It’s hard when you’re hanging onto a great story that just doesn’t come up that much in conversation. We love to tell it, people love to hear it, but you often can’t just bring things up out of the blue, you know?

I mean, I know the expression “apropos of nothing” exists, but I feel like it might annoy people if you used it too often in real life. At least there’s Reddit, a place that’s always hankering for stories.

Today, these people get the chance to share theirs.

1. So many questions.

This is a little off topic but it reminds me that when I was 10, we were learning about the human reproductive system and we learnt about how sperm fertilizes the egg and it eventually grows into an embryo and into a baby. This all made sense to me, except for the question of: The egg is in the woman, and the sperm is in the man. How is the sperm supposed to get to the egg then??

So I raised my hand and asked the teacher. And then the whole class including the teacher just stared at me for a while before the teacher continued with the lesson. I didn’t learn about how it actually happened until a long time later. It turns out most of my s** ed came from biology lessons.

Before that lesson I thought babies were implanted into the womb by God. My mom asked me if I wanted a younger sibling and I was like whoah you can decide when you have a baby???

2. A cool family story.

My grandfather was working on a US Navy base during WWII, as a welder (civilian) when he got his draft letter. He took it to the Admiral on base, to let him know that he’d be leaving. The Admiral called FDR and explained that my grandfather was the best welder he had, and that his effort towards the war would be better served if he stayed, working in his current role.

My family still has the letter from the President to my grandfather, commending him for his work and excusing him from the draft, so long as he continued working at the base.

3. At least she had the right idea.

I have never, ever told this to anyone before. EVER.

I knew all the body parts and what they produced (thank you, Encyclopedia Brittanica illustrations) from a very young age. I just could not figure out how sperm got from the penis to the fallopian tubes to get to the egg.

Then I saw a scene of a movie where a man and woman were doing a bit of (clothed) bump and grind. My little brain, not knowing what foreplay was, much less anything else, leapt to a conclusion.

I decided sperm must crawl out of the penis and up through the man’s clothing to his stomach area. Then when his belly brushed against a lady’s belly, the sperm would jump onto her clothes (dat da da dah! super sperm!), crawl down, into her underwear and up through the vagina to eventually find the egg.

My poor parents had no idea why I would freak out if boys brushed up against me for a couple of years. I knew I wasn’t supposed to look at those pictures, so I was afraid to admit to them I was just trying to prevent unwanted pre-pre-teen pregnancy.

4. A life-saving phone call.

It was a beautiful night, full moon and a sky full of stars. I was contemplating all while tying a noose to k**l myself. I was at peace with the decision, couldn’t cope any longer with life.

I was putting it around my neck when my best friend calls me. He straight asked: “If you could drink milk, do you think you would have a favourite milkshake? And if yes, do you think it would be strawberry?”

It was so incredibly, beautifully, random. We ended up talking for 2 hours on that phone call, I cried in silence while he talked, and until today he has no clue about this and that he pretty much saved my life.

5. I hope she’s ok, too.

I was living in Madison WI and driving home from work one day. Traffic was horrible and I was just constantly looking in the rear view mirror because I am always afraid someone is going to rear end me.

But instead I saw a man (in the driver’s seat) beating the ever-loving s**t out of his passenger. I tried honking my horn loudly to get his attention (didn’t work) so I slowed down so that he would have to pay attention to the road (also didn’t work) and he sped around me and got in front of me. I could tell he was still hitting and punching that woman so I called the police and told them his license plate number. He sped off onto the interstate before I could describe him super well but I told them the direction he was going. I hang up and continue on my way home.

A few miles down, like 4 or 5 exits, I see 3 or so police cars with their lights going. I was like “oh s**t wonder what’s going on.” and as I pass I see it’s the car!! They had the guy in handcuffs and the police were checking on a very bloodied woman.

I still think about her. I really hope she is OK and that she took that opportunity to get out of whatever situation she might have been in.

