It’s fairly easy to get from one end of your day to the other without encountering any major disasters. You might occasionally forget your keys or drop your phone, but the majority of the time you end up tucked up in bed at the end of the day, with nothing having gone seriously wrong. Life, however, is also full of huge, unexpected moments that can change the trajectory of your story forever.
If you’re really lucky, you can end up narrowly avoiding the tragic or massive events that could have changed your whole life in a single moment. Whether it’s being seconds away from a serious accident, getting a weird feeling about a job and quitting on the spot, or just having the courage to exit a relationship that was going sour – there are moments that hinge on the tiny split-second decisions you make. From the hilarious to the scary to the downright weird, here are the biggest dodged bullets the people of Reddit have ever experienced.
1. Cashing a rain check
A friend had lost his job under suspicious circumstances. A few weeks later he asked me to take him to the bank, as I got near to pick him up I caught a train. He called to say never mind he would get someone else. A few days later a friend sent out a message to a large number of our friends, this guy lost his job and was running a check-cashing con.
“Can you cash this cheque for me? I’ll pay you $50 if you do.” The cheque is $500, he has no backing funds, you eat the whole amount. He did this to several friends in a few days to amass a few grand and was about to skip town when the cops got him. Pretty desperate!
2. Cleaning house
When my great aunt passed away I was helping to clean out her house. I’m just dragging everything out of the basement and suddenly my dad is like, “Whoa! Put that down gently and let’s move away from here.” So I put the weird metal tube-type thing I’m carrying down and get out of there.
Turns out it’s a mortar shell from when my aunt worked in a munitions factory during WWII. The bomb squad came and took it away. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out what might have happened had I continued dragging that thing around. Hardly bears thinking about!
There was a pile of stuff that people would leave at our house when I was at university, coats and stuff. Moving out day and we found a random samurai sword in the pile. We were messing about with it trying to make it do that cool swooshing noise that swords do.
I was stood facing my brother while he was swooshing it when the blade dislodged from the handle, flew straight past me and stuck horizontally into my headboard. So yeah my brother nearly impaled me while messing around with a random sword we found after a house party.
4. An easy season
Last year I was cut from the AA hockey team that I usually played on every year because of a scheduling mishap with my lacrosse teams tournament, so I ended up playing A that year. That year a girl gave almost everyone the flu, they didn’t make it to provincials, cities or even make it past semis in a tournament.
Also, the 3 imports (really good players from different leagues invited to play) made everyone on the team’s season hell because of their entitled attitude and costing games by taking stupid penalties. While I had a fun team experience with a group of great girls.
5. A weekday wake-up call
Freshman year of college I had a calc class. It was material I had learned before, but for various reasons, they didn’t give me transfer credit. So I skipped class quite frequently. Though I usually slept in, one morning I find myself awake at 8:30 and not really feeling like sleep. Might as well check in on the class and see what’s going on. It was the midterm exam.
6. A good day for a holiday
I was in PA for a week during late August with my boyfriend and his family, on the last day of the trip I got a call from my best friend. I answered the phone to hear her panicking and slightly crying, she asked me where I was I told her I was in PA and asked why? She let out a huge sigh of relief still confused I asked her what happened?
She told me that she and her dad were driving by when they saw police tape around my job. I then call my manager and asked what happened at the store, she told me we got robbed at gunpoint. Thankfully nobody was hurt. I was supposed to be scheduled that day it happened if I hadn’t taken a week off from work.
7. Saving for a rainy day
The company I worked for ten years went through a management restructuring. My position was eliminated, and I was offered either a different management position at the same salary or a severance package. I wanted to remain at the company, and I had absolutely no other job prospects lined up as this restructuring came out of the blue, but something told me to take the severance and move on.
I ended up unemployed for over a year, living off the severance and my savings. The whole time I regretted not accepting the other management position. That was four years ago. Since then, I found another job where I make more money than I ever could have at my old job. The other company went under. All of my old coworkers were let go with no warning (and no severance).
8. Leap of faith
Last year I applied to my dream job as a joke. I got a call from the recruiter shortly after to set up a time to meet with the team. I was offered the job for substantially higher pay than I was making. I told my boss that I was accepting the offer. As I was packing the moving truck for my new residency, I got a call from my boss that she and my entire department was laid off that morning.
Not only did I achieve everything I could have hoped for in a job with my current experience on an absolute whim, but also completely dodged being laid off. I guess if I had waited a few weeks to announce my termination, I might have received severance pay though…
9. A life-saving coincidence
I had a cardiac arrest about four years ago. Dropped dead(ish) in the middle of my shift. Found out after I woke up about a week later that: The manager who saw me fall was a former lifeguard and knew proper CPR, an ambulance happened to be passing about two blocks away.
Not only that, but probably the best cardio unit in my state was a ten-minute ambulance ride from where it all happened. Walked out of the hospital about two weeks later, full recovery. If a single one of those things hadn’t been the case, I would have been in way worse shape – or dead.
10. Just playing around
When I was 17 or so I hung around with my friends a lot in one of our friend’s caravans. In comes my friends younger brother with an air rifle. Starts pointing it at us while making pew pew noises. He was probably 12-13 at the time so not an infant. I grabbed the gun off him jokingly but forcefully.
Then pointed it up and said: “don’t ever point guns at people it might be loaded”. I then squeezed the trigger. Nice hole in the caravan ceiling that caused. He didn’t do it again.
