We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What’s your good/awkward/funny story you’ve always wanted to share? We got many interesting response. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published.
1-5 Good/Awkward/Funny Stories
01. (**ADMIN NOTE*** This is a long one, but make sure you read this one. Also WARNING “This is Bad”)
OR Nurse here. This is kind of a long one…
I was taking call one night, and woke up at two in the morning for a “general surgery” call. Pretty vague, but at the time, I lived in a town that had large populations of young military guys and avid meth users, so late-night emergencies were common.
Got to the hospital, where a few more details awaited me — “Perirectal abscess.” For the uninitiated, this means that somewhere in the immediate vicinity of the assh*le, there was a pocket of pus that needed draining. Needless to say our entire crew was less than thrilled. I went down to the Emergency Room to transport the patient, and the only thing the ER nurse said as she handed me the chart was “Have fun with this one.” Amongst healthcare professionals, vague statements like that are a bad sign.
My patient was a 314 lb Native American woman who barely fit on the stretcher I was transporting her on. She was rolling frantically side to side and moaning in pain, pulling at her clothes and muttering Hail Mary’s. I could barely get her name out of her after a few minutes of questioning, so after I confirmed her identity and what we were working on, I figured it was best just to get her to the anesthesiologist so we could knock her out and get this circus started.
She continued her theatrics the entire ten-minute ride to the O.R., nearly falling off the surgical table as we were trying to put her under anesthetic. We see patients like this a lot, though, chronic drug abusers who don’t handle pain well and who have used so many drugs that even increased levels of pain medication don’t touch simply because of high tolerance levels.
It should be noted, tonight’s surgical team was not exactly wet behind the ears. I’d been working in healthcare for several years already, mostly psych and medical settings. I’ve watched an 88-year-old man tear a 1″-diameter catheter balloon out of his penis while screaming “You’ll never make me talk!”. I’ve been attacked by an HIV-positive neo-Nazi. I’ve seen some sh*t. The other nurse had been in the OR as a trauma specialist for over 10 years; the anesthesiologist had done residency at a Level 1 trauma center, or as we call them, “Knife and Gun Clubs”. The surgeon was ex-Army, and averaged about eight words and two facial expressions a week. None of us expected what was about to happen next.
We got the lady off to sleep, put her into the stirrups, and I began washing off the rectal area. It was red and inflamed, a little bit of pus was seeping through, but it was all pretty standard. Her chart had noted that she’d been injecting IV drugs through her perineum, so this was obviously an infection from dirty needles or bad drugs, but overall, it didn’t seem to warrant her repeated cries of “Oh Jesus, kill me now.”
The surgeon steps up with a scalpel, sinks just the tip in, and at the exact same moment, the patient had a muscle twitch in her diaphragm, and just like that, all hell broke loose. Unbeknownst to us, the infection had actually tunneled nearly a foot into her abdomen, creating a vast cavern full of pus, rotten tissue, and fecal matter that had seeped outside of her colon. This godforsaken mixture came rocketing out of that little incision like we were recreating the funeral scene from Jane Austen’s “Mafia!”
We all wear waterproof gowns, face masks, gloves, hats, the works — all of which were as helpful was rainboots against a firehose. The bed was in the middle of the room, an easy seven feet from the nearest wall, but by the time we were done, I was still finding bits of rotten flesh pasted against the back wall. As the surgeon continued to advance his blade, the torrent just continued. The patient kept seizing against the ventilator (not uncommon in surgery), and with every muscle contraction, she shot more of this brackish gray-brown fluid out onto the floor until, within minutes, it was seeping into the other nurse’s shoes.
I was nearly twelve feet away, jaw dropped open within my surgical mask, watching the second nurse dry-heaving and the surgeon standing on tip-toes to keep this stuff from soaking his socks any further. The smell hit them first. “Oh god, I just threw up in my mask!” The other nurse was out, she tore off her mask and sprinted out of the room, shoulders still heaving. Then it hit me, mouth still wide open, not able to believe the volume of fluid this woman’s body contained. It was like getting a great big bite of the despair and apathy that permeated this woman’s life. I couldn’t fu*king breath, my lungs simply refused to pull anymore of that stuff in. The anesthesiologist went down next, an ex-NCAA D1 tailback, his six-foot-two frame shaking as he threw open the door to the OR suite in an attempt to get more air in, letting me glimpse the second nurse still throwing up in the sinks outside the door. Another geyser of pus splashed across the front of the surgeon. The YouTube clip of “David at the dentist” keeps playing in my head — “Is this real life?”
