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Thread: What's the single most frightening real-life experience you ever had?

  1. #1
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    What's the single most frightening real-life experience you ever had?

    And what did you learn from it?


    I'll leave mine for a bit later...

  2. #2
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    I was at a state park in Northwest nj camping and was drinking and cooking passed 7pm. You're not allowed to drink or cook passed 7pm. Well they had the grill along side the Forrest in which made no damn sense at all, and on the other side of the briar was a momma black bear lol. Me yelling for my family to get inside the cabin was enough for her to say forget this guy's food, she split and left the 3 babies there. I learned don't drink and cook passed 7pm in bear country haha.

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    Not my Tempo Fendi's Avatar
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    Can I post two?

    When my family were driving in a car, my 2 years old nephew accidentally open the car door and he was nearly thrown out of the car and left it open for 2 second.

    Having a pair of "fireflies" and "white owl" doesn't give out good feelings when it turned out to be ghost apparition.

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    Heroic Warrior Mark M's Avatar
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    Probably the night I had to talk a girl down off a bridge who was trying to kill herself.
    I was out for a walk one night coming back from the shop when I seen a figure on the bridge. I seen the girl was crying and asked if she was okay but she became hysterical shouting about wanting to kill herself. I didn't have a phone with me to call the police etc and I didn't want to try grabbing her off the bridge etc so I decided to try and keep the situation as calm as possible and sat with her and talked with her for about half an hour until she got down.
    After I got her to get down I got her to go home but none of her family were there so I went home and called the police who went later and spoke to the girl and her family.

    I guess what I learned from the experience is how to keep people and situations calm and undercontrol and how no matter how bad sometimes just tallking to someone even a complete stranger can be a great help.

    Long story short over a year later the family didn't know who helped her that night but when they found out it was me they game me a meal for two voucher and a bottle of wine which I still have as I am a tea totaller LOL.
    Last edited by Mark M; May 15, 2021 at 02:19pm.

  5. #5
    The Scare is in the Glow! Scare Glow's Avatar
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    I have experienced many things, over the course of my life, which could be described as frightening, even horrifying. If I were to choose the one event which eclipses all, profoundly altering everything going forward, it would be the night my mother died.

    The fear I felt rushing back to the hospital after receiving the phone call was entirely something new. I did not believe them, having to verify it for myself. I did verify it, and in so doing, had to try and take over her role within the family, caring for a father with early onset dementia, while coping with the sudden and awful loss. Those times, all those years ago, were the hardest and most terrifying of my life and have irrevocably changed me forever.

    What I learned from the experience is not to take anything for granted. I've also learned to trust my intuition, because if I had, much would be different now.

    Apologies for such a downer of a post.

    Perhaps a nice Whisky, neat is in order . . . .

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Wakko's Avatar
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    I'll share a story that is horrifying in a way perhaps not intended by the original poster, but it still comes to mind for me immediately when I think of a time when I was totally horrified.

    I'm in 9th grade, circa 1989. I attended a small, very strict private school. My class ate its lunch in a room that also doubled as the computer lab. Keep in mind we're talking 1989-era archaic computers. Me and a couple of friends are eating lunch near one of these computers, and since the screen is blank, I assume the computer nearest to me is off. As we're eating, I absentmindedly begin typing things on the keyboard, including a tirade concerning a girl I had recently broken up with. I didn't really even think that poorly of her, but for whatever reason my stupid 13-year-old self decided to type the most offensive, profanity-laden things about her, not actually meaning a single word of it.

    One of my buddies says, "You know that computer is on, right?" and proceeds to turn on the monitor. He and my other friend start reading everything I wrote -- rather loudly, in fact -- while dying of laughter. My ex-girlfriend, as well as my homeroom teacher, are seated not all that far away. What I had written was enough to get me suspended, if not expelled. That is probably the most horrified I had ever been until that point in my life, and for whatever reason, I could not delete or backspace or do anything to undo what I had written. I literally thought I was going to vomit, and my two loud buddies were doing nothing to diffuse the situation.

    In a panic, I did the only thing I could think to do -- I unplugged the computer. It turned out another classmate of mine had been in the middle of doing some programming, and so by unplugging the computer, I erased all his work for that day. I told him what happened and he laughed about it, but he told me I needed to tell the teacher that I just lost all his work for the day. I lied and told the teacher the whole thing was an accident. She made me apologize to my classmate and she let it go after lecturing me for being careless.

