-driving, hippie-at-heart, little old lady, and being busted for pot in Kansas would be really stupid. I see a sign for a touristy shop, and I pull off the road. Shop is closed, so I park, and take a few minutes to try to research. And up pulls a cop. Well, awkward. He's concerned about why I am parked at a closed shop that was recently burgled. Just checking the map and making a phone call, officer, don't want to be a distracted driver. All my friends said I should stop here; I'm so sad they're closed. And he suggests I get back on the road, and I do, and the signs are a big ruse.

My family member was delighted to have some excellent Colorado weed, and free is nice, cause he's on disability. Even my most conservative relatives agree that it's a big help for him. My friend found it very helpful for the pain and stress of her unusual and untreatable condition that causes pain. Voters made weed legal in Maine and the Legislature is working on making this happen. I have many embarrassing stories about alcohol, and hangovers have taught me that 2-3 drinks is really plenty. I'm pretty sure weed is not the cure for all ills but denying it to people who have medical needs is cruel, and it seems like it's no worse, recreationally, than alcohol (probably much less bad, let's not derail), and screw you, Kansas.
posted by theora55 at 7:48 AM on January 14 [27 favorites]


Fine. I've held out long enough. I'm telling the truth. *grits teeth*

The top anecdote in this comment was me. I posted that anonymously to Heather Champ's website, many, many years ago.

It was also through that thread that I discovered this oddball joint that has allowed me to warble on pointelssly to you, kind strangers of the internet, for over a decade now.

I reserve judgement on the well-advisedness of that last part.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:48 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Nosey Mrs. Rat's story about her sister and the garlic treatment reminded me of a incident involving my own sister. She was still living at home when this happened, and was home alone. Something she read in a magazine made her decide her hair needed a hot oil treatment, so she dollops like a cup of cooking oil into a pot and puts it on the stove, on high. Then she goes into the other room for a few minutes.

By the time she comes back, a tower of flame is erupting out of the pot, licking the ceiling. Somehow she managed to get a lid onto it, but now the kitchen walls were covered in soot. Terrified what our mother would do when she got home, she embarked on trying to clean them herself. This was a girl with a bad head for heights who didn't like to so much as stand on a chair, but she made herself go up a ladder and try to clean the walls, and in so doing she managed to twist herself up and give herself a permanent source of back problems for years.

I don't know if there's a moral to this story besides that teenagers don't need hot oil treatments.
posted by zadcat at 7:52 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


You know how stank toddler feet can be? I don't, because I don't have a sense of smell, but I'm told that Kid Ruki had the stinkiest feet that ever stunk when she was little. I think she was proud of it. When she was younger, she independently came up with the idea of pranking her father by taking of her socks and putting them under his pillow. I hate pranks, but that was gold.

I'm trying to think of good bad decision stories that don't involve alcohol because that nerve is still raw. (I never drank whiskey again after that time I said the words "Well, we can either sleep in the woods or climb down this quarry.")
posted by Ruki at 8:04 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]


When I think of bad decisions I always think of this Mountain Goats song (lyrics). Most of my bad decisions really could have ruined my life but somehow didn't. Unprotected sex with terrible people who seemed okay at the time, taking drugs during a solo cross country road trip and mixing up the bottles and waking up (totally ok!) in a random hospital in Indiana, that time we high schoolers drove over the border to buy beer in New Hampshire back when you could do that, cars I shouldn't have driven, people I shouldn't have pissed off....

My brain has some sort of protective mechanism I think where I really can't remember the dumbass things I did or I just weave them into "Well I'm okay now so whatever dumb thing I did must have been okay" narratives. Like, if they were truly dumbass I am probably (still) embarrassed by them so can't really talk about them or maybe remember them, and if they weren't dumbass then what's to talk about? I have had some strange haircuts.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:23 AM on January 14 [17 favorites]


Wow. So many bad decisions made under the influence of alcohol. I do drink sometimes, but I would like to say that I am perfectly capable of making terrible decisions sober, thankyouverymuch.

I was in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and wanted to rent a moped to go a couple towns over to interview the manager of a hotel. The woman at the rental place asked me to get on a moped to try it out as she watched. She ... was not impressed. (I am good at some parts of life, but balance and motorized vehicles are not two of those parts.)

So she rented me a bicycle.

The town was about a 30k ride away. How bad could it be?

I don't know why I thought that was going to be OK. I was/am in good shape, but you know how if you don't regularly ride a bike, then riding a bike uses muscles in places you didn't even know you had muscles? Yeah, that. I showed up at the hotel exhausted and dripping from head to toe in sweat. The guy I was interviewing probably thought I washed up on the beach. The interview went ... fine. I guess? I don't really remember. The only thing I remember is realizing after the interview: Oh shit. I have to pedal back and return this bike before it gets dark.

That was a long day. This was about 10 years ago. I don't think I've ridden a bike since.
posted by veggieboy at 8:36 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


When I was 17, I had a moped, a boyfriend who lived on the other end of the country, and a full weekend to myself, when my mother was going to be elsewhere and I was supposed to stay home alone. I'm sure you can see this coming...

It was a six or seven-hour trip. I made it safely to my boyfriend's place, and was not received with as much joy as I expected... that was the first not-so-great result. The real bummer came two days later, when it was time to go home again... and before even getting out of the city proper, I managed to get hit by a car, fall down and break my arm. Of course, that meant that there was no possible way that I could avoid telling my mom everything. Several uncomfortable phone calls were made.
I went home by train another day later, after having been treated at the hospital; my boyfriend's mom had been very kind to me and took great care of me, more so than her son. I think that she would have been pretty happy to have me as a daughter in law, but it was not to be.

While my arm was healing, we broke up. And he was not even enough of a gentleman to send my moped to me by train (which was a thing you could do back then), no, I had to go there myself and ride it all the way back.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:03 AM on January 14 [11 favorites]


One evening while I was in graduate school, a couple of friends came over carrying chocolate-covered espresso beans. At the time, I didn't drink coffee in any form. I did (and do), however, eat chocolate. Therefore, I was happy to eat chocolate-covered espresso beans in the evening, without quite processing the ramifications of there being espresso beans under the chocolate.

As you can imagine, I spent that night BOUNCING! OFF! THE! WALLS! I gather that the glare I directed in my friends' direction the next day was something to behold.

The prizewinner in my family, however, is the time my mother planted new grass in Miracle Gro. After all, she had some bags left over, and she needed some more soil in that area, so why not? Let me tell you: anything planted in Miracle Gro will grow. That grass grew so fast that if you were away from it for a couple of hours, it would be visibly taller on your return. It had to be cut (with hand shears, no less) every day for several weeks.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:28 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


Possibly a decade ago, I was with friends at a beach house in Galveston, and since it wasn't right on the beach, there was a golf cart to make getting to and from the beach quick and easy. A few of us went down to the beach that night, to see the waves come in and talk and whatever else might be interesting to do.

On the way back, I was standing on the back of the cart (because there were too many of us to fit comfortably inside), and as we approached the house I thought I could be kick-ass and jump off, hit the ground running, and nonchalantly stroll up to the house.

Well, I did jump off. I did hit the ground. I immediately fell and reflexively grabbed the cart, got dragged for a bit before letting go, and ripped a hole not only in the knee of my trousers but also my actual knee, which was not fun to heal from. (Only a few layers of skin / road rash, but still.)

Reader, I was the only sober one there.
posted by cardioid at 9:34 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


At my college newspaper, we used to take canned air, flip it upside down, spray it into film canisters and seal them really fast, and then casually stroll through the newsroom rolling film canisters under people's desks. 30-60 seconds later the air warms up enough to blow the top off the canister with a rather startling POP! It's pretty good entertainment, especially when people are concentrating.

You kids these days. In my day we plugged capacitors into wall sockets. Do Not Try This At Home.
posted by Splunge at 10:10 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]


1. I worked in a middle school with a high proportion of English-learners, something like 40% of the school. The school library was on the same hall as the low-level English-learners, many of whom had come to America just that year, or sometimes only a few months ago. It can be hard to interact with middle school children with whom you do not really share a language, so I had to find wordless ways to make friends. I regret only one thing: teaching them the joke where you open the door and pretend to hit your head with it, but actually kick the door. It's hilarious without language, it's easy to teach, but it does not get funnier when 80 kids repeat it over and over and over and over.

2. I used to cut my own hair when I was super broke right out of college. I tried to do a fade. By feel.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:34 AM on January 14 [6 favorites]


This might be one of my favorite threads ever. Let's see...

1. When I was about 10 I thought it would be terribly interesting to feed saltine crackers into the back of an oscillating fan in my room. It worked great, sounded awesome and covered my room in crackers. In hindsight I'm lucky I didn't munch my fingers off since the cage on the fan would easily let my whole hand poke through.

2. While trying to saw the end off of a 2x4 in my tree house I decided to just saw through most of it & then it'd be quicker to kick the dangling nub off. Again, it worked great. However I was about 6 feet off the ground, which I met quickly. The tip of the saw caught the plastic clasp on my front fastening bra & kept me from chopping off a boob. Never told the folks about that one.

3. Summer after my freshman year in college, I was stuck at my parents' house for the duration, away from my best college friend and thoroughly hating life. So one Friday night I went over to my sister's to get the fuck away from my folks. Her loser alcoholic husband talked me into taking 1/2 a quaalude after we'd had I don't know how many joints & beers. Somehow he managed to talk me into taking the other half a few minutes later. Then he starts trying to kiss me while she's in the bathroom. I immediately nope the fuck out of there. In the pouring rain at 11pm. In a town I don't know very well since my folks just moved there. I remember thinking the rain & headlights were interesting. I ended up stopping at a 7-11 to call my parent's neighbors to come drive me home. Never told my parents.

That's about it for my wild years.
posted by yoga at 11:24 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


capacitors into wall sockets

Oh, heh, this makes me think of questionable experiments involving electricity as a kid. There was the whole thing where I pulled the night-light partway out of the wall and tried to light up large colored Christmas-light bulbs by touching them to one of the prongs. It worked, but I blew the fuse to my bedroom doing that a couple times when I was little, so they told me to stop doing that.

We also had a lot of electrical odds and ends lying around the house from things my father had taken apart and spliced back together, because this runs in the family. So there was the time I very, very carefully started to stick some prongs I pulled out of a cut-off end of an electrical cord into an electrical outlet in the basement, one at a time, holding them with fabric... I stuck the first one in without incident, but unfortunately, I brushed the back of a knuckle against the first one when I was putting the second one in. That was exciting.

Then there was the rock incident, which for a long time was brought out as a set piece whenever my father wanted to emphasize how I was a terrible person who didn't care about my brother. But ultimately I think it was just a poor choice I made when I was a kid and we had a lot of chunks of concrete lying around from a dismantled kiln and the old front steps my artist parents had dismantled and replaced themselves.

So my brother and I were playing pirates. I was up on the "ship," our rusty old hitch trailer. My brother threw like a softball-size chunk of concrete at me. I was not pleased. But he was little. So I threw it back, but in a big looping arc, high up in the air, figuring it wouldn't come anywhere near him. Nope. Poor choice. He ran under it. It bashed the back of his head, he started bleeding... It was a head wound, but not a serious one—it just looked bad, and I was scared as shit. I knew what was next. I sent him inside, told him to run in, and then I just hid. They ultimately called me in, and the rest is not a pleasant story, but my brother was fine, heh.
posted by limeonaire at 11:52 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


My freshman year in college I had a terrible roommate. Like we lived in a dry dorm and I walked in after a weekend away to a keg sitting in the middle of the room, and had three minutes to hide it under laundry before my mom and the wing nun walked in (I went to Georgian Court when it was still an all women's college with two nuns living on the each floor of both dorms.)

So I had the idea to get rid of my roommate by trading rooms with someone who hated their roommate. Which sounded like a good idea until I was living with the closeted lesbian who didn't realize she was a lesbian (though everyone around her did) because her family were one of those crazy evangelical born agains who loved Star Trek but hated that we weren't forced to learn creationism in college science courses, and suddenly had to sleep facing a poster of an abortion.

I went home at Christmas in the middle of a nervous breakdown and didn't leave my room for three days.