11. Life-saving spiders
Some years ago I was at a party and I reeeeeeally wanted to poo, so I went to the bathroom, which was dirty and quite old. I was about to sit down but I noticed a couple of spiders that were chilling next to the toilet. My arachnophobic a** got scared and I decided to switch to the toilet that was in front.
As soon as I started my business, an earthquake occurred and in mere seconds half of the wall collapsed on the toilet I avoided. I’m pretty sure I owe my life to those spiders.
12. An earned second chance
On my first day of sobriety (had the fresh 24-hour coin in my pocket), my bosses booked a sudden meeting in my calendar. They had been reading my emails for months where I was openly discussing my downward spiral and some liberties I had taken. Pretty dark stuff.
They had intended to fire me at that meeting as HR was also present but luckily I had my 24-hour coin in my pocket, I pulled it out and bought myself a 2nd chance. Still working at the same firm 9 years later. Had my first child on the way, I needed that job… someone was looking out for me.
13. Dodging a second date
I went on an internet date with a guy and had a great time, but something was off. I did a little internet sleuthing and first discovered he’d given me a fake name and through his real name found an entire website dedicated to him being a narcissist grifter on a massive scale.
Per the site, he’d grifted millions off women and through real estate and property management scams. I wasn’t sure how real it all was, but the fake name was red flag enough for me. I told him I didn’t want to pursue anything and after a few days love-bombing me and trying to convince me it was all just his vengeful ex-wife trying to ruin his life, I told him I wasn’t changing my mind and to stop contacting me. And he did.
14. A lucky test shot
My dad grew up in Safford, a rural town in south-east Arizona. Back in the 1930s kids there got their first 22 calibre rifle at age 5 or 6. He and a friend found an old WWI helmet and my dad suggested he put on the helmet and ricochet a bullet off it to see what it would be like.
His friend took aim, but before pulling the trigger said, “Benny, put the helmet on the fencepost there to test it first. The bullet went straight through both sides of the helmet. If my dad hadn’t dodged that bullet – literally – I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to tell that story.
15. A major coincidence
Had a mental breakdown because being a science major in a super competitive college was hard. I made the difficult decision to quit the class and change my major drastically to history. A few months later, all the classmates I had got caught in a huge cheating scandal that got the majority of the class wrapped up in it.
Since I had already dropped out, nobody charged me with anything even though I would’ve if I were still in the class. I could’ve ended up expelled like the majority of them if I also hadn’t changed my major. I guess the irony is that, at the end of the day, they were history!
16. Roof tile trouble
A few years back there were some record high-speed winds in the area. I heard a loud noise followed by a car alarm, and looked outside. A bunch of tiles from the roof had come loose, slid down, and gone straight through the car windscreen. There was shattered glass everywhere, the tiles had smashed up and hit another car.
It was a real mess. So I grabbed the car keys to go turn the alarm off, and to move the car back just in case any more tiles fell. Especially the corner tiles, which are pretty big. As I go to get in the car, I hear a sliding/scraping noise from above me and feel pure dread. I look up…
I see the corner tiles sliding slowly off the roof. I doubt it was actually slowly in real life, but I perceived the tiles to be moving slowly. As the tiles slid off the roof, it took all my energy to hop backwards. As I moved back, the tiles came crashing down in front of me, right where I had been stood. The broken shards hit me and caused a bunch of cuts and bruises, but no lasting damage.
17. Landing on your feet
Just before starting HS, I got hit by a car doing 35 mph, while riding my bike. (T-boned) My bike went under the car, I was thrown up, smashed the windshield out with my back, was flipped over the car, and landed a perfect no hop landing, on my feet, like a gymnast (minus the arms raised flourish at the end).
The entire accident was witnessed by a firefighter who was watching out his window, literally standing right next to his emergency radio, and called for an ambulance. The lady who hit me got out of her car, yelling, “I’m a nurse, I’m a nurse, lie down.” I had no breaks or fractures, just a bruised ribcage.
18. Backs against the wall
Working at the base of a large municipal water tower in Canada one day a few winters ago. Heard the unmistakable sound (for Canadians at least) of ice sliding of a roof and looked up to see a sheet the size of a kiddy pool falling right towards my colleague and me.
We both ran towards the tower and basically hugged the wall to keep our limbs away. When the sheet hit a few feet behind us the ground actually trembled. Turns out those ice sheets on water towers can get about 3 or 4 inches thick and weigh close to 500kg. There’s a safety net around it now for that sole purpose.
19. Suspicious powder
Grandpa was a hoarder and a farmer. His kitchen table was piled so high with junk he never used it. One time our family came over and brought him some fast food sandwiches (a major delicacy when the nearest town is an hour away). He pushed the table pile to the side/on the floor, but there was whitish dust left all over the table’s surface.
My dad was fully prepared to start eating but mom wasn’t having it so we ate outside. A few months later grandpa goes to the nursing home and we go clean his place. We found the bag where the powder came from lead arsenate, which is exactly as deadly as it sounds. Apparently, in the late 70s, he applied it to the orchard and set the leftovers on the table, where it hung out for a decade.
20. A bunny intervention
On a family vacation, me and my brother were running down a hill towards a fence. We both were aiming for the gap in the fence. My brother made it but I somehow ended up 2 meters to the right of the fence. The thing is that at top of the hill it looked like an ordinary fence. But after closer inspection it wasn’t a regular fence, it was a barbwire fence.