6. I h**e all of this story.

My grandmother’s house had a row of peony bushes in the landscaping. They were in full bloom, deep pink and white, and you could smell them across the yard. My grandma was busy hanging sheets on the clothesline.

The peonies smelled so tempting that 6 year old me just couldn’t resist. I walked over to the peonies. My grandma yelled not to pick them. And I leaned over and took a big exaggerated whiff.

I felt something that can only be described as what it would feel like if bugs were crawling all over my nose and throat and getting into my mouth. Because they were. The peony I smelled so deeply was covered in ants. What must have been 50 ants flew up my nose and down my throat.

So now, I h**e the smell of peonies.

7. What a good man.

My great-grandfather lived in Kansas when the dust bowl hit the US. He and his wife lived in a really small town and he owned the grocery store.

After he passed away, my family was going through the stuff in his house and found a box of letters he had hidden from everyone. Every letter was a thank you from different families he helped during the dust bowl. People would be running from the dust bowl and pass through his town. He would give them free food to last them until they reached their destinations.

Many of the letters thanked him for saving their lives and stuff like that. He took this secret to the grave – literally. Not even his wife knew. (I’ve heard mention that maybe she wouldn’t have been quite as pleased but I don’t know about that). I just think that’s super cool and I’m very proud if him 🙂

I have a lot of weird stories about my family that I never get to tell haha

8. Kind strangers are everywhere.

I was over three weeks into a month long hike and I was starting to have major motivation problems. It was a rainy day and I decided f**k it, I’m not going to wear any rain gear because you just get hot in addition to being soaked.

I climbed to the top of a look out point and met a man with his two teenage children. He’s super funny and nice and we hit it off and chat for a bit. He asks me about what I’m eating and how my hike it going. After weeks of being mostly solo most of the time it’s so good to talk with a good conversation partner. But it’s storming and we’re high up so we shortly part ways.

Anyways, the next day of my hike is brutal. My gear is still damp and my body was not holding up as well as I hoped. I’m fatigued to my core, and I want to be done. But I’m determined to go 15 miles anyways (one of my longer days).

Mile 11-13 are a “beach walk” portion. I thought great, that’ll be fun. Absolutely not, walking through tiny beach rocks in hiking boots with a forty pound back is hard as f**k. I dumped a full cup of rocks out of my shoes afterwards.

I get to the end of the walk and there’s a little bridge leading back towards the woods. On the bridge there’s a sign that says “lowest elevation point of the SHT” (SHT being the trail). And I’m thinking to myself, I get it, today is the worst day, godd**nit S**T, you b**ch, you really know how to kick someone when they’re already down.

So I keep going and I make it to a road crossing with trail signs on either side. And on the near sign, I see a gas station bag full of goodies. In my head, I’m thinking simultaneously no way and that it has to be for me. I get up close to it and in permanent marker, all caps, it says my very uncommon first name. I was speechless.

Inside there was a full sized bag of kettle chips, a 24 oz coke, an apple, and an orange. The kindly man I spoke to asked me what food I missed most and how far I was going. I said potato chips and 15 miles. He delivered. Best day on the trail. I don’t usually drink pop, but that coke, still a little cold, was maybe the best thing I ever tasted.

Tl;dr I was having a really bad stretch of days on a thru hike and a kind stranger gave me an amazing, surprising gift and made my day.

9. An interesting beginning.

In the early 60s, my dad had a nervous breakdown while in Army basic training, he was sent to a mental hospital and released to his family when he was deemed well. After a while, he started hearing voices and was re-admitted to another mental hospital.

Around that same time, my mother (who had recently gotten divorced from her first husband) lost her mother and she tried to commit suicide. She was admitted to that same mental hospital.

They got married in 1965.

10. Random act of kindness.

A few years ago I was working at a pretty miserable place.

When I got off work it had begun to rain and I had no umbrella. The crosswalk was red and there wasn’t any shelter from the rain nearby. So I just stood there getting soaked, desperately wishing I could be home.

