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Every asshole has a story they tell about the time they tried to do something nice for someone and it blew up in their face ("And that's when I learned that helping people is bullshit!"). But as we've demonstrated before (twice, for those keeping score), sometimes they're right. In a movie, an act of kindness gets repaid before the third act is through. In real life? Eh, not so much ...

6
A Man Saves the Life Of A Drowning Victim, Gets Arrested For Not Getting Out Of The Water Quick Enough

Anton Sokolov/Hemera/Getty Images

After a hefty afternoon meal in a crowded Houston restaurant one Sunday in 2005, 35-year-old Abed Duamni decided to jump into a nearby river for a swim. Whether due to buffet-induced cramps or a water current capable of human hatred, Duamni was promptly pulled under. What he assumed to be his final thought was, "I'm dead. I'm done for."

Luckily for Duamni, sometimes random bystanders turn out to be heroes. In this case, Dave Newman was watching as the current pulled Duamni under, and with the help of some fellow bystanders (also, some rope), Newman dove into the river to pull a daring rescue like some type of water-themed superhero (Sea-Batman?). As police and EMTs arrived, Newman was reaching Duamni, who had become trapped in a small underwater cave. Ignoring the police officers' repeated cries to get the hell out of the water, Newman proceeded to yank Duamni from his trap, thereby denying the cave the satisfaction of becoming a watery tomb.

Via Dave Newman
He never mentions muttering "Not today, Poseidon," as he swam to safety, but you gotta assume.

The newly heroic Newman emerged and reached out to shake an awaiting officer's hand ...

The Backfire:

... but instead of receiving a commemorative statue or a gift certificate for a free buffet or some shit, the officer immediately slapped a handcuff onto Newman's outstretched wrist for the impropriety of ignoring police orders. According to the police, Newman had interfered with their duties by refusing to get out of the river when ordered to do so.

moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images
"If you'd just listened, he could've drowned, and we could all be home by now!"

Let's put that another way: Newman was arrested for saving a drowning man's life by diving in after him, which interfered with the police officers' preferred lifesaving method, which consisted of standing on the river bank yelling at people to get out of the goddamn river. For his unforgivably heroic deed, Newman received a cash award of negative $2,000, plus an all-expenses-paid night in the slammer. And to add bureaucratic insult to financial injury, the subsequent police report didn't even give him credit for the rescue.

5
A Homeless Man Turns In Lost Cash And Is Rewarded, Loses His Medicaid Benefits Due To The Extra Income

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images, Aquir/iStock/Getty Images

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, New Jerseyite James Brady fell into a soul-destroying depression. He had been scheduled to attend a meeting at the World Trade Center on the day of the attacks, and knowing that he'd so narrowly avoided a violent death was more than his psyche could bear.

His mental state got progressively worse, until Brady could add jobless and homeless to hopeless on his ever-growing list of -lesses. But fate soon smiled on him: One day, while taking a walk near the homeless shelter that he now called home, Brady discovered an unmarked envelope containing $850 in cash that was almost definitely not lost during a failed drug deal or the unsuccessful placing of a bargain hit.

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
"A hit is $10,000. For $850, I'll send the target unsolicited dick pics."

Despite the fact that he was penniless at the time, Brady did the right thing and turned the money in at the local police department. But when nobody came along to collect it (almost definitely not because it was drug or hit money after all), the police awarded it to Brady for his good deed. Score one for karma! It does get it right, sometimes!

The Backfire:

By October of that year, Brady was living in government housing and receiving treatment for his depression, staying healthy thanks to his Medicaid support. He was slowly working his way up from the bottom, and by all regards making the best of his second chance in life.

That's when he was contacted by the Hackensack Human Services Department and informed that his government benefits, including said all-important Medicaid, were about to be suspended. See, Medicaid is based on income bracketing, and Brady had failed to report a shiny new stream of income -- specifically, a certain less-than-a-grand windfall that authorities had previously praised the upstanding (and, again, homeless) Brady for turning in.

Viorel Florescu/North Jersey Media
Find a penny; pick it up
Then you are completely fucked

Human Services officials told Brady that, by cutting off his benefits, they were simply "following the letter of the law." Because sometimes being law-abiding is as close as you can get to pissing on a homeless guy without forfeiting your everlasting soul.

