For most of us, "bad luck" is simply a matter of the barista getting our pretentiously complicated coffee order wrong. ("A hot bucket of dishwashing detergent? Well, at least they remembered the soy milk.")
Face it: A lot of us are well-fed and spoiled, and God apparently likes us for some damn reason. But for all the people listed below, you have to wonder if they screwed Luck's mom in a past life, because they haven't been catching any breaks as of late.
#4. People Who Got Stuck in Unstickable Places
Sitting in a chair without killing yourself is the standard procedure for the majority of chair users. Unless you're sitting on a ninja posing as a piece of furniture, the act of parking your butt on a surface is not a complicated endeavor. Just don't tell that to the elderly British woman who required a firefighter rescue after she got trapped in an unforgiving lawn chair.
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Lawn chairs are the third leading cause of death in Britain, beaten only by tea-related burns and overly jagged crumpets.
So picture the things that had to go wrong for this scenario to take place: One, the fabric on the seat of the unnamed woman's chair broke. Two, she happened to be just the right size to get her butt wedged through the frame of the chair. Not just overweight, because a really fat person would have enough power behind their girth to just the break the whole frame. This woman had to be just big enough to get stuck, and just weak enough to not be able to do a damn thing about it. Oh, and her phone was out of reach. And considering that she was sunbathing at the time, this could have ended in the world's most "you're going to hell for laughing about this" obituary.
The good news is that at 9 p.m. that night, a neighbor came by to water the octogenarian's plants. The bad news is that even the helpful neighbor couldn't get this poor woman (who survived the incident, albeit dehydrated and sunburned) out of her chair-trap, and the fire department was called for the rescue.
At least there's a glimmer of understanding in what happened there, as chairs are part of the daily human experience. That's not the case with the Chinese woman who tried to take a shortcut home and got wedged between two buildings. Not two West Texas wells, not two mining shafts, not two moments she couldn't get out of: two buildings. As in she started walking through a small space and optimistically hoped it would just widen if she wished hard enough. It didn't. For seven hours she cried for help, but no one came BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT SHE WAS A GHOST. And of course there were cameras rolling when the firefighters busted her out.
If the obesity crisis continues, videos like this are just the beginning.
#3. People Attacked by Animals ... in Their Toilets
Forget Bloody Mary or Stevie Nicks' ass-cocaine-flute -- the scariest urban legend out there is the one about the snake that slithered up the toilet to bite a pooper's junk. Why? Because it totally happened to an Israeli man a few weeks ago. Fortunately, the snake wasn't venomous, but it sure did chomp into the guy's penis. (Just like Snakes on a Plane!) To be fair, what would you do if someone tried to shit on your face? Just sit there and take it? Don't answer that.
Thanks to Internet porn and laptops, poop might be the least unsettling thing to hit that snake.
One London woman had a similar problem, but instead of snakes, she had rats climbing up through her toilet. Notice the plural -- rats. Of all the toilets in England, this woman must have gotten the one that was the easiest to climb, because a whole horde of them apparently made the journey. The first one bit her while she was doing her business; the rest just kept coming while she tried to drown them. And despite her butt bite and whatever other evidence she was willing to thrust in her landlord's face, no one actually believed her when she complained.
#2. People Who Get BLAMMO-ed Out of Nowhere
If you're in a war zone, you expect to get sliced by a stray bullet. But if you're quietly minding your own damn business in a hospital room in suburban Pennsylvania, not so much. But that's what happened to a 62-year-old lady getting treatment for a totally unrelated issue. At 11:40 p.m., this charmed woman sat behind a double-paned window and a bullet struck her in the abdomen. Yes, the projectile missed her organs, which is great, but authorities think the bullet might have traveled a mile before hitting her, which is bananas. We don't have her name, but you might want to stay away from all 60s-ish Pennsylvanian women the next time you see lightning.
And remember: Hospitals are not a safe shooting berm.
And then there's Peter Leach, who had his shin shattered while participating in the world's most boring hobby: trainspotting. Not only is this a real thing that people who don't have smartphones or other forms of entertainment do, but it also has nothing to do with heroin. It is literally an activity where people sit and watch trains for fun. (They've even made a video game out of it.)
And here's a cool fact: Trains still run on coal! We've got a robot on Mars, and our trains are still using Old West technology. What does this have to do with Peter Leach? A stray lump of coal hopped off the choo-choo and broke Leach's leg. Just cracked that bone open, to the point where he needed a pin inserted the full length of his tibia bone and two hospital days to recover. All this from simply gazing at a locomotive.
#1. People Who Stood Between Falling Objects and Gravity
It's summer and the weather's nice, so you and your special someone decide to take a lazy tubing ride down the river. You're rolling along, laughing, maybe holding hands and admiring the bat guano under the bridge, when PAIN PAIN PAIN EVERYWHERE. What happened?
If you're Andy Hill, a grown-ass man just landed on your lap, that's what. While Hill was floating, another guy was jumping off the same damn bridge, and the two just happened to connect at the right time (just like the Red Hot Chili Peppers predicted they would). Thanks to his new river buddy, Hill got two broken legs and will probably spend the rest of the summer in a wheelchair. The jumper was obviously unharmed, other than losing his "World's Best Avoiding Floaters While Jumping Off Bridges" medal.
Blindly leaping from bridges is a harsh mistress.
So far we've ended each story on a happy note, but Joao Maria de Souza is going to take the bad luck cake and run with it. At least he would, if he were still alive (he's not). De Souza was sleeping peacefully in his house when a one-ton cow fell on him. One minute, the cow was grazing on the hills above de Souza's home. The next? The bovine was tiptoeing onto de Souza's asbestos roof and falling on a man whose waking life was now far weirder than any conceivable dream. Sadly, de Souza didn't survive the plummeting beast. To quote his bereaved mother, "I didn't bring my son up to be killed by a falling cow." This is a sentiment mothers everywhere can agree on.
When he's not looking for writing opportunities to support his Cracked habit, A.C. Grimes is asking you to check out a delightful new game called Symmetry.