Ah, memories.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 11:52 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I once gave $5 to some random website so I could post a comment about another website. It has now consumed my entire life.
posted by Fizz at 11:56 AM on January 14 [56 favorites]


I was not drunk.
posted by Fizz at 11:58 AM on January 14 [24 favorites]


8 weeks pregnant with my third child, hyperemesis gravardium in full swing and I'm having around 30 bouts of vomiting every day. (And my ob's office has a new nurse who's super-gatekeepey and keeps insisting I'll get over it in week 12, I don't need medicine, I'm fine ... eventually ended up in the hospital for emergency rehydration and THEN got me some zofran, but I digress.) Anyway, I have way too much hair, and I've been trying to get it cut, but I can't stop throwing up long enough to go to a hair-cut place. I have very thick hair, and I'm vomiting so violently that the hairbands holding my ponytail keep snapping and flying off, leaving me throwing up while trying to hold my own hair back.

So in a fit of frustration and hormones, I grabbed my sewing shears and lopped my entire ponytail off.

It felt awesome for about ten minutes, until I stopped vomiting long enough to look in the mirror and saw that it was an uneven hack job that looked AWFUL, and now it was TOO SHORT to pull up off my face. And because I was SO SICK the whole pregnancy (HG all 9 months), my hair hardly grew at all. It was BARELY long enough to get into a ponytail when I went in to delivery. It looked awful, it was in my face for nine months, and the hairdresser at the salon was like, "I ... can't help you with this."
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:44 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


Sister: You wanna go see The Phantom Menace, or try out those new rollerblades?

Me: Rollerblades! We can see the movie some other time.

-- ONE SAD TROMBOBE LATER --

ME: (lying in ER with broken hip) I changed my mind. Let's go see The Phantom Menace.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:58 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


Does rolling under a platform car of a moving freight train because I couldn't be arsed to wait five minutes count? Alcohol was involved.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:59 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I went to college in Washington DC. I remember one Saturday night after watching Green Day on SNL some friends and I decided we wanted to party on the National Mall. We bought a keg with our fake IDs and put it in a cab. We ended up by the pond in Constitution Gardens. Of course the cops showed up and took our keg and tossed our fake IDs in the pond. It could have been worse! Like that time I drunkenly tried to climb the White House fence and a security guard pulled me down by my hair. Ah... Good times!
posted by kinsey at 1:19 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I have had some strange haircuts.

I kinda feel the same way about the subject as Jessamyn, although reading these I am reminded of the time I took off on my bike from Chicago fully intending to bike to Boston (my parents made me switch to a car around Ann Arbor) which involved several all-day rides in 90+ degree weather, sleeping in bushes, and culminated in a brief stay at the shittiest possible motel in Chelsea. My 21st birthday involved jello wrestling (awesome) followed by very strong pot brownies that I couldn’t take because I knew I’d shortly get drug tested at work, and finished with everyone else sitting in separate corners of the house, too high to move. My entire four-year career as a roadie was a Bad Idea for a variety of reasons.

And yeah, some *really* weird haircuts.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:30 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


In sixth grade my friends and I often stayed after school and goofed off. The few adults remaining paid us no attention, probably because they knew we were harmless. It was a Catholic school, so we would do things like play hide and seek under the pews in the church, try to peek into the windows of the convent, etc. One brave pair even made out behind the baptismal font. But I digress. One afternoon a friend and I decided to hide in our teacher's classroom coat closet, intending to jump out and surprise her when she came back into the room. But when she arrived, she was with the other sixth grade teacher (a nun) and we could hear them talking, so we stayed in the closet to listen for just a minute and then maybe sneak out when they left again. But the teachers would not leave. They proceeded to discuss each and every sixth grader in detail, and it was juicy stuff (to us). The longer we stayed in the closet, the more afraid we were to leave because they'd know we had heard it all. Eventually we decided to count to three, burst out of the closet, and run away as fast as we could. It did not end well.
posted by a fish out of water at 1:37 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


Hair, eh? So one day I was chemically enhanced, some greenish some alcoholish. I'm watching The Wall movie. You know near the end when Pink decides to shave his whole head? Eyebrows too?

Well I did not attempt to shave my eyebrows, but my head? Sure. First I took a cheap electric clipper. You know how it looks so easy when someone shaves their head on TV or in the movies. Well, maybe it is, if you have a professional clipper. If you are using a crappy beard trimmer it's nearly impossible. As well, I have a scar across the top of my head from ear to ear. After the batteries ran out, I went to a cheap BIC razor. After a very long time I had a bare skull. And dozens of cuts and nicks. It looked horrible. And I had work on Monday.

Luckily my job was in maintenance and we had hats. Coworkers noticed the lack of hair but I did NOT take off my hat. Not for months, until hair grew back.

My SO at the time spent a long time laughing and calling me a fucking idiot. I agreed.
posted by Splunge at 1:52 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


Scene: West Berlin, 1979ish.

Backstory: I'm an emotional wreck, having just been divorced by my wife who would rather be single than move to Berlin with me, missing my kids, and thoroughly pissed that I've spent a ton of money renting an apartment on Hauptstrasse that I'll never have my family in. (this is the place where I was Iggy Pop & David Bowie's neighbor).

My roommate, who was staying there at the apartment with me to share the rent for a bit, was a Brit named Mickey. He was a drug dealer/user on the side, but I didn't really know that yet.

Mick notices I'm blue, and suggests we go on a club crawl. There's no better place for it than Berlin, and we set off about sunset with a couple of pints of whatever Mick had in the fridge. We ran into some friends somewhere in there, and suddenly there was cocaine and other stuff floating around. By this point, I was in "Who fucking cares" mode, and I'm ingesting substances, ummm, freely.

Coke is a hell of a drug. Mick and I were suddenly on an alcohol-and-coke fueled mission to end the cold war. We'd done the KuDamm early on and were into the seedier clubs in the Gastarbeiter part of town, where the clubs got very much more ethnically-oriented. At some point, we were in a Turkish club, two white-as-white-can-be idiots drinking Ouzo and smoking who-knows what, when we decided it was time to head back, well-fortified and completely fucked up.

Trouble was, we were completely lost, without the mental wherewithal to navigate back to our preplanned destination. We did, dimly, know we were in Berlin, and that there was a Wall, so all we had to do was find the Wall and follow it until we got to a checkpoint or a street we knew. Of course, we didn't allow for the fact that the Wall was like 96 miles long, in our impaired mental state. We started talking, as you do, and I doubt anything we uttered that night would pass for any semblance of rational thought.

Cutting to the chase, we got it in our heads that the way to end the cold was would be to provoke the Grenztruppen (East German Border Guards) somehow. In our addled state, we thought that, if we could set off a couple of the land mines on the other side of the wall, it would somehow lead to world peace. You can see just about how fucked up we were.

Coming upon the Wall, we started throwing stones and brickbats over it (or trying to, I think a lot of them were probably just bouncing back at us) waiting to hear a land mine of to go off or to trip one of the automatic machine guns. Eventually, a couple of Brit MP's wandered along and took us into custody, I wasn't saying much, but Mick did enough of the talking so that they just threw us in the tank and let us sober up. Thank the lucky stars it was the Brits who picked us up, the US MP's were a bunch of humorless pricks. The Brits held us until they were sure we weren't going to endanger ourselves or anyone else, and then simply released us.

Moral, if you are emotionally compromised, DO NOT go out drinking and taking drugs with a professional.
posted by pjern at 2:03 PM on January 14 [33 favorites]


1. Aguardiente, shot after shot, at a wedding in Cartagena, Colombia. Legend has it that I went home in a wheelbarrow, but I have no recollection of this.

2. Adventures with illicit substances mark the last occasions on which I ate Hostess Mini Muffins and watched the video for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun."
posted by emelenjr at 2:49 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I tend to be a cautious soul, so even the few incidents I've had involving altered states of mind were decidedly tame and drama-free. My younger sister was the risk taker in the family (once when she was 18 or 19 she and her friends decided to partake of some potent mushrooms then go see Pink Floyd's The Wall...a happy trip did not ensue).

I think the worst decision I ever made was getting married to the first woman who showed an actual interest in me, on the assumption that she was probably the only one who ever would so I'd better act now or lose the opportunity forever. It took us 13 years to realize that we weren't all that well-matched. Well, it took her 13 years; it took me a few months beyond that before she finally admitted that she'd started sleeping with someone else. We were "temporarily separated" at the time, but she neglected to inform me until later of her unilateral decision that it was actually a permanent separation. So it still felt like a dire betrayal. The whole business made me feel so wonderful and lovable that it took me a year and a half to get over the crying jags and black depression and suicidal thoughts.

AAANYway...so as not to end the story on a Debbie Downer note, I'll add that that was many years ago and I'm in a much better mental place now. Also our son likes me better than her :).
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:00 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


When a New Hampshire police officer pulls you over, and asks if you know why he pulled you over, don't answer with "Because I have a Massachusetts plate???"
posted by KazamaSmokers at 3:19 PM on January 14 [27 favorites]


The worst decision I ever made was believing my ex boyfriend when he told me he had a brain tumor.
posted by cooker girl at 3:30 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


1) I was about 13, and convinced I was a hideous monster and that my hair and skin needed a lot of expensive help. In reality, I was a teenaged girl with a bit of acne and slightly unruly hair. My mom, understandably, would not buy me the expensive skin or hair treatments I wanted since I was, you know, a child.

However, I had read that you could make a good DIY hair treatment with bananas. So, I mashed a banana with a fork and applied it to my hair, not realizing I should have puréed it thoroughly rather than just mashing roughly and leaving chunks. When it came time to wash the treatment out, I was dismayed to find it had turned into lumpy banana cement and my mother had to help me pick banana lumps out of my hair while I cried. Oh thirteen!

2) I was 20 and living with roommates in a university residence apartment, trying to get more adventurous with my cooking. I decided to make hummus, which I had enjoyed many times in cafes and purchased pre-made from Safeway. I used a recipe that called for two cloves of raw garlic, and thought, hey, if two cloves of garlic is good, surely 7 cloves is better. I like garlic!

The resulting product weaponized the air in our apartment and was so garlicky it actually burned as you ate it. Even the most intrepid of my garlic loving friends had to claim defeat.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:11 PM on January 14 [7 favorites]


was in my early 20's, and I was secretary for a big company. They had recently decided to move all of their divisions under one roof, a big marble monstrosity near O'Hare airport.

Every day, I'd be encountering workmen, hammering and fixating this building into place. I got to know quite a few of them. One from Italy, he knew the stone making, he'd been an apprentice for 7 years, and here he was, hammering stone.

One night, I stayed late, and encountered some of these guys, the workmen. We talked a lot and they were so happy to have someone to talk to, they said, "let's see the top!"

So we did, and might I say, all of these guys were perfect gentlemen, no one ever was more than just a friend to me. They just wanted to show me what they had done.

Next thing I know, I am being held by my ankles, to view the stonemanship and overlook it. I tried to hold back my purse, of course.

The next day, I was missing my wallet. And my entire week's pay check, which I'd just cashed, as we used to on Friday nights.

Come Monday, my supervisor, a woman who could eat lemons and still not be sour, said,

"The janitor found your wallet on the lower rooftop. Here it is. I don't ever want to hear about how it, or how it got there."
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:23 PM on January 14 [20 favorites]


The resulting product weaponized the air in our apartment and was so garlicky it actually burned as you ate it. Even the most intrepid of my garlic loving friends had to claim defeat.

Oh man I did something similar. I am a gigantic pickle-head. dills, gari, shibazuke, cornichons, dilly beans, beets...

The point is I love pickles. And I make them! refrigerator pickles mostly. First recipe I ever made was for kosher dill spears. I scaled down the recipe for one liter jar. did not scale down the five garlic cloves.

The result was... predictable. They were like little garlic bombs. I couldn't eat more than half a spear before I was sweating the stuff.