In all operating rooms, everywhere in the world, regardless of socialized or privatized, secular or religious, big or small, there is one thing the same: Somewhere, there is a bottle of peppermint concentrate. Everyone in the department knows where it is, everyone knows what it is for, and everyone prays to their gods they never have to use it. In times like this, we rub it on the inside of our masks to keep the outside smells at bay long enough to finish the procedure and shower off.
I sprinted to the our central supply, ripping open the drawer where this vial of ambrosia was kept, and was greeted by — an empty fu*king box. The bottle had been emptied and not replaced. Somewhere out there was a godless bastard who had used the last of the peppermint oil, and not replaced a single drop of it. To this day, if I figure out who it was, I’ll kill them with my bare hands, but not before cramming their head up the colon of every last meth user I can find, just so we’re even.
I darted back into the room with the next best thing I can find — a vial of Mastisol, which is an adhesive rub we use sometimes for bandaging. It’s not as good as peppermint, but considering that over one-third of the floor was now thoroughly coated in what could easily be mistaken for a combination of bovine after-birth and maple syrup, we were out of options.
I started rubbing as much of the Mastisol as I could get on the inside of my mask, just glad to be smelling anything except whatever slimy demon spawn we’d just cut out of this woman. The anesthesiologist grabbed the vial next, dowsing the front of his mask in it so he could stand next to his machines long enough to make sure this woman didn’t die on the table. It wasn’t until later that we realized that Mastisol can give you a mild high from huffing it like this, but in retrospect, that’s probably what got us through.
By this time, the smell had permeated out of our OR suite, and down the forty-foot hallway to the front desk, where the other nurse still sat, eyes bloodshot and watery, clenching her stomach desperately. Our suite looked like the underground river of ooze from Ghostbusters II, except dirty. Oh so dirty.
I stepped back into the OR suite, not wanting to leave the surgeon by himself in case he genuinely needed help. It was like one of those overly-artistic representations of a zombie apocalypse you see on fan-forums. Here’s this one guy, in blue surgical garb, standing nearly ankle deep in lumps of dead tissue, fecal matter, and several liters of syrupy infection. He was performing surgery in the swamps of Dagobah, except the swamps had just come out of this woman’s a*s and there was no Yoda. He and I didn’t say a word for the next 10 minutes as he scraped the inside of the abscess until all the dead tissue was out, the front of his gown a gruesome mixture of brown and red, his eyes squinted against the stinging vapors originating directly in front of him. I finished my required paperwork as quickly as I could, helped him stuff the recently-vacated opening full of gauze, taped this woman’s buttocks closed to hold the dressing for as long as possible, woke her up, and immediately shipped off to the recovery ward.
Until then, I’d only heard of “alcohol showers.” Turns out 70% isopropyl alcohol is about the only thing that can even touch a scent like that once its soaked into your skin. It takes four or five bottles to get really clean, but it’s worth it. It’s probably the only scenario I can honestly endorse drinking a little of it, too. As we left the locker room, the surgeon and I looked at each other, and he said the only negative sentence I heard him utter in two and a half years of working together:
“That was bad.”
The next morning the entire department (a fairly large floor within the hospital) still smelled. The housekeepers told me later that it took them nearly an hour to suction up all of the fluid and debris left behind. The OR suite itself was closed off and quarantined for two more days just to let the smell finally clear out. I laugh now when I hear new recruits to healthcare talk about the worst thing they’ve seen. You ain’t seen sh*t, kid.
02. I was once on a US military ship, having breakfast in the wardroom (officers lounge) when the Operations Officer (OPS) walks in. This guy was the definition of NOT a morning person; he’s still half asleep, bleary eyed… basically a zombie with a bagel. He sits down across from me to eat his bagel and is just barely conscious. My back is to the outboard side of the ship, and the morning sun is blazing in one of the portholes putting a big bright circle of light right on his barely conscious face. He’s squinting and chewing and basically just remembering how to be alive for today. It’s painful to watch.