    Thankfully, in the end, nothing else ever came of it. I deserved much worse than I got, but I certainly learned a hard lesson that day and am ashamed of myself to this day for the whole thing. Even thinking about it now some 30+ years later, it still makes me anxious.
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  7. #7
    Master of New Adventures!
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    I'll also take the liberty of posting two events, an interesting linkage between them, I think.

    First, when I was seventeen I managed to get my hands on a .38 revolver. I did a lot of target shooting in the woods with no problems. One afternoon I stopped at A&W Root Beer -- a drive-in in those days -- for a root beer. I had the fully loaded revolver in a holster that I had swung over the knobs of my radio, the safety off.

    I was enjoying my root beer when a guy in his thirties came to my open driver's side window and began ranting about having been in combat and calling for helicopter support. Seeing my gun, he leaned across me, pulled it from its holster and held the barrel to my left temple, continuing his rant. Somehow I managed to call him down and, after what seemed an eternity, he finally leaned across me, put the revolver back in its holster and walked away.

    What I learned is obvious: never have a loaded gun with the safety off visible in your car when your window is down. (Really?! Sheesh!)

    Fast-forward half a lifetime and Kim and I are sitting in the living room of our home with two-year old Alex and his nanny. It's a nice summer day and we're just chatting. I watch as Alex toddles across the living room to the door that leads down steep steps to our concrete-floored basement. Everything seems to go in slow motion as he grasps the doorknob, turns it, pushes forward and swings out while holding onto the doorknob with both hands, dangling over the stairs.

    I had the presence of mind to remain calm and kept talking to Alex in the most soothing of voices, telling him how funny he looked and to keep holding onto the doorknob. In seconds I pulled him off the doorknob, looked at the concrete floor far below and said my prayers of thanks.

    What I learned was that there is no such thing as being too aware to potential danger when it comes to your children and, when they are young, that you need to baby-proof every door, kitchen cabinet and electrical outlet in your home. We had high, sliding locks installed on all doors that very night.

    I think it's interesting that there was a linkage between these two terrifying events separated by so many years. The overriding lesson is that one needs to remain calm in the midst of a crisis. Somehow I intuitively knew that when I was seventeen. Thankfully I had it reenforced for me when I was going through survival school as a part of my training to become a USAF search-and-rescue medic.

    Granted, it's tough to remain calm in the midst of a crisis. The alternative, however, is truly frightening to contemplate...even now...after all these years...

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Glasstor's Avatar
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    So many. I feel like I could write 10 pages of horrifying events but, here’s one that really set who I am and how I act in crisis situations.

    I used to go out out to see bands and dance a lot. One night after a Psychic TV show at the WOW Hall in Eugene, Oregon a bunch of people came to a friends house for an after party. Several people had eaten some, well, fungus and were having a good time...or so it seemed. At one point, someone turned off the lights and it didn’t go over well with one of the partygoers and he started to freak out...like really freak out. He stated ranting that God was in him and that he “was goin’ through the glass” and he proceeded to start throwing himself, head first at a plate glass window behind the couch.

    As a few of us began to grab him and pull him back he started flailing And literally destroying everything in his path and fighting to get himself “through the glass”. We finally wrestled him to the floor and I sat for 25 minutes rubbing his chest and trying to calm him down while people held his arms and legs. In the end, the hospital had to be called and they took him out, Hanibal Lector-style, to the “Johnson Unit”-as they called it there. That was really the worst part. Having to send someone off in a straight-jacket who, 30 minutes before you were having intelligent conversations with. His dreadlocks were the only thing keeping him from going through that window. Boy oh boy. I think this is only the 3rd or 4th time I have even told the whole story. Sorry to be a total bummer. Lol

    I really learned from that how important it is in a crisis situation for someone to take charge and calm everyone. I found out how in control I can be and it’s second nature, thankfully. That skill has come in handy more times than I Want to remember.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glasstor View Post
    So many. I feel like I could write 10 pages of horrifying events but, here’s one that really set who I am and how I act in crisis situations.

    I used to go out out to see bands and dance a lot. One night after a Psychic TV show at the WOW Hall in Eugene, Oregon a bunch of people came to a friends house for an after party. Several people had eaten some, well, fungus and were having a good time...or so it seemed. At one point, someone turned off the lights and it didn’t go over well with one of the partygoers and he started to freak out...like really freak out. He stated ranting that God was in him and that he “was goin’ through the glass” and he proceeded to start throwing himself, head first at a plate glass window behind the couch.