A couple of drunk middle aged dudes came up waiting to cross the street. I didn’t look them in case they got rowdy. But one of the men looked at me and handed me his umbrella. I tried to refuse but he said, “Your head is more precious than mine.”

Then the light turned green and he stumbled along sharing his friends umbrella.

It was a simple and incredibly kind gesture that made me feel like I mattered. I still have the umbrella and I’ll never forget the moment a drunk old man cheered me up during a dark time. I also hope he didn’t regret losing the umbrella after he sobered up, it was a really nice one.

11. They have something in common.

I’ve dated two separate people I met in the mental hospital. I realize why it’s not an advisable idea, but those were both by far my healthiest and happiest relationships.

When you’re in a mental hospital you really have no choice but to be vulnerable and open with someone. After all they already know something you’ll probably try and keep secret the rest of your life.

I dated Chris for four months when we were 16 until he eventually committed suicide, and I dated Bella for a little under a year when I was 20 (she was 19) until a long distance relationship became too hard for us to keep up.

I don’t recommend you spend your time in a hospital scouring the ward for potential hookups, but if you do find someone, that will be the person that understands what you’re going through more than anyone else in your life outside and that’s a connection that’s hard to break.

12. Definitely a sad story.

My grandfather was committed for alcoholism in the 1940s and stayed several years in a psychiatric hospital. Fast forward 60 years and I’m touring that hospital for work reasons as I was part of the team planning its replacement.

I heard horror stories of how patients were treated in the past. I never told anyone my grandfather was one of those patients.

13. Someone’s mom fell down on the job.

I feel like a dork, but here goes. I didn’t know what periods were until I had them. So when I was bunking a class when I was 10 I told my teacher I had a stomachache and she asked me if I had periods, to which I said the next period is social studies. And she asked again and I said the last period was the Science period. She said nvm and told me to go off.

The same year when we were going for a trip from school when the guide teacher told us we had to take pads, I asked why we had to bring writing pads to my friend. She said sanitary pads and I said ” idk about y’all but my exam pad is pretty clean”

14. Wow. That’s…a lot.

A few years ago, I stopped at a post office in one of those towns that claims it would be the homicide capital of America if anyone actually knew it existed. In the parking lot, I was approached by a seemingly sane man who, without much context, gave me a copy of a book he’d written. I saw he had stacks of this book in the back of his old Camry so I figured he was just excited to share his work with everyone who came to the post office parking lot that day.

The book was called “Code 205 Part One: It’s Not Just a Code but Also a Way of Life” by Grimy Jones. That is not an exaggeration, you can look it up. It was published by an organisation that helps inmates self-publish books while incarcerated. The “About the Author” section (across from a full page advertisement for his friend’s rap/hip-hop mixtape) had a nice picture of ole’ Grimy and a description of his ambition to inspire others and make his family and friends proud through his writing.

Staring at this incredible book, I felt a wave of humility. I, too, desperately dreamed of becoming a writer but struggled to motivate myself to sit down and get the job done. But here was a man who against all adversity in his life had finished a book and achieved his dream. Even in prison, he bettered himself for the sake of his loved ones.

It was as if God himself had brought Grimy to me as a divine sign of the crossroads I had reached in my life. The book was a symbol for the choice laid before me, where I could choose to push myself toward my and Grimy’s goal, or continue to cower behind excuses and self-doubt. With it in my hands, my passion burned and my hope soared. I felt I owed it to Grimy to finish his book, regardless of the quality, and then begin my own writer’s journey.

Upon actually reading it, I discovered that Grimy had written more or less a series of disturbing, po*nographic vignettes in his own personal brand of English.

The titular “Code 205” is apparently a prison code for an inmate engaging in high risk s^xual acts – such the slightly autobiographic main character mast*rbating to the female corrections officers.