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4
A Woman Goes Undercover To Expose Animal Cruelty, Gets Arrested For Animal Cruelty

Jim Travis/iStock/Getty Images

In order to investigate alleged wrongdoing at a Colorado cattle company, animal rights activist Taylor Radig applied for temporary employment among the ranchers. She spent the next three months of her sporadic employment capturing hours of hidden camera footage documenting regular abuse carried out by the workers.


Some of which you can see here, for those in need of a Hulk-worthy rage cry.

She then turned the footage over to the local Sheriff's Office, and since it's difficult to argue with truly Peter Jacksonsian amounts of video footage depicting calves being "violently dragged by their legs, pulled by their ears, lifted by their tails, kicked, thrown, slammed, and flipped," the authorities agreed that the case was of the cut-and-dried variety, citing multiple workers at the facility with animal cruelty charges.

The Backfire:

Bet you can't guess who else they charged with animal cruelty. It was Radig, in case you don't handle suspense well.

You see, in some states, a mandatory reporting law dictates how soon a person must report animal abuse after witnessing the event. The Weld County Sheriff's Office determined that, since Radig had spent months allowing the abuse to continue while capturing enough surveillance footage to build what she felt was a strong enough case against the company, she was no less guilty than those she'd filmed doing the actual abusing.

Hooves & Paws Animal Rescue
Yeah, there's your animal hater. Lock her away, constable.

Now, based on what we just told you, you're probably assuming that Colorado is one of those states with a mandatory reporting law. Well, it's not. Radig's investigation had broken no laws, yet she found herself in the same boat as those she'd filmed taking their angst out on helpless baby cows (that boat being the S.S. Minnow-Dick), presumably because handling the case was interfering with some deputy's My-Little-Pony-watching time. The Sheriff's Office also promised to handle her case discreetly and then promptly plastered her face all over the media and on Facebook, effectively destroying her future in the calf-kicker-exposing arts.

But perhaps Radig should consider herself lucky, because when animal-based karma takes a wrong turn, a kick square in the career is one of the better outcomes one can hope for ...

3
A Man Saves A Baby Seagull's Life, The Seagull Grows Up To Terrorize Him

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There's nothing more helpless than a baby bird. If a bird falls out of its nest before its legs are fully functional, it's as good as a floppy hors d'oeuvre for some unscrupulous scavenger.

eAlisa/iStock/Getty Images
"Don't let the GIFs and videos fool you; we will straight up murder the shit out of you."

So UK parking lot owner Don Weston was unquestionably doing nature a favor when he found a seagull chick that had fallen from its nest and gently helped it back into its grassy crib. What a thoughtful man! And we're sure nature repaid him in kind. There's no way snatching a baby bird from the splintery maw of some feral cat could, say, result in perpetual sky-terror raining down on good Don from above, right? More likely, this is the opening scene of a children's movie about a man traversing the wacky road of life with the help of his loving (but wacky) seagull companion.

The Backfire:

Unfortunately, Don's story has less in common with a Disney flick than it does with a certain classic horror movie.


No. Well ... kinda ...

The seagull that Don rescued, all grown up, now stakes out the parking lot to relentlessly terrorize its savior. Whether it's come to associate Don with food that he never provides or it's exacting sweet vengeance on the man who forced it to face up to a long and healthy life when fate originally had other plans, it's clear that the bird wants Don dead. He can't so much as walk outside without becoming the victim of this dive-bombing peckerhead. And this has gone on for years.

And to make doubly sure Don gets the message, the seagull regularly shits on him as well. Don has become so frightened of the bird (or possibly the shit) that it gives him nightmares -- he even named the bird Psycho, because naming it "The Birds" would be redundant.

RugliG/iStock/Getty Images
And it turned out there was already a killer seagull named "North By Northwest."

To be clear, anyone who isn't Don is free to come and go from the parking lot as they please, prompting Don to attempt to fool the seagull by wearing disguises, such as a wig and high heels. But the bird sees straight through such flimsy charade and shits on him anyway. And since seagulls have a lifespan of up to 25 years, it would appear that Don's got a whole lot of crappin' in his future.