    As a few of us began to grab him and pull him back he started flailing And literally destroying everything in his path and fighting to get himself “through the glass”. We finally wrestled him to the floor and I sat for 25 minutes rubbing his chest and trying to calm him down while people held his arms and legs. In the end, the hospital had to be called and they took him out, Hanibal Lector-style, to the “Johnson Unit”-as they called it there. That was really the worst part. Having to send someone off in a straight-jacket who, 30 minutes before you were having intelligent conversations with. His dreadlocks were the only thing keeping him from going through that window. Boy oh boy. I think this is only the 3rd or 4th time I have even told the whole story. Sorry to be a total bummer. Lol

    I really learned from that how important it is in a crisis situation for someone to take charge and calm everyone. I found out how in control I can be and it’s second nature, thankfully. That skill has come in handy more times than I Want to remember.

    No apologies needed for your post, nor from Scare Glow.

    Frightening and terrifying experiences can definitely be downers. It's part and parcel of what they are. I would hope this thread also provides a way for us to feel the universality that comes from our having gone through difficult times. I like to think that we're more alike than we are different. Race, religion or lack of religion, political beliefs and sexual orientation are just different ways of being. But experiencing frightening events is something that is shared by many of us and that we have in common. And the occurrence of those events is nonjudgmental and makes no distinctions amongst us.

    I'd also like to think that writing about how we made it through those events and how we coped with them and learned from them will provide positive information to many of us, hopefully useful during times of travail.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior Glasstor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post

    I'd also like to think that writing about how we made it through those events and how we coped with them and learned from them will provide positive information to many of us, hopefully useful during times of travail.
    You are absolutely right. I jumped right into this thread. Itís funny how this might be the first time I have even written an account of that night. I started writing and remembered a lot more than I ever thought I could. Feels good. There is power in talking about these things. Thanks for the thread.

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    The set up for this I guess is needed. I suffer from anxiety clinical depression and borderline personality. All in all Iíve been in control of it my entire life without meds etc. Itís never stopped me being a great brother son and father. A few years back my mental health declined so rapidly I had a complete mental and emotional breakdown which ended with me harming myself and being hospitalised for a few weeks. I had never been so scared of anything in my entire life. Thankfully I recovered fully and now take meds, go to counselling and therapy to make sure nothing like that happens again. Also it helped me talk to my family about some very traumatic events in my childhood that I was never able to talk about before and dealing with that has lifted a huge weight from me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glasstor View Post
    You are absolutely right. I jumped right into this thread. It’s funny how this might be the first time I have even written an account of that night. I started writing and remembered a lot more than I ever thought I could. Feels good. There is power in talking about these things. Thanks for the thread.
    You make such a great point, Glasstor. Sharing can be positively cathartic.

    I'm a very proud person and it was extremely difficult for me to share my experiences in another thread about my having endured a mini-stroke and a minor heart attack. A part of me had been ashamed of it and I felt that it was weakness and that others would think less of me because of the attacks and because I have to take meds.

    What I learned was that there were amazing orgers -- many of whom I had previously crossed swords with in The Tar Swamp about political and religious views -- who were immediately there for me and for my family, who were incredibly supportive and were cheering me on. That touched my heart and buoyed my path back to health.

    I think it's the same with other traumas we've all gone through, like we're discussing in this thread.

    Thank you for your support for this thread.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by dan1980 View Post
    The set up for this I guess is needed. I suffer from anxiety clinical depression and borderline personality. All in all I’ve been in control of it my entire life without meds etc. It’s never stopped me being a great brother son and father. A few years back my mental health declined so rapidly I had a complete mental and emotional breakdown which ended with me harming myself and being hospitalised for a few weeks. I had never been so scared of anything in my entire life. Thankfully I recovered fully and now take meds, go to counselling and therapy to make sure nothing like that happens again. Also it helped me talk to my family about some very traumatic events in my childhood that I was never able to talk about before and dealing with that has lifted a huge weight from me.
    You are a hero, dan, and an admirable role model for all who have similarly suffered. I know your story, your determination and your intrepidity will inspire them, and will inspire all of us. You rock! Heck, you are a rock! Kudos!
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; May 15, 2021 at 08:38pm.

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    Heroic Warrior Laura Gill's Avatar
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    The 1994 Northridge Earthquake. That thing was a monster. I had bruises afterwards I couldn't explain.
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  14. #14
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    Also one night I was drinking with my neighbor and we all went to his buddies. Me and his buddy went to wawa to go get cigarettes and we were at a light and he was like what's this dude doing? I looked over and a truck was coming right for us. The dude took out a traffic light, that almost landed on us and he just skimmed right past us and went right into a building. He was wasted and fell and sleep at the wheel. That was pretty scary. Didn't really learn much from that. But man, it made me realize I could've been gone.just like that and all while minding my own business talking about jazz music with the kid driving.