So I was speeding towards a wire fence and couldn’t stop. I screamed and saw the future with really bad scars all over me. But fortunately, a rabbit decided to run into my feet. I fall down and the barbwire fence only pierced my upper lip. I don’t even have a scar from that. Thanks to that rabbit.
21. Look but don’t touch
I went on a tour of a small lagoon in the Great Barrier Reef. I was like 10 at the time and don’t pay attention to all the signs saying not to pick up any marine life). We disembark on a small island and have free time to walk up and down the beach. Being an idiot I wade into the water and look for cool shells and pick up a particularly cool round shaped looking one about the size of half a pinky.
I’m carrying this thing around for about 5 minutes before I go up to a tour guide and say “Hey look at this cool shell I found”! She practically slaps it out of my hand and yells at me not to touch it – I had been carrying around a cone snail -one of those molluscs that uses a poisonous barb to inject prey and predators with a paralytic poison.
22. Dine and dash disaster
Two of my idiot friends wanted to do a dine and dash, we were teenagers and they thought it was a good idea. I say no as I couldn’t see myself doing that and waited outside. Instead of it being easy, one of them got punched in the face (a patron got him) on his daring escape and was arrested (cops were nearby like 5 blocks).
The other barely managed to escape, but they had him on video. I saw all this and just ran. My parents ended up helping the friend that got punched, he didn’t get charges pressed but he and the other friend were banned for life. Good job I had just enough maturity not to get suckered into it.
23. What’s my job again?
Worked for a company for a year. Was being underutilized for my talents (I was literally playing games while working). Found a job that doubled my income with a promising career forward. My last day on the job, a large group of tax agents stormed out company office and we were told to not touch our PCs.
My boss told me to go ahead and leave since it was my last day anyway. Two weeks later I get a text from an old colleague (who also left) saying that the company was investigated for embezzlement and basically closed a couple of months later. It was all over the news… Glad I got out…
24. A shellfish problem
When I was 18, I had to get an iodine trace due to a kidney infection. The people at the hospital asked if I was allergic to shellfish (which is an indicator you’ll be allergic to the trace). I had never eaten any kind of shellfish so I told them I didn’t know. They shrugged and said, “Well, 95% of the population isn’t. I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
They gave me the injection and waiting five minutes and I didn’t react so they left the room to do paperwork with my mom. 10 minutes after they left the room, I started reacting. I felt like I couldn’t move, got extremely hot and felt like my insides were growing too big for my outsides.
I couldn’t yell out or anything. A nurse finally came in and saw me and shot me up with adrenaline. The doctor came in later and said that from what they saw, I had less than five minutes to live when the nurse saved me. Worse, now I know I can’t eat any shellfish or I’ll die.
25. Watery breaking point
I was 15 yo waterskiing doubles with my best friend. He didn’t get up and dropped his ski rope. The rope skipped across the water and wrapped around my leg. Next thing I knew I was being dragged by my ankle behind a 175 horse ranger bass boat. This went on for only about 3-5 seconds. Luckily the rope broke off at the boat.
This ski rope that wrapped around my leg had been purchased specifically for this trip to ski doubles. It had also broken earlier pulling a single skier. The cheap rope saved my ankle and foot. My ankle was pretty skinned up and swollen. But not that bad… I could still walk and enjoy the rest of the trip.
26. Mystery party
I decided to go home one weekend from University. While I was gone, a huge party was thrown with all my friends (in hindsight, I don’t think that was a coincidence), but something happened that was so serious, none of my friends who went to that party will ever share what had occurred.
All I ever get when I ask them is “we do not speak of that night” and the only thing I know of that resulted was one of my friends had a broken foot. In a sense, I dodged that bullet that destroyed the group, but I wonder what the hell did they do that resulted in oath of silence?
27. Late to the airport
Panicked that my scheduled 6 AM flight out of Kalispell, MT had been cancelled, I drove like a madwoman to Missoula to catch the next and only flight out of the area for the day. The plane was to leave at 8:00 AM. This is generally not enough time to make it under any circumstances.
I was flooring it along a dark, curvy highway to see three giant elk running across the highway out of my periphery. I narrowly missed them and surely would have died had we collided. Still sends shivers down my spine 15 years later. The urgency and irony is that I was trying to get to a funeral in San Diego.
28. A bad feeling come true
One day when I was driving back from a vacation I took with my brother my mom called me and told me she had a weird dream about the car crashing on the way back from the trip. I told my brother and he said not to worry about it but I made him sit in the back just in case.
On that trip, I was going to change the radio station and while I wasn’t paying attention to the road I hit a bump and swerved off the road. I flipped my car upside down into a ditch and the side my brother would have been sitting on was completely destroyed. The only injury either of us sustained was a broken arm to my brother.
29. Safety out the window
I fell out of the window on the top floor of a large triplex house when I was 18. Rolled off an awning, bounced off a wrought-iron fence, and narrowly missed landing on the concrete stairs leading into the basement apartment.
Landed on my a**, broke 2 thoracic vertebrae, but was able to (painfully and slowly) walk out of the hospital the next morning. I was conscious through all of it but I don’t remember the fall or the ambulance ride. I still get residual back pain now and then, especially if there’s a change in barometric pressure, but other than that, I made a full recovery.
