"One time I had an old homeless man sitting next to me on a bus who was pretty roughed up and smelled terrible, but he was friendly and seemed like a nice enough guy. He just hummed to himself for 10 or so minutes before standing up, slapping his head and shouting, 'IT'S OK! YOU'RE ON A BUS!'
Then he turned to me, pointed, and yelled, 'THERE ARE NO DUCKS ON THIS BUS! I MUST ESCAPE!' before running to the front of the bus, which was on the highway. The driver managed to get him to relax, so he just sat near the front talking about ducks to the driver.
When we arrived at the station, he yelled one thing to the entire bus before sprinting off like Usain Bolt: 'WE NEED MORE DUCKS, I WILL FIND THEM FOR YOU!' Everyone on board just looked at each other in complete shock and confusion. Sadly, he never brought any ducks back."
"I was driving home, eating string cheese with my window open because it was 2 am and nice out. I rolled up to a red light and heard, 'AY, YO, IS THAT STRING CHEESE?' I looked over and a very wasted dude was leaning out the passenger side window of a little beater car.
I laughed and nodded, and he screamed (we were like three feet apart, mind you ), 'CAN I HAVE SOME?!' I reached over, grabbed one for him and one for the driver, and handed them over. This poor scrub looked at them like I just gave him gold and said, 'OH SNAP, I GET A WHOLE STRING CHEESE?!' and it occurred to me that this guy didn't want a string cheese, but a bite off of my string cheese. Then the light turned green and I never saw him again."
"One time I was sitting in a coffee shop studying when I noticed a man in his thirties who kept looking over at me. He was sitting with his mom and another man around his age, perhaps his brother or friend.
At some point, the guy was leaving and as he passed my table, he stopped and said, 'I'm sorry to bother you but you are SO adorable. Do you mind if I take a picture?' and then he proceeded to take a selfie with me.
I was very confused because I'm not a person that people usually refer to as beautiful/cute, as I'm very normal looking. Plus, it was exam season, so I can't have been looking very good. I really wonder what kind of explanation he gave to the people he was with..."
"One time when I was riding on the subway, I had the following conversation with a strange man:
Dude: 'I like your ears.'
Dude: 'I like your ears. They're soooo pointy. Can I touch them?'
Me: Bug-eyed and startled
Dude: 'I wanna lick your ears.'
Also, since I'm clearly an Orthodox Jew, random people often come up to me with some version of this rant: 'You know, I'm Jewish too. My great grandparents were really religious, but my grandparents weren't, and my parents didn't even send me to a Jewish school. But if they did, and if my grandparents stayed religious, I'd be as orthodox as you right now.' That happens legit three times a year; total strangers, same rant. It leaves me completely flummoxed."
"I once had a man in my checkout line who asked me what he should do about his girlfriend that he was madly in love with. I said, 'I don't know, marry her?'
He replied, 'I would, but she's in prison.'
I asked why (thinking to myself that I had already made a mistake) and he went on this big rant about how she beat the crap out of him and got it on with his best friend. Then he told me that she tried to kill both him and herself.
He told me about how she asked him for help carrying a few things in and then when he turned around, she was naked and they banged and that's how they met. He also proceeded to tell me about his other life experiences and issues.
He talked for so long that I told him that there were other people who needed to check out (terrible idea). Of course, he had to get back in line and buy more things to keep talking without holding up the line, from his addiction and things he did for money to childhood memories to craziest stuff he's seen, like his cousin who fell in the bath and got a bottle stuck in his but. He laughed, he cried, and I was just along for the ride."
"This happened back when I was working overnights during the graveyard shift at Walmart. One night there was a guy without a nose and glasses strapped to his head buying way too much Drano. The whole time, he was trying to strike up a conversation with the cashier and me about how dangerous it was.
...Are you serious? Man, I'm pretending to not notice you have a bandage where your nose goes and you're talking to me about serial killer crap while you're buying five extra large bottles of Drano? What?! Was he trying to get rid of a body? Is that how he lost his nose?"
"I was 16 and had just gotten my driver's license, so I went to the grocery store to get some frozen pizzas before I sat up all night playing Xbox. There was a large park attached to the store's parking lot so you'd sometimes see bums or wasted guys walking up, but usually nothing too crazy.
I got there with my girlfriend around 3 pm and as soon as I parked my truck, this middle-aged, homeless, tweaker-looking guy came out of nowhere to tell me he would fix my truck. There was nothing wrong with my truck, so I said I didn't need anything fixed and kept walking to the door. However, he kept insisting that my A/C vacuum (?) was broken and he could fix it.
He asked me to crank my truck and claimed he could tell me the noise that gave it away. Being the youngster, I did as he told me instead of just walking off. He then laid his head on the pavement with his face right behind my rear tire and screamed for me to put it in reverse while holding the brakes and then floor it. I didn't know much about cars at the time, but I could tell that what he was asking for wasn't going to end well.
I got out and said that I had my vehicle serviced by my dad so he didn't need to work on my truck. He kept insisting that I would break down before I made it home if I didn't do what he asked. I started walking to the door when I saw some workers outside who witnessed the interaction and it seemed like they were getting ready to intervene.