My dad ate them all.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:50 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]


I just realized that just about every culinary misadventure I have done (and I have done a few doozies.) Could be ended with the phrase, "and then my dad ate them all." That's... comforting.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:52 PM on January 14 [28 favorites]


Hmm, we may have found the one person who would have enjoyed my hummus...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:17 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


My dad's tastes are... varied. He probably would have eaten it all and asked you to make more. He's just like that.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:25 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


With out a doubt my worst decision was going all-in on a relationship with someone who stated very clearly at the outset that they were capable of flipping a switch in their brain and turning off their feelings, no matter how strong, for someone on a whim. Such a thing sounded completely incomprehensible to me at the time, not being a sociopath myself, I decided that their behaviour towards me showed a love so strong I'd never seen such a thing in my life, so probably OK to just forget about this red flag. Plus, my own feeling of love was very strong so again.. incomprehensible that one could turn such a thing off arbitrarily. (turns out, not all brains are like my brain: that is to say, foolish).

Reader, it was not a wise decision. Turns out they were telling the 100% truth.
The effects of this forever changed my life, and not for the better.

Moral of the story: when people tell you who they are, LISTEN. (and not just to the parts you like either)

My second worst decision was very much like Greg_Ace's above, but... a distant second if you can believe it.

And this is coming from someone who has done lots of stuff that would have likely gotten anyone else killed multiple times over. But I survived those like a soldier, and mostly intact, unlike my worst decision above.

To lighten the mood, a funny bad decision was in the Bahamas: Was on a cruise, decided to go for the all-you-can-drink shore excursion. Which, you know, I'm a trained drinker, so not a bad decision on its own. But the bad decision was to skip breakfast so I could get in line early. Then to drink so much I forgot to buy something to eat at the bar on the beach, I went swimming instead. That was cool but then I came back to the bar and drank more because time was running out. So anyways I wake up in my cabin next thing I remember and I'm mostly undressed and I'm not sure if it's dawn or dusk and I can't really remember how I ended up back here... and then i go to the bathroom and there's just all kinds of purple and yellow mystery slime in the shower stall, and I'm like, wtf is THAT!?!?!? I'd better call the maintenance folks because somethings is seriously wrong with the drain in this cabin.... And then I remembered the purple drink, the last one I had --

right... the all you can drink shore excursion.... ok... what was the purple drink called tho?

Oh right.. bartender told me it was called "Amnesia".
posted by some loser at 5:43 PM on January 14 [9 favorites]


On December 21st, 1995, I, an eighth grader, attempted to shoplift a VHS porno (“Freshman Fantasies”) from a mall video store by stuffing it in my coat pocket, while Christmas shopping with my extended family. I was easily caught, and thrown the book at, relatively, because a mall cop happened to be walking by at the time-the shop clerk was only a few years older than me and seemed inclined to let the whole thing go, I think. I and my parents then endured six humiliating and inconvenient months dealing with the juvenile court apparatus.

Later that evening, my grandfather died, presumably of shame.
posted by Kwine at 5:45 PM on January 14 [15 favorites]


My family still talks about this. In middle school, I was really socially anxious, so I slept in the nurse's office every day during lunch. Problem was, there were two part-time nurses: one nurse who wouldn't question it and another who knew there was nothing wrong with me and wouldn't let me sleep in the office. They alternated days. One day I was particularly nervous, and it was the latter nurse's shift. Instead of talking to her about it, I walked to a local grocery store where there were benches outside, and slept on the bench, skipping the next two periods.

Why did I go to a grocery store (?!)
posted by typify at 5:58 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


I just realized that just about every culinary misadventure I have done (and I have done a few doozies.) Could be ended with the phrase, "and then my dad ate them all." That's... comforting.

My Dad always ate the burnt toast and the heels of bread. I don't know if he liked them, or if he just couldn't stand the waste.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:07 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Age 16, getting drunk (possibly my first time, if I remember correctly) at a friend's house on a Friday night with three other girls while her parents were out of town. We had just taken our super epic incredibly hard legendarily challenging final exam in our marine science class that day. After making serious inroads into a large bottle of vodka, one of our friends decides that she's going to call our teacher, whose phone number she has for some reason. "I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW I DID. I THINK I DID GREAT. I KNOW I DID GREAT. I'M SO GREAT. I JUST WANT MY SCORE YOU GUYS." The rest of us were unable to talk her out of it so we resorted to disassembling the house phone (none of us had cell phones yet) and hiding the pieces all over the house. The next day, we were unable to find one of them and had to come up with a satisfactory reason for her parents as to why their phone no longer worked...

Not a terribly crazy story, but still one of my favorites.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:58 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]


At the age of about nine, I was making a birthday cake for my father. The cake itself (devil's food) was kind of lumpy but all right; however, while the cake was in the oven I started on the frosting, and the ingredients list mentioned confectioners' sugar. I had no idea what that was.

Oh well, I'll just use regular sugar, I thought, tossing in the correct amount.

The frosting turned out to be the consistency of strawberry jam, except that individual grains of sugar were the seeds. It tasted terrible and was completely unspreadable. It had also used the last butter and cocoa powder in the house. What could I do to salvage it?

Sugar melts, I thought. I can heat it, and I can get those pesky grains to go away and combine the liquid more thoroughly with the other ingredients, and it'll be a little weird but it'll work. So I scraped the frosting into a bowl, put it in the microwave, set it for two minutes, and went to check on the cake.

Did you know that sugar syrup expands dramatically when boiled?

I have never seen anything like the inside of our microwave when I opened that door. I could not have done such a thorough frosting job on every interior surface if I had a palette knife and a lot of time. There were both stalactites and stalagmites. I had difficulty locating the actual bowl.

I yelled for my mother, who appeared, stared blankly over my shoulder for thirty seconds, and then said "Go get your father and three spoons". We ate the interior layer and scrubbed off the frosting that had touched the actual microwave. I salvaged enough frosting from the bowl itself to do a reasonable job on the cake, which I regretted later, because when it cooled down it was... not right. It shattered into very thin brown layers when touched, like that kind of sugar they use as Hollywood fake glass. It did taste better than iteration one of the frosting, though.

Unfortunately, the microwave was never quite right again either. Goo had gotten out of the box into the works somehow.

And I am never going to live down the story about the time I frosted the microwave.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 7:01 PM on January 14 [41 favorites]


"I yelled for my mother, who appeared, stared blankly over my shoulder for thirty seconds, and then said "Go get your father and three spoons". We ate the interior layer"

I like the cut of her jib!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:08 PM on January 14 [29 favorites]


Ok, I have a confession. If my previous story about bodily fluids didn't cause you to find me completely repulsive, this one will.

It was 1995, and as high school seniors we had all recently gotten our SAT scores back. As you do, during the school day everyone was comparing scores and talking about their futures. At one point, we were being kind of loud and I was joking around about people's scores when a friend kind of yelled across the room 'So, LH, what was your score then?' I responded '900!' She yells back 'Really?', to which I respond 'No, of course not, Im not a fucking idiot!'

Her eyes get big, her mouth sags, and she says 'I got a 900.' Man, 23 years later and I still feel like shit about that. We talked about it later, and I apologized, and she certainly moved on with her life, but I still think about that moment from time to time and it hurts me.

Well, the takeaway is that from that moment forward I tried to be more careful about what I say. Still, what a shitty way to learn that lesson. Ugh.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:19 PM on January 14 [10 favorites]


I picked up a copy of Moby Dick at the hostel and at a quick search online, didn't see a collection of links for the quotes at the beginning of the book, so I made a post. There went today, but I learned some things!
posted by aniola at 7:50 PM on January 14 [4 favorites]


As a youf I once did the "hand in a bowl of cold water to make you wee yourself" trick to a friend who had passed out and he didn't wee himself but he did wake up and want to fight me.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:23 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Oh and Goldschlager. Goldschlager is another of my big regrets. I have never (thankfully) had a migraine before, as in a proper migraine and not just an enormous headache, but the morning after that bottle of Goldschlager I was given some dim insight into the sufferings of migraine people. The single worst non-externalised hangover I have ever had in my life.

The worst externalised one was when my buddy and I spent an entire day blending up cocktails that were 50% booze but you couldn't taste the booze and we were watching Chris Morris TV shows and I was vomiting for two days afterwards.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:34 PM on January 14


My brain has some sort of protective mechanism I think where I really can't remember the dumbass things I did or I just weave them into "Well I'm okay now so whatever dumb thing I did must have been okay" narratives.

Being alcoholic and generally having a terrible memory I will every so often, and completely out of the blue, remember something I did when I was younger and be completely horrified.
posted by bongo_x at 8:54 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I laughed, but then wondered were the multiple mentions of 80 degree heat referencing a joke I missed?
posted by bongo_x at 9:21 PM on January 14


I don't remember any of my bad decisions, all of which did their bit to get me right now right here anyway. But I do recall, many years ago, a friend explaining how he broke his arm.

"I mixed my two favorite sports, skateboarding and drinking. You should never mix your favorite sports."
posted by philip-random at 9:22 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]


The Underpants Monster: My Dad always ate the burnt toast and the heels of bread. I don't know if he liked them, or if he just couldn't stand the waste.

I realize I'm that frugal dad, except probably not that frugal (yet). And we have a dog to eat the bits of old bread and left over hamburger bits (as treats, because she's good at fetch, but terrible at sharing -- so maybe only half good at fetch?). I'm really excited about getting a new compost bin, because then a lot of would-be waste turns into good soil! #dadlife

My first time drinking for an extended period of time was in Las Vegas, with college radio friends. One of the ladies in our group was a drink-pusher, in that she pushed other people to drink, particularly when she was drunk. At one point she tried to make me drink shots of tequila in a hotel room, so I crawled under a desk. She pursued me, so I swung out with lazy arms, and sort of hit her. In the face. So the story instantly became that I, the usually non-drinking pacifist, punched her in the face. She was OK (I'm pretty sure she was more startled than anything).

Then there was the time I was sober but tired, after a thrilling day at the California Anime Expo. It was the 4th of July weekend, and I was driving back to a friend's house. I had driven back there the day prior, so I sort of knew where I was going, but not totally, so my friend told me to turn suddenly, thinking I remembered the turn. Instead of getting in the turn lane, I turned suddenly from a straight-ahead lane, which the police found interesting. I was pulled over, in my big old Buick LeSabre (not my car, but you get the idea), in Southern California. I was in shock, so I was just staring straight ahead, but my friend in the back seat looked out and saw the cop approaching with his hand on his gun (tough neighborhood + big old car + expired registration = possibly a bad situation). I provided my license and registration -- did I mention I had neglected to my registration for a few months? So the car was impounded, and my friend's mother had to come and pick us up. And to make matters worse, because we were just down for the weekend, one of my friends had homework in my car, but because it was the weekend, I couldn't get the car out until Monday. Luckily, the folks at the impound lot were willing to get his aeronautical engineering textbook out of my car, even though they weren't supposed to take items from vehicles, because otherwise my bad decisions would have impacted his grade.

Going back further, I drove that same Buick LeSabre an hour and a half to get fireworks back in high school. I didn't tell my parents before I went, but I told them after. Well, not on purpose. I was at a friend's house, and my parents called to see when I'd be back home. I put the receiver to my chest to mute the phone and talked to my friend about getting fireworks and when we would set them off at another friend's house. I put the phone back to my ear and my dad said "so, you drove to get fireworks." They weren't too upset, because they told a family friend, who passed along an ancient roman candle to me and my friends. How old? Old enough that only 9 of the 10 launched, so we told a friend's younger brother to go kick it. He did. Nothing happened, to the firework or the younger brother. Oh, youth.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


When I was about twelve or thirteen I happened to find a recipe for fortune cookies, and it sounded easy enough and Mom said I could try it. I painstakingly wrote up a series of fortunes, cut them all out and got them ready, and then began the acutal cooking part. Pulled out the first batch of eight or so cookies, successfully folded them around the fortunes, and they worked! Neat! I went on to the next batch.

And the next.

And the next.

And...the next.

Apparently I had found a recipe that made about nine or ten dozen fortune cookies, and was stuck carefully ladeling out the dough and watching them bake for about five minutes and then quickly folding them and doling out the next batch of dough and....for about two hours.

And did I mention it was the middle of July that I was stuck in the kitchen doing this?