30. Everything but the kitchen sink
As a small child – no idea how old but certainly younger than 7 because of the house it happened in – I stuck my hand in the garbage disposal while it was running. My mom had dropped something in there while preparing dinner – a mushroom stem I think – and being too young to know what all the noise was, I curiously reached in and took it out.
I now realize that the piece of whatever it was must have landed squarely on that nut/bolt combo in the middle of the unit, as did my fingers. Can’t even think of words to describe mom’s face as she realized I had just nonchalantly put my little hand into a whirling dismemberment apparatus and taken it out unharmed. Even today it gives me pause. I’m a church organist.
31. Just in time
Used to work on a (quite fun) outbound call campaign in an old place of work. Put in an application for an internal transfer to an inbound role and got it.
A few weeks later the campaign was disbanded and all the staff were moved to horrid 0 commission sales roles with awful working hours. I jumped off a ship I didn’t even realise was sinking.
32. A grass-cutting catastrophe
I got a landscaping job right after I finished school. Unfortunately, since it was a new company, we had to cut grass in some less than desirable parts of town. One day, we’re cutting grass at a church that has a huge hill at the front that slopes down into the road.
My boss told me to cut the around the sign at the top of the hill. I was on one of those lawnmowers that you have to stand up on while using, so my balance wasn’t great going around the sign, and it was early in the morning so there was a lot of dew still on the grass.
Immediately, I start sliding down the hill and shoot into the middle of the road, into what I expected was oncoming traffic. Lucky for me but unlucky for someone else, the police had stopped traffic up the road because somebody had thrown a bottle at a woman’s head while driving past her in their car. I never found out what happened to the lady but I hope she’s doing ok now…
33. Risking it all for a snack
A bunch of my friends and I were drinking in a buddy’s studio apartment. Everyone eventually passed out. At some point, someone made a grilled cheese. Left the stove on. There were bags of fireworks were on top of the stove as well. Classic party stuff, as you can tell.
I had just woken up randomly and noticed the stove was on as I had passed out on the floor not too far from it. Was able to shut the stove off before the fireworks caught.
34. Struck by lightning
When I was about 8 years old I was struck by lightning. I was playing football/soccer on a gravel field at school, when suddenly everything blinked white, followed by a really loud “thunder sound.” I remember my neck hurting really bad afterwards and that I told one of the teachers. She didn’t really say anything, so I didn’t think much of it.
When I got home from school, I was picked up by my grandmother, and taken to the doctor. He told me that if I hadn’t been wearing rubber boots, I could’ve gotten really hurt. The crazy thing is that my mother was considering throwing away the boots I was wearing that same morning, but decided to let me have them a little longer.
35. Down to the wire
A few years ago I left work on my motorcycle. It was dark I pull out at an intersection and I’m riding along when I notice a car crashed into a pole. They’re all frantically waving at me. I then notice the pole had fallen and it was connected to wires that crossed the street.
I lock the brakes up and stop literally a few feet away from electric wires that would have clotheslined me. Had I not realized what was going on a fraction of a second later I could have been toast. Every day I thank my lucky stars that the other people on that road were looking out for me.
36. Driving unsupervised
When I was about 9/10 I was with my parents who were golfing on a mountain golf course. They were attempting to keep me occupied and were letting me drive the cart (mostly with them right beside me). We were on the 9th hole (the highest part of the golf course) and my mom was getting frustrated. So she asked me to just drive the cart by myself down this small but steep hill.
I lost control and jumped the curb and ended up driving toward a cliff. But just before the cart hit a tree. The force knocked me out of the cart. My dad says he found me with my Legs dangle off the edge of an 80ft cliff. I walked away with nothing by a bruised sternum and my parents only had to pay 150$ to fix the cart.
37. Prank gone wrong
Ding dong ditched a house when I was 16 and he knew I was coming somehow, so when I ding dong ditched he swung the door open and tried to swing on me but he punched the door on accident. The guy started yelling he was going to “teach me a lesson” and got in his car and started chasing me.
Luckily there were woods two blocks away and I was a runner, so I was able to get away before getting potentially ran over.
38. Staying hydrated
Back in 2003 when I was 17, I was with a friend of mine and we were sitting at a seated bus stop out the front of my girlfriend’s (at the time) school. We were all going to head back to her place so we intended to wait there until she finished school and catch the bus with her. It was an unusually hot day that day at 40°c (104°f) and we still had 15 mins till she’d be heading out so we decided to head down to a shop nearby and grab a drink.
So we walk down, grab our drink and start heading back. As we are walking I start to get really confused because I can’t see the bus stop we were sitting at and for a second, I think we are heading in the wrong direction. Turns out while we were gone, a truck ploughed right through that bus stop and ended up dragging it under the truck another 100 meters (110 yards) before finally breaking down.
39. A missed vacation
My mum and dad had a 2-week stay booked at a beautiful hotel on the beach in Biloxi. As they were heading out the door to get to airport, my mum was overcome with a strange feeling that something wasn’t right, so she sat down on her suitcase and said she’d changed her mind – she wasn’t going.
My dad was furious, but she wouldn’t change her mind, and it ended up costing them a lot of money. A week later Hurricane Katrina hit the beachside hotel they should have been staying at and smashed it into matchsticks. I don’t believe in premonitions, but that was pretty spooky.
