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Well, That Was Unexpected: Stories of Surprises.

So recently I received quite a surprise in the mail.  I, like apparently many other young women across America, was the recipient of a bizarrely elaborate and specific phishing scam that was intended to target expectant mothers.  However, there was some sort of error and these “Holy Guacamole! You’re Going To Avo Baby!” cards stuffed with faux gift cards and coupons totaling at $245 and a handwritten congratulatory message from “Jenny B” were randomly mailed out en mass to women who were definitely not pregnant. 

This is definitely one of the weirdest and wildest surprises I’ve gotten in my life, which got me thinking about what other wild surprises I’ve encountered and made me curious about what other stories of surprises people had to share.  


Some of my personal wildest surprises aside from this one are: 


One time I was sick and getting Kleenex and cough drops at CVS with my mom, when I basically walked directly into and sneezed on American Idol, Season 8 Contestant, Matt Giraud as he was walking out.  I definitely had a fever and looked like a mess, but was really nice and flattered I was a fan. He was from my hometown (so not that wild I ran into him) and made it decently far in the competition (although the judges had to use like 2 saves on him) and my friends and I were all obsessed with him.  I even bought his Michael Jackson Human Nature performance as my ringtone for my Nokia cell phone at one point. I’m glad my mom was there too to witness this, or else I’d be convinced that I met Matt Giraud at CVS because I walked into him and sneezed on him was a fever dream.


One year in high school, I was at a moderately fancy restaurant with a big group of my friends before my winter formal.  I was standing at the end of the table talking to my friend, when a woman at the table next to me calmly and politely tapped me on the shoulder and said “excuse me dear, but your dress in one fire”.  It most definitely was. The wall heater burnt a damn hole in my dress.   


Six years ago I had gotten a routine skin test for Tuberculosis as part of a background check for when I was working at 2 different schools on my gap year.  For a TB skin test, they prick your skin and judge how the injection site reacted a few days later to determine f you have TB. It’s really just a precautionary measure they make people who work with kids take, so I assumed I had nothing to worry about.  I showed up at my doctor’s office during the spare half an hour I had between my shifts at the two different schools my results results. I wasn’t even lead to a room, I was just directed to sit in the chair next to the scale after being called by a nurse, that’s how lowkey these things are.  I showed my arm to the nurse and she literally gasped and basically shouted “THAT’S POSITIVE!”. I was the first positive they’d had in their office in YEARS and the first positive the nurse had ever seen in real life. I finally got brought into an appointment room where I’m pretty sure every single nurse and doctor working that day came in at some point to gawk at and poke the swollen lump on my arm.  I also was told to quarantine myself until we got the blood results back for if it was active or latent tuberculousis (it’s latent. I’m such a fundamentally lazy person that even the tuberculosis inside me can’t be bothered to get on with it), but I was told not to tell anyone it was because I had TB as it would cause unnecessary panic. Naturally I told all my friends, but told my bosses my aunt had died. 


Lastly, this past week I was trying to make casual conversation with my cashier as he scanned my groceries.  I asked him how his halloween was. Turns out he got hit by a car. And no, he wasn’t a millennial, so he wasn’t excited about it. 

Here are my favorite surprise stories people were generous enough to share with me:


Someone saw me wearing my Kiss earrings at work today and said “hey, one of my friends tours with kiss” so now I’m 4 degrees of social separation away from Kiss. 

  • E


When I was applying to colleges, I had one safety school and one far reach school.  The safety school waitlisted me and I got accepted to the far reach. So I guess shoot for the moon because the stars might end up waitlisting you? 

  • N


One night I was calling the cats in for food and after they were all inside, I realized there were two Teddys.  A stray Teddy look-alike had welcomed himself into our home like he owned the place. We told ourselves we weren’t going to keep him, but 3 years later here we are.

  • L


One time in high school my bio class all bombed this one test so badly our teacher told us we had such a bad average she had to curve it by 20% and I still didn’t pass lol.  

  • B


This has actually happened twice: I went to take out my tampon and TWO came out.  It’s always been a fear of mine, but like I didn’t even notice there were two in there, so I guess it’s not that bad? I have no idea how I’ve managed to do this TWICE.  It’s always happened when I’ve been stressed and in a rush, though. 