___

As for a prank: I'm going to mention the prank that should have gone down in college but didn't: a guy in our circle had longish hair that he was kind of proud of. ...And a couple others of us talked about wanting at some point to try to break into his room in the middle of the night and cornrow it all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Re: Eyebrows's canned air bomb thing, I did some version of this trick in my apt with like a small ziploc bag or maybe a little plastic bowl and lid.
Noise, whatever, but I didn't think to wash my hands immediately afterward and then some time later couldn't figure out why my food tasted awful. The nasty stuff they put in the canned air had gotten on my hands, and even after dedicated scrubbing they smelled vile for the rest of a day and night.

Other dumb decisions:

Using a mis-burned CD-R as an airsoft target indoors and finding tiny bits of foil everywhere for years afterward

Going for a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood and thinking I could walk from one to another "parallel" street (they diverged widely, numbering conventions be damned), and some time later being offered a ride by a police van.
I declined and found my way home completely unscathed, but the cop asking, "Are you sure you don't want a ride?" didn't worry me until much later.

Trying to see what would happen if I left the lever open on a lever-action BB gun when I pulled the trigger (it slammed shut on my fingers, is what).

I'm sure I could dig up some other stuff if I go young enough but it's all either getting hurt or making a mess.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:47 PM on January 14


We hated going back and forth to the train station twice a day but if I took good care of her we could stay home.

She's 2.5 and I'm not quite 6. She watches me pee and says she is going to try it standing up. I don't think that is a good idea but it is already happening.

She's crying and I've failed to prevent this. Get her in the tub, mop that up with mom's robe and rehang it. Put the pissy pants in the dryer. Dry sis and put pajamas on her and tell her they will never leave us alone again if this gets out. We'll have to go to the train station every day for the rest of our lives!

Next morning mom has her back-up robe on. We still get breakfast but she would like to know if anything "unusual" happened the night before. I say no but traitor sis says she tried to pee standing up and mom collapses in a chair waving a spatula and dad blows scrambled eggs out his nose. They'd been puzzling. Does this smell like urine or am I pregnant again was the comment relayed to me years later.

They didn't take us to the train station.

I'm gentle and teasing when I find something inexplicable and know the kids are liars. It's never as bad as they think it is. I might make them mop.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:22 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


My husband and I just celebrated 37 years together (yeah!) and here are some ways that might not have turned out so splendidly.

If you don't know how to cook, ask for clarification if the church fundraiser cookbook says, "For tasty fish with a fresh-caught flavor, thaw in milk." I thawed it on the countertop in 80-degree spring weather. For several hours. But... my husband still eats my cooking, even after a loooong day in the bathroom.

If you don't know how to drive stickshift, don't let your husband talk you into sitting in the driver's seat of an antique pickup and then... while he is underneath it... ask you to "just turn it on." I turned the key, started the engine, looked down and saw way too many pedals.... Luckily, he wasn't run over. And the garage door stopped the pickup. My father-in-law still loves me, even after hammering out the dents.

If you do go scuba diving along the shores near Ft. Lauderdale, and your husband motions for you to look under the coral outcropping at the shark floating above the sand... don't assume that he is signalling for you to get closer. It was a nurse shark (which is like a big sleepy bloodhound, no big deal, just don't touch it) and it was very chill about us taking pictures. But at the surface we had some words about it. And we still dive together. But we use our underwater slate to communicate, though.
posted by TrishaU at 12:29 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Aside from this: In the earlier half of my 20's, I got some cannabis gummy bears as a gift for catsitting; the cat owner recommended that I start with half a bear, since I'd no experience with marijuana -- I was such a neophyte that as a freshman in college, I thought the odor was simply from the skunks on campus that students kept startling. He'd explained that gummy bears were great for beginners because they are each precisely dosed.

I took the marijuana gummies to my boyfriend's place and we sat in front of the television set to Food Network; we each ate half a bear. In no time at all, he'd started seeming really annoying, whereas I still felt stone sober. I ate a second bear head.

Another hour of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and I was still completely sober, and even more bored and annoyed. I have a pretty good tolerance for alcohol, so I surmised that I might just need a higher dose. I ate the rest of the bear.

My boyfriend was starting to sober up when my back started to feel aflame and my eyelids started to feel swollen and also hot; I couldn't speak because it felt like words were like pieces of paper and the wind was blowing too hard for me to hold down enough of them to stitch them together into sentences. Everything was shapes, and I needed to describe the shapes but couldn't. I started to sob.

My boyfriend changed the channel to HGTV and put it on mute, and herded me upstairs when his brother had returned, only slightly alarmed at the scene.

I think I fell asleep, eventually. Luckily we'd started on Saturday afternoon, so by Monday morning, I was fine. There was a lot of "oh god will I ever feel normal??"
posted by batter_my_heart at 1:06 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Armed with poor coping skills, in a fit of rage I opened two 1 lbs bags of dry beans and threw them everywhere.

I was finding beans for years until I moved out of that apartment.

I cope better now.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:09 AM on January 15 [22 favorites]


I still manage to be terribly naïve at 41 thanks to being brought up by fundamentalist weirdos, and in spite of having party-hearty friends in Helsinki and having spent now-half of my life in France.

So as I've told probably enough times for people here to groan as soon as they read it, went up to Norway above the Arctic Circle to meet the family in person for the first time this last summer.

Now, "summer" and "above the Arctic Circle" means 24-hour sunlight woo-hoo and add to that a big family reunion in Scandinavia and you get alcohol. What I didn't know until after my bad decision was that Norwegians are particularly fond of plying newcomers with waaaay too much of it. However, having lived in Helsinki, I was aware I should be careful, so I spaced out my shots of whisky and vodka, waited until my head was no longer spinning to have some red wine, took walks out to the lake, that sort of thing. 2am rolls around, head is only lightly spinning, we're still talking about crocheted penis beer cozies (these are truly my people), did I mention I also drank some beer, and a cousin asks if I've ever tried Jägermeister. "Huh?" came my fated reaction as the daughter of people who never drank anything stronger than Willamette Valley pinot noirs and vociferated against anything and everything stronger. "It's an herbal drink," they smiled, "it's alcoholic but like a strong wine, some people call it cough syrup LOL" they nodded innocently at me. They push over a rather large glass of it. I proceed to drink it all in the space of ten minutes.

The next morning, I ended up at the hospital after having hangover tremors (I didn't know those were a thing until this) and passing out. The nurse was doubled over laughing at me when I finished my drinking list with Jägermeister. "Welcome to Norway, this is called a hangover," he chuckled while telling me to sleep and drink plenty of water.

The running joke became asking fraula if she wanted some Jäg.
posted by fraula at 2:01 AM on January 15 [8 favorites]


At a temple in Benaras (Varanasi) I drank Ganges water because the pandit assured me that being a part of Mother Ganga, the water is guaranteed to be purified by the Gods or something. Not wanting to offend or call BS on what is patently ridiculous, I came down with a rather nasty bowel problem that significantly reduced my enjoyment of that visit.

Another one, which falls into the "the things you do when you are young" category: a girl I was casually seeing at the time and I were passing a prominent Sydney landmark: a Victorian era town hall with a spire reaching about 5-6 storeys into the sky; only the entire thing was covered with scaffolding for renovations. I used to enjoy exploring domestic building sites as a young boy, so when I noticed there was a chink in the security fence I suggested we explore a bit, just for fun.

This ended up with us scaling the scaffolding to the very tippy tip of the flagpole, where there really wasn't any kind of safety fencing, or safety anything-at-all unless perhaps you were a professional scaffolder with a safety harness, which I most certainly wasn't. So we were up there on top of everything, with views from Bondi to the Blue Mountains and of course the first thing that would pop into anybody's mind is "since we've come all this way up here, why not have sex?".

Actually, I'm not sure that was a bad decision. It was bad in the safety & trespassing & illegality aspects, but other parts were pretty good.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:30 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Cutting out bad decisions that ruined my life severely cuts down the number of stories I can tell. I drank a bottle of claret when I was 13, which was pretty bad. My 15 year old friend had to hose off her red vomit from under my window
posted by h00py at 4:53 AM on January 15


My bad decision last week was to ignore the dying-battery sounds that our keypad door lock was making. And because I'm feebleminded, I couldn't even remember whether I had actually hidden a key somewhere.

Locksmiths are expensive. Change the battery before it needs it!
posted by Dashy at 5:44 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I have a friend from high school who was one of those people that could do any dumb thing he could think of and the consequences always just rolled right off his back. He was into filmmaking back then - usually involving Jackass-style stunts. He would always be the fall guy for all of these, though, so the group of us usually helped out to be witness to the hospital trips that never actually materialized because fate just could not catch this kid.

Anyway, one particular movie he was making involved him going down a water slide in a tuxedo (why, I do not remember). There was some sort of Boy Scout camp or similar near my house with a lake and a slide, so we jumped the fence one day, I filmed the scene, and we jumped back over. He pealed out in his car just as I realized I lost my keys.

I called him, he came back, we drove his car back to my place where I snagged the spare set of keys before my parents could ask what was going on. Back to the camp and I'm unlocking the car just as a cop drives by. I made some excuse about stretching my legs and he left me alone, so I drove home. About a week later I had to go back to the camp again by myself to find the keys that I dropped in a pile of leaves.


Shortly after I moved to Boston, I got involved in a community theater organization. I was living on the top floor of a cheap apartment building at the top of a small hill. We had a cast party one evening a couple miles from my place, and I ended up staying until 4 in the morning or something. It was cold, and it had snowed a couple days prior. I had been drinking but I was definitely not drunk, which I feel is an important distinction to make because on the walk home I decided I really had to pee. I was literally across the street from my building when I decided that there was no way I could make it back before wetting my pants, so I snuck behind the laundromat right there and relieved myself in the snow. On the way back out of this grassy strip behind the laundromat, I slipped in the snow and started falling, so I instinctively reached a hand out to steady myself on the brick wall. No luck, kept falling, dragging my hand down the wall and into the snow.

I brush all the snow off myself and head across the street to my building where, as was pretty typical, the elevator wasn't working. As I'm climbing up the stairs, I notice I'm leaving a trail behind me and discover that my hand is bleeding. I rush to my apartment and start trying to rinse out the wound in the bathroom sink.

All of that was bad enough, I guess, but to me the worst part of this was standing there with an open wound, bleeding into the sink, trying to rationalize to myself for a good half hour why I didn't need to go to the hospital that was less than a mile from where I was standing. It's late and I'm tired; they won't have any good people on staff this time of day! It's probably not that big of a deal. I haven't actually felt woozy or passed out yet, so I'm certain that I haven't lost that much blood.

After a half hour or so with my hand in the sink and the bleeding not stopping, I finally make a decision. I will wrap up my hand with toilet paper and Scotch tape and if I wake up the morning, I'll deal with it then. So I went to bed.

The next morning, I went to CVS and bought some butterfly closures and real bandages.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:44 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Good Prank: My high school (a boarding school) had this whole wee of mounting pranks, traditionally performed by seniors, before its Homecoming equivalent. The best of these occurred during my senior year, when a group of students went into the formal dining hall after hours, removed the headmaster's table, fully set with linens and replaced it with the Latin teacher's late model hatchback. When I arrived for school the next day (I was a day student), the "senior table" was perfectly set in the middle of the campus driveway on a clear, cold November morning and a bunch of my fellow students were sitting around it politely sipping coffee. Later I learned that the Latin teacher had been specifically targeted only because his was the only car small enough to drive through the front foyer of the dining hall. He was remarkably cool about it, probably because he was the youngest member of the faculty at the time (22, if I recall).