40. An office party nightmare
There this colleagues birthday party where my whole office (around 20 employees) join and I’m supposed to as well, but like 2h before the party, I had an argument with the birthday girl and was so angry that I decided not to attend. The next morning I came into work and see an empty office, turn out everyone has terrible food poisoning and half of them have to be rushed into hospital.
Even more funny is the fact that I’m the biggest foodie in the office and that particular restaurant is my absolute favorite. Not only did I avoid the bullet but also enjoyed the complimentary voucher the restaurant gave out as part of compensation since no one else wanted to go there.
41. Real estate troubles
My husband and I almost bought a house. It had the right bedrooms, a huge yard, nice area. There were some hold-ups with the house, things kept getting delayed, I was pregnant so we had to get into a house before my due date. So we walked away. Got our current house instead and moved in 10 days before my son was born. Fast forward two years.
The house next to the one we almost bought exploded due to a gas leak. Our almost-house suffered substantial damage, but thankfully no casualties. All the surrounding houses had serious foundation issues from the shock wave. The dream home isn’t always a dream!
42. Throwing paint on an explosion
About 9 years old, and I loved poking at bonfires and watching the flames. My family often had bonfires to clean up brush, twine from hay bales, oat bags, etc. My brother had grabbed some boxes from near our recycling to add and threw them on without looking in them.
Mom asks me to grab the pile of empty oat bags from in the barn, and I hear a loud BOOM after walking about 40 yards. Turn around quickly enough to see a plume of fire mushroom out of the fire pit and burn all of the leaves off a nearby tree. My brothers pants and the trunk of said tree were splattered with silver, and there are corn cobs thrown 30 feet up into the branches.
Turns out, one of the boxes had a couple (mostly) spent spray paint cans. If I hadn’t listened to my mom’s request, I would have at the very least had some serious burn scars on my upper body and hands. I know it sounds obvious, but you have to be careful with what you put on a fire.
43. Spilled milk
Years ago, mom was trying this organic pesticide and she thought she could use an old milk bottle to put it. Our housekeeper then didn’t know this and proceeded to put the pesticide inside the fridge thinking it was milk. One night, before sleep, my dad wanted to have some milk to stop the burning feeling in his stomach and poured the pesticide into a glass to drink.
When he raised the glass to take the very first sip, he recognized its weird smell and thought it got spoiled so he took the glass to my mom. Realizing what the heck is going on, mom got frightened and checked whether anyone had drunk it prior to my father opened the bottle. Thank God no one tasted the pesticide and it got thrown out immediately.
44. Swapping parking spots
I was looking for a place to park and it was the middle of the Summer, so I needed some shade. I find a place under a tree and move in to park, but at that exact time, another car pulled out from a spot that had much better shade, so I ended up parking there. Everything seemed fine.
I go do my business, come out half an hour later and start my car. I pull out of the spot and suddenly hear a very loud sound coming approximately from the previous spot I had almost parked in. A big-ass tree branch had just fallen from that tree, right in that spot. My car (and possibly I) would have been totally f***ed if I had parked there.
45. That would have stung
A few years ago my family took a trip to the Florida keys, and my brother and I decided to walk down this beach just exploring the area. We were walking and shooting the s*** when out of nowhere he just decked me into the sand. I had literally no idea where that had come from.
He saw I was p***ed when I was getting up so he immediately pointed to the man-o-war jellyfish laying there and told me I was about to step on it. He was a lifeguard at the time, and while they’re rare where we live, we get them occasionally and he’s dealt with people who have been stung by them and said it’s super painful.
46. Acing the curve
I was a 2020 HS grad, and we had two options for final exams – we could either take it at the end of the first semester or at the end of the year. Since I usually leave the country to visit my grandparents in the US at the end of the first semester, I decided to take them at the end of the year. Only one other person decided to do that.
Everyone else struggled to do it by the end of the semester so that the rest of the year could be relatively easier. They all got pretty low marks which went into their final docs. Well, the rest of the semester, covid hit, and we (the two of us) ended up being graded by the year’s grades instead of a final exam, and ended up graduating with flying numbers without doing s***, technically.
47. Wear a helmet
When I was seven I got a new bike and helmet for Christmas but I was one of those kids who was “too cool” to wear a helmet, so I never touched it. Summer comes around and I go out to ride my bike, but for some reason, I grab my unused Minnie Mouse helmet and try it on cause eh, why not. Tony Hawk wears one and he’s cool, right?
It just so happens that THAT DAY, there are some folks sawing some heavy branches off the trees in our backyard that had been reaching over towards the neighbour’s yard. I step out there to get my bike just as a massive tree limb is cut, landing directly on my head.
The force knocked me back on my butt, but it slid off the slope of the helmet and landed on the floor. My neck was a little sore and I definitely bruised something, but had I not worn that helmet that day I could have had my skull cracked open like an egg.
48. Almost living the dream
Got kicked out of a band when I was 19. A few months later, major labels were interested in them. They got a deal lined up and were going to tour with one of the biggest bands of the early 2000s. A few days before they signed the deal, RIAA dropped their first report on how much money the industry lost to file sharing.
Every major label put a pause on things while they figured out what they were going to do about Napster and Limewire. The record deal got shelved and never picked up again. The band fell apart months later. I’m so happy I didn’t have to go through the heartbreak of being that close to the dream just to lose it.