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  15. #15
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    I lived in L.A. at the time. Trust me, Laura, I get it and I'm with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laura Gill View Post
    The 1994 Northridge Earthquake. That thing was a monster. I had bruises afterwards I couldn't explain.
    - - - Updated - - -

    You remind me of another situation.

    I was living in Chicago, driving home from work. I was at a stoplight and something fell from my car -- I honestly can't remember what it was. I opened the driver's side door and bent down toward the pavement to pick it up just as a car came roaring around the intersection and missed my open door by inches. If they hit the door it would have swung and decapitated me. I get shivers thinking about it...

    What did I learn? Don't be stupid...

    Quote Originally Posted by unclassified View Post
    Also one night I was drinking with my neighbor and we all went to his buddies. Me and his buddy went to wawa to go get cigarettes and we were at a light and he was like what's this dude doing? I looked over and a truck was coming right for us. The dude took out a traffic light, that almost landed on us and he just skimmed right past us and went right into a building. He was wasted and fell and sleep at the wheel. That was pretty scary. Didn't really learn much from that. But man, it made me realize I could've been gone.just like that and all while minding my own business talking about jazz music with the kid driving.

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  16. #16
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    What's the single most frightening real-life experience you ever had?

    1998 late night dinner at a local restaurant in DC right before closing on Motherís Day. My friend and I were the last two customers left in the place. Two men came in with guns. One came over to our table and demanded our money with the gun pointed at my head. Some employees ran out the back door and into the alley. The other guy grabbed the employee closest to the register and told her to open it. She collapsed into a ball, crying and asking for her life to be spared. I kept thinking please just open the register. Nothing thatís in there is worth anyoneís life. Another employee opened it but got pistol whipped. They marched us into the back kitchen and had us lay down on our stomachs with our hands behind our heads. They left after but it could have gone a completely different way. It turns out they were the same men who robbed and killed three Starbucks employees in DC in 1997. Same MO. Marched them in back but killed everyone because they wouldnít open the safe.

    I learned that life can change in the blink of an eye and youíre never quite prepared for it. Sometimes itís all just out of your control.

    I went into criminalistics for grad school though after that at GW and became an expert witness in forensics. Life is crazy that way.

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior Iluvart's Avatar
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    Does anybody here start to feel there is sweat on the palms of their hands when thinking about these events, even after all these years?

    For myself, two incidents come to mind:

    1. In my early twenties, I worked overtime one night so called my dad to pick me up from the station as there was only a sporadic train service by that time.

    We are one suburb away from our home when I see a guy on the ground by the footpath, and another guy standing over him as if he was about to deliver a blow.

    I quickly asked my dad to pull over, got out of the car to confront the attacker without thinking and blurted out "Hey! What do you think you're doing?".

    He turns around and says "So, you want a punch too?". Two thoughts then came to mind "Okay, so he's actually pretty big." and "Why didn't I just kick him while he had his back turned?".

    I was scared and didn't reply, but tightened my stance and tried best as I could to mentally and physically either block or brace myself to take a blow. He didn't hit me, said "Yeah, I didn't think so.", and walked off. When I saw he had gone I pulled up the guy that was on the ground and asked him what happened. Turns out the guy hit him when he was asked for money and said he didn't have any.

    He said he was okay and lived nearby, so I walked him back to his place, then got back into my dad's car ... and then realised I wasn't very smart. :0

    2. Around 15 years ago, one time my dad dropped me off at a nearby train station so I could go to work. This was at the same suburb where the first incident happened.

    Almost as soon as I left the car two Korean guys come up to me, one guy grabs and pins me against a wall without warning. I did have one hand free but as they were both bigger than me I decide maybe talking would be wiser.

    I ask them what they are doing - not aggressively but assertively.

    They speak to each other in Korean for around a minute, and by this time I was thinking if things go south I might try to hit the one that's holding me somewhere unprotected or fragile then make a run for it.

    I continue to ask what they are doing, and tell them I think they have the wrong person.

    The one further away says something to his mate, and he lets go of me without another word. The other guy says "Sorry, wrong person."

    I thought about saying something sarcastic back to him, but decided it probably wasn't a good idea.

    I didn't report this to the police because despite what had happened, I actually didn't want to be late for work...

    Here's what I learned from these two incidents...

    - I need to avoid this suburb in future.
    - I am not fit or strong enough...
    - Don't rush into danger. Try to size up the situation if possible.
    - If possible, avoid dangerous situations. If caught up in one, try to resolve it without resorting to violence.
    - I am not fit or strong enough...
    Last edited by Iluvart; May 17, 2021 at 09:23am.