Bad Decision: I thought my best friend sophomore year of college was the coolest and most fascinating person I'd ever met. She was certainly brilliant and definitely punk rock and I was a little freaked out by the fact that it almost felt like a crush in that do I want you? do I want to be you? vicinity of being nineteen and just starting to figure out that attraction is weird science and whoa, like, maybe sexuality is kind of a spectrum. She told me a story about her break up with her ex, which sounded cool and badass and made her sound cool and badass, even though the net result was tragic and heartbreaking. I fictionalized it and turned it into a short story, which I dedicated to her, and entered into a short fiction contest. It won. I don't know what the fuck I was thinking. That it would impress her? That by taking something very personal and intimate and devastating in her life and entering it into a contest to show off my dubious nineteen year old skills, I would somehow prove that I was worthy of her love. Suffice to say it backfired. Our friendship never recovered.
posted by thivaia at 6:51 AM on January 15 [5 favorites]


My mother was told by her best friend as a child that if she ate poison ivy, she'd be immune to it. That was a hospital trip.
posted by joycehealy at 6:54 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


My most recent "this could have been bad, but turned out pretty fine" was inviting my crush to a party with my friends Saturday night. Normally, one or two people in this particular crowd will get really turned up and everyone else will be pretty moderate; for some reason (post-holiday jollies? Beginning of the semester stress?) 75% of us really turned it up and tried to keep up with the 22 year olds (reader, my liver has not been that fresh in many, many years). But our roommate stayed sober and shuttled people back to their houses when needed (it takes so much to get him buzzed, he doesn't bother), crush man seemed to have a good time, my friends (and most importantly, my wife; we're poly) approve of crush man, and the crossing of the streams went fine.
Crush man is still speaking to me and says he had a good time, so apparently no one said anything too ridiculous.

The worst of it was that I spent yesterday down with a wicked hangover AND the cold that had been threatening for a few days. Not recommended.
posted by joycehealy at 7:10 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


One more dumb high school kid story: we had a basketball hook at our house, and for some reason, I decided I would sort of climb it and hang upside down from the bracing, under the hoop. I did this a few times and thought it was fun. One time, I did it when my parents were near by, but this time, I slipped off and landed square on my head. It wasn't a really long fall, so I just felt ... shorter. My dad rushed over and sprained something. In the end, I think we were all OK, but I stopped pretending to be a bat or a sloth or whatever.

And a final one, from way back. As a kid, my family visited my dad's sister and her family in Utah one winter. Being a southern California kid, we didn't get to the snow more than once a year, if that, so the various forms of frozen water were novel to me. Heck, they still are -- I got excited to see a few inches of crusty snow on cars the other morning, but I digress. One day, we were out sledding, and I wanted to go up some hill. My parents said no, so I trekked off to some other hill, up a slick, icy road or wide path. I launched down the hill, hit a bump at the bottom, and landed in some branchy bushes. As I remember this story, it ended with me being thrilled about my wild ride. My parents tell me I was freaked out and not at all happy.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I have told this story on the blue before, and a small number of mefites can attest to the accuracy of it having seen the physical evidence it left behind, but this is the story of how I accidentally pierced my scrotum.

When I was in High School I went on an Outward Bound adventure thing in Western North Carolina near Grandfather mountain where I did just under a hundred miles of hiking, something like 10 miles of whitewater canoeing, and a whole bunch of rock climbing and bouldering over the course of a month. This whole trip was really a bad idea for me as I had massively ingrown toenails on both sides of both big toes that desperately needed surgery, and the concept of hiking 100 miles on my toes through the mountains should have filled me with dread for the horrors to come, but I was young, stupid, and invincible. My toenails dug deep into my toes, and it was bad enough that it was already turning me bowlegged, giving me a case of scoliosis that persists to this day. At the beginning, the pain in my feet was pretty comparable to the pain of city slicker legs learning to carry more than half of one's body weight's worth of all the supplies one would need for a week at a time of hiking up the hills of deep Appalachia. However, it quickly got worse. I also knew that I had surgery scheduled for only a few weeks after I got back and, if I wanted relief, I'd have to take good care of my toes. I did everything I could think of to lessen the impact, from stuffing toilet paper under the nails to trying to walk on my heels, nothing really worked as my nails slowly shredded deeper into my toes.

It got bad enough that when we went whitewater canoeing near the end, and had bootie things to keep our feet warm with water that would leak in, my feet got really badly infected with what I now know to have been Pseudomonas, or at least something that smells like it. Each of my four big toe cuticles swelled up the the size of a half a shelled peanut and turned a delightful shade of green, but even more disconcertingly they didn't hurt as much. We were pretty solidly in the middle of nowhere on the river by this point and there wasn't really a viable way out for medical attention so we lanced the sores with a sewing needle and rubbed alcohol and then all the antibiotic creams we had into the wounds to, ideally, kill it with fire. Thankfully the antibiotics worked but, less thankfully the pain returned, and somehow it was even worse. My toes were a wreck, they were inflamed all over, there were decent sized abscesses about the size of the other half of that shelled peanut where the infections had been, and the nails were still ingrown and digging. When we finished the canoeing, there was only one last trip and not really anything more that could be done for my toes medically, so I went.

At one point we ended up spending an entire morning going uphill and steeply, with tools to clear invasive Himalayan blackberries from ecologically precious more remote areas in addition to our full packs. On the first day, we ended up spending an entire morning going uphill and steeply. Everyone was complaining and wanting rests and guzzling precious water, but I was having none of it. Indeed, with such a marvelous abundance, I realized that this uphill thing was AMAZING. While hiking up, all of the pressure was on my heels and, importantly, not my toes. I was energetic and having fun, practically sprinting up, even while everyone else was languishing. It was so great that by the time we crested a hill and started going down for a ways I was devastated, all of the pressure now was on my toes, life was terrible again, and somehow yet worse. I tried everything I had already tried before; walking backwards, walking on my heels again, walking sideways, but noting worked. That is until I got an idea.

I was still full of this energy that mystified my companions, and I went up to one of the instructors to ask about my idea. I was thinking that I could sprint down to the next campsite so that all the pressure would be on my heels again while I sprinted. I even had the gear for the next meal, which I could get started early for everyone. They had their reservations but somehow I managed to almost talk them into it, we were only going to hike another two miles or so anyway. So the moment I got this most hedged and uncertain affirmative response possible, I bounded off at top speed. IT WAS AWESOME AGAIN, at least while I was still accelerating, as I hadn't really thought through the physics of what I was trying to do. You see, the moment that I got up to speed, everything was the same again only now I was going crazy fast, the poundings on my toes were harder, and I really didn't want to try to stop with a bit more than half my body weight propelling me down this mountain. To my credit, I apparently managed to make it at least a mile and a half in this fashion, and remarkably fast. That is until I hit a sharp bend in the trail that I didn't see until the last moment, and a root I didn't see at all. I tripped over that root hard and fast, and right over the edge of the trail, which was also a dusty cliff that went about three hundred feet down to a ravine. I somehow managed to land on my pack on this cliff to slide down with a nominal and then increasing amount of control. Indeed, the first thing I did was to drop the tools and spread my legs to sort of kick my way down as I slid past bushes and small trees, getting completely covered in scratches and dust as I barreled down over little bushes and roots. When I finally came to a stop I was about 75 vertical feet down from the trail, but largely intact. So I dusted myself off, checked myself out, figured myself almost implausibly intact, and reasoned that there was nothing for it but to start my way back up the cliff. I first walked up to where the tools were and then, using the climbing skill I had learned, hauled myself up to the trail using the various bushes growing into the cliff. It must have taken me a good half hour to get back to near the top, and the whole time I had this overwhelming sense of something being terribly wrong, but I just figured there was nothing else to do but get myself back onto the trail. Once I got to just below the trail, I tossed up the tools, and took off my pack to use it to hook onto some of the roots I had just tripped on to make it a bit easier. Then, as I hauled myself up, I noticed a really startled rescue party of three of the more fit students in the group who had been sent ahead to make sure I was alright after the instructors reconsidered the wisdom of letting me sprint off.

They looked down the cliff at the path of devastation I had carved into it and decided it was the most badass and stupid thing they had ever seen. They got me some water and were dusting me off when I noticed this sharp pain and a return of that overwhelming but vague sense of impending doom. I again didn't really think much of it at first, like it must just be noise in my anxious system or something, but then it came back and harder and was definitely coming from my crotch. I could feel the blood drain from my face before I looked down at what I then realized was a twig going through my pants in one end, and out the other. It was also clearly sharp and wet with something like lymph. Frozen with terror, I screamed a distinctly unmanly scream when one of my friends bumped the stick as he was brushing me off, and we all slowly realized the terrible thing that had happened while I was sliding down the cliff. I then borrowed a sharp knife from the guy who had all the sharpest knives and went a mostly ceremonial distance out into the woods. I broke the twig at both ends to free it from my pants so I could get a better idea of the injury, and then there it was, going straight through my scrotum, thankfully right between the testicles. I was relived, but still terrified for them, I was after all fifteen and had big plans. I can remember repeating to myself over and over again that this is just like a fishhook, this is just like a fishhook, this is just like a fishhook - thinking that with the barbs on the twig I'd want it to only go in the direction it went in. I used the knife to cut the twig a third time, right behind my scrotum, so that I could pull the twig all the way through, like how you're supposed to do with fishhooks. The only thing left to do with it then was to pack it with gauze and a slurry of all the antibiotics available, let it air dry a bunch regularly, and hope for the best.

I walked slowly and like John Wayne for the rest of the journey back to civilization.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:46 AM on January 15 [21 favorites]


My other worst decision was prunes.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 10:14 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


Oh, man... this topic...

*looks a little dizzy, sits down and shuts up for once*
posted by loquacious at 10:51 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: if I wake up the morning, I'll deal with it then.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:31 PM on January 15 [5 favorites]


The first week of my freshman year, someone on my floor turned 18, so we decided that the whole floor was going to go clubbing with her to celebrate. It was grossssssssssssssssssssssss. It was an 18 and up club in downtown St. Louis, people were smoking on the dance floor and sloppy drunk in the way only freshmen in their first week of college can be, and after one too many men grabbed my butt, I decided I was over it and I was ready to go home. But I didn't want to wait for a bus because I was pretty sure it was late enough that the buses weren't running, so I figured I'd find a cab. Then I looked at the street sign of the closest intersection, and realized the club was on Delmar. And hey - Wash U was also basically on Delmar! No problem, I'd just walk home. It couldn't be that far.

Not only was it that far, I was walking by myself along Delmar from what I now know was nearly the river, through downtown St. Louis, the entire length of Forest Park, and then up the Loop until I got to the street that lead to the main campus of Washington University. That route is not only 8 miles, it also cut through some very dangerous parts of town. Once I realized that maybe this wasn't the safest or smartest idea I'd ever had, I figured I was already well on my way, so I might as well finish it up. I was UNFAILINGLY friendly and polite to every single person I passed, because I figured that maybe if someone was thinking about murdering me or mugging me, they'd feel guilty if I had been really friendly beforehand.

It must have worked, because I made it back to my dorm, totally un-murdered, and I didn't have a hangover the next morning like literally the entire rest of my floor.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:27 PM on January 15 [11 favorites]


Home improvement edition: at our old house, about a third of our sizable back yard was made of these massive 3x3 cement pavers (it used to be a driveway for a garage that got turned into a den). They looked terrible, were all higgledy-piggledy, had about a 3 inch gap between them that let grass and weeds grow through, so I thought we should just DIY removing most of them and using the leftovers to create a nicer little patio, shoring up the slopiness and seating them much closer together. Each paver weighed well over 100 lbs. The project wound up taking two summers of blood, sweat and tears. The first summer, I herniated a disc (not with one of the pavers, but loading bags of leveling sand into my car). It looked fine in the end, not great but good enough, but my back has never been the same.

I-was-so-high Edition: combining strong acid and the IMAX at the Air and Space Museum can only be described as the best of times and the worst of times. Other highlights of that trip include a Chuck Close retrospective at the Hirschorn Gallery (Aaaaaaaaaa!!!) and randomly bumping into my then-boyfriend (now husband) who was visiting the museum with his very dignified older friend.

I also somehow seem to get myself into situations where I have given people the impression that I have skills that I do not have, and can't bring myself to disabuse them of their missaprehension. In college this resulted in me somehow getting a gig as a photographer for the school paper, back when this meant actual film and a dark room. I can develop film but I was not, like, good at it. Just going with the assumption that this was a thing I could do was a terrible, embarrassing decision.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:02 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


After a half hour or so with my hand in the sink and the bleeding not stopping, I finally make a decision. I will wrap up my hand with toilet paper and Scotch tape and if I wake up the morning, I'll deal with it then. So I went to bed.