According to Grimy, these actions are offensive because it makes the female officers feel sad about how inadequate their boyfriends and husbands are when they see some nice prison meat. I gave the book a real effort, got to the part where the released main character j*zzes in a McDonald’s fryer after receiving a gummy blowjob from a grandma with her dentures out, and promptly threw the book in the trash.

15. I mean. I think it depends on your perspective.

Very vaguely related but reminded me of when i didn’t believe in Christians as a child.

My parents where totally indifferent to religion and literally never talked about it when I was growing up and also never tried to make me believe in Santa. The first time i heard about Santa i brought it up with my sister (7 years older) and she laughed at me and said that Santa wasn’t real and it was just something adults pretend is real so that children behave.

When I was 6 I started at a Christian school (just because it was the closest) and we had a morning assembly every day where the head teacher talked about God and Jesus and how if you are a good person you go to heaven and I thought “huh, never heard of these lads before. Guess they are to keep kids in line like Santa but they can use all year around rather than just around Xmas” and never brought it up with my parents/sister from fear of being laughed at.

It wasn’t until I was about 9 or 10 that I realised that there where actually adults that where genuinely Christians and it wasn’t just a massive, elaborate inside joke at the expense of children.

16. Magical indeed.

Once when I lived in Japan I was riding my bike across a rice field at about 6am. The sun was coming up and there was no one anywhere (SO rare in Japan). Just me on a dirt road between rice fields for miles and miles and the sound of my bike.

Then I heard a saxophone. As I kept riding eventually I saw a man sitting on a stool practicing his saxophone. Just on the road between rice fields. He nodded a hello to me without breaking play at all.

one of the most magical moments of my life

17. Crows are really amazing.

My dad was friends with a crow that lived at his workplace for a few years while we lived in Bosnia, and one day Poe (as my dad named him) came up to him and started showing my dad that he couldn’t fly properly, like really exaggerating how he couldn’t fly. So my dad picked him up and put him in an open box and took him home to me and my mom.

Poe lived with us for a few days and acted like he’s been with people his whole life, even though he was clearly a wild crow. He ate from our hands and would hang out with us on the patio, and he even let me hold him (which was surprising, given I was about 3 at the time). Bosnia doesn’t have a lot of air conditioning, so we always had the sliding door to the patio open, so it’s not like Poe was trapped.

After maybe three days he decided he was feeling better and flew off after catching our attention to let us know he was going. My dad never saw him again since we lived around 10 miles away from where my dad worked, and I guess he never made it back.

Still. Was a very cool experience to have a pet crow for a few days.

18. I can see why this rarely comes up.

So I would occasionally write post-it notes to myself if I was super drunk and something absurd happened. My writing is illegible on most days.

I had a note forever in my wallet that looked like it was saying: I am a (something) eat (something illegible) cucumber whore . It kept me up at night trying to figure out what it said.

About a year later it dawned on me: I saw a man eat a cucumber whole.

Some dude at a bar was eating a cucumber like an apple, and was so incensed and defensive by questions that I decided to stay away and document it for human history. So combative, yet being so unapologetically human.

It’s been probably 10 years.

19. Hugs are life.

This is more just something I wouldnt say to someone other than my therapist, but i moved back in with my dad (I grew up with my mom in another state), and my half brother walked up to me the other day and gave me a hug.

I was super touched but confused. I asked him what that was for and he said “nothing, i just wanted to hug you” and i cried for a good 10 minutes after he walked out of my room.

Growing up it wasnt like I didnt get affection, but it was always a reward. I got good grades, they were proud, but never just because. The idea that someone wanted to hug me just because just hit me in a way I wasnt expecting

20. Mom’s worst nightmare.

The first time I started “playing” runescape was when I was like 5. I was a smart kid, so I could read and write really well for my age, but typing was hard, so I was able to get by playing games on my own. One day I was somewhere mining with just this 1 other dude and he starts sending me messages, and I’m a friendly 5 year old so I (very slowly, bc typing) would message him back.

