7. A Dark, Cold Night
One winter night I was walking with my college boyfriend down 57th street near the University of Chicago. It was quiet and snowing lightly. At the Lake Park Avenue intersection, we came across what I remember as a white ice cream truck, the side facing us completely covered in yellow post-it notes, each one fluttering slightly.
Approaching to take a closer look, we saw that each note had ‘I love you’ scrawled on it.
At the time, it felt like we’d stumbled onto something magical and nostalgic, and maybe somewhat meant for us. I took one of the notes and tucked it into a book; I may still have it on a shelf somewhere.
7. I Went Diving
We were diving in Egypt, when I suddenly noticed an airtight bottle lying underwater, full of white powder. I put it in my pouch, brought it up with me and showed it to my friends.
Cut to the Egyptian-Israeli border crossing. I was next in line to have my bags checked by the Egyptian official and I ask my friend if he knows what happened to the white powder. He says- yeah, you found it, I put it in your pack.
I was already in line, couldn’t cut out without causing a commotion. Visions of ugly cell mates and prison meals had me sweating bullets. God knows what that powder was somehow I made it through the line without them finding the bottle.
A few months later I showed it to a medic friend and told him about the narrow shave I had. My friend tasted it and burst out laughing.
It was penicillin.
8. It Was What?!
It was a dildo. Standing erect in the middle of my dining room table. And no, it was not mine.
I came home to my apartment one night after work, walked up the stairs and it was the first thing I saw. My eyes kind of scanned the room, noticing this fleshy penis on the table and I became a bit perplexed.
I entered a state of confusion as my brain seemed to register slowly that something was just not right about the scene. The second thing I noticed was broken glass on the floor and a hole punched through a panel of our front door.
We had been robbed.
After about an hour of my roommate’s arrival home, we realized that the robbers scoured our dressers, closets, and common areas. Apparently in the process, they found my roommate’s toys and thought it hilarious to display it on the dining room table.
We all thought it was pretty amusing, except for one of us. He grabbed it off the table and whisked it away.
9. Froot Loops
In the early 00’s, about 2002 or so I think, I was hiking in the mountains of Idaho with some friends when we came across an old abandoned mine. The shaft itself was boarded up, but there was a house next to it that looked interesting. We proceeded to explore it.
About half of it was caved in, but it had been pretty large, with two stories. Against everyone’s protestations, I climbed some rickety stairs to investigate what was left of the top floor. I was rewarded! I was rewarded by the discovery of an unopened, completely sealed, and very old box of Froot Loops!
I am not exaggerating when I say this box was old. It had the old-style 2-dimensional Toucan Sam on it. It looked like the boxes I used to pour out of as a kid in the 70’s.
The cardboard itself was pretty washed out and kind of falling apart, but the liner inside was still sealed!
As we walked back to town, to my friends astonishment and (for some) disgust, I opened the package and munched on the cereal. It tasted perfectly fresh, as if I’d opened a bag I’d just bought at the supermarket.
10. That’s A Lot
Two years ago, I came home from work after a very routine day. Ho-hum, nothing special.
My son, then 6, saw it first: a medium sized fish tank, chilling on our front lawn, near the driveway.
As we walked closer, we found it to be inhabited by roughly 20 tadpoles.
Well, when in Rome…
We hung out with the baby frogs for a while, discussing this wonder of nature.
We left it outside, because it probably had an owner. By that evening, it was gone.
Strange giveth, and strange taketh away.
11. Wait, What?!
I was living in Shanghai in 2001 and walking back home from a restaurant one evening. My friend and I decided to take a route we don’t normally go to do a bit of exploring. So we approached a construction site – the dark, unfinished shell of a 12+ story building. As we walked past we could distinctly hear a Kylie Minogue song coming from somewhere in the unfinished building.
We thought it might be some workmen at first, but after discussing how rare western music is in Shanghai, and feeling in the mood for adventure, we thought we should at least investigate.
Security at the construction site was low, so we were easily able to enter the building. It was a bit scary walking up three flights of almost pitch black steps, but we finally arrived at the source of the music…
It was a fully decorated, music pumping, brightly lit roller-disco with around 150 people happily doing laps. Unfortunately we were unable to join in as the roller-skates they had available didn’t go up to our size! I loved living in Mainland China for the regular surprises that it would throw up.
12. A Wooden Toy
When I was a small kid, around 5-6 yrs. old, I used to go to Austria for vacation (so it was in the 70ies). Sometimes we made some walks, and at one of these walks, I strolled through a wood near the road, while my parents stayed on the path.
Amongst the trees I found something like a stick, but not a usual one. I picked it up, hit some trees with it and came then back to my parents to show them my finding.
My father got very excited, but at the same time very calm and serious; he told me to lay down that stick immediately and that we should walk on then. And that he would call somebody in the next village.
It was a grenade from WWII with a wooden handle.
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