But then zombie-OPS stops chewing, slowly picks up the phone, and dials the bridge. In his well-known I’m-still-totally-asleep voice, he says “heeeey. It’s OPS. Could you… shift our barpat… yeah, one six five. Thanks.” And puts the phone down. And then he just sits there. Squinting. Waiting.
And then, ever so slowly, I realize that that big blazing spot of sun has begun to slide off the zombie’s face and onto the wall behind him. After a moment it clears his face and he blinks slowly a few times and the brilliant beauty of what I’ve just witnessed begins to overwhelm me. By ordering the bridge to adjust the ship’s back-and-forth patrol by about 15 degrees, he’s changed our course just enough to reposition the sun off of his face. He’s literally just redirected thousands of tons of steel and hundreds of people so that he could get the sun out of his eyes while he eats his bagel. I am in awe.
He slowly picks up his bagel and for a moment I’m terrified at the thought that his own genius may escape him, that he may never appreciate the epic brilliance of his laziness (since he’s not going to wake up for another hour). But between his next bites he pauses, looks at me, and gives me the faintest, sly grin, before returning to gnaw slowly on his zombie bagel.
03. My friend was sleeping over at my house. My parents and brother were all sleeping upstairs while we were downstairs watching tv and playing video games. At around 1 am he asks if this girl can come over (he REALLY wants to get with this girl, and I don’t want to turn him down so I reluctantly agree, on the condition that she’s quiet). The three of us are hanging out and I make some excuse to leave the room so my friend can have some alone time with this girl. I’m upstairs in my room when I start hearing loud moans. This is bad news for me, but great news for my friend, he’s losing his virginity to a girl he really likes. I hear stirring in the next room and I know that their bout of loud lovemaking has woken my parents. The last thing I want is for my confused father to walk in on my friend and his girlfriend in my basement. What do I do? I go to pornhub, click on the first video I see, crank the volume to 100 on my speakers and let it play for the ~three minutes that my buddy ended up lasting. My dad ended up coming into my room, discovering the source of the noise (I even threw in some motion under the covers) and awkwardly leaving. My buddy ended up having “the best time ever” but Jesus there were some awkward glances exchanged between my parents and I the next morning.
04. Not me, but an old friend of mine. Really quiet, soft-spoken, polite guy. A total gentleman and a graduate student in the liberal arts. Also, pretty inexperienced, tentative, and vanilla sexually.
He’s dating this really cool girl for maybe two months. She is much kinkier in bed. She floats the idea of dirty talk, and apparently likes to be objectified, even demeaned a bit, from time to time. He’s hesitant, but wants to please her and doesn’t dismiss the idea outright. Changes the subject and figures that they’ll revisit the idea another time.
Anyway…they have sex a few days later for the first time since the conversation. Really going at it, and she tells him to talk dirty to her. He says that he can’t think of anything to say, so he says nothing, and she then repeats the request, but the second time she is not requesting, but demanding it.
He comes up with: “Yeah…you like that, you fu*king retard?” He’s never struck me as one for embellishment, so I believe him. He said that was it for sex that night, although they are still together two years on now.
05. I just can’t get the hints from girls. I have some stories.
- I worked the overnight shift at a hotel one summer. Worked with a gorgeous blonde. One Friday night, I came in as her shift was ending. “Your backup called in sick, so you’ll be here by yourself,” she said. “Okay,” I replied. “Would you like me to stick around for a couple of hours? I hate to leave you all alone on a weekend night.” “No, that’s fine!” This went back and forth a few times, and then she gave me a big smile. “John, I don’t think you understand. I really want to stay.” I smiled. “Okay, thanks!” Then I went and balanced the credit card receipts.
- A girl once shyly approached me at a friend’s house and said, “So, I think I need to learn how to give bl*wjobs. I think I might just, you know, ask a male friend to be a, you know, a test subject. And give me feedback.” I said, “Huh, okay,” and then I played Settlers of Catan for four hours.