After a bit the questions started getting more and more odd. Started as just simple “how old are you” and quickly developed to “where do you live” “where do you go to school” big red flags like that. But I’m a 5 year old, and I’m responding to all this stuff in 5 year old manner. “I’m 5” “guess” *spends 10 minutes trying to type out my full name* *spends 20 minutes trying to type out my mailing address and home phone #* ultimately the guy only learned how old I was because I was never able to finish typing any other answers before he would ask me another question, and he wound up leaving.

I told my mom about it a while later, thinking nothing of it, and she FLIPPED and banned all of us from playing online games for like 8 years.

21. What on earth?

I remember in 4th grade my teacher told us all to write letters for the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We were supposed to ask questions like “what inspired you to write these books” or “how should I get this bully to go away” or some s**t like that.

I wrote my long a$s letter about being bullied and not knowing what to do. It was my first year in an upper class school and was always made of for being poor, so it was actually really helpful for me to write all of it out and have it be read by someone “famous.”

A couple weeks go by and I ask about it cause she never asked us to turn them in. She basically told me that never happened even when other students said they remembered it. Then because people said they remembered it, she sent me to office for “disrespecting” her.

I was being gaslit by my 4th grade teacher and punished for her forgetting about the assignment. F*ck you Mrs. Karla I’m 21 and still remember that sh%t.

22. This just me lol.

One time when my son was about 4, he ran into the bathroom right as I was stepping out of the shower.

He looked down at my junk, held his nose down and said “Haha, squidward. Honk honk”

23. She’s taking that one to her grave.

When I was 12/13 for Christmas my grandparents bought paintball game passes for everyone my age and older in my family, about 15 of us. One year we had to play with a bunch of strangers as one very large group, and we all got divided into two random teams for a game of capture the flag.

Well all these strangers we were playing with turned out to be a**holes and poor sports. They were just cheating and not going out when they got shot. My family is all very fun and competitive, so it did not go unnoticed and we all talked s**t about it in between rounds. We all promised each other we would specifically target the strangers for being a**holes in the last round.

So it’s finally the last round, we are divided into random teams of mixed strangers and family, and I’m a petite 13 year old girl ready to kick some a**.

Half way through the round I see a guy on the other team belly crawling towards my half of the field, I had a narrow window to shoot at him and I took it. POP. Right on his back. I can see the paint splatters. And, of course, he doesn’t get up and pretends he just didn’t get shot I guess. One of those a**holes.

So I shoot again. POP. POP. Square on the back. Clear as day. He is out. But he STILL doesn’t surrender.

POP POP POP. I don’t miss a single shot. He barely moves. He just starts crawling forward again.

So I just let him have it. POP POP POP POP. Wait… POP POP POP… wait… POP POP POP. I pretty much empty my barrel of paintballs on his back. Finally I have to stop and he slowly rolls over and turns around. Sulking back to his end of the field like the sore loser he was.

We finished the game and I don’t even remember who won. We were all tired and sore and bruising. The next day, my family is talking in the group chat about all of their bruises and welts. My aunt texts “i bet [uncles name] won the contest for most welts! He has like 30 on his back because some a** wouldn’t stop shooting him and he couldn’t get up fast enough because of his bad knee!”

To this day I haven’t admitted that was me. I had no idea it was my poor uncle.

24. Everything is huge when you’re three.

When my son was about 3, I had him solo and we both had to go to the bathroom at mall. I take him into a stall and he goes, then I proceed to go. In the middle of me going he states at a high volume, “Oh, Dad, you have a huge p*nis!”

Everyone in the bathroom is laughing outside our stall. As we leave and hand wash, everyone is looking over to see whose dad has a huge p*nis. Note: I am average or slightly above depending on your facts source, but to a 3-year-old that is huge.

25. Just a man and his seagull.

Over the summer, I performed impromptu surgery on a seagull at Cape Cod.