The guy followed me to the door almost begging to fix my truck and wanting me to let him put his face behind my rear tire while holding the breaks and flooring it in reverse. I just walked in the door with the workers kinda shielding me and asking if I needed help as the guy was getting more and more upset that I wouldn't let him help me. I don't know if he was trying to get a lawsuit or asking a kid to help him commit suicide, but it was the strangest thing ever."
"When I was about 13-14 years old, I went on a trip to Las Vegas with my grandma. I had this crazy cold and felt really crappy and crabby after our flight in. Being sick, I didn't have much of an appetite so I just wanted to grab something small to eat before we went out for the day. The hotel we stayed in had this little snack kiosk next to the elevators on the main floor. Nothing special, they just sold small stuff like parfaits, bagels, and drinks.
My grandma was still getting dressed so I went down by myself and asked her if she needed anything. The line was extra long and the wait was even longer, but I was already invested so I couldn't leave just yet. I got up to the front and I already knew what I wanted as I'd rehearsed in my head a few times.
The lady asked what I'd like and I responded, 'I'll have a Mango Snapple, a fruit cup, and an iced tea.'
She replied, 'YOU WANT MANGO SNAPPLE?!' in the way that Scooby-Doo says, 'SCOOBYDOOBYDOOO!' She didn't have an accent, and I could hear her when she helped her other customers and she spoke just fine. I thought maybe she just had some sort of malfunction, like the wiring in her brain just shorted out.
I didn't say a single word because I had no idea what to say. Then she set only the Snapple on the counter and told me the total. I politely corrected her that I also needed the fruit cup and the iced tea. She put the Snapple back and set out my fruit cup and my iced tea. I said, 'AND the mango Snapple.'
She gave me this really weird and irritated look and started putting my fruit and tea back and she said it again, but calmly, 'You want Mango Snapple?'
'Yes. And the fruit cup and the iced tea.' I looked at the people around me to see if they were having the same reaction as I, but they just looked frustrated at me like it was my fault! I could see the line building up so I started to get anxious. She started putting the Snapple back again, reaching for the fruit and the tea. I let her grab the two and decided to try one more time, so I added the Mango Snapple back on the list.
She said it again, 'YOU WANT MANGO SNAPPLE?!'
I freaking lost it. 'YES, AND THE FRUIT CUP AND THE ICED TEA!' She started to reach for them again, and I freaked out. I began to tell her step by step to set my fruit and tea down. 'Don't touch it! Leave it there! That's what I wanted!' Then I told her to ALSO grab the Snapple so I could pay for ALL THREE of my items. She didn't say a single word the rest of the transaction. When I got back to the room, my grandma asked why it took so long to get her a dang tea."
"The story of my first car accident is pretty weird. It was the day before my 20th birthday and I hit a parked car while trying to park at a Panera. The lady whose car I hit was very nice (she and my mom are friends now because of the accident), but I was sobbing. You see, I've always been very sensitive so I cry at anything remotely jarring. Also I have an extremely guilty conscience, so hitting a car was like the end of the world for me.
As we were exchanging information and giving our IDs to the police officer who happened to be in the parking lot at the time, a man walked up to me. I didn't really think anything of it because several people had walked by and asked if I was alright, but this guy struck up a conversation about car accidents.
He told me and this other woman (and my mom who was on the phone with me) that about a year prior he was in an accident that totaled his car just up the street from where we were. He said that he was given a citation from the police and went to court to fight it. This is where crap gets weird:
Him: 'So the judge looked at me and says, "You've been a very bad boy," and I was like, "You can see that still? It's been 15 years!"'
Me: 'Oh, haha, what did you do?'
Him: 'I used to work at this office and I had a coworker who was a huge jerk to me so I wanted to prank him. One day, AS A JOKE, I decided to scare him by chasing him around the office with a hatchet! It was obviously just a joke, but he was a huge sissy so he pressed charges on me for assault with a deadly weapon! People these days really just can't take a joke.'
Then he said goodbye and left, disappearing as quickly and mysteriously and he arrived."
"I was on my way to buy my first dog, a Golden Retriever puppy. I was waiting for the train and there was an older, feeble-looking gentleman in dirty crimson and yellow robes. He had a walking stick that he had whittled himself and it looked like something the stereotypical magic user in an RPG would use, gnarled and funky. He was talking to random people along the platform and as he talked he would tap the stick occasionally. I heard him speaking a language I didn't recognize with the lady next to me, probably something from Africa, and when they finished talking, he approached me.
Now I was happy as a clam on this particular day because of the new puppy, but I had been battling (and continue to battle) depression and borderline personality disorder for years. However, there was no way he could see it on my face that day as I was in high spirits. He came over and took a seat beside me, tapped his stick three times, looked into my eyes, and told me he had something very important to discuss with me.
I was super weirded out, but there was no way I was turning this guy down and the platform was full. What could he possibly do to me? I asked him what he wanted to discuss. He told me he had been a lot of places in his life, but he had never seen anyone suffering the way I was. I told him about the puppy and that it was a good day, and he asked me when my last good day was. I looked at him funny and he just smiled and said, 'I know it's tough now, but you're tougher. You can beat the sadness and the anger if you keep fighting, and one day it will be bearable and you won't need a puppy to support you because you'll be able to do it yourself.'