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2
A City Council Candidate Lets His Exhausted Wife Sleep In, Loses The Election By One Vote (His Wife's)

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Like so many Americans today, Robert "Bobby" McDonald and his wife Katie were giving everything they had to make ends meet. Katie was working nights in a hospital as a patient care assistant while simultaneously finishing up a nursing program at a nearby community college, while Bobby was running for a seat on the city council of their tiny hometown of Walton, Kentucky. And did we mention that the couple had three kids?

Katie's insane schedule meant that sleep was at a premium, and when Election Day coincided with Extra Shift Day, Bobby decided to do the good husbandly thing and let her catch some much-needed extra Zs. Because, really, how much difference could one vote possibly make?

hermosawave/iStock/Getty Images
Spoiler: Yet, another reason to make Election Day a holiday.

The Backfire:

The answer to that question is, of course, "all of the difference." Because in a small town like Walton, every single stinking-ass vote counts. Bobby ended up in a dead heat with his opponent, Olivia Ballou, and when the final votes were tallied, the two were tied at 669 on either side. Just one more guaranteed vote for Bobby (we're assuming it was guaranteed, what with that whole "for richer or for poorer" thing) would have cinched him the narrowest of victories.

Because sometimes official law is pulled straight from the elementary school playground codex, in Kentucky, such matters are resolved via a coin toss. If you're thinking that the universe would repay Bobby's kindness with some lucky odds and a "#1 Husband" coffee mug, think again. Bobby called tails, and if you're feeling particularly mean-spirited, you can point and laugh as you watch the video of said coin utterly refusing to land on its face.

Boone County Clerk's Office
Pictured: democracy, we guess.

Bobby takes it in stride with a grin and a shrug, rather than running directly outside to flip the universe a double-bird like we'd have done. We probably don't have a promising future in politics.

1
A Man Tries to Save His Choking Cat, Contracts The Motherfucking Plague

AP via New York Daily News

Paul Gaylord was outside his house when Charlie the Cat started yacking, as cats named Charlie (or anything else) tend to do. Charlie had tried to swallow a particularly disagreeable mouse, and was now quite disagreeably choking to death on it.

eAlisa/iStock/Getty Images
You had one job.

Paul, as any loving cat owner might, stuck his fingers straight down Charlie's gullet in an attempt to yank out the obstruction. Now, there a lot of things that can potentially go wrong in this scenario. Paul could get scratched the hell up, or ... well, that's pretty much it. One thing that could never, ever, not in a million (or at least several hundred) years happen is that Paul would contract the goddamn bubonic plague. That's because Paul was about a thousand times more likely to be struck by lightning than he was to contract the goddamn bubonic plague. Why would we even write that, anyway? How do we even come up with this stuff?

The Backfire:

Paul contracted the goddamn bubonic plague. Now, to be clear, Paul was not a Middle Ages peasant. This happened in 2012 in rural Oregon, which is apparently home to time-traveling rodents.

Sadly, Charlie bit Paul and scampered away to hide before Paul could dislodge the murderous mouse. The next day, Paul came down with a fever. His skin turned gray in a manner that was depressingly accompanied by no superpowers whatsoever. After being rushed to the hospital, he fell into a coma while his fingers and toes began to literally rot off.


"As always, before touching any cat, make sure it is not carrying an ancient mummy's curse."

Paul was in a coma for a month, during which he progressed through the bubonic plague's bigger, assholier brothers: pneumonic plague and septicemic plague. With each progression, his chances at survival grew dimmer: His organs progressively shut down, and his fingers and toes had to be amputated. To say it was a miracle that he survived would be an understatement -- he's the only person known to have ever survived all three stages of the plague.

But despite being death-punched by an anachronistic affliction, Paul maintains a positive outlook on life, and refers to the incident as a "fluke." He now spends his days crafting knives in his workshop (an impressive hobby for a fingerless man), presumably preparing for the day when he can tell karma to go enthusiastically fuck itself, the same as he once told death.

AP via New York Daily News
Every blade has death's name on one side, and karma's on the other.

To recap, the lesson from today's article is, "Never help an animal, under any circumstances, lest you anger the gods."

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For more unfortunate souls, check out 4 People Who Just Suffered from Freakishly Bad Luck and The 7 Most Bizarrely Unlucky People Who Ever Lived.

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