49. Jogging hazards
I was out for a run a few years ago and I ran past a gas station near my house. As I ran along the sidewalk through the entry to the gas station parking lot a big truck going about 20 to 25 mph driving towards me turned right into the parking lot without slowing down.
I somehow managed to plant my hand on the hood of his truck and sort of high step just past his front bumper at the last millisecond. He didn’t even start to slow down until he was totally in the parking lot. I looked back and he was on his cell phone talking when he realized he just about killed me.
50. Firing the landlord
I was in the process of buying the house that I was renting and for the year that I was living in the house up to this point, the house kept surging in power. I reported it to the owner and was gaslit and told not to plug in multiple things at the same time etc etc. Flash forward to us getting an inspection on the house and while the inspectors were giving their final report, the house CAUGHT ON FIRE.
So yeah… while we were frantically evacuating the house, we were then told that there’s been a gas leak in the basement. Had to call the fire department, the city, gas company, literally everyone and when the owner finally showed up, he looked at me and goes “What’s wrong with you? Why the long face?”
51. Not the right fit
I was in a relationship with a guy for about two years. It was toxic. When I was 18 I got a birthday present of my Nain’s (grandma’s) engagement ring. since she had passed away. It was very special to me. It was too loose so we took it to a jeweller to get resized.
Got the ring back, tried it on, it seemed to fit at first but very soon my finger turned red and swelled up. It felt like Nain was telling me this guy is not for you. I finally got it off with lots of soap and lotion. Fast forward about three years and I began dating a different guy, who I had already dated many years ago.
When we decided to get married, we had to take the ring to a different jeweller to again get resized. It fit perfectly and I am still wearing it right now. We’ve been married for 7 years and have a child. I still wonder whether that was really a warning from beyond the grave… or just a bad jeweller.
52. Passing with flying colours
Didn’t happen to me, but a friend of mine took a calculus class in college and had studied well for the midterm. However, the night before the midterm, he decided to have a few drinks with friends, which turned into more drinks, which inevitably led to him blacking out.
The next day he woke up hours after his midterm had already ended and the guilt and remorse set in. When the professor posted grades he had passed the exam! This fool had woken up with his alarm, taken the test while still blacked out, went home and fell back asleep!
53. Blaming a friend
I threw a rock at a bus when I was in 4th grade (the bus that I rode) while it was being driven by a substitute bus driver. She turned the bus around and came back to yell at me and I was like “it wasn’t me” but she obviously knew it was. I thought I might get kicked out of school.
So the next day when my usual bus driver is back he said “I heard one of you girls was bad yesterday” and looked at my friend, and for some reason, she just went with it. Then she got OSS (outside school suspension) and grounded for 3 months. I wonder what she’s doing now.
54. An accident waiting to happen
A couple of years ago I was working as a freelance interpreter, doing a lot of driving, and I noticed one of my tires was going flat all the time, but it would flatten at odd times (once a week, but different days). I thought it was a slow leak, but I put off going to the dealership because it was winter in Minnesota (snow and ice as thick as an Irish brogue) and I didn’t want to deal with the cost.
At some point I got sick of using up quarters I could use for laundry, and went into the dealership, thinking it would be a slow leak and an easy fix. Not only was there a nail in my tire but there was a slash a few inches long that was causing the air to escape.
That was the reason my tire would intermittently go flat; some days I would accidentally park on the slash. The guy who was serving me affixed the most dad look he could muster and said “you made it through the worst days by the skin of your teeth. Thank your lucky stars you didn’t skid out.”
55. Feeling a little off
A little over six months ago, one normal Sunday morning I woke up and had coffee. I felt a little off but I brushed it off. I went to my car and load the laundry ready to go to the laundromat. I sat in my car and could not remember how to turn on the engine, I felt off like I was not really there.
I decided to go back to my apartment and maybe sit down for a minute. I woke up four hours later in a hospital bed, with my face covered in stitches because apparently, I had had a seizure and hit the corner of the table with my face. (I never had one before, and it turns out it was caused by a huge hormonal change due to a change in birth-control methods).
56. Stepping back from the problem
I was working on an old car with a buddy. The engine was overheating and I was standing in front of the car, leaned over the radiator hose. I got my face really close looking at the old, crusty radiator hose. I poked it a couple of times and told my buddy he needed to think about replacing it.
My friend said that I probably shouldn’t be standing over top of it if the hose looked that bad. I had no more than taken two steps backwards when the hose exploded and boiling hot antifreeze shot up exactly where my face had been a few seconds earlier. I couldn’t believe how close I had come to losing my eyesight, suffering 2nd/3rd-degree burns and possibly dying.
57. Sleeping through class
While I attended boarding school I got very, very tired for two weeks. Could barely stay awake in class. The nurse told me I wasn’t sleeping enough, while I was sleeping for probably ten hours a night. I was then taken to an outside doctor who diagnosed me with a sinus infection.
I still didn’t improve. After about another week of this (14 years old, drinking cups and cups of coffee during the day, sleeping for multiple hours at a time, falling asleep in class) my mom came, picked me up, and took me to my sister’s paediatrician.
Got blood work done; there a staph infection in my blood. I started taking the meds, slept way more for two weeks (like 18 hours a day) and then two weeks later went back to school as nothing happened. Fast forward to the summer where I’m back in the doctor’s getting a physical for my new school, and the doctor drops on me that I “would have died had you not gotten those meds by the time you did.”