  18. #18
    Not my Tempo Fendi's Avatar
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    ^ I just love that you have to wrote it twice to make a bold statement.

    Love y'all crazy stories. I'm surprised there's no ghost encounter or something.

    and Dan, you're a hero, as a clinical depression patient that rely a lifetime of Meds with zero cure, I am simply love your fight with your inner demons.

    speaking of inner demons, I suffered 5 months of involuntary anorexia in 2007/2008. for the first month I having a fear of eating due for PTSD in the mid years and I gained like 10 Kilo in 3 months. But involuntary anorexia is just sucks, I have zero means or intention to fight it until the medication calm me down and proceed with my life. I am by far the calmest guy in the family but I have a few tantrum here and there but whenever I am angry I would just like to be alone and quiet. Man I used to have a furious temper, guess I REALLY REALLY need help as a young adult. let the life experience teaches you how to be humble and correcting all the wrongs in your life.

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  19. #19
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    I sort of feel like I'm living through a frightening experience now the way that political correctness and "social justice" has become so extreme it is replacing religion with a new one all its own. The internet and social media has become witch hunts with too many people's lives being ruined over falsehoods and those who initiated the hunt patting themselves on the back to keep from being ostracized themselves or doing so to obtain social clout or political or business advancement.

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior Mark M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fendi View Post
    ^ I just love that you have to wrote it twice to make a bold statement.

    Love y'all crazy stories. I'm surprised there's no ghost encounter or something.

    and Dan, you're a hero, as a clinical depression patient that rely a lifetime of Meds with zero cure, I am simply love your fight with your inner demons.

    speaking of inner demons, I suffered 5 months of involuntary anorexia in 2007/2008. for the first month I having a fear of eating due for PTSD in the mid years and I gained like 10 Kilo in 3 months. But involuntary anorexia is just sucks, I have zero means or intention to fight it until the medication calm me down and proceed with my life. I am by far the calmest guy in the family but I have a few tantrum here and there but whenever I am angry I would just like to be alone and quiet. Man I used to have a furious temper, guess I REALLY REALLY need help as a young adult. let the life experience teaches you how to be humble and correcting all the wrongs in your life.
    I was going to include a somewhat ghostly story part of my story but decided to leave it out as some people wouldn't believe it, but it happened.

  21. #21
    Heroic Warrior Iluvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M View Post
    I was going to include a somewhat ghostly story part of my story but decided to leave it out as some people wouldn't believe it, but it happened.
    I would be interested in reading your story.

  22. #22
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Having led a cautious and mostly law abiding life, I've been lucky to not have experienced too many things that were truly frightening. But I have done a particular dumb thing twice, that could have cost me and others our lives.

    I'm one of those weirdos that often rides around in my car in silence. I do a lot of thinking and find this to be a good time to do it. But twice in my life, I've been so deep in thought that I've run right through red lights at busy intersections. I'm talking 4 lanes of traffic with turning lanes. And it's not like it just turned red, it had been red. Both times I realize what I'm doing once I'm in the middle. Both times at the moment of realization my heart about exploded and I instantly brace for impact and am looking to have to possibly maneuver into a ditch.

    I was extremely lucky both times. But my heart probably didn't slow down for another 10 hours afterwards.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the kind words from some on here. I joined the org after my breakdown and being part of the community has been a really healthy way to feel part of something.

  24. #24
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    You're canceled!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHard View Post
    I sort of feel like I'm living through a frightening experience now the way that political correctness and "social justice" has become so extreme it is replacing religion with a new one all its own. The internet and social media has become witch hunts with too many people's lives being ruined over falsehoods and those who initiated the hunt patting themselves on the back to keep from being ostracized themselves or doing so to obtain social clout or political or business advancement.

  25. #25
    Cheap Repaint FAKER II's Avatar
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    When I was in high school, I was out for a ride with a few of my friends. Unbeknownst to me, the driver had a water gun that looked like a realistic gun. He decided it would be a good idea to point the gun at random people as we were cruising down the road. We told him that wasn't a good idea. Sure enough, someone called the cops and we got pulled over. There must have been about 6 officers surrounding the vehicle with guns drawn. The whole ordeal ended up taking about an hour. That was probably the longest hour of my life. At first I was scared about having so many guns drawn on us. Then there was a period where guns were holstered and things were calm but I was worried I was going to be in big trouble. Thankfully, they let us go after realizing it was just a water gun.

    What I learned from this event is that I should choose my friends more wisely.
    Last edited by FAKER II; May 17, 2021 at 08:32pm.
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