- During a College Bowl tournament, I once opened a storage closet out of curiosity and a girl followed me in, grinning. “Look at the size of this thing! I can’t believe we’re in this room every week and never noticed it!” She nodded enthusiastically and said “I know! This place is bigger than my bedroom!” She sat down, smiling. “Quieter, too.” My response: “Yeah, these dividing walls are surprisingly thick.” I then walked out of the closet and pounded on the wall. I poked my head in. “Could you hear that? Ha! Well, I’m getting a Diet Coke.”
- Girl kisses me in the dark in her bedroom at her birthday party. “You should leave before we do something stupid,” she whispers. I nod and leave.
- Girl invites me out on a date, pays for my dinner, takes me back to her place. We talk for a long while, I make her laugh with a hilarious story and cry with a sad one. We chat for a bit, she leans in on the couch. Suddenly, I snap upright. “Hey! The Jerry Springer Show!” (TV was on in the background.) “I’ve never seen this! Is it is bad as I hear?” I watch the Jerry Springer Show for thirty minutes while she changes into her pajamas and then she asks me to leave.
- Girl grabs my arm as I walk past her table at the bar. “Hey!” she laughs. “Remember when you offered to buy my friend a drink?” The other girl is giggling and blushing furiously. I look at the girl who grabbed my arm. She makes “go get her” motions with her eyes. I smile. “I’m sorry,” I say, “you must have mistaken me for someone else.”
- Girl at bar looks over smiling at me. I smile back. She later takes a table near me and my friends. She walks over and says, “You’re gonna come over and talk to me later, right?” I say, “Sure!” About twenty minutes later, I walk over to say hello. She grabs my hand and completely shuts down some other guy who was hitting on her. I was so distracted by that, watching that guy slink off, that I excused myself quickly when my friends left the bar. When I caught up with them a half-block away, they just stopped and stared. “Are you fu*king kidding me, John?” one said.
- Girl came up while I was playing pool by myself. We played pool together for a couple of hours, talking, laughing. She smiles and says “I’m out of quarters. Hey, I live three blocks from here. Want to come over?” I say, “Sorry, I live the other way. It was great meeting you!”
6-10 Good/Awkward/Funny Stories
06. When I was young my father said to me: “Knowledge is Power….Francis Bacon”
I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon.”
For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two? If I said the quote to someone, “Knowledge is power, France is Bacon” they nodded knowingly. Or someone might say, “Knowledge is power” and I’d finish the quote “France is Bacon” and they wouldn’t look at me like I’d said something very odd but thoughtfully agree. I did ask a teacher what did “Knowledge is power, France is bacon” mean and got a full 10 minute explanation of the Knowledge is power bit but nothing on “France is bacon”. When I prompted further explanation by saying “France is Bacon?” in a questioning tone I just got a “yes”. At 12 I didn’t have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I’d never understand.
It wasn’t until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped.
07. (**ADMIN NOTE*** This is a bad one)
Nothing tops the Jolly Rancher story. Steve and his girlfriend Samantha went off to college in August. She went to Florida State, he went to Penn. So, she decides to fly to PA to visit him. He was really happy to see her so he decided to give her some oral action.
He had done this numerous times before and he always enjoyed doing it…but for some reason, this time, she smelled really horrible, and she tasted even worse. He didn’t want to offend her though because he hadn’t seen her in months…so he put a Jolly Rancher in his mouth to cover it up, even though it didn’t do much to help. In the course of eating her out, he accidentally pushed the candy inside of her and stuck a finger in to grab it out. He took it out, and put it back into his mouth and bit it. Only, it wasn’t the Jolly Rancher. It was a nodule of gonorrhea.
As in, the blister-like structure that gonorrhea makes filled with diseased pus was the size of a fu*king Jolly Rancher and the poor guy BIT it. I guess it was really dark in the room. He freaked out and started vomiting all over the place when it exploded in his mouth. He demanded to know what was going on. Turns out she had cheated on him at a club like, the first week of college, and fu*ked some random guy and she had no clue what was wrong with her. She noticed a strange smell though.
So now, Steve is freaking out that he now has gonorrhea of the mouth and God knows what else.