This reminds me of a train of thought I've had, when I'm super tired late at night and I imagine if wolves were chasing me at that moment, I would probably just lie down and curl up or something. Because that's totally an answer when wolves are chasing you. I've also definitely gone to sleep in pain from one thing or another and thought, well, hopefully I won't wake up dead, but I'm not moving now. I'm glad you made it! Glad several people here made it, really.
posted by limeonaire at 8:57 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


It's not particularly epic, but the enjoyment to effort ratio of this one prank I played on my friend and former roommate still brings me joy. He was a lifelong Windows user who'd just gotten his first Mac laptop, and this was back when they all came with a remote and you could summon an Apple TV-like program called Front Row on the laptop, which would take over the entire screen, by pressing the Menu button on the remote.

So, anyway, the day it comes in the mail, he gets home from work, starts unpacking everything, and when he unsuspectingly tosses the remote aside is when I realize the opportunity at hand. I come in, bullshit with him for a little and "leave," and he gets to turning on the computer, making an account, and logging in. I'm lurking now behind the doorway to his room. The glory of pranking him in general is that he tends to react very bombastically, and I swear I played him here like a goddamn symphony: a few seconds of peace at first to feel in control, and then whoops! Front Row! What the hell? Anyway...what the fuck, Front Row?? That was strange. Alright, time to open a browser. Gonna log into my email, it's been a bit now since that happened, so I guess it was just a new computer fluke and– MOTHERFUCK!! And so on, with dips and troughs of tension like a virtuoso mixtape, until I finally couldn't laugh silently anymore at his vexation, and the jig was up. Again, small scale stuff, but it was such a perfect conjunction of information imbalance and malicious intent, like a small diamond unearthed from the rough of the larger wasteland of Being a Jerk to the People You Love.
posted by invitapriore at 9:59 PM on January 15 [8 favorites]


I hope you followed that up with the screen shot of the desktop maximized trick.
posted by bongo_x at 12:20 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


Blasdelb, I realize that must have been a horrible and traumatizing experience, but...YASSSSSSSSSS! THAT IS AWESOME!
posted by Literaryhero at 12:25 AM on January 16


Telling a tale on some college mates...

So, my sophomore year. Five guys sharing a suite in the dorms (I'll call them Ken, Don, Isaac, Scott and Carl). The suite had one big room that fit three people, one smaller room that fit two people, a single bedroom, a sort of closet-ish storage area where they hid the minifridge and microwave behind random storage things.

They were good friends, and they liked to have parties. Lots of parties. They would crank up the stereo one of the four brought in the big room, set the main bar in there, and that would be the main party room. The storage spot was where you'd find the "juice bar" for the people who didn't want to drink alcohol. The smaller bedroom was usually for those who wanted more chill conversation. They'd invite entire floors of people and all their friends - about 40 people crammed into a dorm room.

Well - once, before one of their parties they decided "hey, how about we all start drinking an hour before anyone shows up?" They figured that by the time people started showing they'd be all nice and loose and happy, they'd be starting to sober up by the time the partygoers were getting loose, and they'd be all sober when it came time to kick everyone out. Piece of cake!

....Except....they kind of overdid it.

I showed up a little later and eased my way into the chill-out room. The only place to sit was next to Ken, who was sitting on one of the beds and swaying gently back and forth with a goofy grin. "Hello Ken," I said, sitting down - and he turned to smile at me, and that's when I realized he was drunk off his ass. Then he flopped across my lap. ".....Hello Ken!" I said, somewhat surprised. Don pulled Ken off my lap and sent him away; he's the one who told me about their "let's drink before people get here" plan. He then excused himself to go keep a bit of an eye on Ken. I found one of the only two other non-drinkers there and told them what Don had just told me; we were good friends with the five of them, and had been to a lot of their parties and decided to keep a general eye on all of them.

About 20 minutes later, apparently Ken decided to run out of the room and sprint up and down the floor, bursting into random other people's rooms shouting "I'M MAKING FRIENDS!!!! I'M MAKING FRIENDS!!!" with Don in pursuit. Don managed to finally catch him and corall him back to our room, at which point Ken started to feel super-sick. Don brought him into the bathroom, barricaded them both inside and snarled at anyone who came to try to use the bathroom later that "we're a little busy."

A little bit after that, the crowd had thinned out in the chill room. I was sitting in a proper chair and talking with someone when Carl came in, wandered over towards me and sat plop down on my lap. "Hello Carl," I said, cheerfully. Carl just nodded.

"How are you, Carl?" This time Carl shook his head.

"....Are you okay, Carl?" Another head-shake.

"Do you feel sick, Carl?" A nod.

"Do you want me to help you to the bathroom, Carl?" A nod.

I eased him up gently and guided him to the bathroom. I pounded hard enough on the door that Don actually opened it, and as soon as he did I said "you have another patient," and pushed Carl inside.

Isaac later went to check on the bathroom - reportedly he saw Don standing in front of the toilet, holding Ken by the shirt collar in his left hand and Carl by the shirt collar in his right hand, switching off holding each one in front of the toilet as they puked in turns. That was when he kicked everyone out of the two-person chill room and turned that into the recovery room.

The party had started to thin out a bit. In the main room, the only host anyone saw was Scott - who became paranoid when he drank. He was the one who'd brought the stereo, and was paranoid about it being broken - so early on he'd found a spot on the floor directly in front of it, and was sitting there on the floor, glaring at everyone. Don finally brought Ken and Carl into the recovery room and stayed in there to tend them; Isaac joined him, but every so often would come out and apologize to everyone and say he'd be back out "in a few minutes." Then he'd disappear for another fifteen minutes or so.

Me and the other non-drinkers all looked at each other, and took over as party hosts for the rest of the night.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 AM on January 16 [5 favorites]


My stupidest decision EVER was the time a group of radical queer students were being threatened and so we all decided to gather at one house (safety in numbers) and someone had LSD and so a bunch of us who were terrified that we might be murdered by a bunch of Nazis (and also had notified the LAPD of this fact) got high as fuck, armed ourselves with table legs and decorative tomahawks and it didn't make the night any easier.

Second stupidest decision ever: I am not good with wheels under my feet (skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles, roller skates, etc) but I decided that I desperately needed some exercise and roller blades were new and I should try those out. I went and bought myself a pair. I proceeded to skate down the very short angled hill to the parking lot behind my apartment. I picked up some speed. I got very nervous. I went down. On the DO NOT BACK UP SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE spikes that were set in the parking lot. I impaled my thigh. After releasing said thigh from the spike, I removed my skates, walked back to my apartment got my keys, got into my car and started driving to the hospital when I realized I did not have enough gas to actually make it to the hospital. I stopped at my friend's (now husband's) apartment where he was stoned but willing to drive me to the ER, all the while screaming "Don't get blood on the upholstery!!!!" I ended up being able to return the roller blades for their full value since I didn't go more than a few yards in them, so there's that.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:35 AM on January 16 [7 favorites]


In high school, senior year, government class, we had to do a four person group paper. It was late in the term so we all had senioritis and none of us wanted to do it. One of our group was this jock/sleazebag kind of dude, and he said he knew a guy would write the paper for us, for $60. We all chipped in. That was the bad decision.

It felt really weird, too, like, "This is what happens in stories, not real life."

So the night before came, and we didn't have the paper yet. Now, I knew the guy the jock/sleazebag contacted to write the paper. He and another nerd had started an awful Objectivist 'zine at the school, using pseudonymous bylines from Atlas Shrugged. It was called the Eastonian. I wrote a parody of it called the East-Onan. We sneered at each other in the hallways. Anyway I knew this guy would love to take our money and laugh at us for being suckers when he gave us nothing in return. Maybe especially if he knew I was in the group.

I decided I'd write a backup paper by myself, just in case. Another girl from the group coincidentally called me that night and said she was worried, too, and she came over to help. The next day there was no paper from that dude, of course, so we turned in the one Lisa and I had written. As part of the handing-in process we also had to secretly grade our group mates. (I gave us all B's.)

It wasn't a very good paper, and it didn't earn us a very good grade. Whatever. The weird thing to me is that I got the lowest average group grade, and it was really low, like a D. I'll never understand that.
posted by fleacircus at 7:54 AM on January 16 [3 favorites]


Second stupidest decision ever: I am not good with wheels under my feet (skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles, roller skates, etc) but I decided that I desperately needed some exercise and roller blades were new and I should try those out.

I am relatively good on wheels, and my first time on rollerblades only went slightly better. I was good on quad skates, skateboards, scooters, bikes and figured rollerblades would be easy.

I'd borrowed a friend's pair of original hockey style skates with no stops, and I didn't realize I had no idea how to T-stop until about halfway down what was just a mild hill on a bridge over a flood control channel, but that didn't stop me from picking up a whole lot of speed aimed directly into 4 lanes of traffic at the end of the sidewalk.

Well, I tried to T-stop at the end of the sidewalk, and then I did that thing that almost everyone does their first time on skates or rollerblades and went straight into a high speed spin, helicoptering into the air, managing at least one full rotation before slamming back to the ground and knocking the wind out of me so hard I couldn't move for a good while.

I also took off the skates and walked back to my friends place in my socks, but I didn't end up needing an ER visit. I mean, if there was an ER for wounded pride I probably would have taken it, because ow.
posted by loquacious at 11:52 AM on January 16 [2 favorites]


I named my dog Jack and my last name is Goff.

And this is why dogs need middle names.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:06 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


So, my comment history is peppered with lots of really bad decision making especially of the physical comedy sort.

I have, oh, fallen out more than one tree on a bicycle. Because I tried riding a bicycle up into a tree, of course. I have fallen out of a number of trees at heights over 30-40 feet. I have gone freeclimbing at inadvisable heights, fallen, bounced off of rocks and somehow survived via what can only be described as cartoon physics. I have done really dumb things like jump on a skateboard while flying an 8 foot dual line stunt kite in 20+ mph winds, only to be saved and stopped by cartwheeling across iceplant and sand dunes. I have, uh, rolled down hills in barrels and tires. I have done belly flops into water from heights over 30 feet, on purpose. Because I'm an idiot.

People who do the kind of dumb crap I've done with my general lack of skill traditionally spend a lot of time in casts. I honestly have no idea how I haven't broken my fool neck - or any number of major limbs - short of stout genetics and dumb luck. I've never worn a cast. (I have broken a collarbone, which is horrible, but they can't put that in a cast.)

Heck, I used to be an avid skimboarder. Running head first into 8-10+ foot shorebreak surf at places like The Wedge used to be my favorite thing to do. Where most people saw "Oh fuck, that giant wave is going to slam me into the sand" I saw "WEEEEE LAUNCH RAMP!"

I've been airborne and upside down and ass over tea kettle so many times I might as well be an astronaut. A really, really dumb astronaut with insufficient Delta V.

If I had a time machine I could go film at least two Jackass movies or make a million bucks off of starting my own YouTube fail video channel.

And I don't do this kind of crap, now. I think the most adventurous/dumb thing I've done recently is biking around calmly in thin snow or trying to hike a cliffside beach during an unexpected high tide.

My latest dumb decision is that I apparently broke my finger a couple of weeks ago putting on my boots in a hurry. I've done this before - I mean, specifically spraining or even fracturing a finger by jamming my boots on in a hurry.But usually it just heals and goes away, but this time it isn't so I'm going to go get it X-rayed this afternoon.

Related to this I have broken all of my toes one or more times. The majority of the breaks have happened from dancing way too vigorously. Since I'm an idiot I've never gone to the hospital for any of these, and one time it took like 4 months to heal. I'm actually really surprised I haven't had more problems with my feet but as far as I can tell I have zero complaints at this point in time.

Anyway, wish me luck. I need to go put my boots on and get ready to go to see my doc.
posted by loquacious at 12:30 PM on January 16 [8 favorites]


The majority of the [toe] breaks have happened from dancing way too vigorously.

How "vigorously" does one have to dance to result in broken toes? Do you have a clumsy partner with cement feet? Is your partner a steel-shod horse? Do you favor a rock-kicking dance of some sort?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:53 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


How "vigorously" does one have to dance to result in broken toes?