Our quiet neighbors had a meth lab in their basement the whole time.  I don’t want to say I called it, but…


When I first transferred a couple years ago I was taking a class at the local community college in addition to my classes at my new school.  I became friends with this really nice girl in my community college class and also developed an intense crush on this guy I’d see around my new school’s library.  Didn’t even know his first name, but was obsessed with him and would tell the girl from my community college class all about him. Eventually, I ended up adding her on facebook and after some very mild stalking, I quickly discovered that my new crush WAS HER YOUNGER BROTHER.  She’d posted a photo collage of them for his birthday. Once I saw the resemblance I couldn’t unsee it. I’m forever grateful I never snapped her a pic of him.  

  • H


I was lactose intolerant for years and didn’t know.  I know it sounds dumb now, but I guess I just thought everyone had diarrhea daily too.  The day I found out I couldn’t stop laughing at myself.  

  • M


One time I slept walked to my neighbor’s house when I was a kid and woke up the next morning laying on their deck.  No one even noticed I was gone so not sure what that says about my parents or my neighbors.  

  • B


Nothing like waking up after a night of drinking to find an amazon payment confirmation for a medieval Celtic sword.

  • A


I was shopping at goodwill and I found a shirt from one of my middle school theatre productions.  We’d all sign each other’s shirts after the show wrapped. I found my own signature on the back. It was strange, but I also felt a little famous?

  • S


I went on a rollercoaster 7 times in a row and then threw up in some lady’s purse.  Everyone thought I was just sick, but I actually had a bad concussion. 

  • K


Tried to dye my hair brown and it ended up red.  My roommates made that Suite Life of Zack and Cody “Honey, you mist auburn big time” joke for weeks.  


Once I asked a coworker if I could borrow his phone to google something. I pulled up safari to find lesbian orgy porn.

  • E


I went to the beach to watch the solar eclipse in August of 2017. Plenty of people had the same idea; the park was packed. While hiking through the woods, I nearly walked into a man who was standing just off the trail, staring directly into the sun, furiously masturbating. Not what I expected to see that day.

  • A


I went to take my antidepressants one morning… ended up accidentally taking a double dose of my sleeping pills. Had to leave work and was knocked out for 16 hours straight.


I guess maybe when I realized I was gay.

  • P


Once in my dorm room, I was sprawled out on my bed in my underwear. I turned and made eye contact with a man doing construction right outside my window.

  • K


For years I thought Yosemite was pronounced Yossse-might.  Like up until my first year of college. I saw a poster in a guy’s room and asked if it was of “yosse-mite”.  


Oh my gosh, I still remember this so clearly.  When I was like 7, I had just gotten the Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack and was so hype and went to play it in family’s CD player.  I was so jazzed that I didn’t check to make sure there wasn’t already a CD inside. There was but, I didn’t notice, and I just stuck my CD on top of it.  I was ready to start belting out the words to This Is What Dreams Are Made Of, when these slow, deep bull frog sounds started coming from the CD player. Not only was it not the right CD playing (it was my dad’s Johnny Cash), but it was playing extremely slowly because with 2 CDs inside the disks were kind of jammed and not rotating quickly enough.   It scared me so much I screamed, cried, ran away, and assumed there was a ghost in my house.  


Got drunk and woke up in a cat shirt and a long tulle tutu skirt,  neither of which I owned or started the night in. I still have the cat shirt though, and actually wear it a lot.  


This isn’t mine, but my cousin’s.  Apparently my aunt (my cousin’s mom) got all excited because she found a box of family videos when unpacking after moving into a new house.  She got the whole family together to watch them, but it turned out that the videos were all just recordings of Sex And The City my cousin had secretly tapped and labeled things like “Mom’s Birthday” and “Christmas ‘01” because she wasn’t allowed to watch it when she was in high school.  Rather than fess up, my cousin just let her mom put in tape after tape to have every single one be a new Sex In The City episode, and suggested that maybe they were left behind by the former home owners lol. 

Haley Nickert

Denison '20

Coming soon
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