I hadn't mentioned sadness or anger or that the puppy was essentially a gift from my friends to motivate me to keep living. I have no idea where he got that information. He tapped his stick again, and I thanked him and asked how he knew so much about me. He just smiled.
We chatted about his life for a few minutes and when the train pulled in I stood up to get closer to the doors, looked over, and the sneaky man was gone. I went and got my puppy, and I took the guy's words to heart. It's been 13 years now. Somewhere out there is a seriously lucky dude (or a stalker) who changed my outlook on life by complete coincidence, or maybe he was some kind of crazy psychic sage, I'm still not sure which. But thanks for the advice, either way, bro!"
"Once on a tour through Indonesia, my group and I were staying at a coastal village and I woke early and wandered down to the beach. There was a little shelter woven out of cane and sitting in it was this wizened old man in a loincloth with a monkey on his shoulder.
He broke into a huge grin and gestured for me to sit next to him. I sat down and he gave me an unfiltered clove smoke, so I chilled there smoking it with him while the monkey just sat there grinning at me. We didn't share a language but he knew one English word: 'Chief.' That morning smoke with an Indonesian chief and his monkey was very surreal."
"One time when I was hitchhiking, I got picked up by an escaped mental patient. He spent the whole time talking about how everyone had abandoned him and said he was no good, that he was a thief and a murderer, but he could tell I didn't think that (I quickly agreed with him). I thought it was a funny, bugged out situation, so I stuck around. This was in a minuscule town called Union, Mississippi, that looked like everyone moved out to go fight in the Civil War and nobody ever came home.
He asked me where I had to go and I told him I was going to Meridian, about an hour away. He said he had to go there anyway because he was going to buy a brand new Mercedes Benz convertible with cash, and pulled out a fake million dollar bill from his pocket. He just kept saying, 'MAN, I'm so glad I found you, man! I'm so happy to help, yeah, I'll take you to Meridian, man!'
When we got to Meridian, he started saying that he likes me so he's going to set me up in a 5-star hotel, in the continental suite, with room service. Hey, why the heck not! We went to like three different hotels and he barged up to the desk each time, saying, 'GET this man a room in the continental suite! With ROOM service!'
Every time, they were like, 'We don't have room service,' because we were in freaking Meridian, Mississippi, not downtown Manhattan.
And every time, he just loudly snapped his fingers, turned on a dime, and said, 'Nope, let's go,' and headed back to the car to find the next hotel.
Eventually, we got to a Hilton Garden or something, walked in and it was crazy nice. I could tell the place actually had room service, which was not a good thing. We walked in and I immediately went to the bathroom to ride it out, hung out for a few minutes, and returned to the lobby. Well, they didn't accept the million dollar bill, and he wasn't happy. When I came in, he was already screaming, 'IT SAYS RIGHT HERE, LEGAL TENDER! Now there comes a time when a man has to take a stand! People have been stepping on me my entire life, calling me a thief and an abuser and a murderer, and I'm sick of it! Now CALL THE POLICE and they'll sort this out!'
I quietly said, 'Hey man, I don't know if we want the police here right now,' calmed him down, and rushed him out the door back to his truck. We went our separate ways, but he did give me his hat, which was a really nice straw Stetson, and told me his full name. For the past 11 years, I've been using it every time I need a fake name."
"One of my weirder encounters using the Couchsurfing app was when I arrived late and jetlagged at a place in London. The guy had A TON of references and we had a normal conversation for an hour or two, but then he slowly got a stranger and stranger look in his eye.
He then proceeded to spend the next hour and a half begging to touch my toenails. It wasn't constant, but every few minutes he'd bring it up. He'd be normal for a length of time, and then all of a sudden almost crying to touch them.
At first I thought he was joking or maybe high, but nah. In the end, I basically barricaded myself in my (thankfully) private room for the night and left the next morning. I didn't feel threatened or anything, but what a strange, random fetish. He was a nice guy, though. I still don't understand what triggered him."
"One time I was pumping gas and ran into the gas station for a drink. When I came back out some tweaker-lookin' dude was getting out of the front seat of my truck. It took a couple seconds to sink in, but by the time I got to my truck I realized the guy was either trying to steal it or stuff from inside of it. I confronted him and asked what he was doing.
Him: 'I thought I was supposed to take your truck.'
Me: 'What the heck are you talking about?'
Him: 'I thought I was supposed to take your truck.'
Me: 'Were you stealing my stuff?'
Him: 'No, I swear, look inside.'
Me: 'Dude, what were you doing in my truck?'
Him: 'I thought I was supposed to take your truck.'
Me: 'What the heck does that even mean?'
Him: 'God told me to take your truck.'
I stood there for a couple seconds, dumbfounded, and told him he belonged in a mental institution. He agreed with me and then took off into an empty field and disappeared. I still can't understand why he just stood there and let me lay into him like that. Crank does some interesting things to people. Also, when I got in my truck my seat was all wet...went straight to the auto detailer."
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