58. A lucky injury
My mother told me this story about how almost mashing my head open saved my life. When I saw a little kid, probably two or three, I hit my head very hard on a radiator and had to go to the hospital. I stayed a few nights, while in the hospital they discovered that I had a disease that usually only gets transmitted in hospitals via unhygienic needles which I must have gotten on one of my previous visits to the hospital.
It’s especially lethal to children, so if I hadn’t almost killed myself by hitting my head on a radiator I would have probably died in my sleep a few months later if they haven’t found it then and treated it. I mean, smashing your head open isn’t recommended, but it really worked out for me.
59. Could have been worse
I didn’t actually dodge the bullet, but it could have been a lot worse. My brother was aiming an airsoft gun at me teasing me, trying to get a rise out of me. He ended up shooting and hit me almost right in the eye. A few mm to the right I would’ve been blind in that eye.
We told our parents and the doctor that we were having a ninja turtle sword fight with our other brother’s plastic swords, though looking back the doctor must have recognised it was a projectile and not a blunt object. Thankfully I still have 20/20 and we live with each other as adults.
60. A helpful stranger
When I was about seven years old, I was at the beach with family and swimming in the shallow water with my older cousin when a riptide pulled over 40 people into the deep, crashing waves within a few seconds. The current and rough waters felt like they came out of nowhere and lifeguards began rushing in to save everyone.
I distinctly remember gasping for air while being repeatedly pulled under by what felt like a powerful vacuum pulling the water along the ocean floor. Then I felt a stranger start lifting me up above the water while fighting between waves/breaths himself. This went on for what felt like an eternity but was probably just a couple of minutes before a lifeguard with a flotation device grabbed me and swam me into shore.
61. Staying home for the better
I was home for winter break and my younger brother asked me if I wanted to go hang out with him and his friends. I was 21, they were 18. He told me they already had beer and were just going to a local high school drinking spot in the middle of nowhere.
I really wanted to go but decided last minute to stay home and hang with my parents. My brother left and realized he forgot his wallet, when he got back he changed his mind about going and stayed to hang out with me instead. Cool night in with your older bro.
The next day we find out that someone saw the group of kids and called a state trooper (very small rural town). Kids got busted with the alcohol and got in some trouble. If I had gone, I would have been the only one of age and definitely would have been charged. My brother was enlisting after graduation and would have lost that. Not the biggest bullet in the grand scheme of things, but definitely would have changed the trajectory of our lives.
62. Free ride
My wife went into labour four days early. We had a number of medical visits earlier that year and reached our in-network out-of-pocket max on health insurance. So was looking forward to not paying anything for the birth of my son. Found out that the hospital switched insurance carriers THE DAY AFTER HE WAS BORN. If she gave birth on time, we would have been out of network and have had to pay $18k out the door.
63. Toddler behind the wheel
I was five years old and was at a friend’s house for a play date. My mom had come to pick me up and was talking with my friend’s mom before leaving. I clearly remember sitting on the doorstep of the sliding door of our minivan, waiting for them to finish chatting so we could leave and go home.
Unbeknownst to us, my 3-year-old brother had crawled out of his car seat, gotten in the driver’s seat and switched the gear of the idling van from park into neutral. I remember falling out of the van door and everything going black. I woke up to my mom yelling/crying as she and my friend’s mom were pulling me out from under the van.
It had rolled forward and had hit the side panel of the other family’s van, which stopped it in its tracks. And thank God it did; I was halfway lodged under the rear wheel of our van, and it would almost certainly have run right over me, if not for hitting the other van.
64. The makeshift potato launcher
It was the Fourth of July. I was at my friend’s house, she was crazy as well as her family. They created a potato launcher using PVC piping, hairspray, and a lighter. They were launching them off the deck, as my good friend and I were walking in the backyard to the hammock holding hands when BOOM, a potato launches RIGHT BETWEEN OUR TWO HEADS. It made our hair swoosh and scared the s*** out of me.
65. Keep behind the lines
A friend and I were walking to the tram after a few drinks at another friends apartment. We get to the stop and since we lived in opposite directions, he walked across the tracks. While waiting for our trains to come we were drunkenly making goofy faces at each other.
In my attempts at humour I didn’t notice I was standing quite close to the yellow line. A minute later, I heard and saw his train coming from the right and made one last stupid face while leaning forward. You should never, ever, ever do that, obviously.
What I didn’t notice was that my train was arriving simultaneously. A split second after his train passed in front of my view of him, my train whizzes by my face going maybe 50mph, missing my head by 2 f***ing inches. Sometimes we forget that trains are literally fast-moving metal tubes.
66. A Thanksgiving nightmare
A few years ago I was closing at the restaurant I worked at. It was the night before Thanksgiving so a lot of people were out and about. I always park near the curb where there’s a wall and then the road. As I was about to leave, I got to my car then turned around because I forgot my phone (which I never do).
As soon as I walked back into the restaurant to grab it I heard a loud BANG that sounded like an explosion. A part of me thought it was some of the younger kids outside messing with the four-wheelers they sometimes bring to work but I realized they had already left.
I walk outside to see my car completely crushed with a Lincoln SUV on top of it. These two drunk ppl all bewildered were trying to back their car up over the wall they just crashed over. They went over into the other two lanes into oncoming traffic, hit the wall and jumped on top of my car.