It was a nice and sunny day, and I was hanging out in my beach chair with my family, doing some reading. I looked up, and I spotted a seagull walking towards me. It just looked hungry at first, so I threw it a piece of my sandwich. As the bird got closer, I spotted a fishing line wrapped around its neck. The thing was breathing, but it definitely looked worse for wear. I pointed it out to my mother and my sister, and I asked them what they thought we should do. Their response?

“Leave it alone, don’t make a scene, etc.”

I wasn’t too keen on that idea, so I grabbed a towel and started walking down the beach while my new buddy walked alongside me. The gull was clearly scared of me, but not enough that he made any special effort to avoid getting too close. I tried talking to him to calm him down, but it seemed like he wasn’t in the mood to chat- he was just enjoying the walk we were on. We passed by a few beach-goers, and I tried explaining the situation to them, but nobody seemed to care about it as much as I did.

So there I was, just walking side by side with my seagull bro, trying to pick the right moment to grab him, when we came across this fisherman dude walking the opposite direction. He was this grizzled, old-looking guy with a fishing pole and a tackle box by his side. He gave me a look (a pasty ginger dude walking side by side with an injured seagull probably looks a little odd), and said,

“Are you gonna catch the thing or not?”

I didn’t need any further prompting, so I jumped on Seagull Bro and tucked his wings into his body. I wrapped him in the towel, and sat down with him in my lap. The fisherman bent down to get a closer look at the wire, and at that moment I noticed the hook. It was one of those massive ones that deep-sea fishermen use, at least a couple inches long, and it was jammed straight through the neck of the seagull. The wire was still attached, and had wrapped itself around the bird a few times, enough that it had dug into his skin. And it stank. The wound was clearly old and septic, and it smelled like the breath of one thousand pirates. With scurvy. It was just about the worst scent I’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing, and I nearly threw up all over my new bird buddy.

The fisherman took one look at the hook, and pulled out a set of wire cutters from his tackle box. I held seagull bro as tightly as I could while the fisherman snipped the barbed end of the hook off. He and I slowly unwrapped the fishing line from the gull, making sure that we weren’t hurting him. When we finished removing the line, we tried to pull the hook out. It had been in the seagull’s neck for so long that it had actually FUSED with the skin. My poor little buddy was nibbling with all his might at the fisherman while he gently tugged on the end of the hook- it must’ve been excruciating for him 🙁

Finally, the fisherman managed to remove the hook from the seagull’s neck. We washed the seagull’s neck with some water from the ocean (we were at least a mile from the nearest lifeguard stand, and the fisherman thought that salt water would be good for the wound). I gently unwrapped my seagull buddy and set him down on the beach. He looked up at me with as much gratitude as a seagull is capable of exhibiting, honked once, and then ambled away. I shook hands with the fisherman, and started to walk back to my family. I never got the fisherman’s name, but I’m glad he was there to help.

26. This is so weird it has to be real.

When me and my slightly older cousins were kids, they’d try to convince me of falsehoods all the time. I was, and still kind of am, extremely gullible. I fell for “hey, gullible is on the ceiling” more than once..

One day when I was around 11, the elder of my cousins, was talking about how he was joining a lacrosse team. I had no idea what that was, so I asked him. He explained the rules and the tools of the game. I was certain that he was lying to me, that it was another prank. There was no way people ran around with small baskets on sticks, throwing and catching hard balls, that’s insanity. So I smirked, said “suuuuure” and went on my way. For the next several years, whenever someone mentioned lacrosse, I’d snicker, thinking I was privy to a joke.

When I was around 17, a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to a lacrosse game; I laughed and said, kind of annoyed – “yeah, I know the joke- you can drop it. Lacrosse isn’t real”. She was sooo confused and looked at me like I was crazy. She insisted it was in fact real- I insisted it wasn’t. We looked it up online- sure enough, completely real. I was utterly shocked, and way more than a little embarrassed, especially when I thought back to all of my weird responses to mentions of lacrosse. Ugh.

I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad I stumbled across this post today.

What’s your favorite story you wish you could tell more often? Share it with us in the comments!