08. I was day tripping to Vancouver from Seattle and stopped in for lunch at a little cafe. From my window I saw a young teenage girl out in the cold, squatted down in a closed up businesses doorway, holding a small bundle in her arms. She was panhandling, people were mostly walking by ignoring her. She looked just broken.
I finished up my meal and went outside, went through my wallet and thought I’d give her $5 for some food. I got up to her and she was sobbing, she looked like she was 14-15. And that bundle in her arms was a baby wrapped up. I felt like I just got punched in the chest. She looked up putting on a game face and asked for any change, I asked her if she’d like some lunch. Right next door was a small quick-Trip type grocery store, I got a can of formula for the baby (very young, maybe 2-3 months old.), and took her back to the cafe though I’d just eaten. She was very thankful, got a burger and just inhaled it. Got her some pie and ice cream. She opened up and we talked. She was 15, got pregnant, parents were angry and she was fighting with them. She ran away. She’s been gone almost 1 full year.
I asked her if she’d like to go home and she got silent. I coaxed her, she said her parents wouldn’t want her back. I coaxed further, she admitted she stole 5k in cash from her Dad. Turns out 5k doesn’t last long at all and the streets are tough on a 15 year old. Very tough. She did want to go back, but she was afraid no one wanted her back after what she did. We talked more, I wanted her to use my phone to call home but she wouldn’t. I told her I’d call and see if her folks wanted to talk to her, she hesitated and gave bad excuses but eventually agreed. She dialed the number and I took the phone, her Mom picked up and I said hello. Awkwardly introduced myself and said her daughter would like to speak to her, silence, and I heard crying. I gave the phone to the girl and she was just quiet listening to her Mom cry, and then said hello and she cried. They talked, she gave the phone back to me, I talked to her Mom some more.
I drove her down to the bus station and bought her a bus ticket home. Gave her $100 cash for incidentals, and some formula, diapers, wipes, snacks for the road. Got to the bus, and she just cried saying thank you over and over. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and a hug, kissed her baby, and she got on the bus.
I get a Christmas card every year from her. She’s 21 now and in college. Her name is Makayla and her baby was Joe.
I’ve never really told anyone about this. I just feel good knowing I did something good in this world. Maybe it’ll make up for the things I’ve f-ed up.
09. A little background about me. I’m young (mid 20’s), I’m a guy, I’m white, and I’m a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan (American football). For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sport, the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys have a huge rivalry that has existed for years. Here’s where I fu*k up.
So I’m at work (fast food), this day I had decided to wear my favorite Eagles shirt underneath of my uniform because why not. An older black guy walks into the store wearing a Cowboys hat, t-shirt, lanyard, and jacket. Upon seeing him most of my co-workers greeted him with a smile and a hello. I on the other hand, without thinking, greeted this 60-year-old black guy with a “we don’t serve your kind here”. It instantly registered to me what I had said when all my co-workers looked at me in disbelief. I also realized that this poor guest couldn’t see my t-shirt under my uniform. I instantly began apologizing and explaining. I took my uniform shirt off, showed him my phone background, my credit card, literally anything I could to show him I was trying to make a sports joke and not being a racist little sh*t.
After about 30 seconds of me explaining he started laughing so hard I thought he was gonna piss himself. Then he told me not worry about, and that he understood. I gave him his food for free. Then the manager wanted to have a little chit-chat. I wasn’t fired but I was yelled at pretty well. So that’s the story of how sports made me look racist.
10. Our toilet broke so I was in shopping for new ones and the sales person joked (no doubt for the millionth time) that I’ll want one that automatically puts the seat down after I’m finished with it. I ‘joked’ back and said if I didn’t have a wife I could save money and not buy one with a seat and I’d never have to hear women complaining about putting it down again. To which he gave me a strange look and said “but what about when you need to poop?”. I naturally pointed out that I’m a guy and therefore don’t put the seat down, I sit on the rim of the bowl. Several embarrassing moments later, I realize that I’ve misunderstood my entire life and that guys do indeed use the toilet seat. I left empty handed and red faced.
Thinking about it now, it makes sense. Especially how men’s restrooms have seats. But I just assumed it was a unisex/cost saving/oversight deal.