67. A perfect career
When I joined the air national guard, I debated long and hard about whether I wanted to join as a crew chief or an imagery analyst. I eventually picked the latter, and landed in a career field that I absolutely love and have an aptitude for, which also had plenty of full-time work available. That’s been my full-time job ever since.
Had I picked the other option, knowing what I know now, I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have clicked with it as well (it was only attractive because the unit was close to my hometown) and it almost certainly would have been the typical one-weekend-a-month gig. I’d probably still be delivering pizzas.
68. Looking where you’re going
My mom was using a bobcat with full forks to pick up round bales for the horses. She eventually had given up from actually trying to spear the bales and was just pushing them off the trailer to get them on the ground where she’d be able to more successfully spear them. Well, I didn’t realize that’s what she was doing and I walked along the back of that flatbed on the ground.
On the opposite side of where she was lol. She pushed a bail off and it literally brushed against my body as it hit the ground. Almost shoved me over. it took a good 5 minutes for me to be like holy c*** I almost died. She got the forks all nice and sharpened up pretty quickly after though.
69. A dangerous game
This was back when I was a kid. We were playing hide and seek in an under-construction building. It was dark out there. One of my friends started counting and the rest of us went hiding. I was running all around in excitement and so were my other childhood friends.
I suddenly turned towards my left and decided to go into what looked like another room. The next thing I know, I am around 6 feet down into a pit. Probably made for the bathroom. It happened all of a sudden and I didn’t fall. I was standing up and felt some pain in my back.
I shouted out my friend’s name. All of them came. One of them decided to switch on their phone’s flashlight. What I see next, still haunts me to this very day. Metal bars protruding out of the ground, spread all around me (just not where I had landed). They got me out and we decided to never speak of this to anyone
70. Do bears drink coffee in the woods?
We were camping. I had two big dogs that woke me up early in the morning to go potty. I couldn’t walk them at the same time because one of them pulled like a freight train on a leash. So I get up around 5:30am and start the coffee maker. I’m having a great day out in nature.
I take one dog out for his walk, come back to the camper and get the other dog. Take him for his walk. Come back to the camper and get myself a cup of coffee and I was just about to step outside to drink it, enjoy some of that fresh pine morning air.
I was standing at the camper door, slipping on my shoes and out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I looked out the window and there was a black bear RIGHT outside the door. One minute later getting back with the dog and I would have walked right into the bear. One minute sooner getting back with the dog and I would have already been sitting outside with my coffee.
71. One step safer
My two older brothers thought it’d be a fun idea to push me down our very tall, very hard basement steps in a cardboard box. As I sat there thinking to my 9-year-old self this won’t end well, one of them decided a racing motorcycle helmet we had lying around would make it look cooler.
Needless to say, hit the first step and box jammed. Completely ragdoll somersault forward with all my weight headfirst into the wall at the bottom. The helmet itself and its overly large size on the back of my neck stabilized and took the entire blow.
72. An upset in the bathroom
I was backpacking in Africa with a few friends. We had all been Peace Corps volunteers for 2+ years, so we were very comfortable making it up as we went along at that point. One trip we took was canoeing down the Zambezi River through a national park.
We hired a guide to dodge hippos on the trip (the most dangerous animal in Africa), and brought plenty of beer for the evenings. After a day on the river, we would pull up ashore, build a huge bonfire to keep the animals away and drink beer. It was awesome.
One night, I was the last one up, had one too many beers and had to p*** like a racehorse. I went just outside the fire circle to p*** on a nearby boulder. Starting doing my thing and… the boulder got up and ran away. I had p***ed on the back end of a hippo that was resting/grazing.
73. A narrow escape
When I was about 10 years old I leaned backwards onto a tall bookcase shelf, which happened to have a sword collection on the highest shelf. Many of these swords had their blades exposed for show. That shelf gave way and all of the swords came and landed on me (including my head). Not a single cut, no concussion, and only a small bruise on the head. Was too young to really process what happened.
74. A not-so-perfect dream job
I got offered what seemed like a dream job at 22. It was high paying, involved a lot of travel and was what I thought I always wanted to do. So I cut my hair, bought two suits, cleared all my plans and received a one-way ticket in the mail to Chicago for the following weekend.
The day before my flight I received a call saying they had changed their minds and were not offering me the job after all. I was crushed. I thought my big chance in life had slipped through my fingers like sand. A year later, the owner of the company, including all of his closest advisors like the position I would have filled, were all arrested for embezzlement, tax fraud, theft and great many other things. I think about that bullet I dodged all the time.
75. Right on the edge
The year was 1991, I was 17 and taking my first road trip down from San Francisco to Los Angeles. My bestie Dave and I were driving an old Datsun pick-up through a moonless night. Somewhere down the coast we stopped to take a leak along a wide patch of dirt.
Dave shut off the truck, turned off the headlights and we went our separate ways to pee. I walked in the stark darkness for a few seconds and Dave called out “Don’t go to far, there’s a cliff!”. A few steps later I was decided that was far enough and started my leak.
Just as I finished, He started the engine and flipped on the lights… There I was, standing on the precipice, peeing on a bush that was going out the side of the cliff. My heart jumped and I threw myself back. I didn’t even have time to – how am I gonna say this – make myself modest.