So, I apparently can't partner dance to save my life, and I would recommend against it because it might be hazardous. I have done some contra and square dancing recently and managed to bumble through it, but it also left me totally dizzy and kind of sheepish in ways that solo dancing definitely do not.

Solo dancing I'm a frickin' maniac. I've had very, very old techno and househeads drop their jaws when I get moving, like "alright, who taught the big goofy metalhead-lookin' white boy to dance like that?"

No humble here, just plain bragging. I'm one of those people who can start and power up dance floors if I like the music. Like, there's a thing in house/techno dancing and culture where there's nerds like me that know what's up, and we might not be front and center, and DJs will recognize us and watch us for feedback on their mixes and tracks, because nerds like me are usually also DJs, too. Like, there's meaningful eye contact going on between good DJs and dancers that communicates things like "You like that? How about this?" and "Yeah, you like it when I do this with the high hat, I see you!"

So our dancing and reactions to the beat are really in tune and time with what the DJ is doing, and even predictive in the same way dancing to Jazz or Swing counts beats or vamps to know when there's going to be a bridge or break.

And things can get hectic, even stone cold sober. I used to go to a lot of house parties and clubs and get runners high just dancing and doing cardio for 5-6 hours solid in an overheated sweaty room full of other really good house dancers.

The first time I broke toes was actually dancing to ska, which shares dancing styles with reggae and dub and jump up and all that, it's not that far removed from house music. I over extended behind me and folded my toes too far, broke the three smallest on my left foot.

All other times have involved long deep house sessions or hardcore techno, just getting tired or distracted and rolling a toe or coming down the wrong way. With free form house/trance style dancing, after you limber up you can get into places, extensions and drops that are up there with advanced modern dance routines and efforts.

At a few outdoor parties I've danced fairly deep pits and holes into the ground in sand or loose dirt - like half a foot deep or more and a few feet wide - so kicking rocks is something that happens, but that's not what broke my toes. At outdoor parties you're usually wearing boots or good outdoor shoes for that kind of dancing and partying.

Actually, now that I'm really thinking about it and analyzing it, it's probably not just me being clumsy that's actually breaking my toes from dancing. If I had unbreakable toes the foot placement and actual physics of whatever dance move would have been ok and I would have pulled it off.

Cripes, this thread is distracting. I need to go get ready for my X-ray!

Also, I'm planning to go dance my face off later this week at a rare live techno/house show. Wish me luck.
posted by loquacious at 1:59 PM on January 16 [5 favorites]


Good grief luck!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:20 PM on January 16 [2 favorites]


I came to regret going out drinking in Potosi. High altitude turns a moderately big night out into the sort of hangover Kingsley Amis wrote about. Strangers on the street winced in sympathy when they saw me.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 4:25 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


This happened about thirty years ago, and I think it has only proven stupider as time progresses. This story is about how I almost got shot for taking a class in BASIC when I was in community college.

People say community college isn't like real college because you're living at home, and you're not really bonding with your fellow students because you don't spend as much time together. But what this dismissal seems to forget is you may be more likely to attend community college with your high school friends than if you immediately ran off to a four-year school. That's what happened to me. I went to community college with two of my besties from high school, who were also boyfriend and girlfriend. And we all did theater together, and forensics (which are these weird competitions where combatants fight with emoting or rhetoric, in formats you'd never encounter in real life) and even took a bunch of classes together.

So while there I took a BASIC class because it looked these computers we were hearing about were probably going to be a thing. Meanwhile, my friends and a few new ones from the college theater scene started playing this game called Assassin. The way it worked was everyone was secretly assigned a mark, which also meant someone was assigned you. Everyone had a (at the time) standard issue plunger gun with a rubber sucker on the end. The kind where if you actually hit someone on the surface of their eye with it, you'd want to be careful and not impulsive try to pop it off. That would likely take the eye and stem. Instead, you wanted to peel the sucker off the surface of the eye, leaving the eye in the socket of your very successful shot. Nice shootin', Tex!

So, to play this game everyone agrees to meet at a certain point to receive their assignments, usually distributed in sealed envelopes. Twelve hours after that the winnowing would begin. If you hit your target, even just grazed them, with your plunger, they're dead and you inherit their current target. This continues until there is only one. The Master Assassin.

So, not only don't these guns still exist because the plunger sucker had a rep for blinding people, they also don't exist because they were known for looking like modern guns. Usually matte black, not fake chrome like a cap gun, or some ridiculous dayglow color they were making lasers in. It was because they looked so real that we were naturally attracted to them. I preferred the plunger Luger while my gal pal and fellow BASIC coder Julie liked the plunger Glock.

As this was an elimination game, that meant the person making the assignments couldn't really participate. They would know who got who. But Julie thought she and I could take on the challenge of having a program do the assignments. It would print the assignments on bargraph paper with the assignments name on the bottom right corner, and their assassins name on the top left, far enough that you had to make a point of looking. We thought we could do all this so that everyone could play. No one had to be the master spy making the assignments, the computer could do it.

So we wrote the code, and it sorted the players, and looped and made matches with the remaining pool, and it printed, and it was great at doing it with a table, but we needed it to use a randomizing method to match players with each other, ensuring that no one got themselves and that the assignments would eventually tree into a single player. Everything worked, except the random part. We couldn't figure out how to randomize the selection from the remaining pool of assignments. Eventually, we pulled the last string in the buffer and applied a formula that would produce a number between zero and nine. We later learned that wasn't actually random but it produced results.
So all this work resulted in us being late for issuing the assignments. After we sealed the last envelope, we headed to first to a pay phone to start the assassin phone tree, and then to the car and off to the park district athletic center parking lot.

We arrived about 15 minutes after we started the phone chain, and typically after an hour most of the players were at the assignment point. So we figured they’d show, and we waited by ourselves in the lot, spinning our guns on our fingers and occasionally shooting at each other in the car, just for fun, like you do.
After twenty minutes waiting and before any of our friends met us at the rendezvous point, we were sitting in our car, spinning our guns, and planning strategies for surviving the impending massacre, when we notice several cop cars rushing into the lot, cherries a-blazin' and heading for our innocently parked Ford Escort. Are they coming for us? Can’t be? What’s behind us? What’s going on? The police cars circled our car with some of the drivers Tokyo drifting into position all around us. When the sixth cop car arrived and got into position around our car, a cop rolled down his window, stuck out a bullhorn, and demanded we drop our guns, put our hands behind our heads, and exit our car, which, after involuntarily urinating a wee bit, we both did.
“Step out of your car”

Yes, sir.

“Keep your hands on your head.”

They are.

“Kneel.

*thump*

“We will approach you. Don’t move and you might not die tonight.”

We were encircled by about thirty cops. It seems someone was heading back to their car and the saw a couple of kids brandishing guns in the parking lot. When they got home they immediately called the police to report what they were sure were gang members brandishing crime guns and laughing menacingly in their car.
So, we showed them our “weapons”, which they confiscated, and they repeatedly told us how lucky we were that they hadn’t shot us, let alone pressed charges against us for brandishing weapons and causing panic among the general population.

So they let us go and ultimately we both were kicked out of the Assassins Club, but we weren’t shot, we know a lot more about what random means and why it's difficult to truly achieve, and now they don’t sell toy guns that look a lot like real weapons so in the end, I suppose it's all good, right?
posted by Stanczyk at 4:27 PM on January 16 [9 favorites]


I think I would have just drawn the names out of a hat.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:24 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]

How "vigorously" does one have to dance to result in broken toes?
I snapped the hell out of my fifth metatarsal by dancing, solo.

From the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society:
There are 2 eponyms that are commonly used to describe fifth metatarsal fractures: dancers and Jones fractures. Dancer’s fractures typically occur with inversion injuries and involve the shaft of the metatarsal. Fractures in this location typically heal well treated non-operatively.
(I needed surgery. Let me tell you those screws make these New England winters fun and interesting.)
posted by cardioid at 6:38 PM on January 16


Seconding the fifth-metatarsal-bone-break-while-dancing. Basically you twist your ankle so hard and so far that one of the muscles cannot stretch any more and pulls the ball end of that particular bone apart.

In my case it was while dancing at New Year's Eve, at Best Bar In The World; one of the owners had started a kick line to "Come On Eileen" and....well, you know how it really speeds up in the middle?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 PM on January 16 [1 favorite]


So, like many college kids or twenty-somethings when I moved to Boston, I actually first moved into this big share house in Allston. The place was a pit, but it was dirt cheap and a friend was living there, so I shared a room with him at first. Anywhere around 9-12 people were in the top two floors of this big three-decker.

The similar share house across the street was full of hippies. This did not sit well with the goths and punks in our house. It especially did not sit well when they would all drop acid and set up amps and other noisemakers on the front porch or sometimes in the front yard. We'd yell at them. They would get louder. Repeat the cycle.

So, one time they were really fucked up and really loud. I had one of those old LL Bean wrist rockets and we all took turns shooting frozen food at them. There were some ancient frozen mini-eggrolls and pizza rolls that some previous resident had abandoned in the freezer. Amazingly, nobody had ever gotten stoned enough to eat them. Flying food just entertained them.

When we ran out of frozen food, there was a penny jar handy. So, I loaded up the slingshot with 4 or 5 pennies at a time and just started scattershot pelting them, or trying to. They obviously didn't fly very well and most were just hitting the siding on the house. This caused one of the guys to observe during a lull in the noise, "Whoa! The house is clicking." That really freaked them out because the couldn't see the pennies just heard the house making noise. So, they all bugged out and hid inside. Noisy hippie problem solved.

(I later wound up working with a couple of those guys and we all got to be friends and worked on weird music, zine, whatever crap.)
posted by Gotanda at 6:47 PM on January 16 [4 favorites]


The prizewinner in my family, however, is the time my mother planted new grass in Miracle Gro. After all, she had some bags left over, and she needed some more soil in that area, so why not? Let me tell you: anything planted in Miracle Gro will grow. That grass grew so fast that if you were away from it for a couple of hours, it would be visibly taller on your return. It had to be cut (with hand shears, no less) every day for several weeks.

When I was in college, I came home for a visit to discover that my parents' entire lawn was dead, along with about half of the next door neighbors'. "What's up, dad?" I asked. "You puttin' in a new lawn?"

My mom burst out laughing.

My dad decided to fertilize the lawn, and he had leftovers in his sprayer so he used it up on the neighbors' lawn.

Wrong bottle. It was Round Up.
posted by Orlop at 7:49 PM on January 16 [3 favorites]


I had no idea that dancing was so fraught with peril! #TIL
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:56 PM on January 16


How "vigorously" does one have to dance to result in broken toes?

Pogoing in flip-flops at a Guided by Voices reunion show, right up against the stage, could probably do it. I didn't break any toes, thankfully, but I did have trouble with swollen ankles and feet by the end of that night. That's the last time I took ibuprofen, which makes me feel strange and panicky (I know, that's weird). I also quit wearing flip-flops to shows after that experience.
posted by limeonaire at 10:14 PM on January 16


I was thoroughly not consulted on this bad decision, but this weekend my teammates and a larger number of other participants of the MIT Mystery Hunt decided that the solution, as it were, to a puzzle was to pee on it.

The puzzle was named (titles are often a clue) "You Know What's Missing" and consisted of the Hunt organizers providing the team with a urine sample cup and some sampling sticks. Several teams were able to squint at the dipsticks in good light and make out the writing on them. Some teams got the sticks to work properly in water or rice vinegar. But my team? My team held a heated discussion (which, again, I would like to emphacize I was absent from - I use these sticks at work and would have educated opinions, dammit) until one member decided to take the problem into his own, uh, hands, and left the room. He returned with a non-empty cup.

...The best part about this is really that the dipsticks (the physical ones, not my teammates) apparently malfunctioned or my team couldn't even use them properly, because there was no readable display. Logically, my team decided that the impatient member's pee was not concentrated and did their best to then determine which teammate was the least hydrated and to have him pee in the cup.

So. There's my story of a bad decision for the weekend.
posted by maryr at 10:57 AM on January 17 [8 favorites]


I was in Prague with my boyfriend (different boyfriend, same me). We were visiting the city in early spring and hoping to buy a Pav trailer to go with my Jawa motorcycle (as you can see, I had upgraded somewhat since my moped). We were staying on the terrain where the blocks of student flats were... tiny tiny one-room flats, that could be rented by tourists on a budget. And we were in a very good mood because we had found one of those trailers for sale, and had an appointment to go look at it in a suburban area that was off our map, the next morning. So we decided to celebrate.

We went to a student bar in the basement of one of the buildings. Everything was really cheap compared to what we were used to. So we splurged on tall glasses of rum and coke. That was a bad decision.
Then we met some Chzech students who wanted to hang out with us, which was fun, and they were giving rounds. Of course, it would have been rude to ask for the most expensive item on the price list (rum and coke). So we switched to beer. That was a worse decision.

Next morning, of course, we felt like death warmed over. Headaches, nausea, the works. But we knew we had to get ourselves in a functional state if we had any chance of buying that trailer. The patterns in the floor tiles in the long corridor twisted and turned before my eyes as I walked and walked towards the bathroom, to try and drink water and take a shower. Everybody knows that once you manage to do those things, the battle is half won.

Reader, we made it. We bought some yogurts in a nearby supermarket and managed to eat them AND keep them down; we drank lots of water. We got into our 2CV van, found the right suburb and street by sheer luck, and when we drove home that sweet little red trailer was in the back of the car and I still have that trailer, and the bike, to this day.

Not the boyfriend, though.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:39 AM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee's story about the TRUUUUCK reminds me of one of my favorite Bad Dad stories.

My 13-year-old son had fallen asleep in the car next to me when we were driving to a favorite Asian grocery store about a half hour away. As luck would have it we were behind one of those semi towtrucks that haul broken cabs. That's when inspiration hit. I started screaming, "Wrong Way! IT'S GOING THE WRONG WAY!" My kid woke to see what looked like a Kenworth pointed right at us on the highway and let loose a blood-curdling scream.

Yeah, sometimes it's fun being a dad, even if it means you'll eventually be responsible for hefty therapist payments.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:28 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


This thread just inspired me to skank around my living room. But I consider this a GOOD decision. (Partially because I did not break any toes.)
posted by susiswimmer at 5:45 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I just made a bad decision! And I am telling it here first because oh man am I embarrassed....

So you all know how I am suing Equifax right? Very exciting stuff. Well, it's been a tough year as many people know and I came out of the holiday season mostly unscathed but with a fearsome cold. I've been trying to manage some of my "AAAAA SO MUCH TO DO" anxiety which is mostly mental and not really based on actually having too much to do (though I do a lot, it's not SO much). Anyhow, one of the tricks has been to mostly do one thing at a time, worry about the NEXT thing after the current thing is over. So I pace myself, focus on doing one thing well, and then make reasonable judgments about how long the next thing will take, and handle it then. Don't do five things at once poorly and panicky.

All of this is to say that I had a talk I gave on Wednesday and my Equifax court date was Friday. I was going to give the talk, teach my night class, and then start writing my statement for court. I had all day on Thursday. Except when I finished writing my talk, and just before I gave it, I started fishing around in the paperwork folder to figure out what time I needed to be there and found that my court date was THAT DAY and in fact had been three hours ago. When I got the letter in October I had written down "19th" on the calendar and never really looked at it again. I lost by default. It was even a snowy day out and I wonder if their lawyer even made it.

I really can't express how disappointed I was. I am not avoidant. I am not afraid. I was really looking forward to my day in court. And more to the point I had enjoyed being a "You can do it!" sort of role model for other people as far as taking matters into their own hands, using the powers of civics for good, etc. It's not like I needed the money I hoped to get from Equifax, but I really do believe in my heart of hearts that they were wrong and should be held accountable. And I fucked up my little part because I am an absentminded adjunct professor who is trying to get a handle on her anxiety and live in the moment a little more than usual. It feels good to write it down.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:32 AM on January 18 [16 favorites]


Oh, jessamyn. My heart goes out to you. Everybody needs a hug, indeed.
posted by BrashTech at 6:43 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


(Jessamyn, in my line of work if someone misses their hearing date they can petition to have another hearing date set. Worth looking into. )
posted by vignettist at 8:42 PM on January 18 [2 favorites]


I am avoidant and afraid and still feel the pain of that type of forgetting. I hope you still get some comeuppance, jessamyn.
posted by invitapriore at 10:17 PM on January 18


vignettist, thank you! I called the court again (I had called Weds, left a message and no one called me back) and they said "Oh yeah you can just file a motion to reopen" so the game is still on. My god has this been a weird 48 hours.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:41 AM on January 19 [16 favorites]


I made a bad decision just last night.

My husband and I are playing a joint game of Civilization. At our normal bedtime he said “I’m going to bed” and I said “I’ll just stay up and play another couple of turns.”

I stayed up for another four and a half hours and by the time I went to bed I was so cold from being awake in my house at nighttime furnace temperatures that I shivered violently in bed for another hour and now I feel like poop on toast.
posted by KathrynT at 9:13 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


I need to organize my thoughts enough to contribute here, but a summary of my life starts with the fact that my nickname among friends is Chaos Magnet and will probably end with a headstone reading SCRUMP: 1972-<YEAR> // IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME.
posted by scrump at 5:34 AM on January 20 [4 favorites]


I was volunteering with a local pet shelter. They had a “buy a brick” fundraiser going on, and I was tasked with proofreading the forms so we’d get the right info etched on the bricks. All was going well until I got a form that read, “To the memory of Mr. Barksdale, 1934-2007.” I’m like, well, THAT can’t be right, because “Mr. Barksdale” was immediately in my mind a Scottie dog, you know, a dog that might wear a tam-o-shanter of an evening. So I called to double-check the dates, and when the lady confirmed that they were correct, my brain just could NOT switch gears, so I’m thinking, gosh, what else lives that long? Maybe a parrot? A TORTOISE?! And I said, “What WAS he?!” and in the iciest tone I have ever experienced, she replied, “He. Was. A. Person.” At which point I get the giggles so badly, I mean, of course he was! I’m such a ninny! Good heavens! I am trying to pull it together, but every time I thought “Mr. Barksdale!” I lost it a little more. She finally hangs up on my dumb ass as I’m still trying desperately to apologize through gales of laughter. I am no longer on the volunteer board of our animal shelter : /

If only she had put the poor man’s first name on the form. But “Mr. Barksdale” is just the perfect name for a little dog that someone cared enough about to inscribe a tiny monument to.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:12 PM on January 21 [34 favorites]


thebrokedown—this gave me my first “out loud” laugh of the day!
posted by bookmammal at 2:26 PM on January 21


He. Was. A. Person.

Continuing to laugh at this,
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:20 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I can totally see thinking that "Mr Barksdale" was a dog. Also, that is hilarious. (Jessa Nicholson Goetz, a criminal defense attorney who co-hosts the "Getting Off" podcast has dogs named "Alibi" and "Avon Barksdale")

My bad-but-nearly-really-bad decision the other day was trying to take a shower while I was afflicted by this cold I'm just getting over, which is totally the worst cold I've had in well over half a decade and probably longer. I got into the shower and it was good and then a combination of general fatigue, lightheadedness, and all my little blood vessels expanding because WARM WATER... those factors all combined and suddenly when I was half rinsed off my bp cratered and things started turning grey and I had to stop the shower and lay down for a while in the tub until I felt better. Then I could stand up, start the shower again, and finish up. (bad decision was taking the shower then, but pausing when I did kept it from being a really bad decision.)
posted by rmd1023 at 7:29 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


When I was but a young'un my understanding of male anatomy was from cartoons and kid-friendly shows on the teevee. That is, all I knew of it was that if you hit a man between the legs his voice went all high and squeaky and fun times were had by all.

One day my little brother was crawling under the futon to get the cat. Only his upper body was under there. I thought this was a great time to imitate the television and punched him as hard as I could in the crotch.

Anyway, fun times were not had by all--or anyone. The poor kid was in elementary school. He's fine, but I learned a lesson that day about trusting the television to accurately reflect how bodies work.
posted by schroedinger at 8:12 PM on January 21 [3 favorites]


I named my dog Jack and my last name is Goff.

And this is why dogs need middle names.


And the obvious middle name is Mi.

I'll take an aisle seat
posted by pjern at 5:43 AM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Oh god, I just read the Mr. Barksdale story and burst out laughing. I'm still laughing.

HE

WAS

A

PERSON
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:41 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


The first time my wife and I watched The Wire, out of nowhere somewhere in the third season I said, "Avon Barksdale is a great name for a dog." My wife immediately countered, "Well, you couldn't just have one, you'd have to have a Stringer Bell too." And that is why our dogs are named Stinger and Avon. Not everyone gets it, but the ones who do become fast friends.

I seem to recall someone else here on the blue has a dog named Kimya, with I also think is awesome.

All this is to say Mr. Barksdale is totally a dog name, and my apologies to that family, but it was a memorial at a place that worked with dogs and THEY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THERE COULD BE ISSUES!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:46 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


"I'll have you know my great-great-grandfather Colonel Whiskers was a decorated Civil War hero!'
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:17 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


The day after I graduated high school, I went skateboarding again for the first time in years on a borrowed board, got way too aggressive in the back of an industrial park going down and up loading docks, fell and shattered my ankle in a trimalleolar fracture. Friends and I were trespassing so instead of calling the ambulance, they drove me to the ER in New Haven. All the attendant medical messiness of setting, surgeries, and hospital stays might make you think that was the poor decision, but I then went one stupider. That was just regular teenage kid stupid. Shred 'til yr dead!

The next decision that took it into more creatively stupid territory was after a couple of checkups at the orthopedist we were well into summer. I was semi-mobile again and extremely bored. I managed to get myself down to the basement to retrieve a can of metallic blue spray paint and make my fiberglass cast super shiny.

I did not realize that those casts are actually meant to breathe a bit. So, I spent the next 3 or 4 weeks in the summer heat while the doc was on vacation etc. letting my lower leg and foot marinate in their own juices as the paint sealed the pores. I turned up in late August at the doctor's office and he flipped out. He was right. There had been some minor funk leaking out of the cast, but I have never smelled anything so horrendous as when they cut it off and exposed my shriveled leg covered in skin that was fully infused with nastiness.


(End, result. 35 years later I can walk. Limp sometimes. Much better outcome than predicted. The doc still asks after me once in a while. I guess I made an impression.)

posted by Gotanda at 9:20 PM on January 26 [2 favorites]


Back in the 80's my friend Mike showed up at our place one Saturday mid-morning, asked all the roommates if they knew anyone who lived at XX Garrison Road. We all said "no". He looked a little panicked, shook his head and said "neither do I".

Turns out Mike had gotten very drunk Friday night and while attempting to make his way home, walked in through the front door of the home at XX Garrison Road - after all the members of the family there were fast asleep - crashed on the living room couch, then woke up in the morning before anyone else was awake and realized he wasn't in any home he was familiar with and got out of there.

That could have gone VERY badly.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 4:27 PM on January 27 [2 favorites]


Zadcat, that same sister set the kitchen on fire trying to make French fries. I was at work at the drug store when the neighborhood kids rushed in to tell me the fire trucks were at our house. Our parents were out of town; that was a fun phone call.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 7:12 PM on January 27 [1 favorite]


1998. Talking to my then-LDR girlfriend on the phone. She suggested I add stuff to my ramen noodles, like, maybe a couple cloves of garlic.

I tried it out. Man, this is flavorful. I'll do this again sometime.

A couple months later, after she'd traveled from Chattanooga to Austin and moved in with me, I went to make the ramen again.. She stopped me at one point. "Wait, I said two cloves.. you just put two bulbs in..."

Cue hysterical laughter from her for about fifteen minutes. She kissed me anyway.

(three years later we were married; eleven years later she passed away suddenly)
posted by mrbill at 10:44 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Zadcat - you've reminded me of a mystery a college friend shared which I've wondered about for years: she said that once when the family went on an evening outing, one of her sisters stayed home as she had to bake a cake. When the rest of the family returned, they found her sister kneeling in front of the oven, scraping burnt cake off the entire inside surface of the oven. When pressed for details, all she said was that the cake had "exploded" and that "I don't want to talk about it."

I want to know what the hell happened.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]


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